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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are Microsoft and the Koch Brothers Conspiring to Teach Schoolchildren That Global Warming Doesn't Exist?

Posted by on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Wow. This ThinkProgress story is pretty disgusting, if it's true:

Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

Gross, gross, gross.


Comments (21) RSS

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Dougsf 1
Where's the money trail to Microsoft, and what is their plan on actually getting public schools to purchase their curriculum?

I'm not suggesting these loonies don't have the worst of intentions, but that article was a bit alarmist and scant on details.
Posted by Dougsf on February 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Vince 2
I find it hard to believe Microsoft would be so regressive.
Posted by Vince on February 14, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
DeepFriedBananaBits 3
@2 I find it disturbing that Microsoft would do so.
Thanks a lot, Paul. I feel dirty after reading that.
Posted by DeepFriedBananaBits on February 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Yeah, call me naive but I didn't think MSFT had any truck with those people.
Posted by Prettybetsy on February 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Luisa 5
The TP story spells epistemology wrong. That's a blow to credibility in my book. They could at least spell check. It's just lazy not to.

Heartland Institute's site says that they regret that they must they keep their donor list confidential so that people like us won't accuse them of "being "paid" by specific donors to take positions in public policy debates. . . "

I also would like to see the Microsoft to Heartland $$ trail.

Posted by Luisa on February 14, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
McGee 6
What? A corporation using a non-profit as a tax shelter? Unheard of!
Posted by McGee on February 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this

Yes, don't teach kids to think. We all know that Albert Einstein used to say "the Science is Settled". Right? Well, no, but WikiPedia said it which is just good...even better because someone Tweeted that Einstein is an "old dude" and she'd rather have an Occupy guy punch her in the face because his name is Aarron... yes...with two R's!
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 14, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
seandr 8
I don't get it. What would Microsoft or other "top corporations" possibly have to gain from this besides a PR nightmare?
Posted by seandr on February 14, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 9
@7: If Heartland/Big Coal just came out and said that we shouldn't do anything about Climate Change because it would hurt the economy (and the bottom line) too much, I'd respect that.

But to deliberately & elaborately muddy the waters in this way, when anthropogenic climate impacts ARE "settled" science, is a reprehensible delay tactic. They're not teaching kids to think, they're lying to them (and gullible conservatives) because they have money and they want to continue to do what they know how to do.

We're going to deal with it sooner or later. Big Coal just wants it to be later, after the Koch Bros. are dead.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 14, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 10
What part of Microsoft's ten-years-hence supply chain would benefit from planting this seed? I call bullshit on this.
Posted by Free Lunch on February 14, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
I think the Microsoft thing inclusion is false. Take, e.g.…, or…, or…. I mean, Steve Ballmer sent an email to employees committing to reduce the company's environmental footprint (see…)
Posted by mao on February 14, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
switzerblog 12
Heartland also does research and advocacy against government regulation in the internet space, Paul. Did it occur to you that Microsoft might be funding *that*, since it's a direct 1:1 match with Microsoft's corporate goals? Come on, man, do your homework.
Posted by switzerblog on February 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
Donolectic 13
"Is Paul Constant conspiring to link Microsoft and the Koch brothers via SLOG?" would be a better title.
Posted by Donolectic on February 14, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this


Why are there no hurricanes any more?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
it makes me gag to hear centrist, establishment types pontificate about the perils of global warming. in order to toss the monkey wrench and dramatically downsize the global population you should consider taking advantage of the growing libertarian sentiment popular among todays youth. otherwise, keep patting yourself on the back for sporting the organic, hemp shopping bag and showing your commitment to being part of the solution.
Posted by porchedge on February 15, 2012 at 1:54 AM · Report this
biju 16
Meanwhile, google is co-sponsoring CPAC and that's ok. But we all love google, right?
Posted by biju on February 15, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
The microsoft connection is, as mentioned above, unsubstantiated. But $5000/module is actually a very low number for producing any sort of quality educational material suitable for general classroom use. I'm guessing that fee would be for authorship only. The number to create something usable by classrooms is around $20K for a 100-page book with illustrations, copyediting, etc. As a society we should expect and want anyone to be able to create and try to sell whatever books or materials they want to, yes? So why is it wrong when someone who disagrees with us creates materials? The key here is to put pressure on schools to not adopt them, and most won't anyhow.
Posted by David from Chicago on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
I don't know whether the connection between M$ is true or not, but the commenters here have to be abjectly ignorant to assign such positives to Micro$oft and company given their ignoble track record:

Nathan Myhrvold and his Intellectual Ventures farce,

The Billy Gates Foundation's ardent support for the spread of Monsanto's GMOs throughout Africa, financed by governments (as in securitized Global Development Bonds (and think that financing may have sputtered out as it happened just prior to the meltdown),

Gates' Micro$oft literally suing the original trademark/patent owner of Internet Explorer to death in order to take over that name,

Their Foundation's ardent support for the privatization of education (and everything else),

Micro$oft's financial donations to the American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc. (assuming some of these ignorant commenters here aren't in love with its directors, Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle, and,

M$'s push to make profit from "geoengineering" the climate change problem away (which is sheer insanity according to the foremost climate scientists).

Posted by sgt_doom on February 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this

Microsoft Funds Koch’s Climate-Denying Tea Party Conference

Posted on November 4, 2011 by Brad Johnson

Microsoft Corporation, which argues that climate pollution requires a “comprehensive and global response,” is sponsoring the Koch brothers’ Tea Party convention taking place in Washington, DC. Microsoft is a “gold sponsor” of the Americans For Prosperity Foundation’s fifth annual Defending The American Dream Summit, cheek and jowl with top climate denial front groups like the Heartland Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Speakers at the conference include climate deniers Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Ken Cuccinelli, Ann McElhinney, Chris Horner, Myron Ebell, and Carly Fiorina. Their prominent involvement was captured in a photograph by reporter Dave Wiegel.
Posted by sgt_doom on February 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
A picture is still worth a thousand words.....…
Posted by sgt_doom on February 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Oopsy....looks like Paul was right again (I believe that makes three times this year!).

Heartland confidential document, p. 24:…

Posted by sgt_doom on February 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this

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