The Washington Post revealed Thursday that the coal industry has taken up a controversial public relations strategy—brainwashing children while they attend school.
Targeting the cash-strapped schools of the Appalachia, organizations such as CEDAR (Coal Education Development and Resources Foundation) provide grants to teachers who agree to teach their students about the “contributions” of the coal to local communities and negate environmental criticisms of the industry. CEDAR alone has awarded approximately $550,000 in grants to teachers in 17 years.
In addition to supplying money, CEDAR provides pro-coal posters, books, and videos targeted at elementary and high school students alike. The materials provided focus less on actual scientific, educational accuracy and more on advertising coal company myths. One video CEDAR offers, titled “The Greening of the Earth,” asserts that “our world is deficient in carbon dioxide, and a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is very beneficial.”
While an overwhelmingly majority of the world’s scientists contend that the opposite is true—that climate change is real and that increased CO2 has serious negative consequences—the coal industry continues to brainwash our youngest generation into believing their lies.