Saturday, May 05, 2007

Climate change propaganda faces legal challenge

Ian P over at PJC Journal has picked up on a piece of interesting news. Interesting in part because now I won't have to dig into my own pockets as I feared.
On Wednesday last week, yes the day before the elections when nobody was looking, the combined weight of the Education and Environment Ministries started to send out their Secondary Schools Climate Change Pack.
This kit contains,
DVD copy of An Inconvenient Truth
DVD containing four short films commissioned by Defra:
Tomorrow’s Climate, Today’s Challenge
My CO2
Diaries of the Climate Change Champions
The Carbon Cycle animation by Climate Change Champion Sofia Selska
A leaflet on the Sustainable Schools Year of Action
Links to comprehensive online guidance on how teachers can use these resources in the classroom.

UKIP Peer Lord Pearson asked the government to halt the process, and having had the request rejected suggested that this pack also include the Channel 4 film "The Great Global Warming Swindle". This suggestion too was rejected, despite the fact that it would have made the government's proposal legal under the 1996 Education Act, which states,
407. - (1) The local education authority, governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils while they are-
(a) in attendance at a maintained school, or
(b) taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised for registered pupils at the school by or on behalf of the school,
they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.


So may I offer my utmost congratulations to Stuart Dimmock of Kent who has asked for a High Court injunction against this piece of transparent lack of balance.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good idea to put in that 'Swindle' programme in the pack for 'balance'. Of course, the trouble with this is that, to ensure a balance of publications that fairly reflects the scientific reality today, you'd need to put in about 3000 other publications pointing to the reality of climate change and its human cause. Because that's the overwhelming scientific conclusion, supported by the overwhelming majority of scientists who've actually gone to the trouble of studying climate change and its causes.

I guess you'd also support the flat earthers, and 'balance' any astronomical educational resource with an equal number of 'flat earth' publications, wouldn't you. After all, that's a valid political stand point, too, by your exquite and rigorous thinking.

Aunty Marianne said...

Oh I think a disclaimer sentence would do for these alternate views. In the case of climate change, the sentence would go something like "There are groups of people who do not subscribe to this theory. You can almost certainly find out what their sources of funding are on the internet".

Our kids need to know the stuff that will allow them to survive in the coming climate. Sticking fingers in their ears and singing la-la-la will not help them.

Declan said...

Thank you Mr. Harvey for bringing this to my attention. I've just written a letter....

Lord Pearson of Rannoch
House of Lords
London
SW1A 0PW

Dear Lord Pearson of Rannoch,

It has come to my attention that in light of the issue of the new
Climate Change Pack for schools you suggested including a copy of "The
Great Global Warming Swindle" so as to fall inline with clause 407 of
the 1996 Education Act on the grounds that the pack would present a
biased opinion of a politically sensitive subject.

As a science teacher, I acknowledge that a SMALL minority of the
predictions made in An Inconvenient Truth could be interpreted by some
climatologists as sensationalist but the fact remains that the vast
majority of the science therein including the point which you yourself
appear to be questioning ("there [should] be material supporting the
view that climate change is not being caused primarily by carbon
dioxide emissions" - Lords Hansard Text 07/03/07) is supported by an
overwhelming level of consensus in the scientific community.

At our present level of understanding, questioning whether mankind is
directly responsible for the increase in warming seen in recent times
is like questioning whether smoking is bad for health or whether
evolution exists. There may be a tiny amount of scientists who deny it,
but teachers are not being asked to present a "balanced" view on these
politically sensitive issues because the scientific consensus is NOT
balanced!

Before asking for "The Great Global Warming Swindle" to be used as an
educational tool please be aware of the many complaints Channel 4
received about it, citing breaches in the Broadcast Code clauses 5.5 to
5.12. The program makers lied, misrepresented people, twisted
information and cherry-picked out-dated science to make this farcical
documentary. Please familiarise yourself with the many mistakes made in
this program by reading the following response issued by the University
of Bristol Chemistry Dept.

http://www.chemlabs.bristol.ac.uk/outreach/resources/channel4_response.pdf

I believe that rather than concentrating on the supposed pro global
warming bias in schools, your efforts should be focussed on impressing
upon Channel 4 and Wag TV their responsibility to present accurate
information to the public, especially on issues where the costs of
misinformation are so high.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above and a more
positive attitude to any teaching tools the Government can supply to
help impress upon our youth the impact we are having on our planet.

Yours sincerely,

XXXXX XXXXXX MSci(hons) PGCE
Teacher of Science

Honey said...

Ooooh Eliab, I am enjoying this, please do respond, whett your quill an intellectul sparing has commenced.

* sits back and enjoys.

Aunty Marianne said...

Is that Wag TV as in Wag The Dog?

Elaib said...

Dunno Aunt, I was thinking more Wives and Girlfriends - a sort of celebrity channel.
Declan and anon, I will get back to you with a response when I have a moment.

Declan said...

Contrary to what Honey may be suggesting, I'm not interested in engaging in some titanic yet pointless battle of wits across the ether. I'm not here to troll or anything but I would be interested on hearing your thoughts having read the article I linked to.

Elaib said...

Declan,
Printed it out and will go through it.

This might take some time...

Anonymous said...

"You can almost certainly find out what their sources of funding are on the internet".

You can almost certainly find out the sources of funding of the "concensus" lot on the internet too.

Governments, mostly.

But of course, they couldn't possibly have an agenda in this.

Oh, no,

Devil's Kitchen said...

"At our present level of understanding, questioning whether mankind is directly responsible for the increase in warming seen in recent times
is like questioning whether smoking is bad for health or whether
evolution exists."


Or, of course, Declan, you could compare it to the "concensus" over prions.

Do you remember how tens of thousands were going to die of nvCJD? Note how it hasn't happened?

Scientists, increasingly desperate to maintain their funding, keep moving the goalposts but it isn't working.

The MMGW concensus will come to be seen as stupid as that of infectious proteins will shortly be.

I must say that for a science teacher, you are remarkably blinkered; science absolutely relies on the constant questioning of all theories; I take it that you have heard of empirical falsifiability?

And what discipline is your MSci(hons) in, may one enquire?

DK

Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. Though I will admit, Declan, that whatever your MSci(hons) is in, it does confer on you more authority to talk on this subject than Mr Al Gore, whose scientific qualifications amount to precisely stuff all.

DK

Declan said...

DK - you would be forgiven for not thinking me skeptical. Fearing (rather hoping!) that my pupils may watch it, I sat down to watch TGGWS with a notepad ready to "see what the enemy is thinking" and to make sure I could answer any of the questions it might pose for my kids.

None of the kids actually did watch it in the end which is a relief as it had me thoroughly confused. I was up until 3 in the morning pouring over data, checking sources etc. After finding questionable data on both sides I realised I needed to go back to Uni and have a chat with one of my old atmospheric chemistry lecturers (who I really should make clear does not subscribe to any "Marxist dogma"). We sat down and he pointed out and talked me through the response I've linked to above (to answer your question by the way, I'm a chemist).

The fact is, Channel 4 produced a program produced intentionally to deceive the public. The idea that this should be sent out to every school in the country is quite frankly offensive and suggests to me that either Lord Rannoch hasn't seen the program, has seen and been deceived by the program, or is just out to satisfy some anti-establishment agenda. No matter which of the above criteria is most applicable it is clear that on this matter he should have kept his mouth firmly shut.

I won't be dragged into an argument over prions as I'm sure you can speak with more authority on them than me! Personally, the perception I always had when BSE was on the rounds here was that I had more chance of being struck by lightning than getting vCJD from eating beef so it didn't really bother me.

At the end of the day - I present the kids I teach with the facts as they stand (and I acknowledge these are changing rapidly as we get better models, equipment etc.) and as I mentioned in my letter, I do make it clear that there is some disagreement over the predictions made by many models. I know that predictions about sea-levels and ocean currents will continue to shift and so I present these as such.

My point is that really at the moment - there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for MMGW. Clearly to be a responsible teacher I present it as theory, just as when I teach evolution and atomic thoery, the big bang etc. but as *established* theory and I certainly wouldn't expect the government to tell me I should be teaching creationism in order to present a balanced view.

Out of interest, what do you think could be causing the level of warming we've seen? (this is genuine question, not a criticism)

jnicklin said...

"The fact is, Channel 4 produced a program produced intentionally to deceive the public."

How do you come to this conclusion? What motives are you questioning and what proofs do you bring to bear?

jnicklin said...

"I teach evolution and atomic thoery, the big bang etc. but as *established

I have seen more debate on the big bang theory of late than debate about MMGW. You may also not that these are still theories, not laws as MMGW seems to have become. As someone said, (I paraphrase) There's more debate at a North Korean political rally than we se about AGW (MMGW).

Declan said...

jnicklin - if you look at what they did you'll see clear as day that there was either criminal intent or criminal negligence.

Anonymous said...

"The fact is, Channel 4 produced a program produced intentionally to deceive the public."


I didn't realize that Channel 4 was involved in producing An Inconvenient Truth...

jnicklin said...

Declan said...
jnicklin - if you look at what they did you'll see clear as day that there was either criminal intent or criminal negligence.


Declan, you didn't answer the question. On what grounds do you claim criminal intent? Where is your proof. I looked at it and I fail to see your point. Are there errors, yes. Are they criminal? Prove it with example and reference, not just a broad brush statement.

Declan said...

I think I've said all I need to say on the matter.

If you've read the article I've linked to above and still think TGGWS should be sent into schools then that's your opinion - I won't change people's minds here just by saying "it aint so". I just came here to present people with facts - it's not up to me to tell you what to do with them.

If one person comes here, looks at that docuent and realises that at the moment we have no other explanation for the levels of warming we've seen except that which includes man-made CO2, CH4 etc. then my job is done.

jnicklin said...

Declan,

Your arguement is without cogence, you provide no proof. If you can't provide anything other than what you have preented above, then I suppose that you are better off not discussing it at all as you have decided to do.

Just simply saying something is so, does not make it so.

jnicklin said...

As for the document refered to in Declan's previous postings, its disappointing to see the levels that people will stoop to in order to defend a faith.

Claiming that Swindle is lying because they don't use the graphs from the IPCC bible is laughable, there are many interpretations of the data, the IPCC is so confused on this issue that they constantly change thier consensus. First they show the Swindle chart with the medieval warm period then wipe it out to show the hockey stick, then wipe that out.

Demanding the adoption of the hockey stick temp chart is pure dogmatism. That particular interpretation has been thouroughly proven wrong that it doesn't bear repeating, see McIntyre and McKitrick.

The tropospheric temperature isse has been addressed by John Christie who still claims that the data does not show what alarmists claim. Surface temperature is rising faster than troposheric, just as Swindle and other sources show and Christie agrees, its his data.

If people could just state, up front, that they are expressing religeous beliefs on MMGW, we could avoid these debates. But please don't try to couch it in absolute scientific terms, the science is not that settled.

Anonymous said...

jnicklin I agree the alarmists always raise the few inaccuracies in TGGWS and happily ignore the many inaccuracies in the Inconvenient Truth - what worries me is when those doing so are 'Teachers of Science'.

Scary

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