Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Act Locally

Here's a copy of the e-mail that I sent to my city council member, the at-large council members, and the mayor of St. Louis Park. Feel free to borrow any parts or portions thereof that you wish.

Last week, as I leafed through the Spring 2007 Parks Recreation & Westwood Hill Nature Center brochure, I was surprised to see the following event listing:

Movie: An Inconvenient Truth

Ages 12 and up

Join us to view the movie "An Inconvenient Truth." This documentary is directed by Davis Guggenheim who elo-quently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore's personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. "An Inconvenient Truth" is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share. "It is now clear that we face a deepen-ing global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely," said Gore. The movie is one hour and 40 minutes, with a discussion to follow the movie. It is rated PG but is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave.
Saturday, April 14, 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Activity # 3467


Saturday, April 21, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Activity # 3468
Free Registration deadline: when program is filled

How can the City of St. Louis Park use its resources (read our tax dollars) to promote a documentary with such a blatant political agenda? Al Gore ran for President as a Democrat as recently as 2000 and has been talked about as a possible candidate in 2008. He is nothing if not partisan.

To show Gore's film alone, as if it were the only viewpoint on climate change, would suggest that the City endorses his opinion on the subject and easily could be read as an endorsement of the political agenda that goes along with it. I find it hard to believe that it is appropriate that the City should be taking such a position.

My wife and I have lived in St. Louis Park for almost eight years and are generally very satisfied with the services provided by the City. However, we regard this as a disturbing development and a violation of our trust in local government. The City should attempt to be as objective as possible when it comes to political matters and showing "An Inconvenient Truth" would fail any measure of true objectivity.

If you believe that a discussion of climate change is warranted, than the least you can do is present the alternatives. Might I suggest the British documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle:
The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that carbon dioxide released by human industrial activity is the cause of rising global temperatures today.

That Earth's climate is changing and always has done is not disputed by anyone. That it is warming now is also not disputed by anyone. But some people think that the warming is our fault, whilst others believe we have nothing to do with it.

The film argues that rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide have nothing to do with climate change. Further, the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions may have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.

Or showing an interview on climate change with author Michael Crichton? Or any number of books that offer an opposing viewpoint?

If the City truly wants to have a discussion on climate change, it would be appropriate to allow both sides to be presented. Otherwise it should avoid supporting only one position.

No responses yet.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should also ask St. Louis Park schools to present "alternative" views on the round earth "theory." After all, their textbooks have been promoting the "theory" that the earth is round for years now. We should tackle the big issues first, right? The shape of the earth would seem to be a pretty big deal, and the fact that it is taught in schools, to thousands of impressionable children should make the teaching of alternative theories a bigger priority.
That Al Gore ran for president doesn't make this movie political anymore than "Bedtime for Bonzo" is GOP propaganda. It's not, is it? I don't get invited to your secret meetings.
Science. It is real. You can choose to believe it or not, it doesn't make it any less real.

Peter said...

Hey anonymous,

"choose to believe" "science"? I didn't know science was about belief.

The scientific method requires that a fact be falsifiable. How are you going to test it unless you can explore alternate ideas?

Peter said...

Here is the link to the KSTP story


Chad said...

Hey anonymous, how'd the circa 1974 science of global cooling work out for ya? We all know that science has NEVER been wrong before right? You also might want to look into the fact that many scientists don't support Gore's views on climate change. Your round earth straw man is an very inapt comparison.

Warchief said...

Some people are born with mental deficiencies. They are forced into such a life. And that makes me cry.

Some people have mental deficiency thrust upon them. Sometimes things go wrong later in life. That, too, makes me cry.

But you, sir, are mentally deficient by choice. And that's the most depressing of them all.

Anonymous said...

I saw the little snippet about you on Channel 5 a few nights ago and had quite a laugh. The part I thought was a real knee slapper was where they said you admitted that you had not actually seen the movie at all. Global warming is not a partisan subject and and more Republicans/Conservatives are starting to see the subject for what it is...a huge problem that we don't have a scientific quick fix for.
In your letter you mention that some scientists argue that global warming is a hoax. It is widely know that many people hold this opinion, however, there is absolutely no scientific research to back it up. There is plenty of research to back up the problem of global warming. Pull your head out and quit trying to politicize this issue just because Al Gore made a movie about it.

Ryan said...

I e-mailed the mayor and all of the council members reference, showing something other then all liberal view points.

Chad said...

Anon- Yet another strawman, eh? No one ever said that global warming was "a hoax." There is much disagreement however about how much of it is caused by CO2 emissions and how much is the result of the natural climate cycles that the earth has experienced throughout its history. An article in the New York Times last week mentioned the growing number of scientists who are troubled by the distortions and hype that Gore presented in "An Inconvenient Truth." I'd be more than willing to take politics of it and have a real honest debate on the matter. It's your side that seems to be unwilling to brook any disagreement with Gore's global climate change orthodoxy.

Ryan said...

Do you know where I can view/find Michael Crichton's interviews on Global Warming? Thanks.

Peter said...

Chad, are you going to attend the movie on Saturday?