Thursday, December 06, 2007

Assignment for Walden Students

The great Thomas Sowell asks a timely question:

"Now that the British television documentary, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is available on DVD, will those schools that forced their students to watch Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" also show them the other side? Ask them."

And so I will. So how about it Michael Gibson, Sam Braun, Katrina, 12 year old, etc... Your assignment for today is to ask your teacher to show you "The Great Global Warming Swindle." Please report back.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

only after you watch the real facts about 9-11. The documentary, Louder Than Words.
Is that a deal?

Denis Navratil said...

Tell me more anon. And what does it have to do with global warming?

Anonymous said...

Your post is about individual's ability to expand viewpoints and learn all sides of issues, which i encourage.

But i think Walden students shouldn't be the only one's charged with the task of opening thier minds to all viewpoints. I'd like you to expand yours about 9-11.

I think that's a fair request.

Deal?

Denis Navratil said...

What is the deal you are proposing? You mention one documentary about 9-11. Shouldn't there be more than one?

By the way, I agree that we should be open to considering multiple viewpoints about many issues. There are millions of issues, concerns etc... that I would like to explore if I had no time constraints. Why are you suggesting that exploration of 9-11 issues is worthy of this special scrutiny, especially as the issue I have brought forward is global warming?

colt said...

And every nut case with the "real" story behind 9-11 has been proven to be say... nuts
Louder then Words should only be watch if there is nothing good on SCI-FI

Anonymous said...

Is questioning the government really a nutty idea Colt? Do you trust your government that much to believe everything that comes from the White House publicist's mouth?

Do we have a deal Denis?

colt said...

Colt is far too right wing to trust the Goverment. Colt too has seen the 9-11 nut tapes am is amazed that anyone can belive them

Denis Navratil said...

Note to FreeRacine contributors, please refer back to my initial posting if you have forgotten what the topic is. It is about Walden and whether or not they will watch the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle." Thanks. I will start a separate post on the question of whether or not I should watch "Louder Than Words."

colt said...

Sorry

Denis Navratil said...

No problem Colt.

Anonymous said...

Do as i say, and not as i do...

Are you unwilling to practice what you preach Denis?

Katrina said...

Katrina's Report:

This movie will not be shown in your school due to some legel problems. Apperently in order for a school to legaly show a movie in school the distact must buy the rights to show it from the distributer of the movie. And some how we have the money to buy the rights for some movies but not others.

Sorry I tried.

Katrina

Anonymous said...

Katrina, you apparently have no idea what is happening at Walden. Schools do not have to buy rights to show any movies, they are often shown in all schools. DO NOT BLOG ABOUT THE GREEN SCHOOL ANY MORE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. COME TO A MEETING.

Denis, you make it sound like every Walden student is forced to sit and watch some crazy, unheard of propaganda film. An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary whose facts are certified by every legitimate scientist on earth. Students at Walden are educated, obviously much better than you were. I can almost guarantee you that the director of your movie is not a legitimate scientist, is payed by oil companies, or is just looking for the money of desperate republicans like you.

I will watch you movie if you watch ours, deal?

Pariah Jeep said...

I actually read an anonymous comment, I can't believe it. For Mr. Anonymous, a diagnosis:

You have a diarrhea of words and a constipation of ideas.

pariah jeep said...

“certified by every legitimate scientist”

What IS this certification? Mr. Anonymous was able to read something they wrote? I wouldn’t be surprised if the closest Mr. Anonymous got to real science was when he read one of Al Gore’s peer reviewed papers on global warming. Just kidding – he never wrote one. Perhaps he’s read the instructions to his environmentally friendly electric toothbrush. Just remember – it is for your oral cavity ONLY.

What is a LEGITIMATE scientist? They don’t pick their noses while they read Nature? Every single one? Did you go to their houses and ask? I don’t believe in Santa but I’m starting to wonder.

Yes Katrina - come to "a meeting". At the “meeting" you will be generously inundated with the most magnificent group-speak and anti-dogmatic literati (in themselves dogmatic but you will be sworn to keep it to yourself, under penalty of being exposed as a non-believer, a fate truly worse than death to the group) ever assembled. Wait – the pseudo intellectualism shown by Mr. Anonymous on this blog is nothing. You will meet people who carry around tubes to blow smoke up their own butts.

“DO NOT BLOG ABOUT THE GREEN SCHOOL ANY MORE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.”

Yes, only blog about something you know something about. From now on, will Anonymous only contribute to discussions about what way to hang a roll of toilet paper?

Katrina said...

Hold on, let me expain myself before I am jumps all over me. First off I DO attend nearly all of the green school meatings most likely more than other students who post here. As for the legal information let me explain. Our school would need such a license if the movie did not directly go along with the pre chosen coarse plan.

Want further proof?

1. Ask any teacher
2. Look at this source:
http://www.movlic.com/k12/faqs.html

Anonymous said...

The great Thomas Sowell
----------------------------------

My my, are we canonizing this right wing ideologue as 'the great'?

WOW!

Anonymous said...

Pariah Jeep is anonymous...what the H*ll is you medical problem?

Take your meds!

Denis Navratil said...

Katrina, thank you. I went to the site you suggested and while I only looked at it very briefly, it seems that the restrictions about showing movies in school pertain only to entertainment showings, not educational showings. It also seems as if teachers could show the movie in question if they added it to their lesson plans. So it is not that they can't show the film but rather that they don't want to show the film.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, certified was the wrong word. "Accepted" is better. In Denis's words, "It was an innocent mistake."

Anonymous said...

Scientists will continue to monitor the global climate and the factors which influence it. It is important that all legitimate potential scientific explanations continue to be considered and investigated. Debate will continue, and the Royal Society has just hosted a two day discussion meeting attended by over 300 scientists, but it must not be at the expense of action. Those who promote fringe scientific views but ignore the weight of evidence are playing a dangerous game. They run the risk of diverting attention from what we can do to ensure the world's population has the best possible future- Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society on "The Global Warming Swindle"

Michael Gibson said...

I don't know of a single person named Katrina in all of Walden, and I certainly do not know of one that comes to the meetings. Maybe you are using a pen name? Stop. You'll be taken more seriously if you use your real name.

I don't think that we can get the whole school to see the movie you recommended, but I will watch if I can get it at the library or rent it else where. I won't pay to see it because I am a broke teenager.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, I am simply curious as to what would happen if you suggested to the teacher or teachers that showed you Inconvenient Truth if they would show The Great Global warming Scandal. Why not ask them and see what happens?

Michael Gibson said...

I'm not sure if that is still in the curriculum in biology, because the teacher we had last year retired. I don't know the new guy, but your request isn't too unreasonable. He could do it as a kind of assignment where students could compare the two movies in an essay with some independent research involved. If the time comes I might mention something to him.

I have started watching it on Google video and I plan to make a list of criticisms.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, have you made a list of criticisms of An Inconvenient Truth?

Michael Gibson said...

I actually consider An Inconvenient Truth a very convincing film. To be honest though, I think sometimes went a bit overboard on the background of Al Gore's life.

I've been meaning to ask you this: Have you ever watched An Inconvenient Truth?

Denis Navratil said...

No Michael I have not. I don't watch movies too often and this one did not interest me very much. I haven't watched The Great Global Warming Swindle either. I have read some accounts of Gore's movie that have disputed some of its claims. I have also read a few articles over the years that suggest that the global warming threat is hyped. Do you think I should watch the film and if so, for what reason? I don't have the scientific expertise to debunk or to confirm the claims of the film, and, I suspect, neither does anyone else on this blog with the possible exception of pariah heep whom I believe to be a scientist.

Michael Gibson said...

Whether or not you are a scientist has nothing to do with the understanding that you can see from the movie. It is easy to see correlations in Gore's statistics at an elementary level. Just think about it: Would a movie riddled with confusing scientific terminology win a nobel prize?

I don't think you should criticize (or promote) films that you have never seen. It is unfair for you to tell us to watch a movie that you have never seen.

You may read accounts of Gore's film claiming that it is just a bunch of hype (which, in my opinion, is not true), but the criticisms for the Great Global Warming Swindle are much worse. In the article on Wikipedia (which I realize is sometimes not very reliable), it contains a section on criticisms. This section happens to make about half of the entry. It points out that the statistics in your movie are often misinterpreted or just plan made up. I saw this for myself when, in the Swindle, they were showing charts explaining an 800 year lag in C02 vs. Temperature, saying that temperature went up first, and CO2 followed. This would be somewhat convincing if the chart would span throughout the history of Planet Earth like Al Gore's. Theirs didn't. The bottom of the chart was titled "Years since present day." The numbers ranged between 270,000 to 230,000 (or something to that effect). This obviously does not show the whole picture. I have also noticed that the film uses a lot of scientific jargon to make it sound very complex. I think that it the movie is actually meant to simply mislead people through big words and complex theories, which average Joe will simply not question. Gore's film, on the other hand, uses language that anyone can readily understand.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, perhaps Gore's film is designed for elementary level students. The actual issue of global temperatures is not elementary. It is actually quite complicated.

You say that I should not criticize or promote films that I have not seen. Perhaps so, but if you think that is all I am doing I think you might be missing my point. If you are required to watch a film that quite obviously promotes a point of view that is both political and controversial, then in the interests of obtaining a balanced education, you should also be required to watch a film that seeks to debunk the first film. But a better idea would probably be to watch neither film and seek out less partisan information on the subject.

Michael Gibson said...

Is anything about this universe really elementary? No. But everything has an elementary basis that it relies on. For example, Physics is a very complex school of study, but when taken in high school you can easily understand the basic concepts and equations (F=ma; Velocity=Speed/Time). Al Gore's film sticks to the core principles so that it can educate a wide audience of people from different age levels or educational backgrounds.

Global warming is not truly a political or controversial issue. It is a scientific and environmental issue. The media tries to make it appear controversial for the benefit of oil, coal, and other polluting industries.

cosmopop1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cosmopop1 said...

Funny that Timothy Francis Ball, Ph.D., the first person to be in the movie, is a retired university professor and global warming skeptic. He heads the Natural Resources Stewardship Project and formerly headed the activist organization Friends of Science, which was funded by energy industries.

In September, 2006, Ball filed suit against Johnson and four editors at the Calgary Herald newspaper for $325,000 for, among other things, “damages to his income earning capacity as a sought after speaker with respect to global warming”. In its response (point 50(d), p12), the Calgary Herald stated that “The Plaintiff (Dr. Ball) is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.” In June 2007, Ball abandoned the suit.

Also he is a headed the Friends of Science group well, Friends of Science has been criticised as an Astroturfing organization with close links to the oil and gas industry. Their funding sources are unclear; MP John Godfrey said, "Financial links between the petroleum industry and climate change skeptic groups in the United States are well documented... We need more transparency about who is behind this campaign in Canada." They themselves say their "efforts to bring balance to the climate change debate are being restricted because of our lack of funding. We have mostly relied upon the good nature of our members, with some contributions from Charitable Foundations. There has also been some funding from “big oil”. But they seldom smile on us. They appear to believe that marketing is more important than historical climate information…Your support is essential for getting things done! Without it, we will probably have to shut down operations within the year."
Funds do not come directly from industry donors but are instead solicited for the Calgary Foundation, a charitable funds administrator which maintains a policy of not disclosing the identity of donors. The donations are then passed on to the Science Education Fund, an account at the University of Calgary set up by Prof. Barry Cooper. In the final step, the Science Education Fund uses those funds to support the activities of the Friends of Science. Friends of Science does not disclose details of their funding sources, though Cooper has stated that their funds are "not exclusively from the oil and gas industry."

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