Wash. Post Shows Balance in Climate Debate As Inconvenient Hassle For Science Teacher
Portraying an angry parent as an enemy of sound science, reporter Blaine Harden shared with Washington Post readers the story of Federal Way, Wash., science teacher Kay Walls and her struggle to show ‚ÄúAn Inconvenient Truth‚ÄĚ to her students.
Walls planned to show her class a screening of Al Gore‚Äôs Oscar-nominated film, but an e-mail from a student‚Äôs father caused the school board to have Walls balance her presentation with skeptics of climate change.
The science teacher is ‚Äústruggling to find authoritative articles to counter the information in the Gore documentary,‚ÄĚ Harden lamented as he closed his article.
‚ÄúThe only thing I have found so far is an article in Newsweek called ‚ÄėThe Cooling World,‚Äô‚ÄĚ the Post staff writer quoted Walls in his January 25 story. Harden incorrectly wrote that the Newsweek piece was published 37 years ago, but it actually appeared in the April 28, 1975, edition of the magazine.
There are plenty of climate change critics and skeptics about Gore‚Äôs particular claims, but Harden‚Äôs article closed with no mention of any of them, not even a scholar who sifted through ‚ÄúAn Inconvenient Truth‚ÄĚ (AIT) and documented numerous misleading or outright incorrect statements.
Marlo Lewis of the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute penned ‚ÄúA Skeptic‚Äôs Guide to An Inconvenient Truth‚ÄĚ in November 2006. In Lewis‚Äô executive summary, he promised readers a chapter-by-chapter refutation of the book that Gore‚Äôs documentary is based on.
‚ÄúThe present paper, a running commentary on AIT, finds that nearly every significant statement Gore makes regarding climate science and climate policy is either one sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or wrong,‚ÄĚ wrote Lewis, including 25 such statements in his executive summary.
Lewis has plenty of company when it comes to scientists who have a decidedly less dire view of climate change than those held forward in Gore‚Äôs book and documentary, including:
Patrick Michaels, University of Virginia environmental sciences professor and author of the 2004 book ‚ÄúMeltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.‚ÄĚ Michaels told Harden‚Äôs Post colleague Joel Achenbach in May 2006 that he believes ‚Äúin climate change caused by human beings,‚ÄĚ but is skeptical about ‚Äúthe glib notion that it means the end of the world as we know it.‚ÄĚ
Meteorologist James Spann, who believes in global warming and wants to reduce carbon emissions, but disputes that manmade factors are the primary cause of climate change and the notion that it‚Äôs a dire threat.
John Christy, atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who told the Post‚Äôs Achenbach that he is ‚Äúskeptical that the observations‚ÄĚ on climate change ‚Äúare indicating catastrophic change‚ÄĚ or that it‚Äôs possible now ‚Äúto truly understand the climate system‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpredict its evolution.‚ÄĚ