Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) want schools to say NO to the “What Lives Down Under?” challenge and roadshow that is to tour Taranaki towns and schools this week. The project is run by NZ Oil and Gas, Tag Oil and Beach Energy. “Although pitched as an educational resource about dinosaurs, the so-called ‘true facts’ read more like pro-oil propaganda than scientific facts,” said CJT’s Catherine Cheung.
The online challenge uses the same old mantra: “Everyone uses oil and gas every day. We can’t live in the modern world without it…” to sell what truly is a by-gone technology and dwindling resource from the era of the dinosaurs.
“Kids these days know that their future will be fraught with the catastrohpic effects of climate change. The use of fossil fuels is the number one culprit and these oil companies should be ashamed of themselves thinking they can throw prizes to kids and tell lies about the oil industry’s involvement.” said CJT’s Emily Bailey.
“No word is said about the environmental damage and social injustice caused by the fossil fuel industry in the last 200 years (a wink in Earth’s history). Nor the inevitable climate change catastrophes of burning even just a third of the remaining known reserve. To skip these ‘true facts’ is not only wrong but socially irresponsible when the information is targeting school children. Being a parent, I for one, object to having such blatant propaganda reach my child at school,” continued Catherine Cheung.
For those schools that have agreed to participate in the road-show, CJT urge the teachers involved to prepare themselves so they can help students to view the resources not only with informed and critical minds, but to come up with real ‘true facts’.
“Things are going to be very different in the future and it’s our kids who will be in charge then. We need to provide them with proven sustainable solutions now so that they will continue to thrive on a healthy planet” concluded Bailey. “Oil is dead.”
Media coverage: Schools enjoy oil roadshow despite alleged ‘biased’ (TDN, 18 Feb)
Group pleads for others to ignore ‘propaganda’ (Wanganui Chronicle, 19 Feb)
See also: Oil/gas show queried (Wanganui Chronicle, 17 Feb)
More marketing than science (Wanganui Chronicle, 3 March)