Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Judge says Inconvient truth is biased

British judges do seem to get a bad press, often seen as out of touch with the modern world. One famous case was a judge asking who the Beatles were, during the height of their fame (a popular beat combo My Lord). Perhaps there is a reason for the saying 'the law is an ass'!

Today there was a judgement about the plan to show school children the Al Gore film 'The Inconvenient Truth'. Mr Justice Burton today said the film is biased, and so a balancing statement needs to be shown before the children are shown the film. Do they read a statement from the flat earth society before teaching geography? What about teaching evolution, should we have the opinion of extremists to discuss their theory of dinosaurs living at the same time as humans?

The person who brought the case to court is a truck driver and part-time school official, Stewart Dimmock from Dover. He brought a High Court action to ban the film from UK schools, claiming it is “unfit for schools” because it contains scientific inaccuracies, “sentimental mush” and is politically biased. The movie was distributed to more than 3500 schools for children aged 11 to 14-year-olds in “Climate Change Packs.”

I’m glad the film is being distributed, but question the qualifications of the judge. I’ve heard Friends of the Earth state that the film was based on the information available at the time it was produced, but now more research has been done. If the judge was comparing the film with the most recent IPCC report then naturally its not completely correct, but what document can stand up to that scrutiny? Any text more than a few years old is going to contain some inaccuracies, that’s no reason to burn them all. It’s a good reason to do more research. This case unfortunately will lead many to see climate change as unproven, at a time when evidence is building up as never before that action is needed now. This is the real inconvenient truth.

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