Inconvenient Truth blocked by a Swindle-touting trustee

Inconvenient Truth blocked by a Swindle-touting trustee
on

Update #2: the Surrey School Board issued a correction late yesterday stating that: “On Monday, the Curriculum Review Committee recommended the “An Inconvenient Truth” video as an instructional resource, as per the Surrey School District’s regular curriculum approval process. When the DVDs are received by the district, they will be distributed to all secondary schools.”

“A Notice of Motion from Trustee Heather Stilwell was presented at the Surrey School Board’s public meeting of April 26, 2007.

The Notice of Motion is expected to be voted on at the board’s public board meeting on May 31. The proposed motion says: ‘That the school district’s Instructional Resources staff ensure that the resource The Great Global Warming Swindle is made available to schools as a companion resource to An Inconvenient Truth so that students can be provided with the range of perspectives associated with the issue of global warming.’

Stilwell stated yesterday: “I am not sure. I mean I see evidence. I think there is climate change, there’s no question about that. Whether what Al Gore says about it is the truth, I have questions.” Stilwell goes on the explain that if the documentary is aired, teachers should provide “alternative theories” on climate change.

In a letter to a local paper this weekend, Stilwell states:

“When I read that Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was being mailed to every high school in B.C., my first reaction was to put forward a motion to my fellow trustees.

I was simply asking for “The Great Global Warming Swindle” or another resources to be provided as balance. I was simply asking for “The Great Global Warming Swindle” or another resources to be provided as balance.I was not denying climate change. Science is not democratic – the idea with the most votes is not necessarily right. Sometimes, as in the past, ‘everybody’ was not right. The lone questioning voice proved to be correct. Galileo’s voice was a lone one, as was Pasteur’s.

Scientific ideas should be debated openly without rancor, name-calling and presumptions of bad intent. Al Gore’s movie is not a provincially approved resource. It has simply been mailed to the schools from an outside organization. Is this how the public wants education to be delivered? Make a film, win an Academy Award and then you get to show your movie to all students?

The public has the right to expect this – no one gets to indoctrinate our students – we must place all perspectives of a scientific issue before them.

Heather Stilwell,

School Trustee

Ms. Stilwell got a few things right in her letter.

She’s absolutely correct that “science is not democratic.” Science is based on the testing of hypotheses and the process of publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals. Nothing democratic about it. While The Inconvenient Truth accurately reflects the state of the science on global warming, the Global Warming Swindle contains many questionable statements, uses scientists who have not published any peer-reviwed research in over 10 years and was produced by an UK-shockumentary filmmaker that is well-known for bending the science to his forgone conclusions.

Stilwell also rightly points out that the “lone questioning voice” of Pasteur and Galileo turned out to be correct. The difference between Pasteur and Galileo and most of the contemporary global warming deniers, is that Galileo and Pasteur were in the lab doing research, not running from TV station to newspaper touting talking points instead of peer-reviewed research.

Of course, like every post we do as we follow this Inconvenient Truth in classrooms debate, I will get a barrage of e-mails saying we support censorship of “both sides of the story” in the global warming “debate.” So to save everyone the trouble of sending me long, ranting emails accusing me of everything from MCarthyism to being a “brown shirt,” here’s my response:

Thanks for the email,

I understand where you’re coming from on the need for our children to be exposed to countering viewpoints in science and all areas of academic pursuit. They should be, and in that light I hope soon to see copies of Loose Change in our schools countering the notion that 9/11 was the work of terrorists and Unlocking the Mystery of Life, which clearly states an evangelical alternative to the theory of evolution.

[email protected]

Inconvenient Truth blocked by a Swindle-touting trustee

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Related Posts

Opinion
Analysis
on

Before the Koch brothers, Standard Oil realized the power of universities to spread its free-market ideology and prevent the growth of socialism.

Before the Koch brothers, Standard Oil realized the power of universities to spread its free-market ideology and prevent the growth of socialism.
on

Oil and gas exports from the Gulf Coast have surged by nearly 600 percent, and fossil fuel production in the Permian Basin has grown by 135 percent.

Oil and gas exports from the Gulf Coast have surged by nearly 600 percent, and fossil fuel production in the Permian Basin has grown by 135 percent.
on

The fossil fuel industry spends millions of dollars on shaping its image in an effort to block climate action. A new analysis shows a relatively small number of PR firms have aided this campaign from behind the scenes over the last three decades.

The fossil fuel industry spends millions of dollars on shaping its image in an effort to block climate action. A new analysis shows a relatively small number of PR firms have aided this campaign from behind the scenes over the last three decades.
Opinion
on

The fossil fuel industry is pushing for the U.S. government to support methods to capture its climate pollution. But how effective are these "carbon management" approaches, and what are their consequences?

The fossil fuel industry is pushing for the U.S. government to support methods to capture its climate pollution. But how effective are these "carbon management" approaches, and what are their consequences?