Education in an aspiring petrostate

Fort McMurray, Alberta – Operation Arctic Shadow by kris krüg

From DeSmog Canada:

The province of Alberta has recently released a development plan for public schools that enlists Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada in the creation of future Kindergarten to grade three curriculum. Oil giant Cenovus will partner in developing curriculum for grades four to 12.

…Canada’s oil and gas industry has taken a notable interest in curriculum design and the general project of ‘energy literacy’ in recent years.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the country’s largest oil and gas lobby body, caused uproar last year when it partnered with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in the creation of ‘Energy IQ,’ described as “an energy education resource for all Canadians…to engage Canadian teachers and students through curriculum-linked in-class learning tools, and to increase energy knowledge among the general public and community leaders.”

…Fenton suggests Canadians should keep in mind CAPP’s “dubious distinction of being Canada’s most vocal proponent of tar sands, fracking and other fossil fuel development.” He adds the industry lobby group is the largest in the country and has been a key player in Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, eliminating environmental laws, and undermining climate legislation. They are also a big spender when it comes to oilsands advertising.

This is one of those initiatives that leaves me at a loss for commentary. I do note the similarity of this strategy to that long employed by creationists to promote their beliefs using school curriculum.

One would think that if the oil industry were confident in the soundness of their arguments, they would be satisfied to simply provide money to support science education and leave it at that. Then again, Canada’s scientists have been unmasked as a dangerous and seditious group. Who knew that facts could be so disloyal to the national interest?

Via @sleslie

10 thoughts on “Education in an aspiring petrostate

  1. You’ve got it all wrong – This is good news! Without this kind of private-public-partnership, we’d have to settle for teaching our children such nonsense as “all humans are important” and replacing it with the much more life-affirming manta “consume, consume, consume!”

    This is a world-leading initiative! I, for one, am proud that my son isn’t being distracted by such nonsense as “public” education, and embrace our tarsands ethical oil industry for being so forward thinking as to invest in the indoctrination program that will be essential to our continued economic bubble prosperity.

  2. I went back to Nottingham last night (the biggest city in the East Midlands) – stayed in a relatively rough part of the town. Got off the bus to walk to the hotel and the road which i’d walked down a 100 times was really different and I couldn’t work out why.

    Turns out they’d knocked down a load of the houses (good, two world war surviving houses) and replaced them with the Djanogly Academy. Academies are weird schools set up outside the main school system, and the Djanogly’s are a rich local family (one of them is a Tory Minister). The other side of school, is a similarly rough area is the Samworth Academy (the Samworth’s make most of the Cornish pasties sold in the UK).

    I find it weird, even as an englishman, that there is a weird irony to wealth establishing schools in free areas, but then I thought well ( Gates and the rest of the new wealth seem happy to fund research, show me a Uni with out a MegaCorp chair in X or Y ( Do we assume children need a bias-free education, while also accepting funding from other bodies for Universities? Is it we, as adults are free to choose to be corrupted, but we wouldn’t prefer to prevent this happening to children (maybe only even “our children”).

    The logic is public funding (via taxing those with the money to spend on it), but then, when you add democracy those Kansas types don’t like evolution? It’s all a bit confusing.

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