Monday, November 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

If you haven't seen it, get yourself to a video store tomorrow. Then read the debate about whether the National Science Teachers Association should accept 50,000 free DVD's [What's up NSTA?].

I don't agree with PZ on this one. The science is good but Al Gore is exploring the possibility of a run for the Democratic nomination in 2008. I saw him in action for three days at Chautauqua last summer. If it were Carl Sagan I'd say NSTA should show the DVDs in every classroom but it's silly to pretend that Al Gore isn't a politician.


  1. Well, of course he's a politician, but that doesn't invalidate the science in the movie. Isn't it the politicians whom we want to wake up to the reality of global warming?

    The most valid caveat about Gore's participation in this project is that the reactionary right will castigate it as Democrat agitprop.

  2. Can't you see why the National Science Teachers Association might be wary of being seen to be promoting the Democratic Party in the public schools?

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  3. Larry, in what way does the content of AIT promote the Democratic Party?

  4. The content doesn't. It's merely Gore's involvement, which the Fox News brigade, the Hannitys and Coulters, will latch onto with the usual 'poisoning the well' fallacies in order to dismiss the film outright, without the least consideration of its message or facts.

  5. PLEASE is it possible to get (Even PAY FOR) copies of "An Inconvenient Truth" in Britain, or the rest of Europe?

    And if not, why not?

    Post information here, please, or can Prof. Moran e-mail me details, if he has the time?

  6. You can buy it on for £12.99. Buy the book as well.


  7. Martin:
    Precisely, which is why it's befuddling that Larry is advocating waving the white flag and letting those people's antics be the determiner of what science teachers do. That's total, spineless capitulation, which is incongruous for Larry. Larry, have you thought this through? Do you realize that NSTA actually takes money from Exxon-Mobil?

  8. Yeah, I've thought it through. There's no way NSTA can afford the political fallout if they were to accept the DVDs. It's pure politics. They don't have to be proud of it.

    What they shouldn't do is sell out by embracing anti-science in the form of big business. They seem to be going down this path.

    Another thing they shouldn't do is attack people like Al Gore in order to cozy up to their wealthy donors. As far as I know they're not doing that.

  9. I still don't think we're getting to the heart of this. Why should the NSTA avoid all perceptions of partisanship? Its mission is brazenly political. I wish that weren't the case; that is, I wish we lived in a country sufficiently enlightened and rational that no mainstream political faction would dream of actively thwarting good science education. We don't. So why should they blanch at any association, however benign, with a politician? Especially one that's, you know, on their side?

    This all is a little beside the point, though, since their claim to be making some overly cautious, principled stand against even the impression of non-neutrality is disingenuous when they go on to wring their hands over the possibility of putting "unnecessary risk on [their] capital campaign."

  10. Apologies for the America-centric "we"; I realize now you live in Toronto.