Fundamentalists and Global Warming: Different Tune, Same Beat

So those who oppose global warming are using the same strategy as the creationists: teach the ‘controversy.’

This week in Federal Way schools, it got a lot more inconvenient to show one of the top-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, the global-warming alert “An Inconvenient Truth.”
After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a computer presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists’ findings.
Al Gore’s documentary about global warming may not be shown unless the teacher also presents an “opposing view.”
“Condoms don’t belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He’s not a schoolteacher,” said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. “The information that’s being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. … The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn’t in the DVD.”
The requirement to represent another side follows district policy to represent both sides of a controversial issue, board President Ed Barney said.
“What is purported in this movie is, ‘This is what is happening. Period. That is fact,’ ” Barney said.
Students should hear the perspective of global-warming skeptics and then make up their minds, he said. After they do, “if they think driving around in cars is going to kill us all, that’s fine, that’s their choice.”
Asked whether an alternative explanation for evolution should be presented by teachers, Barney said it would be appropriate to tell students that other beliefs exist. “It’s only a theory,” he said.
Hardison’s e-mail to the School Board prompted board member David Larson to propose the moratorium Tuesday night.
“Somebody could say you’re killing free speech, and my retort to them would be we’re encouraging free speech,” said Larson, a lawyer. “The beauty of our society is we allow debate.”

Not only are they using the same tactics as creationists, but they are often the same people (“The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn’t in the DVD.”) If you want ‘theistic’ biology and geology, I suppose you also need to have ‘theistic climatology.’
And this statement by Hardison’s wife makes the title of the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, all the more appropriate:

The Federal Way incident started when Hardison learned that his daughter would see the movie in class. He objected.
Hardison and his wife, Gayla, said they would prefer that the movie not be shown at all in schools.
From what I’ve seen (of the movie) and what my husband has expressed to me, if (the movie) is going to take the approach of ‘bad America, bad America,’ I don’t think it should be shown at all,” Gayle Hardison said. “If you’re going to come in and just say America is creating the rotten ruin of the world, I don’t think the video should be shown.”
Scientists say that Americans, with about 5 percent of the world’s population, emit about 25 percent of the globe-warming gases.

Stupid facts.
What’s even more frightening is that Gayla Hardison ran for political office as an economic conservative with no notion of budgetary realities (and I think she’s the smart one). With global warming, the link between the Christopathic Right and the economic conservatives is clear as day–too often, they’re one and the same.

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4 Responses to Fundamentalists and Global Warming: Different Tune, Same Beat

  1. Gerry L says:

    Glad to see you picked this up. I was about to send a note to Chris Mooney for The Intersection blog.
    Maybe we can see some good news in the fact that the reporter included the outrageous statements so that some level-headed people will see the ridiculousness of the situation. (You have to have hope.)

  2. Edward says:

    Yep, they are reading from the same play book. So did the tobacco lobby, but most people do seem to understand now that smoking causes cancer.
    On the global warming thing: I got into a debate with some global warming doubters. I made some overly general statement like “every legitimate climate scientist either says that human caused climate change is a major issue that we need to address or else gets funding from the oil companies.” They then pointed to some “scientists” who were supposed to be “skeptics”, and I checked up on as many as I could. Those I was able check up on fell, without exception, into 3 categories:
    (1) Scientist who considered climate change to be a major issue, but had some doubts about some part of the prevailling theory. Most of these get some funding from oil companies, but they are very carefull NOT to say that global warming isn’t a problem. However, oil and political types use these small quibbles to cast doubt on all of Global warming, and go far beyond what these scientists say.
    (2) People with science degrees who work for oil companies.
    (3) Scientists who have become paid political lobbysts. There was one who worked for the tobbacco companieas and has since switched over to the oil companies after denial stopped working for the tobbaco companies.
    By far, the worst oil company for climate change denial seems to be Exxon Mobil. They have a huge budget dedicated to “proving” that there isn’t global warming.
    The U.S. auto makers also have their heads in the sand. I saw this story just the other day:

  3. J.D. says:

    I am constantly boggled at how supposed Christians can think it is OK to destroy God’s creation. Fighting global warming is a moral imperative.

  4. Edward says:

    J.D. – remember James Watt? He thought that it was only a matter of having enough resources to keep us going until the Apocalypse. Apocalyptical thinking is part of the problem in dealing with global warming. Many people are convinced the world is going to “end” soon anyway, so don’t see the bother in worring about something that’s 50 to 100 years off.
    A non-Christian friend of mine believes most of the science about global warming, but doesn’t think it’s worth worrying about something that won’t have a major impact until after he’s dead. Most people just are not willing to make any sacrifices for something that won’t happen for at least a few years.

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