Skip to comments.So how did An Inconvenient Truth become required classroom viewing?
Posted on 05/21/2007 7:55:14 AM PDT by Red Badger
First it was his world history class. Then he saw it in his economics class. And his world issues class. And his environment class. In total, 18-year-old McKenzie, a Northern Ontario high schooler, says he has had the film An Inconvenient Truth shown to him by four different teachers this year.
"I really don't understand why they keep showing it," says McKenzie (his parents asked that his last name not be used). "I've spoken to the principal about it, and he said that teachers are instructed to present it as a debate. But every time we've seen it, well, one teacher said this is basically a two-sided debate, but this movie really gives you the best idea of what's going on."
McKenzie says he has educated himself enough about both sides of the climate- change controversy to know that the Al Gore movie is too one-sided to be taught as fact. Even scientists who back Mr. Gore's message admit they're uncomfortable with liberties the politician takes with "science" in the film. But, McKenzie says most of his classmates are credulous. His teachers are not much more discerning. "They don't know there's another side to the argument," he says. McKenzie's mother was outraged to find out that Mr. Gore's film was being presented as fact in her son's classroom. "This is just being poured into kids' brains instead of letting them know there's a debate going on," she says. "An educational system falls down when they start taking one side." But Mr. Gore's filmed climate-change lecture is showing up in classrooms across Canada, frequently unaccompanied by critical analysis or a discussion of competing theories. "One of the teachers at my kid's school showed it and he even said ahead of time, 'There is some propaganda in this,' " says Tim Patterson, a Carleton University earth sciences professor. "I said to him, 'You even knew this was a propaganda film, and you still showed it in your classroom?' " The weirdest part: It was the gym teacher.
If you have children in junior or high school, there is a good chance they have been shown An Inconvenient Truth in school--or they will be soon.
Last month, Vancouver's Tides Canada Foundation and a local eco-friendly courier firm teamed up to buy DVD copies for every public high school in B.C. Climate Learning, a non-profit Vancouver outfit, is a third of the way to raising the $68,000 it needs to buy copies of the film for every high school in the country, after just weeks of campaigning.
"I think it's important for high schools to have this film," says Will Cole-Hamilton, the group's director.
"Our objective is to get them into schools by September."
Two weeks ago, 900 students from grade 7 to 12 in Ontario's Halton Region were treated to a screening -- sponsored by ethanol producer SunOpta Inc. -- with a second showing scheduled at a Georgetown high school this Wednesday.
SunOpta has donated 60 copies of the DVD and the book version of An Inconvenient Truth to public and Catholic schools as a resource.
After showing the film to students, a London, Ont., board launched a contest for kids to win tickets to hear Mr. Gore address a fundraiser this month, by making their own environmental videos.
Earthcare Canada, an energy consultant sponsored group, is working with the Ottawa-Carlton school board and one in Belleville, Ont., to raise awareness about energy conservation. The Gore movie is one of the materials it suggests as a teaching resource.
"We would definitely recommend it and make them aware that it is there, and then how to use it," says Earthcare's executive director Rose-Marie Batley.
"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 Calgarybased 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."
Hand it to Paramount, the studio behind An Inconvenient Truth, for tapping the classroom market in a way skeptics cannot.
In addition to a companion book written for school-aged children, producers have created a lesson plan, "AIT in the Classroom," for teachers to download.
In England, the government has made the movie part of the public curriculum.
In Spain, the government is buying copies of the movie for all of its schools. In Australia, private donors are buying copies for schools.
Politicians and educators may accept on face value filmed warnings of a world tumbling toward catastrophe if we don't dramatically cut back on our greenhouse gas emissions.
But some of Mr. Gore's allies have acknowledged glaring inaccuracies in the film.
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).
Last year, when producer Laurie David offered to donate 50,000 DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association, the group refused, citing a policy "prohibiting product endorsement."
In the U.K., one parent is taking the Department for Education and Skills to court to stop it from using the film in science, geography and citizenship classes.
A Washington-state school board now requires that any teacher showing the film must ensure a "credible, legitimate opposing view will be presented" as well.
In B.C., a Surrey school trustee, Heather Stilwell, has been fighting for a policy to ensure teachers in the Vancouver suburb also present a balancing viewpoint.
Meanwhile, Vancouver-based businessman Michael Chernoff, says his charitable foundation will provide to high schools DVD copies of the new British documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle, featuring interviews with scientists who dissent from Mr. Gore's claims, as soon as the producer is ready to ship the discs.
"And if they start sending [An Inconvenient Truth] to all Canadian schools, then I'll buy a copy of Swindle for all the schools, too," Mr. Chernoff says. "I think showing it is fine, but they should present the other side as well."
But even with Mr. Chernoff 's gift, there's no requirement teachers to show both sides of the argument unless school boards demand it.
"We've gone to school boards offering to provide them with materials that present the other side," says Mr. Jacobs.
"You get the same answer, that the teacher has to teach a certain curriculum and how he does it is his business." Some teachers are open to alternative theories, he says.
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."
Just like Hitler made the anti-Jewish films required viewing of all citizens. How else do you brainwash your citizenry?
Left-leaning teacher’s unions, pushing for Democrats that are supposed to be the only ones capable of dealing with the environment, like to see Democrat Al Gore get exposure in the classrooms. I would not mind if the presentation was balanced and shown in a civics class.
It is disgusting...I am a high school teacher here in Indiana, and if I am ever approached to present this movie as a mandatory component of a curriculum, I will be sure to present the opposing arguments in full before allowing the students to make any final judgments...
This jackass should have been fired long since. It's probably politically impossible to fire him now, but he has done nothing but make trouble ever since Bush came into office.
Politics 101: Broom out your enemies! Bush has completely failed to do that, and it keeps coming back to bite him in the *ss, again and again and again.
I'm beginning to think that President Bush must LIKE being bitten in the *ss. But even if he does, none of this is good for our country.
The CIA is broken, the FBI is broken, the State Department is broken, the Justice Department is broken, and now we are going to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on stupid and useless global warming schemes, largely because Bush has let his enemies dominate the argument.
What happens to the showing of this film if AlGore announces a run for the presidency? Don’t they have to stop showing this film?
I'd say 85% of the showings are from leftist Demobot teachers showing it to promote their and their union's political agenda.
The other 15% are teachers showing it so they can sit and relax for a few periods.
It is science fiction. They should also show Starship Troopers.
Indoctrination has ALWAYS been the tool of the socialists unsure of their legitimate foundations.
Science is not a factor here. A smooth, unchallenged presentation is not educational in the least. Sure, some of the citations SEEM to be based in scientific fact, but it is of an incompletely explained source, with omissions and deletions that are never referred to.
The Secular Humanists are fond of claiming that “creationism” is not science. This is not science, either.
Naaaaaaaah. Gore's a Democrat.
The cosmologists say the universe "began" from an infinitesmally small single point and expanded outwards at an unbelievably fast rate.............If that isn't "Genesis" I don't know what is.......
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Here is another tentacle of this monster. I chose a hard core Leftie site because it is saturated with the language and rhetoric of the moonbats who want to control the world through the tactic of submission. It’s evil and insidious and it is the reality in most of the public schools now.
Recently, my son (in UCLA) sent me an article about Al Gore and his mission. I read it with great anticipation and concluded that I had to do something about it as well. First, I went to Walmart and bought “An Inconvenient Truth.” Second, I dedicated Sunday afternoon (after the SA SPURS game) to watching it and taking notes. Third, I will take the DVD with me to my workplace and share it with others. The first one I will share it with is our Districtwide Science Coordinator. She is very young and energetic and if I know her well, will jump on the opportunity to do something about it.
Hey at least we got to watch the film version of 1984 in English...
Our English teacher was a rather eccentric hippie, possibly even gay... but he turned out to be one of the better teachers we had..
Brave new world.
That IS kool! Did you do that?............
Ok, looking to Freepers to provide recommendations for a good alternate film
For your viewing pleasure:
The Great Global Warming Swindle.
"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."
Judging for oneself is to learn how to think. That's learning. Not judging for oneself is being told what to think. That's not learning. Public education teaches mostly what to think -- about 95% what to think versus 5% how to think. At that lopsidedness it's social engineering at best and indoctrination at worst.
In short, centralized control of individuals to be the host for parasitical elites to leech unearned power, glory and paychecks. It begins by using public education to corrupt/pollute the developing conscious minds of innocent children seeking to grow up into a world they don't know is controlled by what may be their worst enemies.
Our REQUIRED reading: circa 1972
Catcher In the Rye
The Sun Also Rises
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
Izzit any wonder people are they way they are today?.......
I can’t remember, was it Socrates who said, “My job is not to teach you what to think, but how”?..............
My son was a freshman at Louisiana State University this past semester. His Biology teacher did not require them to view the Documentary, but gave bonus points for watching it. My son chose not to watch the Documentary. It probably cost him an A grade in class. He needed the bonus points, but he said there was no way he was going to waste his time watching that bunk.
A lot of classroom time is devoted to showing movies these days.
The left is sure to include left-wing favorites. They’ve been doing this since the ‘60’s, probably before.
Perhaps the students should also see this.
Look over the descriptions of the following two houses and see if you can identify their owners.
HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guesthouse all heated by gas. In one month alone this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an entire year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.
HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000-gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks, and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.
Now for the ownership:
HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion)
is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) hypocrite Al Gore.
HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house)
is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
In the 60's they showed us really old B&W flicks of African natives and wildebeasts....... Now they show NEW FULL COLOR WITH HIDEF STEREO SOUND flicks of African natives and wildebeasts......
If you told that or showed it to any greenie-weenie, it’d say you were lying.........
“But every time we’ve seen it, well, one teacher said this is basically a two-sided debate, but this movie really gives you the best idea of what’s going on.”
Our REQUIRED highschool reading 05-06:
Song of Solomon
When I Was Puerto Rican
(Other books included Catcher in the Rye, Farenheit 451, etc but those 4 dominated the curriculumn)
No, I’d say there’s no wonder at all...
Since this film is based on a religion,
I’m sure they’d have no problem with showing a film about how God created the universe as we know it in six days.
Here in the US, I think they should. I don’t think it should have been shown to begin with, but this occurred in Canada.
Oops, I screwed that up.
I got that from http://www.participate.net/educators/
The indoctrination continues, unabated.
nice depiction of “Saint Al”
Imagine the outcry if Halliburton was sponsoring a movie with an opposing view.
He was probably following the lead of the dolts at Sports Illustrated, who departed from sports and swimsuits to tackle something that had to do with neither.
If Fred Thompson is not allowed to appear on Law and Order, if he runs for President, I believe AlGore should not be seen in his mockudrama!
When I was in grade school in the ‘60’s, I remember seeing a movie where they showed some guy in a space suit leaving his house through an airlock.
Tha narrator was telling us that by 1980, we wouldn’t be able to go outside without protection from the toxic atmosphere.
Must have been talking about L.A.........
It’s almost June and it’s in the 60s and low 70s in Athens Greece not to mention Addis Ababa.
Uhh Reverend Gored... we should switch to global cooling real quick now!
Zon, if you teach how to think then their skulls full of mush might come to different conclusions from the desired norm,ie your correct outcome.
if required to show this film one always has the option of lecturing first then requiring a paper writen on it critiquing it. remember a scientist examines the data then draws his?her conclusion, is there real data with this fiction? I have yet to see this film but it is in thew best tradition of michaeel Moor winning “best mocumentary”
when we have consensus we have politics not science!
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Maya Wiley is the founder and Director of the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), an applied research and advocacy organization which supports community groups to dismantle structural racism. A civil rights attorney and social justice advocate, she has worked for the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the United States Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Wiley also served as an advisor to the Open Society Institute and as a consultant to the Open Society Foundation. She has assisted several nonprofits on program and strategy development.
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