We send our kids to school to learn how to build a better world - not how to mire ourselves deeper into the climate crisis. Fossil fuel companies regularly sponsor teacher training, educational materials and other initiatives. Some of these even masquerade as environmental education. It's very important to call them out and make sure teachers have access to trusted unbiased sources of information and materials.
For example, in 2021, a Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) parent was shocked to see that the worksheet her son brought home was extolling the benefits of 'natural gas'. A little investigation revealed the learning materials were developed by Fortis BC - a methane gas company - and were being pushed to schools across BC. A swift campaign spearheaded by CAPE and Dogwood temporarily shut down the Fortis campaign.
Claire Kraatz, a For Our Kids team organizer in Alberta, had a similar experience. She discovered that Pathways Alliance, a group of oil sands firms, was the focus of a talk promoting fossil fuels at an annual teachers' conference. She reached out to the Narwhal, and they ran an in-depth article exposing how fossil fuel interest groups are pushing a greenwashed version of their industry on teachers.
This is an area many of our parents feel very strongly about. We're working on some guidance for parents who want to take action at their schools, so check back here for more updates. We're also supporting CAPE's Fossil Fuel Ads Make Us Sick campaign. Click here to learn more and to send a letter to your elected representatives.
You can also take a watch of an info-session we hosted in Novebmer 2022: Do You Smell Gas? Fossil Fuel Promotion in Schools