News Story

Classroom Gore: Global Warming Goes to School

A national campaign was launched today to get public schools that have shown Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" to give equal time to the opposing view of global warming.

The Independent Women's Forum launched its Balanced Education for Everyone campaign today. It hopes to have the 2009 documentary "Not Evil, Just Wrong" shown in classrooms around the country. "Not Evil, Just Wrong" claims to expose erroneous claims about global warming.

The Independent Women's Forum is a nonprofit, founded in 1992, that supports limited government and free markets.

Ryan Alexander, the campaign manager for Balanced Education for Everyone, said many schools around the country are offering the Al Gore movie as an education on the global climate.

"It (An Inconvenient Truth) is a lecture with a power point. It has almost an academic authoritative feel to it which makes it more egregious," Alexander said. "We are looking to restore balance within the school systems on global warming. ... There is just an unfortunate liberal bias within the school itself."

A judge in England ruled in 2007 than "An Inconvenient Truth" had nine significant errors in it and was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change, according to the London Times. The judge called it "a political film" when ruling on whether or not it could be shown to children in secondary schools in England. The judge stated that it could be shown — but on the condition that teachers balance the film's "one-sided" views.

The Jackson Public Schools in Michigan has shown "An Inconvenient Truth" to its students. A'Lynne Robinson, the special assistant to the superintendent for community relations at JPS, said that they have received no complaints from parents regarding the Gore film.

She said a curriculum committee reviewed it and found that it had enough merit to be shown to students — and that the same process would be used to determine if "Not Evil, Just Wrong" could be shown as well.

Diane Katz, the director of Risk, Environment and Energy Policy at the Fraser Institute, said neither movies should be shown in schools.

"I don't think political propaganda belongs in schools, especially the younger grades," Katz said. "Unfortunately, so much of what passes for environmental education has very little to do about facts about the environment and has to do with the government control of our property and every other aspect of our lives. ... I don't think any of that stuff should be school material. No matter what side the filmmakers are coming from, I don't think any of that stuff belongs in the classroom."

Katz criticized school systems that have shown the Gore film.

"It says that whatever curriculum oversight there is, it is pretty poor," Katz said. "Obviously, it is predisposed to this green dogma."

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.