British High Court ruling on an Inconvenient Truth

Written by  //  October 11, 2007  //  Climate Change, Education  //  No comments

The FP story was forwarded by one of the last climate change deniers at Wednesday Night. We won’t dignify his comments by passing them on.
However, we have replied with the
9 October NYT piece on A Climate Meeting With Nobel Laureates
datelined POTSDAM, Germany, Oct. 9 — “Sixty-two years after the victorious Allied leaders convened in this stately Prussian town to create the post-World War II world, 15 Nobel Prize laureates assembled here this week for another momentous task: saving the world from global warming.”
– note the references to Dr. Mario Molina who was in Montreal last month for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.
In the unlikely event that anyone missed the FP story, there’s an excerpt at the bottom of this post, complete with headline emphasizing “misuse” of the film.
The coverage from The Independent was more even-handed: Yesterday’s ruling will no doubt be greeted with glee among climate-change deniers. But green opponents have come under similar criticisms over their own claims on the hotly contested issue. Earlier this year, Channel 4 broadcast The Great Global Warming Swindle, which was widely panned by critics. Eigil Friis-Christensen, the director of the Danish National Space Centre whose work was used in the programme, was asked by The Independent whether the message was accurate. He replied: “No, I think several points were not explained in the way that I, as a scientist, would have explained them… it is obvious it’s not accurate.” The British Antarctic Survey said: “Any scientist found to have falsified data in the manner of the Channel 4 programme would be guilty of serious professional misconduct.”
And as usual, the good old BBC covers all the bases:
“I have spent much of the last two decades of my journalistic life warning about the potential dangers of climate change, but when I first watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth I felt a flutter of unease.
Not because the central message – that climate change is happening and almost certainly caused by mankind – is untrue; but because in several points of the film, Mr Gore simply goes too far by asserting or implying facts that are contentious.
… as the judge observed, when the film was first circulated it did not supply teachers with the material needed to help pupils distinguish which of Mr Gore’s factoids were still subject to serious mainstream debate.”

Save our kids
A court case may block misuse of Gore’s film in U.K.
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Should children become tools of propagandists, their schools able to serve as indoctrination centres that teach students to parrot the views of the powers-that-be rather than think for themselves?
In the U.K., where school standards are arguably more stringent than in North America and such abuses proscribed by law, one determined parent took the education system to task over Al Gore’s climate-change film, An Inconvenient Truth, which was widely distributed through the schools. Last week, the verdict came in. In an interim decision, the British High Court ruled that such partisan works cannot be presented in schools without identifying them for what they are. Teachers who mislead their pupils into thinking that Gore’s film accurately represents the science of global warming are in violation of the “Political indoctrination” section of the country’s Education Act of 1996, which explicitly requires that: “The local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall forbid … the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school.”
The judge’s final decision is expected within the week. It promises to change how and what students are taught, and to empower teachers and students alike who choose to think for themselves. In classrooms in Canada and elsewhere around the world, meanwhile, our children are not empowered to question the conventional wisdom on climate change, and teachers continue to show An Inconvenient Truth without any guidance to the children in their charge.
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