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Education Science

Global Warming Only a Theory, Says School Board 1089

Posted by Zonk
from the i'd-think-seattle-would-know-about-rain dept.
BendingSpoons writes "A Seattle school board has placed a moratorium on screenings of 'An Inconvenient Truth', having found its subject matter too controversial. Echoing the language of the evolution debate, the school board found that students must be told that global warming is only a theory and presented with an opposing viewpoint. The ban was prompted by the complaints of a parent: '"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."'"
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Global Warming Only a Theory, Says School Board

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  • by NeuroManson (214835) on Friday January 12, 2007 @08:59PM (#17584298) Homepage
    Federal Way is almost 26 miles south of Seattle, and the only thing in common both cities have is that they both share the same county. It's like saying San Jose is San Francisco, because they both have "San" in their names.
  • Well.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by yamamushi (903955) <yamamushi.gmail@com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @08:59PM (#17584300) Homepage
    When global warming isn't a theory anymore, it will kind of be like hell on earth. So I guess the bible is right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by anagama (611277)
      He has no fear -- he'll be raptured.

      7 kids ... fricken breeder ...
  • catch up (Score:5, Funny)

    by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Friday January 12, 2007 @08:59PM (#17584302) Homepage
    Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old.

    The fundamentalist Christians are out breeding the rest of us. We must catch up.
    • Re:catch up (Score:5, Funny)

      by TranscendentalAnarch (1005937) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:01PM (#17584340)
      Nice pick up line, I'll have to try that at the bar.
      • Re:catch up (Score:5, Funny)

        by mastershake_phd (1050150) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:06PM (#17584392) Homepage
        Hey nice hips, wana have 8 kids?
      • Re:catch up (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MidVicious (1045984) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:30PM (#17584656)

        Ah Christian Fundamentalists... they're just like Islamic Fundamentalists... only different.

        No matter what truth, facts, or educated postulations you try to help them understand and consider, to them, the world will always be flat and the Earth will always be in the center of the galaxy.

        I was raised Baptist. Of all the wacky stuff the pastor threw at us, we all could appreciate a few simple principles: Mind your health, don't sleep with my wife, try not to kill anybody and education is fundamental. Traveling beyond the doctrines of common sense tends to lead to the swamps of stupidity.

        If these fundamentalist zealots, in all their glorious wisdom, wish to outlaw science, deductive reasoning and critical thinking from education, then it's only fair to outlaw their solipsism as well.

        And for the record, the Grand Canyon [peer.org] was NOT created 6000 years ago by a disastrous flood survived only by a zookeeper with a really large ship and a meticulous knack for breeding animals... hey that's genetics! Oops, sorry, too scientific, I meant that's the will of our Lord.

    • Re:catch up (Score:5, Funny)

      by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:21PM (#17584546)

      Yep, that's what happens when they don't teach about condoms in schools!

      • +1 Scary (Score:5, Informative)

        by ClamIAm (926466) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:20PM (#17585856)
        The fact that the parent is modded "Funny" gives me kind of an uneasy feeling, as it is closer to the truth than you'd think. For example, in some countries (I know Sweden is one) kids are given comprehensive sex education, unlike the US. They receive much less biased and much more complete information on things like condoms, STDs, and all the other info young adults need in order to make informed, safe choices about sex. They also start sex ed much earlier, I believe at 7 or 8 years old.

        Since most Slashdotters are US'ian, compare this with the mandatory public-school "sex" "education" classes you took. Then compare statistics like "teen pregnancy" and "age that kids start having sex". In countries with comprehensive sex education, there is less teen pregnancy, and kids start having sex later[1].

        [1] "The Naked Truth About Sex", Dr. Roger W. Libby (2006)
        • Re:+1 Scary (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mandie (69148) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @09:05AM (#17589810)
          That's what I've seen here in Germany. I looked up the abortion rates; MUCH lower than the US, as are the teen pregnancy rates. German kids know precisely how further German kids come about and how they can avoid this happening ahead of schedule.

          Young Germans are also far less religious than their American peers, so I doubt the majority think premarital sex is wrong.
    • Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old.

      The fundamentalist Christians ...


      The article's constant harping on the other beliefs of the person who filed the initial complaint is an attempt to use an ad-hominem to discredit all opposition to Gore's controversial position. That is a transparent piece of propaganda, and it saddens me to see so many Slashdot posters echoing it.

      Though the first one to complain may have other beliefs with which you disagree, t
      • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @01:02AM (#17586900)
        What's wrong with showing a film that has an opinion? Students are exposed to works of literature all the time, which are unashamedly opinionated and partisan. Should we prevent them from reading Shakespeare because his work wasn't "Fair and Balanced"?

        The solution is not to ban books and films - but to teach students critical thinking, and media analysis skills. Such classes in media literacy and criticism are standard practice in many schools around the world. Why are they so unpopular in the US? Is it because we want people to consume media at face value to perpetuate the media consumption empires? Or is it because we want students to uncritically believe everything that the administration says on TV?

        Sheltering students from the real world of opinions in the media is not a smart move. And on the scale of "propaganda," An Inconvenient Truth is pretty mild stuff. Sure it has opinion, and it also has science. But it's pretty clear that the opinion is opinion. Kids probably get worse propaganda from the dairy industry in their nutrition/home economics classes. Or from the IT industry in computer classes.

        But why ban this, instead of having a healthy debate about it?

  • by vistic (556838) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:00PM (#17584318)
    ...that this nonsense is being spoken by someone who couldn't possibly be even considered sensible or correct... having anything close to a valid argument against global warming.
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:16PM (#17584494)

      ...that this nonsense is being spoken by someone who couldn't possibly be even considered sensible or correct... having anything close to a valid argument against global warming.

      ...yet despite that nonsense, a school board kowtowed to his demands. That has a powerful message: the toughest argument to fight is an invalid one, especially in front of an uneducated audience.

      You used one yourself, in fact- you engaged in ad hominem. Maybe he is a hick; it doesn't affect the validity of his argument, which can be dismissed on other grounds (example: one is science, the other is a belief system.) It's no different than saying "well, that pro-evolution scientist is GAY!"

      Furthermore, the article summary and TFA both help perpetuate the myth that evolution and global warming are theories. They're not. They're proven fact- and one of the reasons An Inconvenient Truth is so unpopular with those who don't "believe" in global warming is because it step-by-step, methodically destroys every argument they've used against global warming. Evolution is also proven fact based on not just a decade or two of research, but more than a century and a half of research.

  • by Scarletdown (886459) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:00PM (#17584336) Journal
    The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD.


    But what do other opposing sources say?

    The Koran?
    Hindu beliefs?
    Various Native (North and South) American legends?
    Buddhist Teachings?

    If you are going to provide one opposing viewpoint, you better be ready to provide many others as well.

  • Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."'"

    In other words ...

    1. in the same spirit of fairness, require that his pastor give equal time to an athiest and a devil worshiper on Sunday
    2. since he's such a believer in life after death, shoot himself so he can see Jebus that much quicker
  • by fishybell (516991) <fishybell@hotmaP ... om minus painter> on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:01PM (#17584346) Homepage Journal
    Of course, they're all wrong.

    Washington, Gore, the whole lot. We all know that the truth about both the age of the earth and cause of global warming lies in the truth as told by His Noodleness on high.

    Ramen.

  • by Slithe (894946) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:05PM (#17584380) Homepage Journal
    In a government-controlled system it is great when your side is in control, but when the other side gains control, it can be hellish. I used to be a Libertarian (now I consider myself more of a Paleoconservative); however, I recognize the necessity of public funding for healthcare and schools; however, I still think that one should have a variety of publically-funded options available to them. If every child had a school voucher (that could only be given to an education institute that met certain basic academic qualifications), I think the education system could be improved greatly.
  • Theories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:06PM (#17584386) Journal
    I own An Inconvenient Truth (the movie not the book). And I would like to say that although some people still consider the effects that are predicted by that movie to be "a theory," they are hard to disprove. A fact is that we're sitting at carbon levels in our atmosphere above anything ever indicated by ice cores from around the world. Correlating the temperature with carbon levels could be construed as erroneous. Maybe the temperatures have a capping limit? I don't want to think up possibilities because I happen to agree heavily with that correlation.

    Now, I might have sat here and ranted and raved about how I watched material in high school or grade school on physics or nature programs that could have been just as theoretical as An Inconvenient Truth but I'm not going to. Why? Well, there were two points in the movie that I didn't care for. One was the election campaign. The other was Gore's son's near death experience. These are political and emotional issues. They do not belong in science nor do they belong being taught in a classroom setting that is centered on science. Politics class? Psychology class? Maybe. But I would really wish he had stuck to the facts and used that valuable time that he had my undivided attention to counter some arguments I've heard against his movie.

    I have tried to keep an open mind about this issue for both sides. Gore's movie certainly swayed me, I'm not ashamed or afraid to admit that. The fact is that it's a political issue no matter how much science is involved. If parents don't want it taught to their children, that's fine. I've bought the movie twice (once for me, once for my sister), the word will get out someway somehow.
    • Re:Theories (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday January 12, 2007 @10:14PM (#17585116) Homepage
      I own An Inconvenient Truth (the movie not the book). And I would like to say that although some people still consider the effects that are predicted by that movie to be "a theory," they are hard to disprove.

      Dude, when you're arguing with someone that thinks the Earth is 14,000 years old, they're completely oblivious to anything called evidence. Your evidence is wrong, because the Holy Book says I'm right. QED. Then they'll throw in your basic FUD about the unenlightened mind, not seeing the truth and so you can quote scientific evidence by the metric ton, and it will not make any difference at all.

      People can hear all the evidence they want, but without religion their life would be emptier. There's noone to watch over you, there's no higher purpose, there's no afterlife, humans are just a slightly more advanced animal, there's noone to pray to, there's noone to right injustices, noone to thank or beg for help - it's all rolls of a dice and you stand alone. Religion is adults' version of an imaginary friend.

      Let me play along, and assume ex facto that there is a god (as in any, Jesus' dad, Allah, Jahve, Jehova etc.) That still means at least 2/3rd of the world's population are worshipping a false god (depending on who's right). Let's also assume he's very tolerant of other religions, none of that "you shall have no other gods before me" but clearly worshipping the wrong god shouldn't "work". Then how come every religion seems to "work" for their worshippers? Because they create it themselves, their imaginary friend. Either that, or you have those who claim they're all the same by which I can only conclude that god is schizophrenic, given the number of conflicting teachings.

      I think all evidence suggest religious people are wrong, particularly when they try to contradict science like this. And even if one creation myth is right, most of them have to be wrong. However, clearly it is everyone else that is wrong...
  • I laughed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chris_eineke (634570) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:07PM (#17584400) Homepage Journal
    complaints of a parent: '"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven
    That explains all. Looks like intelligent design didn't quite work out for him!
  • by HerrEkberg (971000) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:07PM (#17584406) Homepage

    The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD.
    Global warming, hello?!
  • Let them debate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:07PM (#17584412)
    Kids are often surprisingly smart, if you just tell them the real deal. A critical missing element of public education is teaching kids to adjudicate competing claims. This topic is a wonderful opportunity to teach science, civics, critical thinking, and world religions in a single issue, without being dry.

    It would be a shame for us to simply demand that the school board decide that global warming is the truth, and miss a great teaching opportunity. I hope we don't do that.
    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:38PM (#17584750)

      Debating the issues only works after people have been taught to think critically, and the fundamental problem with these fundamentalists is that they're trying to prevent that from happening in the first place.

      The problem isn't in saying that "global warming is only a theory;" the problem is elevating the words of the Bible to the same status. Whatever the Bible says is not a theory no matter how much someone might believe in it, because it's not scientific.

      Let me put it this way: the whole point of science is to teach skepticism, systematic investigation, and logic. When these assholes try to tell kids that the Bible has the same status as scientific theories, they're making a direct attack on those principles. Skepticism is not faith, investigation is not dogma, and logic is not irrationality, yet these people are trying to damage the children by brainwashing them into confusing the two!

  • Title wrong! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:12PM (#17584450) Journal
    I could be wrong here, but it seems like the problem is not with global warming, but AlGore's movie and the theories as to what is causing global warming. I know that it is currently vogue to point out how stupid people are that disagree with the current group-think, but that's not what is going on here. Parents complained because their kids were forced to watch AlGore's movie and 100% of it was presented as fact. Man may be causing global warming, he may not. People much smarter than any of us argue both sides of that debate. It is conceited to think that just because something is happening, it must be our doing. Man didn't cause the global warming that ended the last ice-age, it's possible we have nothing or little to do with it this time around.
    • It's NOT 50-50 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:51PM (#17584880)
      Man may be causing global warming, he may not. People much smarter than any of us argue both sides of that debate.


      No, no, not at all. Try to look at both sides of the argument. AFTER you have seen and carefully analyzed BOTH sides of this argument you will realize that the aren't equal at all. One is the result of extensive research done by impartial scientists. The other side is a political argument artificially created by the order of a president whose family fortune happens to come from companies exploring fossil fuels.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dAzED1 (33635)
        name an impartial scientist. A single one in the last 200 years that has had any money to actually do any studies. Go for it. //married to a scientist
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ecuador_gr (944749)
      Yes, indeed you could be wrong here and you forgot the "IANAP" disclaimer.
      In fact, I Am A Physicist and I can tell you that what we don't know is exactly how much and how fast the temperature will rise, how the climate change will vary from place to place and how exactly all this will affect our world.
      What we do know is that the temperature is rising and that for at least half a century we are the ones mainly responsible for that. We also do know that if we don't do something the consequences will be dire.
  • by tbo (35008) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:12PM (#17584452) Journal
    I can just smell it--the thread is about to turn into a big old "let's bash the religious right" flamefest. Been there, done that. Let's move on. The aptly-named global warming denier, Frosty Hardison, may be ridiculous, but that doesn't mean this isn't a great opportunity to teach kids about how science.

    Consider--the school board says kids must be presented with both sides. Great--this is how science works. Global warming is probably the most controversial scientific subject today, so let's show kids the research on both sides, the rebuttals, the propaganda, etc. Turn it into the theme for an entire school year. In English, have them read and write reports on a few peer-reviewed global warming research papers or books about global warming. Analyze the rhetoric and the logic. In math, teach them how to interpret graphs using examples from those research papers. In physics, teach them about blackbody radiation, thermodynamics, and everything else you need to understand the basic principles of the greenhouse effect. In biology, cover photosynthesis and the carbon cycle.

    Do everything right and the kids will not only get a much, much better picture of what's happening with global warming, they'll also understand the scientific method and learn how to spot junk science. Maybe the parents will even learn something from their kids.
    • by MDMurphy (208495) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:25PM (#17584588)
      Exactly. Use the DVD as a teaching tool. Teach the kids to look at it critically, find fault ( if they can ) and draw conclusions. Experiment, research the facts.

      Spoonfeeding them the answer and expecting them to swallow it without thinking isn't teaching, it's brainwashing. Even if you're brainwashing with correct information, it's still brainwashing.

      A resonable science class wouldn't just tell students that oxygen is necessary for a candle to burn, but would allow the students to experiment to "prove" it to themselves, to observe the conditions that drove someone else to that conclusion years ago.

      If you teach that a DVD is 100% correct, and one single fact turns out to be incorrect, does it invalidate the whole DVD? No, but coming to that conclusion requires critical thinking, and critical thinking needs to be taught.
    • by Simon Garlick (104721) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:37PM (#17584740)
      I think you're missing the point. The issue at hand is that EVERY SINGLE EXAMINATION of ANY TOPIC could now be banned from schools unless equal time, money, and attention is given to "it's like that because that's the way God made it".

      Welcome back to the Dark Ages, America.
  • Here's the Problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moehoward (668736) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:13PM (#17584462)

    I cringe every time I hear "global warming". It has become a political code word rather than something that conveys scientific meaning or even any meaning at all.

    1) We need to distinguish between long term climate change and short term climate change.
    2) We need to distinguish between human-causes and natural causes.
    3) Skeptics must be heard and not shouted down and ridiculed.

    It is almost as though "global warming" has been voted into existence. I feel we need more info on theories on how solar output might change over time (chaotic in some ways, but maybe predicatble in other ways). We need more info on why the mini ice age happened. We need more info on where we are in terms of coming out of the "big" ice age. We need to be careful to distinguish direct temperature measurements of the last 125 years versus indirect measurements.

    Finally, we need every news story about climate, weather, geography, evolution, extinction, and health to have some shifty-eyed reference to "global warming". Predictions about "this will be the warmest..." have happened since 2002. Most wrong. Remember the hurricane predictions for 2006? Nope, even those prediction which were "linked to global warming" were dismissed due the "effects of global warming." This stuff is in the news almost every day.

    I feel that there is a real possibility that in 100 years, humanity may look back at this topic as something even more group-think than the typical "tulip bulb" group-think that happened on a much smaller scale years ago. The earth is getting warmer because we are leaving both a mini and a big ice age. I learned that in freakin' catholic school in the 1970's when Time magainze heralded the coming new ice age again and again.

    I am certainly an environmentalist. I practice what I preach. But, I'm so disappointed at how the "global warming" thing has been completely misappropriated. Both sides of the political spectrum need to be ashamed at how science is twisted to make their case.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @12:15AM (#17586382)
      "3) Skeptics must be heard and not shouted down and ridiculed."

      This is the real important one right here. Science is not an absolute, it's not a religion, it's not a case of "This is right and there shall be no questions." Science is a process of knowing about the natural world and, by it's nature, there must always be the possibility that you are wrong, your hypothesis must be falsifiable. If it's not, it's not science (that's why Creationism isn't science).

      Science class should teach that. Students should be taught to think critically, to understand that science changes and grows and that we probably don't live in the magic time when we have all the right answers. For example I remember in high school chemistry we learned about the structure of the atom. However it wasn't a "This is how atoms are," kind of thing, it was an explanation of how the theory had developed and changed. We started off Dalton model (tiny indivisible spheres) and moved on up to the then current theory of electron probability clouds. We learned a little of quantum theory and were made to understand that while we are pretty sure of this stuff, we don't know that we won't have a better understanding of atoms in the future.

      This is why global warming raises such an alarm bell with me, because it never seems to be presented in this way. People trumpet it as something of which there is NO DOUBT, a fact, not a theory (it is a theory, so is how gravity works, and so on). If you question it you are stupid, or an industry shill, or ignoring the issue, and so on. That doesn't sound like science to me, that sounds like religion. Something you are supposed to accept on faith, and never question, lest you be branded a heretic.

      So while I certainly want global warming, or rather general climate change, theory taught to students, I don't want it handed down as something to which there can be no debate because there IS debate. I want students shown the different arguments, especially when people analyze the same data and come to different conclusions. I want them to learn about computer modeling, its uses and its limitations. Basically I want them to come out with a better understanding of how science is done and the information surrounding the GW debate, not with a set of statements presented as dogma.
  • Umm.. Yeah.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by X-treme-LLama (178013) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:13PM (#17584464) Homepage

    "Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. "The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is ... The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."'"
    Because we should absolutely base the teaching of science on the objections of people who believe the earth is 14,000 years old. We're these people fucking drunk? Yes, global warming is a theory, a fairly convincing once what with ice shelves melting all over the place. Fine, teach it as a theory, but TEACH IT. "Frosty" perhaps could have used a few condoms to save his/her SEVEN children from being raised by a nutjob. Have your religion, feel free to it. Keep it out of my Government, my Schools, and my Laws. If you don't believe in Gay Marriage, don't marry one. If you think that stem cells are life, don't work with them. That is all a *personal* choice. Don't mandate into law what YOUR God doesn't like.

    Also, condoms do belong in schools. Safe sex is important, and they're having sex anyway. Anyone who thinks differently is probably an idiot. 90% of Americans have pre-maritial sex (link [cbsnews.com]) seems pretty damn important.

    Oh, and I'm pretty sure Al Gore was a professor at Columbia for a time (visiting I know..) and that he's smarter than the idiot who seriously believes the earth is a few thousand years old.
  • by zaydana (729943) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:14PM (#17584472)

    Using Christianity to try and get this movie banned is just cheap. While intelligent design and creationism both don't have hard proof (some would argue it does, but the fact is nothing is provable 100%), all that Gore's movie does is provide evidence. In reality, the parent would only be complaining because Al Gore is presenting it, and he ran for president against Bush.

    I mean common, Al Gore didn't even collect the evidence himself, he's only repeating what other people have found. What a load of croc.

  • New Meme? (Score:5, Funny)

    by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:31PM (#17584666) Homepage
    "Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore."

    Use in the following way:

    "X doesn't belong in Y, and neither does Al Gore."

    Examples:

    "Cheese don't belong in hot dogs, and neither does Al Gore."
    "Riker doesn't belong in the captain's chair, and neither does Al Gore."

    *Note that verb tense can be changed at the leisure of the poster.

    Here's to hoping that this one spreads better than the "Except in Nebraska" one of Steve Ballmer fame.
  • Theory != Hypothesis (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bootle (816136) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:34PM (#17584700)

    The greatest proof that these people have already succeeded in derailing our educational system is the very use of the phrase "just a theory."

    They show a complete lack of understanding of the scientific method. What they should be saying is "it's just a hypothesis." Unlike creationism, however, theories have overwhelming evidence in their favor and little or no evidence against them. I consider global warming to be a theory; what is more of a hypothesis is if humans are responsible for it, though I also consider this to be the case.

    All of this is immediately rejected by them, of course, because of the failure to realize that truth is independent of one's belief in it. This is the reason why science cures disease, increases food production, and improves our lives; religion has accomplished nothing in comparison.

    Religion doesn't teach logic, it teaches anti-logic, and these well-indoctrinated fools are thus unable to follow the above arguments. More's the pity, truly.

  • by Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) <spambox@NOSPam.theapt.org> on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:34PM (#17584702) Homepage Journal
    Jesus wasn't a teacher, what makes you think *he's* correct?
  • Please, no more (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OriginalArlen (726444) on Friday January 12, 2007 @09:34PM (#17584706)
    I used to really enjoy the climate change stories on Slashdot... but really, do we really need to know about another looney anti-science freak in the US? I'm increasingly starting to think that it doesn't really matter. The rest of the world have made up their minds and are doing it without the US - and anyway, lots of clueful people are doing significant stuff at state levels and below.

    And I very rarely learn anything new on these threads, since I started reading RealClimate [realclimate.org]; and even the entertaining troll posts about not wanting to go back to living in caves, and anyway it's all a scam by the Chinese to destroy American industry have died back in the last year or so.

    So how's the weather back there in the States? Pretty miserable in the NE this time of year, I bet.

  • Here is the solution to Global Warming...

    It is reasonably well known that atmospheric particulate pollution reduces the amount of the Sun's radiation which reaches the surface and is also able to reflect more radiation back into space. Such effects, called "Nuclear Winter" are theorized but there is very strong evidence that huge volcanic eruptions do chill the whole planet dispite putting out an extremely large volume of greenhouse gases.

    So what can we do to reverse Global Warming?

    1. Remove particle filters, especially ESD-type filters, from our coal and oil burning power stations. This will help increase the amount of fine particles in the atmosphere and will also help reduce carcenogenic dioxin output from those power stations.

    2. Switch to Diesel! Our petrol/gas vehicles just don't put out enough carbon particles. Electric vehicles are ok as long as the electricity is sourced from a coal or oil burning power station which has already had its filters removed.

    3. Burn waste in your back yard! Stop filling landfills and burn the junk. This reduces the amount of land wastefully used to store our waste and help put more particles in the atmosphere. Burying waste only leads to greenhouse gas emissions while they decompose.

    We have unwittingly been doing well for ourselves - globally, the amount of radiation reaching the Earth's surface has been reduced by more than 10% over the last 50 years due to atmospheric particle pollution. Okay, there are a few downsides, a few impoverished nations will suffer crop failure when the global weather patterns change but we are saving the planet from becoming another Venus!

    (I wonder if anyone will take this seriously? Well, there is some valid science. Look up "global dimming". LMAO)
  • by AusIV (950840) on Friday January 12, 2007 @10:52PM (#17585564)
    An Inconvenient Truth is politically charged propaganda. There are much more straightforward, less politically charged videos that use better science and fewer dishonest tactics. Teachers ought to be showing something like "Global Warming: What you need to know" with Tom Brokaw, which gets the point across without being deceptive, plus it spends a lot more time talking about practical solutions than Gore's movie. Additionally, Gore's movie is politically charged, so right wing students are going to ignore it just because of the (unnecessary) politics Gore put into the movie, and some left wing students are going to take it for gospel regardless of the science behind it. Brokaw's special is straightforward, unpolitical, and talks about a solution.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @12:31AM (#17586538)
    ""Condoms don't belong in school(.)" said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven"

    According to him, they apparently don't belong anywhere.
  • by Jedi Binglebop (204665) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @12:49AM (#17586726) Homepage
    Due to the volume of interest in this matter I am using auto-reply to get
    you the quickest reply possible because your concerns about what we did
    are important. I write this intending to express my own views and not the
    views of other board members. I will not be replying to your replies.
    Some of the media has not reported this matter accurately and I wanted to
    make sure the issues and our decision were clear to you. Feel free to
    share this with others who are concerned.

    1. We did not make the decision based upon Mr. Hardison's religious or
    other beliefs. The decision was made because a teacher was going to show
    the movie and it did not appear she was following policy. It turned out
    that she was not following policy. There was also an offer last week by
    the proponents of the movie to give 50,000 copies to teachers across the
    country to use as curriculum, which would have increased the chance that
    the movie would be used. There was more than one complaint/concern
    expressed about this issue based upon that alone.
    2. We did not ban or censor the movie and have no intent to do so.
    Teachers can use it as they see fit if they follow policy on movies and
    controversial issues, but because there was some misunderstanding on the
    policy we asked that the Superintendent be involved in making sure policy
    was being followed. One of our high schools has already used the movie.
    The students were asked to take a side, research the issues, and then
    debate the issues from that standpoint. What they did goes above and
    beyond the policy in my opinion.
    3. We are not banning the teaching of global warming.
    4. The debate on global warming is crucial to society and limiting the
    debate to only one side's view of the facts and science would not be good
    for anyone even if they believe the debate is over.
    5. Our policies are designed to make sure that the door is open for more
    debate on issues, not less, but it does not mean as some allege that any
    wacko theory can be taught in our schools.
    6. The decision was made upon existing policy. It was not based on
    anyone's direct belief regarding politics, science, religion, or when the
    earth was formed or when it will end.
    7. Policy 2331 and 2331P is intended to prevent one-sided views of
    controversial issues.
    8. There was more than one complaint/concern expressed about this issue.
    9. The policy should be equally enforced regardless of what side of the
    spectrum any controversial issue falls upon. This protects the integrity
    of the education process. We would have made the same decision if the
    movie was about the Iraq war or some other issue and was narrated by
    George W. Bush or some other partisan, even if the proponents felt the
    debate was over on the topic they were presenting.
    10. Using a partisan to present issues affecting contested public policy
    matters makes it controversial per se. The media attention to our
    decision is also evidence of the controversial nature of this film.
    11. Science and politics have been merged on this issue by persons beyond
    our control. The political aspect of this is what makes it the most
    controversial, especially when a political partisan makes the
    presentation. With that in mind, there are many other ways to teach
    global warming instead of using a feature film by a political partisan
    (see links below from NOAA and NASA that have references to skeptics), but
    despite that we did not vote to "ban" the movie even though we could have.
    We also had the power to compel specific sources be used instead of the
    movie and did not do that either. Some have raised the issue of us not
    watching the movie first, but we did not ban the movie or that would have
    been crucial. We did feel it was controversial based upon the above
    reasons which is all we needed to know based upon our policy.
    12. On the issue of how final the debate is, Galileo and other out of the
    box thinkers com
  • "Just a theory" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J.R. Random (801334) on Saturday January 13, 2007 @01:47AM (#17587254)
    Relativity is "just a theory" as well, but your GPS system would fail totally if both the special and general theories of relativity were not taken into account. Too many laymen think that "theory" means "tentative hypothesis" when in fact many theories are about as well established as any claim about the physical world could possibly be.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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