Anti-indoctrination Law in UK School Act (1996)
Section 406 says that education authorities “shall forbid…the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school”. Controversial topics, under Section 407, requires that students “are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views”.
When Gore’s film was shown in 2008 in class without any balance a father took the issue to court. He won, was awarded 2/3 costs against the Government and changed history in that any future showings of the film in UK government schools must follow these:
GUIDELINES for showing “An Inconvenient Truth”
1. State that the Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument.
2. If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 and guilty of political indoctrination.
3. Nine inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.
Error one — A sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”. The judge’s finding: “This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore’s ”wake-up call“. It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water – “but only after, and over, millennia.”
Error two — Low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.” Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.
Error three — The film described global warming potentially “shutting down the Ocean Conveyor” – the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to Western Europe. Judge: According to IPCC, it was “very unlikely” it would be shut down, though it might slow down.
Error four —Two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”, said Gore. Judge: Although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”.
Error five — The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to global warming. Judge: The scientific consensus was that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
Error six — The drying up of Lake Chad was used in the film as a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming. Judge: “It is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution. It is apparently considered to be far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and over-grazing, and regional climate variability.”
Error seven — Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans was due to global warming. Judge: There is “insufficient evidence to show that”.
Error eight — For the first time, polar bears were being found that had actually drowned “swimming long distances – up to 60 miles – to find ice”. Judge: “The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm.” That was not to say there might not in future be drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice continued – “but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description”.
Error nine — Coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors. Judge: The IPCC had reported that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3 degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality, unless the coral could adapt. But separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was difficult.
[PS: I am bringing this forward from another of my sites today — Dec 28, 2013 — because there is a growing concern that "environmentalism" is to be used more frequently in our schools as part of the curriculum. We hope that educators, policy-makers, students and parents ensure that there is a balance of Points-Of-View presented and discussed. Visiting students fron the UK tell us that these guidelines above are not applied in Canadian or American schools alongside the Gore film. This is an INTERNATIONAL ISSUE. Please visit this Australian site for an example of students standing up to present their Point-Of-View — http://joannenova.com.au/2013/12/two-high-school-students-take-on-teacher-over-climate-and-win-standing-ovation/ ]