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Authors Fire First Shot in War of Ideas on Environmental Education

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Authors Fire First Shot in War of Ideas on Environmental Education

New Book Tackles "National Problem," Offers Solutions

Voicing concern that today's children are being taught incompletely or even falsely when it comes to the environment, two authors have written a book that will serve as ammunition in this growing war of ideas. The book, Facts Not Fear: A Parent's Guide to Teaching Children About the Environment, was written by Dr. Michael Sanera and Jane Shaw.

"The goal of this book is twofold: To alert parents to what their children are learning, and to offer a more balanced view of the many environmental issues they encounter," write the authors.

The book quotes students from around the country who are terrified by the "facts" they have learned in school, such as an elementary student in Tennessee, named Catherine who writes: "Our Earth is getting hotter every minute and the only way we can stop it is to stop burning Styrofoam. I'm also too young to die, I might add, so stop burning the Earth!"

In addition to covering topics such as recycling, global warming, rain forests, acid rain, and ozone (among others), the book includes activities for parents to join with their children to illustrate the points raised. It also makes an effort to address some of the most egregious environmental myths that are being promulgated in the schools of America. Each chapter deals with a specific environmental issue and has been approved by at least two experts in their field.

"Unlike the authors of some environmental kids' books, we don't expect you or your children to picket a fast-food restaurant or write a protest letter to the President. We think your children should have a chance to learn about the environment rather than be mobilized into trendy campaigns. This book can help them," state the authors.

Dr. Sanera is Director of Research of the Center for Environmental Education, a division of the Claremont Institute. For the past seventeen years he taught political science and public administration at Northern Arizona University. Jane Shaw is a Senior Associate of the Political Economy Research Center (PERC), a non-profit institute that studies market approaches to environmental problems. Previously, she was an Associate Economics Editor for Business Week.

For more information, contact Greg Smith at (202) 331-1010 or gsmith@CEI.org.