Walker, Bill

Bill Walker is the West Coast Director of the Environmental Working Group. EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

Conservatives Use Creationist Playbook to Attack Climate Change Education in School

By Bill Walker

A few years ago, Cheryl Manning assigned a research project on climate change to her high school environmental science class in Evergreen, Colo. She presented the basic facts and data from peer-reviewed studies, then asked the students to look into the issue themselves and report back on what they learned.

Halfway through the unit, three students came to class up in arms. They questioned whether the data was made up and if government scientists were part of a plot — “like conspiracy theorists that say we never went to the moon,” Manning said. At a PTA meeting the students’ parents accused her of trying to undermine their children’s religious belief system.

“Peer-reviewed science is the Kool-Aid of the left-wing liberal conspiracy,” they said, adding a warning: “Be on your guard.”

Manning’s superintendent backed her up, and the parents eventually pulled their kids out of school. But she said her experience is common enough that many teachers shy away from the subject of climate change.