UK Court : Schools Must Warn of Bias in 'An Inconvenient Truth'

Conveniently, the American media is largely ignoring a significant statement from a UK High Court judge who said Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” promotes “partisan political views” and the schools should treat it as such.

As a result the British government was forced to rewrite their website and their “guidance” and will need to issue a warning before showing the film.

As NewsBusters reported, truck driver, part-time school official and father of two Stewart Dimmock brought a High Court action to ban the film from UK schools, claiming it is “unfit for schools” because it contains scientific inaccuracies, “sentimental mush” and is politically biased.

The movie was distributed to more than 3500 schools for children aged 11 to 14-year-olds in “Climate Change Packs.”

Even though the wire services AP and UPI covered this story, it has largely gone unreported in America, unlike in England. UK’s Daily Mail covered the story in this October 3 article (bold mine throughout):

Schools will have to issue a warning before they show pupils Al Gore's controversial film about global warming, a judge indicated yesterday.

Mr Justice Burton is due to deliver a ruling on the case next week, but yesterday he said he would be saying that Gore's Oscar-winning film does promote 'partisan political views'.

This means that teachers will have to warn pupils that there are other opinions on global warming and they should not necessarily accept the views of the film.

The article actually addressed the lack of facts backing up "An Inconvenient Truth":

But during the three-day hearing the court heard that the critically-acclaimed film contains a number of inaccuracies, exaggerations and statements about global warming for which there is currently insufficient scientific evidence.”

This is rather amazing news, considering how the movie is thought of as environmental scripture. While it was a win for science, it wasn’t a total success. Hearing about “An Inconvenient Truth’s” scientific inaccuracies won’t stop the British government from continuing to teach it to kids:

Children's Minister Kevin Brennan said last night: 'The judge's decision is clear that schools can continue to use An Inconvenient Truth as part of their teaching on climate change in accordance with the amended guidance, which will be available online today.

'We have updated the accompanying guidance, as requested by the judge to make it clearer for teachers as to the stated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change position on a number of scientific points raised in the film.'

So, to avoid being accused of using scientifically inaccurate material by the courts, instead of stating that many of Gore’s “facts” were debunked by scientists, the government simply directed teachers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which happened to be a primary source for Gore’s movie.

That’s a slick dodge.

The lack of US media attention isn't surprising. The media don’t have a good record reporting the movie’s fallacies, why would they report a judge calling it partisan?

 

(ht The Monkey Tennis Center)

Lynn is a contributor to NewsBusters. Contact her at tvisgoodforyou2 AT yahoo DOT com