Things might have sounded hopeless Tuesday, with President Trump, in the words of former “green jobs czar” Van Jones, signing “a death warrant for Planet Earth” and inspiring Michael Moore to declare March 28th “the day the extinction of human life on earth began.”

It’s actually much worse than that, however.

Not only did Trump roll back Obama-era climate policies; PBS blew the lid off a plan by climate change skeptics at the Heartland Institute to confuse the nation’s science teachers and persuade them that climate change is debatable.

The science on anthropogenic climate change is settled, as demonstrated by the overwhelming scientific consensus supporting it; and don’t bother asking if the underlying studies that determined this overwhelming consensus are debatable, because of course they aren’t.

Wow. The only thing more shocking than imagining a science teacher open his or her classroom to debate in the face of scientific consensus is picturing 200,000 science teachers checking their physical mailboxes for unsolicited teaching materials.

Frontline reports that 25,000 science teachers have received the packet already. One biology and physics teacher quoted in the piece noted that he wasn’t going to show the packet to a colleague and “borderline climate denier” who was causing tension in the school science department with his dissent. “It’s pretty slick. I think he might use it.”

The thought of an agenda-driven organization like the Heartland Institute trying to influence the debate over climate change is just horrifying, which is why we’re so grateful to PBS and Frontline for bringing this story to light in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project, whose reporting centers on issues of social justice are devoted to “examining climate change and its impact on women and children.”

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