Several weeks ago a friend emailed me a URL and offered a suggestion. I took his advice, and can now write this post. I've wanted to write about it before now (see opening paragraph), but thought that word of my treachery would get out and my plans foiled. Today I learned that that didn't happen.
What's with the movie shown above? Well, that's the topic of this post.
The URL my friend sent directed me to a web site from which educators could get a free copy of An Inconvenient Truth. They're giving away 50,000 copies, for free, just to teachers. Why would they do this?
Of course we all know the answer. Wasn't it Hitler who said, "If you have the children, you have the future"? They're giving these dvd's away to teachers so that we can propagandize in the classroom. The Great Global Warming Swindle can be downloaded at no cost and/or watched on YouTube--will any of the 50,000 teachers that show An Inconvenient Truth also show the BBC show? Probably not, and Gore and the boys know it. I posted recently about a teacher who said he'd distribute some alternate viewpoints to his students; I've checked, and students say he gave them a handout with no discussion at all. Most didn't read it. This was after they had watched the entire An Inconvenient Truth movie, of course.
What's missing here? Debate. Inquiry. Critical thinking. All those things we say we want to develop in our students, until our students start believing things we don't want them to believe--then we need to serve up the propaganda and brainwash, and question the intelligence and morality of anyone whe dares to disagree with the party line.
So I ordered my copy, and received it today. Thoughtfully noted on the envelope was this statement: "This donation was made possible by Participant Productions, StopGlobalWarming.org and private donors." How nice.
I'm not one for stifling debate. I truly believe that the antidote to free speech you don't like is more free speech, not eliminating the opinion you don't like. If your views have merit, they'll get traction. When you try to stifle others--"the debate on global warming is closed", "the science is conclusive", "everyone agrees"--it's entirely possible you're admitting to the weakness of your own position.
However, these people are cynically trying to use teachers to spread their global warming Gospel, hoping we'll proselytize in our classrooms. They want us to scare our students into believing their message, knowing that alternate views will not be presented. They want to close off debate. So I'll join them.
But with a twist.
I'll be cynical, too. I ordered my copy of their movie, and it sits here on my desk as I type this post. I'm going to put this dvd, still in its plastic wrap, in my safe here at home, where it will remain for 20 years. Twenty years from now (I'll be on the verge of retirement) I'll pull this movie out and see who was right--Al Gore, or me. Maybe then I'll show it in class, and we'll talk about hysteria, about certainty in science, about doom and gloom scenarios, about honesty and cynicism. Maybe then we'll be able to have the debate, inquiry, and critical thinking that are apparently lacking where this subject is concerned. Until then, that's one teacher and hundreds upon hundreds of students (per year) who will not sit through this particular message from the one they call the Goracle.
Be sure to check in with me again on March 26, 2027. That's the day I'll take the plastic off the dvd, search for an antique dvd player, and watch the movie. Not a day before.
Update, 3/28/07: Here's a related story, via Tim Blair's blog:
TEN NETWORK's programmers are baffled. With so much attention on climate change and consumer research indicating viewers were keenly interested in a 2½ hour feast of practical advice on how they might save the planet, Ten's ratings for the Cool Aid blockbuster on Sunday night were still a disaster...
"We had study guides in schools, we had the full support of the print media, both editorially and with advertising, and an extensive [Ten Network] on-air campaign with a number of different creative treatments and different stances." (emphasis mine--Darren)
If you have the children, you have the future. Cynical, but true.
Update #2, 3/28/07: Here's another "science was in, there was widespread consensus and the conclusion was no longer debatable" story, via NewsAlert. How do we know the leftie was wrong? He was nuts in the 60's and was predicting catastrophe by the 80's. I lived through the 80's. The only catastrophe then was day-glo colors.
Oh, and mullets.
Update #3, 3/29/07: There's nothing in this commentary with which I disagree. Example:
Isn’t it interesting how the same people who think “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” when it comes to the war think that dissent when it comes to global warming is evil and troglodytic?