Monday 15 October 2007

The Counterbalance to Al Gore's Propaganda

THE tormentors of Al Gore, who last week won a legal victory against his film, An Inconvenient Truth, are to step up their battle by sending British secondary schools a documentary attacking the science of global warming.

Channel 4’s The Great Global Warming Swindle has become one of the most notorious documentaries of the year, attracting complaints from dozens of scientists and viewers.

This weekend, however, the campaigners behind the High Court case said they planned to send copies to 3,400 secondary schools “to counter Gore’s flagrant propaganda”.

Gore is a joint winner of the Nobel peace prize for his efforts to educate the world about climate change. An Inconvenient Truth has also won two Oscars.

The distribution of The Great Global Warming Swindle is being funded by Viscount Monckton, who is part of a counter-campaign to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.

Monckton was one of the backers of Stewart Dimmock, the Kent lorry driver and school governor who took the government to court for sending copies of Gore’s film to schools.

The two are connected through the New party, a right-wing group whose manifesto was written by Monckton and of which Dimmock is a member.


Monckton has obtained funding from a right-wing Washington think tank, the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), to create a second film that will also be sent to schools. Entitled Apocalypse No, it parodies Gore, showing Monckton presenting a slide show in a vitriolic attack on climate change science.
Much as I applaud anyone who takes on the ridiculous puffball of pomposity that is Al Gore, and while I believe that the introduction of his film into secondary schools is nothing short of flagrant brainwashing, I have mixed feelings about the decision to send these two films to schools. The first reason for this is that I imagine that it will, in the main, simply be a waste of good money. After all, what, realistically, is the chance that either film will be shown to pupils when it arrives at the school, and, more specifically falls into the hands of the overwhelmingly left-wing members of the teaching profession? My guess is that in most cases the DVDs will go straight into the bin. Surely the money would be better spent on challenging Gore's propaganda in other ways: an advertising campaign to publicise the criticisms that Mr Justice Burton made of his film, for example.

My second problem is that, whatever the merits of The Great Global Warming Swindle, it is, like An Inconvenient Truth, intended less as an impartial analysis of the science of global warming, and more as a tool for the promotion of a certain viewpoint. As such, it is hardly the ideal viewing matter for children in schools. Of course, this problem is not so much the fault of Viscount Monckton and his supporters, as of the government, since it was they who decided to transform science classes into brainwashing sessions, when they chose to send Gore's film to every secondary school in England. As such, one could perhaps say that showing the children The Great Global Warming Swindle would simply have the effect of achieving balance. But it would be preferable if neither film were shown to children, and if they were simply given an objective introduction to the scientific issues.

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