It is a sign of how politicized global warming has become when a father's push for his daughter's junior high school science class to present both sides of the global warming controversy becomes a national story -- with the father being portrayed as the villain.
To recap, Frosty Hardison, the parent of a seventh-grader who attends school in Federal Way, Wash., was troubled to learn that science teacher Kay Walls had planned on showing her class Al Gore's global-warming pic "An Inconvenient Truth" -- without presenting any contrary information.
Hardison is an evangelical Christian who, as The Washington Post reported, sees global warming as "one of the signs" of Judgment Day. That is, Hardison fits the sort of stereotype bound to attract national media attention under the rubric: religious zealot fights science in schools.
The school board put a moratorium on showing the movie -- since lifted -- while it investigated whether Wells was violating a school policy requiring that, when class materials "show bias," educators "point out the biases, and present additional information and perspectives to balance those biases."
On the one hand, it is a sad commentary that districts see a need to restrict teachers' ability to communicate -- and that this country has become so sensitive that parents feel a need to muzzle what teachers can say in class. On the other hand, we've all seen teachers who think their political views are gospel.
In this case, Walls told The Washington Post that she could not find any authoritative articles that counter "An Inconvenient Truth" -- other than a 32-year-old Newsweek article. CNN apparently went to the same school as Walls, as it aired a segment in which University of Maryland Professor Phil Arkin asserted, "I don't think there is legitimately an actual opposing viewpoint to the 'Inconvenient Truth' film."
Allow me to present a few names. Massachusetts Institute of Technollogy's Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology Richard S. Lindzen complained to the Boston Globe about the "shrill alarmism" of Gore's flick. Neil Frank, who was considered authoritative when he was the director of the National Hurricane Center, told The Washington Post that global warming is "a hoax." Hurricane expert William Gray of Colorado State University believes the Earth will start to cool within 10 years.
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