Every schoolchild these days seems to be a devoted environmentalist, able to spell "sustainable" before "dog." However, much of the indoctrination about environmentalism--especially in schools--is of the passion-is-more-important-than-fact variety. These kids are being misled and shortchanged, to their own and society's detriment.
For last year's Earth Day, for example, sixth-grade students at a tony private school near San Francisco were given this bizarre assignment: Make a list of ways Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates' fortune could be spent on environmentally friendly projects. There was no hint that systematic market-based incentives for people and businesses could protect the environment--merely that it is OK to appropriate wealth from someone as long as it's for a good cause.