Last month, after the National Science Teachers Association declined to hand out free copies of the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, one of the film’s producers announced plans to distribute the copies directly to educators via the Internet. Whether they’ll actually be able show the DVD in class is another matter. After an evangelical Christian parent complained about a planned screening of the Al Gore-narrated film in his daughter’s 7th grade science class, the school board in Federal Way, Washington, first banned and then placed rigorous restrictions on the movie’s classroom use. Among other things, the DVD can only be shown when it’s balanced by alternative perspectives approved by the school principal and district superintendent. But, as several residents pointed out during the board’s public meetings on the issue, opposing views on the science of global warming are seen as increasingly dubious. “The only thing I have found so far is an article in Newsweek called ‘The Cooling World,’” said Kay Walls, the teacher at the center of the controversy. The piece was written almost 40 years ago.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.