Letter To School Committee

Phyllis Theermann

wps compasss log

The Following Letter was written by a Green Schools/Sustainable Wellesley advocate. Please consider researching and writing something of your own and sharing it with the Members of the Wellesley Public School Committee here school_Committee@wellesleyps.org.


“I am writing today to ask the Board to consider making Climate Change part of the science curriculum in the middle and upper grades.  In addition, I request that the Board officially acknowledge human caused climate change as a clear and confirmed scientific fact, arrived at by the overwhelming consensus of the international scientific community, and that the subject be treated as such in the classroom.

The reason for such requests is NOT to bring politics into the classroom, but to keep it out.  As you may know, there has been an ongoing campaign to spread disinformation about this subject, much like the tobacco companies in a previous era spread disinformation about the dangers of smoking.  The latest tactic, initiated by the Heartland Institute, is to infiltrate the schools by sending science teachers a book entitled “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.”  This book argues that that the science is not conclusive, that climate change, may or may not be happening, that it is likely a natural phenomenon and that it can even be a good thing.

In fact, there is very little disagreement.  Scientists are nearly unanimous in concluding that human activity is contributing to climate change, with potentially disastrous results.

The Heartland Institute is spending millions to send out 25,000 copies of this book every two weeks, “until every science teacher in the nation has a copy,” according to Heartland CEO Joseph Bast.  This means that our Wellesley science teachers will be seeing one in their mailbox in the near future.

“It’s not science, but it’s dressed up to look like science,” said Ann Reid, executive director of the National Center for Science Education. “It’s clearly intended to confuse teachers.”

This cynical tactic of sowing doubt where it doesn’t belong is working.  According to a survey of US science teachers published in the journal Science, 31 percent of teachers told their students that the cause of climate change is still being debated. About one in 10 teachers teach children that humans had no significant role in climate change.

To help guide teachers after Heartland’s packages began arriving in schools, David Evans, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, sent a memo to all 55,000 NSTA members reinforcing that scientists do not disagree about the causes of climate change, and referring educators to curricula supported by established climate science. Some school districts are suggesting that their teachers throw away the book upon receipt.

I would respectfully request that your board do likewise, and soon.  Our children deserve the truth.”

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Phyllis Theermann
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