From B. Mark Podolak of Ottawa:
Kenneth Paradis of Wilfrid Laurier University states in his letter that opponents of Al Gore's views should "be given an amount of classroom time in proportion to their representation in the scientific literature," before he rather contemptuously adds, "there certainly might be a minute or two presentation of alternative theories."
It is this attitude that causes academics to be held in such low regard in the real world. The professor should remember two important points: 1. Academics are granted tenure in order to ensure that debate of the common orthodoxy can take place in the universities; and 2. the common academic orthodoxy once held that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the Earth -- and debate on that idea was not allowed.
If the professor is unwilling to allow debate on climate change, then one must conclude that he fears the results of that debate.
Well, Gore's fans seem to be saying that any further debate is a waste of time; that it is ignoring the obvious:
..Isn't it enough that there is a significant consensus among scientists that human activity is contributing to global warming? Doesn't reason suggest that there is a greater likelihood that the prevailing scientific view is right? And given the consequences if we continue to ignore what they are telling us, isn't it the worst kind of folly to just sit back and hope against hope that they are mistaken?
However, Professor R.M. Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University in Townsville, Australia states:
Al Gore's film conveniently ignores that we live on a dynamic planet, and that all of the phenomena about which he raises alarm fluctuate naturally all the time. If teachers are to show An Inconvenient Truth in classrooms at all, then they must inform students that the ex-vice president's arguments are very weak.
As an example, take Mr. Gore's statements on glaciers. Students must be taught that glaciers flow. The rate of advance or retreat of their snout is a function of the overall mass balance of the glacier and the rate of flow. The mass balance includes the melting or breakaway at the bottom end. That parts of the Larson B ice shelf broke off from Antarctica in 2002 is part of the natural process of glacier flow off Antarctica that has gone on for eons.
Teachers must also explain that both the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are thickening, and that the temperature at the South Pole has declined by more than one degree Celsius since 1950. And the area of sea ice around the continent has increased over the last 20 years.
It is incredible that this scientifically unbalanced "docu-ganda" is commanding any public attention at all."Docu-ganda". Heh.
But this one by Jack Sands of Markham, Ontario is my favourite; probably because it resonates so well with the quote posted above my blog profile:
A brilliant scholar once told my class, "It's not the truth that makes you free; it's the search for truth." People who want to impose their "truth" without discussion, about climate change or anything else, are a menace not only to science but to a free society.
I couldn't agree more.