Gore’s ‘In­con­ve­nient’ film flops with Wash­ing­ton school dis­trict

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Jen­nifer Harper

Frosty E. Hardi­son has made things a lit­tle chilly for Al Gore: The fa­therof­sev­en­hadMr.Gore’sglobal warm­ing film “An In­con­ve­nient Truth” banned from his lo­cal pub­lic schools.

“Al Gore’s video has no place in my kids’ pub­lic school class­room any­morethancon­doms,”Mr.Hardi­son told The Wash­ing­ton Times on Jan. 11. “It is noth­ing more than an op­por­tu­nity for him to grandstand and take more pot­shots at the Repub­li­cans for re­peat­ing his own er­ror — of not do­ing enough. [. . .] Al Gor­eis­no­taboutfind­ing­so­lu­tion­sto thep­rob­lem.AlGor­eisal­labout­get­ting his party re-elected.”

The com­puter con­sul­tant from Fed­eral Way, Wash., be­came an- noyed­when­heheardthe­film­would be shown in his daugh­ter’s school. Joined by other con­cerned par­ents, Mr. Hardi­son de­liv­ered a let­ter to the lo­cal school board on Jan. 9, say­ingMr.Gore’sfilmwastoopo­lit­i­cally charged for stu­dent view­ing.

The board agreed, vot­ing to ban the film un­less an “op­pos­ing view­point” ap­proved by lo­cal school su­per­in­ten­dent Tom Mur­phy is of­fered to stu­dents as a coun­ter­bal­ance to the docu­d­rama, which fre­quently cites the U.S. as a source of en­vi­ron­men­tal woes.

The film’s co-pro­ducer, self-de­scribed “global warm­ing ac­tivist” Lau­rie David, did not hide her vex­a­tion over the de­ci­sion.

“I am shocked that a school dis­trict would come to this de­ci­sion. Thereis­noop­pos­ingview­to­science which is fact, and the facts are clear that global warm­ing is here, now,” she said from Los An­ge­les.

Mr. Hardi­son and the Fed­eral Wayschoold­is­trict,lo­cat­ed­be­tween Seat­tle and Ta­coma, are not the first to re­ject Mr. Gore’s film. The Univer­sity of Delaware’s Cen­ter for Cli­mat­icRe­searchandABCNews­cor­re­spon­dent John Stos­sel have said the film pushes alarmist views and ques­tion­able in­for­ma­tion.

In De­cem­ber, the Na­tional Science Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion de­clined Mrs. David’s of­fer to dis­trib­ute the film for free to 50,000 class­rooms; she re­sponded with a Wash­ing­ton Postop-edac­cus­ingth­e­o­r­ga­ni­za­tion of tak­ing do­na­tions from Exxon Mo­bilCorp.,Shel­landtheAmer­i­can Pe­tro­leum In­sti­tute.

“It’s bad enough when a com­pany tries to ped­dle junk science to a bunch of grown-ups. But, like a to­bacco com­pany us­ing car­toons to ped­dle cig­a­rettes, Exxon Mo­bil is goin­gafter­ourkids,too,”Mrs.David wrote.

The as­so­ci­a­tion called her accu- sa­tions “mis­lead­ing,” not­ing that oil com­pany con­tri­bu­tions amounted to 3 per­cent of their to­tal do­na­tions.

Hol­ly­wood-based Par­tic­i­pant Pro­duc­tions, which pro­duced “An In­con­ve­nient Truth,” “Syr­i­ana” and other films with a so­cial mes­sage, is dis­tribut­ing Mr. Gore’s film free to teach­ers, with a les­son plan in­cluded.

Mean­while, Mr. Gore re­mains busyinthey­outh­ful­mar­ket­place.He an­nouncedJan.11thatthe­bookver­sion of his film has been adapted for youn­gread­er­sand­will­bepub­lished by Vik­ing Chil­dren’s Books/Ro­dale Pub­lishing­inApril.The­book­will­include 14 new chap­ters.

“There is no doubt that young peo­ple to­day are more aware of en­vi­ron­men­tal­prob­lem­sthan­my­gen­er­a­tion ever was,” Mr. Gore said Jan. 11.


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