My son is too young as yet for school, but I already have the sense that kids are pretty heavily propagandized when it comes to the environment. It seems like all children go through a phase at some point when they come down hard on their parents about littering, or failing to turn off the lights, or generally wasting resources.
How will schools handle the biggest environmental question of our times -- global warming?
A district in Washington State was planning to show Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to the youngsters, but ran into objections from parents who demanded balance.
When I saw a headline about this, I wondered whether this was based on the sort of skepticism about climate change still shared, reportedly, by President Bush, or whether there was some sort of corporate pressure brought to bear. Regardless, I instantly imagined how this could become an issue everywhere, with schools afraid of teaching the scientific consensus about global warming, in the same way they have to battled to teach Darwin.
Despite this, I was surprised that the angriest parent turned out to have objections not so much on scientific grounds but religious ones.
"No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation -- the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet -- for global warming," Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven, wrote in an e-mail to his suburban Seattle school board.
Hardison "is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is 'one of the signs' of Jesus Christ's imminent return for Judgment Day," according to the Washington Post.