Saturday, May 19, 2007

Force-feeding Inconvenient Propaganda

Is 'Global Warming' the new gay?

Alright, that question does seem somewhat provocative, but in the sense that that both subjects are being pushed in Canadian curriculum, you have to wonder what forces are behind the thrust of classroom education today. Parents are becoming concerned that perhaps a one-sided view of global warming is evolving, and similar to the force-feeding of gay education, they have very little input.

However, the Global Warming movement has gone one step further, by promoting Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in the classroom when even some of Gore's own supporters concede that the film contains inaccuracies. The National Post has a front-page article this morning that highlights this trend, which is not confined to Canada.

There were a few disturbing items in this report, including the willingness of many teachers to gloss over the inconvenient flaws in the subject matter. Parents are concerned:

"I get e-mail from parents all across the country about this, in Calgary, B.C., Ontario," says Albert Jacobs, the founder of Friends of Science, a Calgary-based group that promotes alternative theories to climate change. "They say, my kid has been exposed to this stuff which is totally one-sided and totally wrong and we want them to see the other side."



Yet the "facts" seem in dispute:


Though Mr. Gore was right for "getting the message out," University of Colorado climatologist Kevin Vranes told The New York Times last month that he worried about the film "overselling our certainty about knowing the future." James E. Hansen, a NASA scientist and one of Mr. Gore's advisors, agreed the movie has "imperfections" and "technical flaws." About An Inconvenient Truth's connection of rising hurricane activity to global warming - something refuted by storm experts - Mr. Hansen said, "we need to be more careful in describing the hurricane story than he is." Among other things, since the film's release last year, scientists have rejected Mr. Gore's claims that 2005 was the warmest year on record (temperatures have been receding since 1998), that polar bears are heading for extinction (their numbers are growing), that Antarctica is warming (interior temperature readings show cooling) and that sea levels will "rise 18 to 20 feet," swamping coastal cities (the International Panel on Climate Change predicts a few inches).


Efforts are being made to show the alternate viewpoint espoused in the new British documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, but "there's no requirement teachers to show both sides of the argument unless school boards demand it."


The most frightening item of all in this report though, is the closing paragraph:
But others, like Mr. Gore, have an agenda. On a discussion board on the CBC Web site last month, readers debated the Surrey controversy. One commentor, who identified himself as a teacher, wrote this: "Yes students should look at both sides on an issue and learn to judge for themselves. But there are times to do this and times to stop." He is certain Mr. Gore is right. Now, he wrote, "It is time for action."


Let's hope that guy isn't your kid's teacher.



* * * *
Update: A little Inconvenient Hypocrisy here.

BTW, my apologies to anyone who tried to comment earlier. It seems that the comment function was turned off altogether. Please feel free to weigh in anytime now. Thanks.

Check this out - Global Warming will be considered a joke in five years!

40 comments:

r a said...

And you can add to that the ongoing force-feeding of so-called evolutionary theory in biology class. Kids should have a chance to learn about the alternatives to this deeply flawed theory and make up their minds for themselves.

Anonymous said...

This is an issue near and dear to my heart....the education of children, as I was an elementary teacher before my current incarnation. :-)

When I taught science, even years ago, it disturbed me that the textbooks were so one-sided and rarely left room for any curiosity, experimentation, thinking for oneself, open-ended conclusions...etc.

A few years ago, I taught a grade 2-3 class. We experimented in our science class. When I taught the unit "Liquids", we experimented with a set of test tubes I found in a supply cupboard, dusted off, and thought would be terrific to expose the little ones to, in order to find out for themselves things such as...what dissolved in liquids, what didn't, etc. They started with their own hypothesis, and then we experimented, and they drew their own conclusions.

To my delight, one of the parents came in before Christmas to let me know that when asked, her little 7 year old daughter requested a set of test tubes for her Christmas present.

I don't understand how any thinking educator could even subject elementary students to An Inconvenient Truth, because a) it's an adult documentary, and how boring it must have been for little kids to sit through b) it's not science if you show a film, and that's it...no discussion, no opportunity to question 'facts' in the film...and c) it's part of a political propaganda campaign, and politics should stay out of the classroom.

There's everything right and nothing wrong with teaching a science unit where your conclusions are open-ended, because frankly, that's what science is, mostly theories, and occasionally facts.

I keep repeating this. Parents, get involved with what's being taught in the curriculum. Instead of going to the teacher first, get the curriculum guides first, and if something is "off", you would be surprised to find out how much power you have "as a unit" with the Board where you live.

Anyway, enough of my rant....thanks for turning the comments back on for those of us who aren't trolls, Joanne. :-)

raz

Mary said...

What is scary is what is coming from politicians mouths about what they say is truth. Gore is a politician through and through. I can only speculate how he hoped that the endorsement that he got from Hollywood’s cinema crowd would be the validation that he needed to be forcibly drafted into the Presidential nomination of the Democratic party to run again in 2008, to take what he thinks is his rightful place as President of the U.S.

The only thing he did not count on was the scientific community taking issue with him. I am sure he thought that if he made a movie in the Michael Moore method that is, built on half truths and wild camera angles and by planting enough fear into minds the average citizen that he could get away with it. But not in the age of free radio, blogs and the internet, can you get away with those kinds of scams any longer.
The average person is a lot more informed and determined to find out the truth and by sleuthing it out finds out that Al.Gore and Michael Moore are on the same kind of wavelength, in that they deal with speculations about fearing for the future or some such far out thing, built on their own speculations.
Hooey-wood should leave their mansions and limos and live like the rest of us before they start preaching to us about buying their way out of their huge carbon footprints.

Mr. Gore’s carbon footprint should be in his carbon fibbing mouth!

Gabby in QC said...

Congratulations, Raz, for your previous endeavours in Education.

Re: environ-MENTALISTS. (I call them that because they imagine much, but produce little).
Rather than pitting
• developed versus underdeveloped nations
• rich versus poor
• urban versus rural
• left versus right, among others,
isn't it about time that pro-Kyoto politicians and environmentalists were a little less disingenuous?

Despite the claims of the pro-Kyoto sect, many countries are having trouble meeting their targets. For example: tinyurl.com/27ews
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3143798.stm
" ... despite its tough stance on Kyoto, the EU is some way off its own target. It pledged to bring total greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990s levels by 2008-2012, but by 2002 they had dropped only 2.9% - and CO2 emissions had risen slightly. Only four EU countries were on track [in 2005] to achieve their own targets."
Isn't that proof that perhaps Kyoto is not THE magic formula its advocates have been saying it is?

AND

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19025574.000&feedId=online-news_rss20
http://tinyurl.com/2ec72n
"Kyoto promises are nothing but hot air
22 June 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Fred Pearce
"MANY governments, including some that claim to be leading the fight against global warming, are harbouring a dirty little secret. These countries are emitting far more greenhouse gas than they say they are, a fact that threatens to undermine not only the shaky Kyoto protocol but also the new multibillion-dollar market in carbon trading.

... Now two teams that have monitored concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere say they have convincing evidence that the figures reported by many countries are wrong, especially for methane. Among the worst offenders are the UK, which may be emitting 92 per cent more methane than it declares under the Kyoto protocol, and France, which may be emitting 47 per cent more."
In other words, not only is the over-ambitious Kyoto accord unrealistic; it also incites governments to lie and cheat.

NDPer Nathan Cullen, Liberal David "Bobblehead" McGuinty and Bloc-iste Bernard Bigras, the environment critics, apparently never read anything beyond their partisan talking points.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

thanks for turning the comments back on for those of us who aren't trolls, Joanne. :-)

Raz, it was a Comments Setting experiment gone horribly wrong.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW Raz, you sound like the kind of teacher every parent would love to have teach their kids.

nomdeblog said...

An idea that I got from reading the fiction (with lots of scientific data inserted) State of Fear by Michael Crichton; why don’t we just admit that we don’t know much about the climate yet?

Then let’s admit we don’t trust the left because we think all they want to do is find another socialist way to re-distribute wealth with Kyoto.

The left thinks there is a capitalist conspiracy to ruin the planet.

Therefore since we’re already going down the road of CO2 emission reductions at great expense; why don’t we set up a bi-partisan committee? It would choose some mutually agreed upon climate “experts” and have them report to Parliament a couple of times a year to give us a sense for what is fact and what is fiction.

If we don’t insist on getting some facts from our politicians, we are going to be wasting billions that could be used on Health and Education and other real problems.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

An idea that I got from reading the fiction (with lots of scientific data inserted) State of Fear by Michael Crichton

Nomdeblog, I tried reading that book. I tried 3 or 4 times. It just didn't grab me, but it came highly recommended. Can you please do a book review? (With notes).

If we don’t insist on getting some facts from our politicians

Facts from our politicians???? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! They make decisions by polls, not facts.

Red Tory said...

It should perhaps give you some pause for thought when an anti-evolutionist rallies to your cause. Even more so that nobody even made a peep about it. Odd that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joanne, and Gabby.

It seems to me that when someone doesn't want to hear another side of an issue, they are running on fear.

So, what are the environmentalists afraid of? As Joanne puts on her blog, "the true shall set you free"...are they afraid of the truth?

Why?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the CBC held a forum where both sides were debated? And not just the CBC...but other networks in other countries...let's have open debates with scientists representing both sides. That should be easy enough to set up, considering the huge amounts of money that might be spent on world-wide attempts to control the climate, that could go to issues that we actually have some control over....

raz

nomdeblog said...

“They make decisions by polls”

The decision to stop Bell and Telus from beginning the slippery slope to turn the whole TSX into an income trust was a tough decision and it has hurt Conservatives in the polls because some voters unfortunately got burned.
Not giving a cut and run date in Afghanistan is hurting in the polls.
Actually doing something about the environment but not meeting Kyoto targets is hurting in the polls; instead of a Liberal approach of saying they will meet Kyoto but in fact doing nothing.

Here’s an 8 minute essence of Crichton’s thoughts on climate change, including the 1970’s scientific thoughts on global cooling:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MagSO9L2Ns0

Red Tory said...

Nomdeblog — Crichton did a very good hour-long interview with Charlie Rose a while back. I'm not sure if it's available anywhere on the web, but their exchange on climate-change was quite thought provoking. I believe he was also part of a debate with several climatologists organized by some forum in New York a little while ago. Last time I checked, the transcript and video was still pending though.

Red Tory said...

D'oh! The interview with Rose is what you're YouTube video is. What a bonehead. I should have watched it first.

Gerry said...

I agree that much of what Al Gore presented was not true or exaggerated, and I agree also that "Global Warming" will be forgotten or laughed at a few years from now. The documentary if shown anywhere should have a disclaimer regarding it authenticity. However, even though the message is distorted it has served as a reminder to all of us the importance of being good "Stewards" in preserving as best we can the earth which God has created. While I disagree with the attention the documentary has been given (and in particular Al Gore), I myself have become more and aware and done a better job of being environmentally conscious in certain ways as a result of this film.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm an eleven year old kid who has a father who enjoys reading blogs (go figure) and now a very small minority in grade schoolers these days, I am not in Al Gore's cult of inconvenient truths. I will admit it, I saw the video, was encouraged by the teachers that we have to stop it, told my dad, and finally got to watch The
Great Global Warming Swindle on Youtube. Within a week, after seeing both opinions too, I decided to not believe In this horrible disaster. Went to school and we got a test on it (yeah, a test to see if we watched it closely enough) and we got a question about why Kyoto is a solution(or something along those lines) and I didn't write it. One other kid who is older than me thought I was stupid and tried to explain to me what global warming is.

More recently however, we got to view the science presentations, topic: climate change and man-made global warming basically. I found my self wanting to laugh my head off but instead decided to do some research myself, you see with all these fancy electronic presentations, I asked my friends what they thought, if global warming is man made, and if they've seen both sides. My answers (in order) are: neat presentations, yes it is, and a what?!

Oh yes, might I mention that one kid brought a TV and An Inconvenient Truth to my "pod" and kept rewinding to a (stupid) animation where "Mr. Sunray" gets beaten up by CO2 characters and the Earth turned red. This all left me with one question: if we're surrounded by CO2, why do we turn red not a gaseous green?

Austyn

wayward son said...

Well I don't care to waste a lot of time here but here are two of the biggest lies from the National Post article:

[QUOTE]scientists have rejected Mr. Gore's claims that 2005 was the warmest year on record
[/QUOTE]

100% Lie. NASA considers 2005 to be the warmest year on record:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/2006_warm.html

The NCDC also considers 2005 to be the warmest year on record.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/ann/global.html

[QUOTE](temperatures have been receding since 1998)[/QUOTE]

100% Lie. The five hottest years on record are in order (according to same links above) - 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2006 (the sixth hottest year by the way is 2004). Only an idiot would call that receding.

As for the Great Global Warming Swindle, I don't care, they can play it in classes if they want. I have seen it twice. Anyone with any knowledge on the subject can shoot holes through it, but it is quickly becoming the "bible" for skeptics who couldn't be bothered to do 10 minutes research and are desperately looking for anything which agrees with their views. Sure some teachers might have an issue with playing a documentary by a guy who has admitted to misleading and distorting the views in a previous documentary. Along with already admitting that he (dramatically) altered (to fit his conclusions) the graphs on solar cycles vs temperature (ie the main premise of his arguments in the film) The first graph was initially done by Dr Friiss-Christensen and the producer has admitted to fabricating about 100 years worth of data. The other graph on the same topic (solar cycles vs temperature, this one originally by Dr Sami Solanki I believe) has had the last 25 years of temperature removed (but strangely kept that 25 year period of solar cycles) so as not to show that the temperature changes in the last 25 years are completely unrelated to solar cycles (I have yet to hear the producer comment on the second graph). On top of that he uses research as "proof" despite it being completely discredited (for example the satelitte data by Christy and Spencer which even the two authors - who both appeared in the Swindle - have completely disavowed several years ago as being inaccurate due to several calculation errors).

Carl Wunsch (probably the most renowned scientist in the documentary) is taking legal action agains the producer, who Wunsch claims through editing, completely misrepresented what he said, to the point where it makes it appear that Wunsch is saying the exact opposite of his well published opinions on the Oceans. To top it off the producer just makes stuff up completely out the thin air. For instance he states that volcanoes produce several times as much CO2 as humans each year. A "fact" which I have never found to be supported by any scientist, not even the skeptics who appeared on the Swindle. All scientific research comes to roughly the same conclusion - humans produce about 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes.

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Hazards/What/VolGas/volgas.html

Red Tory said...

If anyone believes that earlier comment was written by an 11-yr. old, I have some real estate investment opportunities in Florida for you...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Austyn does seem to be able to express himself remarkably well for an 11 year old!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nomdeblog, sorry if I seemed flippant with my response. You are absolutely right. We must demand more of our politicians.

Your list of decisions that the CPC made 'against the current' so to speak (with apologies to Stephane), was a good example of a government trying to remain true to its own principles, yet mindful of the need to retain the trust of the grassroots. Not an easy task.

Thanks for the You Tube link. I think I've seen that before, but it is well worth reviewing. Very grateful for your input here, Nomdeblog.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

even though the message is distorted it has served as a reminder to all of us the importance of being good "Stewards" in preserving as best we can the earth which God has created

Gerry, and that's it right there. The earth is a gift from God; it isn't god itself.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

W.S. - Thanks for presenting the other side.

I think the point is that we need to be able to talk about this or else it's going to be pushed into a closet just like the abortion discussion.

Skeptics and deniers will be called heretics, and vilified if they even ponder bringing up the subject.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Thanks Red Tory and Joanne for the compliment! Just so you know though, I am a straight A grade six student who always gets an A in subjects such as grammar, spelling, vocabulary, like straight A students get. Do not think for once I'm not an eleven year old. Oh yeah, about that real estate Red Tory, I cannot afford any real estate with my fifteen dollars leftover from my mom's mothers day gift. (I had only $40) One thing I don't like though, is the stereotyping! Just because I'm eleven doesn't mean I should be typing like this(trust me, this is the first sentence that popped into my head): how doo U lik ur eggs i lik min cookd!!!11!!!
Just to let you know, I can't STAND that type of typing.

Oh yes, Red Tory, I would think that real estate is going to sell fast!


Austyn

Joanne (True Blue) said...

One thing I don't like though, is the stereotyping!

My apologies, Austyn, for any perceived ageist remark. You are certainly an eloquent young man!

Anonymous said...

Austyn

Sun May 20, 12:44:00 AM EDT

...you were up quite late weren't you Austyn??? :-)..for an 11 year old...

raz

Anonymous said...

Actually raz, I live in Alberta and it was only 10:30 and on weekends I'm allowed to stay up until 11:00.
Oh yes, I also forgot, my dad told me to post, he wouldn't even let me watch CSI Miami until I was done. (paused it halfway through on our DVR satellite reciever)


Austyn

Joanne (True Blue) said...

he wouldn't even let me watch CSI Miami until I was done.

Wow, I feel quite important! My blog preempting CSI Miami!

Austyn, whether you're 11 or 111, your point still stands - We need to be hearing both sides of the story.

You're Dad sounds like a smart guy, BTW. Must run in the family. ;)

Kunoichi said...

LOL

Just catching up on the comments, and never noticed anything the least bit odd about Austin's post. Probably because it wasn't any different than anything my own kids (almost 11 and 14) would say.

Red Tory said...

Joanne — Skeptics and deniers will be called heretics, and vilified if they even ponder bringing up the subject.

Funny, I’ve stated repeatedly that I’m agnostic when it comes to climate change and that this is the only reasonable position for a skeptic and rational empiricist like me to take. The vast majority of my liberal friends respond with “fair enough” or something along that line. Perhaps you can explain why I am not denounced as a heretic or vilified as you assert will always be the case regarding those even pondering such unorthodox thoughts.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Perhaps you can explain why I am not denounced as a heretic or vilified as you assert will always be the case regarding those even pondering such unorthodox thoughts.

Because they are in awe of you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Probably because it wasn't any different than anything my own kids (almost 11 and 14) would say.

Then you have really smart kids!

Red Tory said...

Austyn — I’m happy to stand corrected. Your first post was very articulate and well thought out. Sadly, and notwithstanding Kunoichi’s supposedly prodigious brood to the contrary, this isn’t something one normally sees in evidence from young people. If you are in fact an 11-yr. old as claimed, then I commend you on your writing skills and the ability to articulate your thoughts in manner that doesn’t make one cringe. I’m also very pleased to learn that you can’t stand all that texting rubbish. It’s a pernicious evil and dangerously corrosive toxin that’s ruining the English language in my opinion. Anyway, keep up the good work.

Kunoichi said...

Then you have really smart kids!

Why, thank you. (proud parent blush)

Truly, though, they're no different than any of the other kids we meet up with in our group, including the little ones. I have to concede that we're a peculiarly self-selected group, but then my nephews weren't any different. Personally, I think that all kids can be a lot smarter and more mature than we give them credit for. All they need is the opportunity. Like adults, they tend to behave at the level of expectations.

Red Tory said...

Joanne — LOL. I rather doubt that, as flattering as such a thought might be. No, I’d attribute it more to the fact that your absolutist assertion is unfounded and serves only to coddle a notion you fondly adhere to that those who support climate-change and feel that Kyoto is a reasonable proposition are whacky, intolerant cultists of some sort.

Red Tory said...

Like adults, they tend to behave at the level of expectations.

I suspect there are seeds of some very dangerous ideas contained in that well-intentioned, but completely misguided thought.

It’s always funny to hear so-called conservatives spout such liberal nonsense.

Kunoichi said...

I suspect there are seeds of some very dangerous ideas contained in that well-intentioned, but completely misguided thought.


???

Could you please explain what you mean? Because I don't understand what's dangerous or misguided about what I said.

It’s always funny to hear so-called conservatives spout such liberal nonsense.


Actually, I'm not a conservative, though I do have conservative leanings. I also have liberal leanings, though I abhor the Liberal Party. And the NDP. I used to vote Green, but with what's been going on there, I won't be doing that again, either.

I guess that sort of makes me an accidental conservative.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Kunoichi, I totally understand what you were trying to say; that children tend to live up (or down) to our level of expectation of them.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

...who support climate-change and feel that Kyoto is a reasonable proposition are whacky, intolerant cultists of some sort.

I think that describes the majority of your readers quite well. ;)

Red Tory said...

Kunoichi — Think on it for yourself a bit.

Kunoichi said...

Kunoichi — Think on it for yourself a bit.

I've been trying, RT. You seem to be interpreting what I said in a way I simply cannot fathom. If I have been unclear in what I meant, please enlighten me as to how your are understanding it. Clarity of meaning in what I write is very important to me.

Anonymous said...

I'll translate what RT said for you, Kinoichi.

He's playing with your head.

That's all his comment meant. :-)

raz