Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gore Gets the Nobel

OK, let's all give Al Gore due credit for winning much of the world over with his efforts over climate change. It is true, the fellow has been quite relentless on the issue for some time. Now he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

I still don't quite understand the Peace Prize aspect of this. The original language in Alfred Nobel's will is "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." The story with climate change is allegedly that changing weather patterns will cause new strife between nations, especially in regard to migration and fighting over water resources. Maybe. Maybe not. Seems to me like many of the predictions over effects of climate change -- might happen, might not happen, and if it does, might be easier to mitigate down the road than try to prevent right now.

At about the same time that Gore got the Nobel, a judge in the UK ruled that the UK government may send the film to all secondary schools and they can show it to students, but they must note that the film is politically one-sided and is inconsistent with even majority scientific opinion in places. The ruling was in a lawsuit filed by an heroic parent -- who won back 2/3 of his legal costs since the judge ruled that he substantially won the case.

Here is one quote from the "guidance" that teachers in the UK must be given if they are to show the film:

The High Court has indicated that schools can lawfully show AIT to pupils without
breaching ss. 406 or 407 of the Education Act 1996, but that, in doing so they must
bear in mind the following points:

• AIT promotes partisan political views (that is to say, one sided views about
political issues)
• teaching staff must be careful to ensure that they do not themselves promote
those views;
• in order to make sure of that, they should take care to help pupils examine
the scientific evidence critically (rather than simply accepting what is said at
face value) and to point out where Gore’s view may be inaccurate or departs
from that of mainstream scientific opinion;
• where the film suggests that viewers should take particular action at the
political level (e.g. to lobby their democratic representatives to vote for
measures to cut carbon emissions), teaching staff must be careful to offer
pupils a balanced presentation of opposing views and not to promote either
the view expressed in the film or any other particular view.

The entire guidance is available here.

Dr. William Gray, climate change skeptic and a very respected US meteorologist (the two are almost now mutually exlusive, to the detriment of science), has this to say: "We're brainwashing our children."

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