The various attacks on public and private unions orchestrated across the states has clear, direct ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. But did you know that a host of anti-science bills mandating the teaching of climate change denial or “skepticism” as a credible “theoretical alternative” to climate change is also an ALEC bill?
So far Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. Both South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change and Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to open classrooms up to climate change deniers.
In this case the ALEC model bill is called the “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act and is financed by the oil and gas industry. The Center for Media and Democracy traced the money behind the bill and discovered The Heartland Institute, run by the daughter of disgraced Watergate convict G. Gordon Liddy helped develop the bill. The Heartland Institute is heavily funded by ExxonMobile and Koch Industries.
It’s not just that corporations have extensive resources to pour into electoral politics via dark money, its that they simultaneously fund these astroturf groups that promote disinformation campaigns purely to promote their own economic gains. It’s a dirty, cynical way to conduct public policy and governance that is ultimately not compatible with a healthy, functioning democracy.
Photo from natalielucier via flickr.