Climate communication - Jan 26
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Father gets schools to demand balance on global warming
Blaine Harden, Washington Post via SF Chronicle
Frosty Hardison is neither impressed nor surprised that "An Inconvenient Truth," the global warming movie narrated by former Vice President Al Gore, received an Oscar nomination this week for best documentary.
"Liberal left is all over Hollywood," he grumbled after the nomination was announced.
Hardison, a parent of seven in the southern suburbs of Seattle, has himself roiled the global warming waters. It happened early this month, when he learned that one of his daughters would be watching "An Inconvenient Truth" in her seventh-grade science class.
"No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation -- the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet -- for global warming," Hardison wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board.
The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is "one of the signs" of Jesus Christ's imminent return for Judgment Day.
His angry e-mail, along with complaints from a few other parents, stopped the film from being shown to Hardison's daughter.
...Before the board meeting started Tuesday night, several residents buttonholed Larson and asked him if there should be a "balanced" presentation of the Nazi Holocaust, because there are many who deny that it occurred.
"The Holocaust happened," Larson said. "We have evidence and photos. The difference between the Holocaust and the global warming is we don't have photos of what will happen 50 years from now."
Sitting in on this conversation was Walls, the seventh-grade science teacher whose class includes Frosty Hardison's daughter.
"We do have photos of snow melting off Kilimanjaro," Walls said, hopefully.
In the end, though, the board opted for an abundance of balance.
That means that "An Inconvenient Truth" may be shown only with the written permission of a principal -- and only when it is balanced by alternative views that are approved by both a principal and the superintendent of schools.
Hardison was pleased.
"I am happy they are giving the kids as much information as possible," he said.
His daughter's science teacher, meanwhile, said she is struggling to find authoritative articles to counter the information in the Gore documentary.
"The only thing I have found so far is an article in Newsweek called 'The Cooling World,' " Walls said.
It was written 32 years ago.
(26 Jan 2007)
Masterpiece of an article.
Trust us, we're the media
Mitchell Anderson, Georgia Straight
Global warming is an unproven theory. Trying to stop it will cost the economy dearly and accomplish nothing. It is being promoted by envionmentalists as a cynical ploy to raise money.
Reading statements like these, does it seem like you are looking at a Canadian daily newspaper?
Like many North American media outlets, Canadian newspapers have been supplying the public with such a steady diet of misinformation and skewed science on the critical issue of global warming that it might best be described as journalistic malpractice.
Consider this: would it be ethical for a news editor today to publish an opinion piece by a tobacco-industry-funded “expert”, now long inactive within the scientific community, stating that there is no proven link between tobacco and cancer?
Such journalistic mischief went on for many years, clouding the public debate and probably costing many lives. However, the days when such “balanced reporting” would be considered acceptable have long passed.
Even ExxonMobil, which funded climate-change deniers for years, finally admitted this month that global warming is real, even though it has been obvious to the scientific community for many years that humans were contributing to the problem through emissions of greenhouse gases.
Yet papers like the Vancouver Sun and the National Post published articles by such deniers as Patrick Michaels and S. Fred Singer, who some might remember from his previous efforts to allay public fears about the dangers of secondhand smoke. And the Province promoted right-wing columnist and environmentalist-bashing Jon Ferry to the position of editorial-pages editor.
(25 Jan 2007)
Sounds like Canadian newspapers are not exempt from bad journalism. -BA
PowerPoint Presentation on Global Warming
Alaska Conservation Solutions
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Recommended by EB contributor Bill Henderson.