Currently spoke with Amy Westervelt about her new podcast co-hosted by Dharna Noor— The ABCs of Big Oil
. This series dives into Big Oil’s propaganda campaigns in the American school system.
According to Westervelt, some of the propaganda spread through schools, specifically through social sciences in the 50s and 60s influenced many of the talking points being used today to justify inaction on climate.
She said that in the districts where schools do have strong fact-based climate curricula, teachers said that those changes are often led by students and pushed for by parents.
“That’s super interesting but it also concerns me because it’s like, the thing that’s keeping industry out of schools is students taking it upon themselves to be activists,” said Westervelt. “It’s still just very easy for industry to get into schools.”
Westervelt said that tomorrow’s episode contains the piece of reporting that shocked her the most— it’s the coordinated effort of corporations and Big Oil to influence students at the university level and Americans in general.
“It was a really massive strategy across not only universities but also in the media and film and TV… it was surprising to just see it written down so clearly,” said Westervelt.
She said that one thing that helps her stay optimistic is that today many young people, Gen Z and Millenials, are not blindly accepting the framework being fed to them by large corporations and industry.