Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some Convenient Lies in 'An Inconvenient Truth'?

An Inconvenient TruthAn Inconvenient Truth is all over the news again thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Al Gore (and the IPCC) recently. We had a discussion on after I posted an elog about 8 months ago, about this great teaching resource for Environmental Education and Science.

You may have have already shown this movie and discussed it with your students, but for those who plan to show this movie to their students and discuss the facts shared in this Oscar-winning documentary by Al Gore, please be sure to also share with your students some "corrections" that have been highlighted by a British Court which recently passed a ruling that this movie can be screened in schools in Britain (people actually went to court with this?!!).

Read this Washington Post article to find out about the "nine significant errors" in the movie, and do share these with your students when discussing this film.

"After listening to government witnesses, environmental campaigners, and skeptics on global warming argue their case, the judge described Gore's film as "broadly accurate" in its presentation of climate change. At the same time he also listed nine significant errors in the movie which, he said, reflected a general context of "alarmism and exaggeration" surrounding climate change."

The important thing to note, however, is that the film has proved to be "broadly accurate" and these factual errors don't affect the main argument that the film is trying to make - that climate change is a real threat, and that it is up to us humans to reverse the dangerous trend and save our planet.

I guess there is an important media literacy lesson in here for all of us (and our students) - to take with at least a pinch of salt, scientific "facts" and reports of events when they are stated not by a scientist or witness, but by an ex-politician... and to listen to all sides of a story.

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