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.