Climate Change

A+ for Assinine

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 29, 2007

The lucky students of a school in Federal Way, Wash., a suburb of Seattle, won't be subjected to the librul book-learnins encapsulated in An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary on global warning featuring a science-based presentation by former US Vice President and President-in-an-alternate-universe Al Gore.

Bowing to pressure from right-wing evangelicals who see global warming as a sign of the impending Judgment Day, the Federal Way School Board have told the teacher of a grade seven science class not to show the movie to her students.

"You will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation - the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet - for global warming," [Frosty Hardison] wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board.

Hardison wanted the board to ban the movie altogether, but it has instead ruled that the movie may only be screened with the written permission of the principal, and it must be "balanced by alternative views", whatever that means.

The only good news about this kind of aggressive, belligerent idiocy is that it tends to go so overboard it provokes a backlash.

With any luck, Federal Way students will start passing contraband copies of the movie around like we used to pass around used copies of Penthouse Letters, scrutinizing their contents for the prurient details our parents didn't want us to see.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 29, 2007 at 12:32:57

I think 'right wing evangelicals' is a bit of an exagerration. This is one guy writing an email to the school board. I saw the film and would have no more of a problem with my kids watching it than having them read the top local news stories in the paper each day. I'm no fan of Gore, but it doesn't take much research these days to find out that virtually the entire global science community (not including those paid by the oil and gas industry) has been in agreement that global warming is happening for a few years now. The jury is still out on exact results of this phenomenon, but it's clear that greenhouse gases are a major problem and some huge ice caps in greenland and antartica are causing problems for scientists by melting faster than ever imagined. I have no problem with this fellow not agreeing with the film. That's his right and is probably re-enforced in his local paper each day with many editorials by the oil and gas lobby. To use that as an excuse to label all 'evangelicals' in a certain light is not right. There are huge segments of the US evangelical scene that fully support Kyoto and changing our polluting way of life.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 31, 2007 at 12:19:40

Good point, Jason. I should have been more clear in writing that not all evangelicals are "right-wing evangelicals who see global warming as a sign of the impending Judgment Day".

In fact, the Bush Administration is quickly losing the support of many evangelicals, who see their role as responsible stewards of the earth not being honoured by a government that refuses to do anything about climate change.

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