A progressive children’s book lauding Al Gore as an “eco-hero,” and offers kids suggestions on global warming activism, has been recalled by the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center — but only after the book had been included in science kits marketed to 35 Michigan school districts for use in their seventh-grade curriculum.
“This book makes sweeping statements” unfounded in science, BCAMSC Director Connie Duncan said Thursday. “We want to be sure the information we send out is 100 percent correct to the best of our knowledge.”
But doesn’t a book titled, “A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids,” that urges children to become activists, raise doubt about its bias and factual accuracy in the first place? Why would such material be distributed to Michigan seventh-graders at all?
The author is Washington State resident Julie Hall, a self-described poet and co-founder of ProgressiveKids, “a planet-friendly” online company.
The book holds up Al Gore as an “eco-hero;” promotes organizations such as Greenpeace and Rainforest Alliance; urges children to persuade their parents to “Vote Green” and buy organic; cautions against new-home construction, the plastics industry and conventional agriculture, and notes “many people believe that it is best for the earth for families to have no more than one child.”
As reported in the Kalamazoo Gazette Sunday, the Michigan Farm Bureau complained a few weeks ago that the 88-page book, “A Hot Planet needs Cool Kids,” pushes an inaccurate take on modern agriculture, both by including erroneous information based on opinion rather than science and by failing to include information about ways that agricultural practices can help combat climate change.
Now BCAMSC is contacting schools and teachers, “any way we could get hold of them,” regarding the dubious material included in the seventh-grade kits intended to teach children about climate change.
“We wouldn’t have pulled the book” just because Farm Bureau objected, Duncan said, “but we will review (a book) because someone disagrees with it.”
Duncan stated the review of A Hot Planet revealed that, although “this book has some wonderful things in it, it also has some things in it that are not appropriate. There are some other pieces in there that are not based on fact.”