Monday, November 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth Squeezed from Classrooms

The producers of An Inconvenient Truth have offered to supply American classrooms with 50,000 copies of the movie free of charge. That offer has been rejected by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the nation's leading science education teachers group, citing a risk to funding from key financial supporters.

One of those supporters is Exxon-Mobil.

The news was buried deep in the Washington Post website and reported by Laurie David, a producer of the film and founder of

In their e-mail rejection, they (NSTA) expressed concern that other "special interests" might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer "political" endorsement of the film; and they saw "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members" in accepting the free DVDs.

Gore, however, is not running for office, and the film's theatrical run is long since over. As for classroom benefits, the movie has been enthusiastically endorsed by leading climate scientists worldwide, and is required viewing for all students in Norway and Sweden.

Still, maybe the NSTA just being extra cautious. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.

Oil industry supporters will be quick to endorse the decision, agreeing that An Inconvenient Truth does indeed represent a special interest. What they will conveniently ignore is that unlike industry friendly messages pushed into the curriculum, An Inconvenient Truth is based on, and endorsed by, objective science - the very subject the National Science Teachers Association says it promotes.

What truth is more inconvenient? It depends where your pay cheque comes from.


Rev. Dr. Fadumbwebwe said...

Teachers are just like anyone else - they can be bought, and, in this case, they obviously have been. This country is run by corporations, and that apparently includes schools, administrations, and "national associations". Hooray for progress.

Nicolas said...

In any case, it's too late. We have irremediably destroy our children's lives. Exxon's right : don't tell them what we've done.

Chris H. said...

Let NSTA know you think via their online feedback form.

Anonymous said...

Here's the NTSA contact form:

Anonymous said...

That news just ruined my day. What a waste.

Anonymous said...

Leaving our children a broken planet apparently (pun intended) is not enough ... we also seem determined to keep them blind and dumb to the future inevitability of climate change. Moreover, we do so at not only our own peril, but at humanity’s peril.

You would think the National Science Teachers Association would be interested (1) in the science behind the movie and (2) educating the next generation about the NSTA generation’s mistakes.

my entire post

Robert said...


for me as a german citizen - to read such stuff really makes me sad.

you can't really trust academic organizations when there are huge sponsors and money is involved.

I've posted a nice comment to the NTSA feedback form :)


Anonymous said...

laurie david is larry david's wife

Dave said...

just wrote to them. what a crock. cheers, d.

Alex said...

left a comment on th NTSA web site - I recommend you do the same. The only way to defeat corporate influence is if enough of us make a stink - we can make it worth their while to change their minds.

Anonymous said...

NSTA violates their very principles for money! A very inconvenient truth for the NSTA indeed.

Anonymous said...

Al Gore is Tipper Gore's husband.

Anonymous said...

We must stop ManBearPig before it's too late! Excelsior!

Anonymous said...

Here's what I send the NSTA news editor:

I commend you for rejecting the "An Inconvenient Truth" offer that would freely circulate the DVD among science students. Too often these days educational organizations cave in to what's right and ignore the money being thrown at them by corporations such as Exxon-Mobil. Students should be protected from inconvenience. And from truth. And especially from inconvenient truths, which could ultimately lead to the students themselves learning that "the Man behind the velvet curtain" is his or her own parent. Imagine the mental and emotional anguish that would be suffered by the children should they learn that their parents have poisoned the planet! I sure wouldn't want to know if my own parents had participated/continue to participate in nefarious business dealings that resulted/continue to result in my children's inevitable inability to survive in this world. I mean, who would? Congratulations on your efforts to protect future generations from the these dangerous truths. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see some actual evidence that ExxonMobil had anything to do with it. Perhaps it was Shell, or BP.... Or maybe they were afraid that politicians would try to hurt them in some way. Fact/evidence supported accusations are better, otherwise the article comes off no better than those who try to say that global warming doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have seen an "about face" with a few teachers in my son's school. A couple of them even waved little American flags and danced around singing their own lyrics praising Bush to the tune of "God bless America", I kid you not. They were also trying to teach my son that Saddam was allied with Al Quida and helped attack the WTC on 9/11, and that Saddam was just like Hitler and had to be stopped so that he wouldn't take over the middle east. When my son questioned their opinions they became angry and petulant, rather than calmly presenting their views and letting him know that this was their opinion only, not fact. Some of the other kids bought into this tripe, and my son had a hard time defending his position. With that said, MY OPINION is that not only does religion need to be kept out of the classroom, politics (or at least political opinion presented as fact) needs to be kept out out the classroom as well!

s2 said...

Financial Contributor. Just put 2+2. No one has the balls to put a video out like Inconvenient when there money comes from a contradictory source.

Simple deduction, watson.

Anonymous said...

What the hell school do your kids go to???

Anonymous said...

Perhaps NTSA should stand for "National Science Turncoats Association". Selling out like this goes completely against the principles of truth and objectivity that form the foundations of science. Our country deserves better.

Scott Froschauer said...

This is a complete misrepresentation.
The NSTA does not distribute films to its members, no matter who made them. That is not it's business.
They are an association of teachers.
"An Inconvenient Truth" is not the same as "Global Warming." There are elements of the film that are disputed by the scientific community.
Regardless, to claim that the NSTA should change its policies for anyone is to misunderstand the situation completely.
The fact that Exxon/Mobile provides funding to NSTA is entirely parenthetical to the situation.
None of those commenting have the slightest clue who the NSTA is or what they do, it is just an attempt for producers of the film to get publicity by claiming "think of the children that don't get to see our movie!"

Anonymous said...

My kid went to Humphey Elementary School in Chandler, AZ. This is where the teachers paraded around and sang the praises of George Bush to the tune of "God Bless America". In fact, one of the teachers dropped her miniature American flag, and INSISTED ON BURNING IT ON THE SPOT as the patriotic thing to do. She relented only when one of the other teachers intervened. I could write a book about the experiences my kid had with his wacky teachers and other goofy people connected with the Chandler School system...

Anonymous said...

More chronic cowardice on the part of science teachers in the US. First they break over evolution and 'intelligent design' and now this kind of pussyfooting. The bottom line is that no intelligent person with access to information denies global warming. The position that it is a 'theory' is on par with 'flat earth' theory and its proponents should be voilently shouted down.

Odiyya said...

The following is an email reply I supplied to Scott Froschauer, who forwarded me his posted comment via email.


I can comment on a couple things in your opinions. First and foremost
is that, reportedly, the NSTA is saying that a reason for refusing the offer in the first place is an "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters."

So by their own words, they are responding to potential financial
ramifications by accepting a free of charge resource. That is news
worthy in and of itself.

You say that "There are elements of the film that are disputed by the
scientific community." This is a soundbite that is frequently thrown
out, but to date I have not read one reputable scientific source that
takes issue with, or disagrees with, the major assertions or scientific
basis for the film. If you have material to the contrary, I'd be happy to read it.

Other countries that are doing a far better job in tackling global warming are accepting such offers. Why cash strapped American educators
are not is another worthy question to ask - both of the education system, and the political system.

That you say that Exxon providing funding is parenthetical to the situation is interesting to say the least, and arguable naive. If big oil is funding educational institutions and those institutions are putting forward pro industry messages while actively refusing
scientifically valid information that runs contrary to it, that is more than alarming, it's the definition of corrupt.

Anonymous said...

That's pathetic. The destruction of the earth is a "special interest"? "Corporate think" rules the world, and we all suffer for it.

Ryan said...

America's school systems are nothing more than perfectly tuned consumer factories. They produce consumers, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if it was the truth they would not reject it

Anonymous said...

My feedback on the NSTA site:

It's a shame that the NSTA is letting itself being influenced by the Oil industry while taking their money. What I find especially inexcuseable is the rejection of the 50,000 free DVD offer from the producers of "An Inconvenient Truth". What monetary or political ammunition do the producers have to gain from all this? What kind of message is it trying to promote to our future generations? That the NSTA accepts bribes to teach our children whatever dictated by the highest bidder? Look into your roots of your organization: what's the purpose of it and why was it created? Answer those and you shall see the blatant hypocritism of your policies.

Anonymous said...

This is why the Rest of The World views most Americans as nothing more than Egotistical bunch of idiots. To make things worse, you purposely let your children grow up ignorant and deluded to the dangers your generation has caused - shame on you!

Scott Brooks said...


sounds like they should rip it and put it on that they have banned it makes it cool to watch .....power of the net.

Congrats to the special interest groups that fought this have made something banned ....yet you can't stop the dissemination....

knowledge is power ...a book burning gone bad ....hell it even saves on the distribution of tapes ....



Anonymous said...

Please do not combine all teachers and students into the category such as Ryan suggests. The classroom teacher usually has their hands tied and must teach the curriculum handed down to them from their higher-ups. I for one would love to add this to my lessons as I do with most aspects of society. I take pride in knowing that I am teaching my students to be aware of their choices and who is being impacted. I teach high school and many of these students still need to be shown the real way to open their eyes. As a graphic design/photography/computer graphics teacher, I make it a goal for my students to be aware of what controls the environment around them. Using works such as Frontline's "The Persuaders" and FX's "30 Days", I am trying to open the eyes of my students to what really happens. The makers of "An Inconvenient Truth" should bypass their offer and simply give individual teachers the chance to sign up for a DVD and curriculum (much like SuperSize and Bowling for Columbine had come with them) to use at their own regard.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the NTSA for not promoting or being a party to propoganda. You guys on here are amusing. So many of you watch that movie and just buy into it as an absolute truth. So many of you think "we" are the reason global warming is happening. As a Geologist you can look at the rock record and also studies done on ice cores from periods in our ancient past long before the industrial revolution. Radical swings in climate have been going long before we were ever involved.

Please educate yourselves before passing propoganda long to your children as absolutes.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the NTSA for not promoting or being a party to propoganda. You guys on here are amusing. So many of you watch that movie and just buy into it as an absolute truth. So many of you think "we" are the reason global warming is happening. As a Geologist you can look at the rock record and also studies done on ice cores from periods in our ancient past long before the industrial revolution. Radical swings in climate have been going long before we were ever involved.

Please educate yourselves before passing propoganda long to your children as absolutes.

Anonymous said...

Humm.... Easy Fix... Make the Movie Free and allow Free Viewing of it with no MPAA copyright infringements... Free and then the Teachers will go get it on their own without endorsing it. Free will allow them to make the choice of their own fruition.

Anonymous said...

Gee, all of these comments, and not one from a real science teacher, like me.
I am a credentialed teacher with experience in the real world (15+ years as a manufacturing engineer) and 10 years as a physics and chemistry teacher. I teach in an urban school district, and would love to get my hands on free videos of scientific merit.
This isn't one of them.
This is a political document with a single point of view. It does not present both sides of controversial information, and opinion is presented as fact. This sort of polemic screed is not what should be shown in schools. Teaching using this is just as bad as claiming the "What The @#%& Do We Know?" is a marvelous depiction of quantum physics.
What, if instead of this film, a film on Intelligent Design was turned down? Would we hear as much bewailing of "Think of the children"? I think not.
Shoemakers, stick to your lasts. Let those who know how to teach science decide what is to be taught, and keep your ultra-liberal and fundamental-conservative ideas out of my class.

Anonymous said...

I watched this in class the other day. Our teacher went out of the way and rented it. It's quite good.

Anonymous said...

my response: (incredibly long and rambling, but I'm angry)


Shame on you.  

I attended a public high school where the average SAT score was lower than 900.  I scored a 1600--not because of my teachers, but because of my curiosity.

I now know that there are great science teachers--I met them when I entered college and graduate school. Many of my friends did not have this luxury.

For you to undermine what is widely recognized as scientific fact--and instead promote (by ignorance) the ideology of your corporate benefactors is shameful.

I fear for our future if an organization like the NSTA can be bought off.  A lot of kids grow up like me, and we need someone to turn to for the truth, even if it is inconvenient.

Why not poll each of your members, asking for their position on global warming, or more simply, ask the most regarded scientists around the world for their position? Or, perhaps, most simply--ask your staff to submit pro and con arguments? Of course, these suggestions are rhetorical--I know that you already know the truth as well.

This is an incredibly important topic at this point in our history. The NSTA has a moral imperative to spread scientific fact, not scientific ignorance.  

This is not an issue that concerns one movie. It is a question of your integrity on a much larger scale.

If you junk the DVDs, at the very least, you owe to the kids of America (and the Earth) to send out pamphlets on global warming that the scientific community at large belives to be true, updated yearly with current data.

Will you ignore this topic forever?

You answer not just to me, but to the world, and to history.


Anonymous said...

Hey. Offer to give me a free copy and maybe Exxon will pay me to refuse it. That's a great way to make some money ;)

Kate Lindstrom said...

I gave my two cents at their website. I will suggest here what I told them. Is there a way we could get the copies to schools without their help? Possibly with a letter explaining why the NSTA refused to distribute them? If the copies were being made available in the first place, wouldn't it just be a matter of compiling a list of school names and addresses, writing a form letter, and holding a fundraiser to cover postage?

I came here from BoingBoing, I bet they'd probably be willing to publicize an effort to circumvent the NSTA's sorry self-preserving ways. I'd certainly help with my time and efforts, and I'm sure others would as well!

Anonymous said...

Brave "anonymous" wrote:

"I applaud the NTSA for not promoting or being a party to propoganda...So many of you think 'we' are the reason global warming is happening. As a Geologist you can look at the rock record and also studies done on ice cores from periods in our ancient past long before the industrial revolution. Radical swings in climate have been going long before we were ever involved."

You, sir, are a horse's ass.
Of course you know better than the EPA, the NOAA, NASA, the American Meteorological Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, the Royal Society, the French, Australian, German, Italian, Swedish, Canadian, Belgian, Indian, Brazilian, Japanese and Chinese Academies of Sciences -- ALL of whom have taken unequivocal positions that human activity is significantly contributing to global warming, and that we are approaching a tipping point where the earth will suffer catastrophic climate change as the result.
-- R. Haines

Anonymous said...

This really reminds me of

Principal Skinner reads his invitation at school and thinks to himself.
He walks down the hall and looks into Miss Hoover's classroom, where
children sit in front of a TV screen, piled three high and crammed into

Troy: {[on TV] Now turn to the next problem. If you have three
Pepsis and drink one, how much more refreshed are you? You,
the redhead in the Chicago school system?
[a window opens up on the screen to show the girl]}
Girl: {Pepsi?}
Troy: {Partial credit!}

Anonymous said...

More Yippie Yappy nonsense from 'environmentalists'. Most of them haven't got a clue what they are yapping about. Most of the claims of the global warming nonsense have been disputed over and over and over and over...,but that's facts, facts are well... unpopular to say the least. If you are curious please do some research, but if you want to believe the same sound bites that have been repeated over and over, be my guest.

I know, I know, it is different from what you typically hear, but consider this, what if you are wrong? What if you have fallen victim to repeating something that has been repeated so many times that it almost seems ..real? I suggest that you people do some research on this topic.

We've all heard that if the polar ice caps melt we will be doomed and under water. Please try this experiment.

Take a clear glass of water, put some ice cubes in there. Mark the level of the water. Let the ice completely melt. You say that's obvious - the ice melts, thus more water, thus the level will increase.

But! Are you surprised that the level of the water hasn't increased a millimeter? I'm not, I have studied Archimedes principle in school. But the Earth isn't flat, that doesn't apply! Nonsense, so far no one has disproved Archimedes principle. (and I would challenge you to do so)

But there's the issue of carbon dioxide levels elevating?!

Not really an issue if you take a look at the breakdown of greenhouses gases. The majority of the greenhouses gases are water vapor. Depending on who you believe,the water vapor reaches over 90% some say as high as 96%. Carbon dioxide can be up to 4% by composition of greenhouse gases. (Here I say 'can be' and 'up to' because the composition varies with the temperature especially for water vapor.) Point being, this so called carbon dioxide scare is responsible for up to 4% (if you round up) of 'global warming'. But for some reason it just seems larger if you listen to most green heads, their reasoning doesn't jive with facts too well... and another quick thing: Carbon dioxide makes up to 0.037% of gases in the air.

Now you would say, but CO2 has much higher temperature absorption rate than water vapor, and you are right.

However consider the following:
Contribution to warming: water vapor 21 C, CO2 7 C, ozone + methane + nitrous oxide 5 C

The water vapor is still responsible for the most of heat retained.

But there is also the 7 C out of 33 C that is attributed to CO2!! We must be polluting very badly!
Well not really, actually not at all if you look at the facts.

About 186 billion tons of CO2 enter atmosphere each year. Of that, 90b from oceans, 90b from volcanoes and decaying plants, 6b from human activity. 6/186 billions of tons of CO2 are from human activity, give me a break.

You are aware of the concept of solubility, right? Well ocean water, depending on the temperature can contain different amount of materials dissolved. As the temperature increases, the solubility of the water decreases and the vice versa FOR GASES. When the average temperature goes up, the oceans will release some carbon dioxide, when the average temperature goes down - oceans absorb the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere back into the water.

Taking into consideration that the sun is the brightest in about 400 years and that there is a global warming happening on Mars, the polar ice caps are melting.

Perhaps global warming is more global than people think?

It should be almost intuitive that if two systems are powered by the same energy source and they both exhibit the same effect, there *sarcasm added* MIGHT be a chance that there is something going on with the common energy source.

I challenge any “The earth is falling!! We need Kyoto” environmentalist greenhead to explain to me in clear terms how we are causing global warming on Mars. Please, I am dying to know!!! (unless they are full of crap, but that's just unlikely, or is it?)

But, but, but! We have the famous hockey-stick shaped (steady steady steady then suddenly rises) which proves that global warming is for real!!! Please research how that graph was constructed. I know, doing factual research is harder than linking to another fella's blog, but give it a try... you may even like it.

On the topic of research. Find the average temperature in Antarctica, no one can agree on that!

I have listed several factors that come into my head right away, if you examine "We have poisoned the Earth and have created global warming" statement by statement and question facts and logic, other than conjunctions and choice of hysteric language nothing remains.

Please thank NSTA for starting to put an end to the "Earth is falling" BS and teach kids real science as opposed to propaganda. Thank NSTA for helping to send a clear message that they do not want to be a part of creating another generation of yappers who, by their shier numbers, help fund useless money draining study after study after study and implement useless programs because the general public will feel that they have done their part to preserve the mother Earth.

I wish to remain anonymous as these type of comments are not taken lightly and result in hatred from the people that do not bother to conduct even elementary fact checking.

Peace all!

MisterAnt said...

It is up to parents to demand that their kids be educated, not propagandized by big business. If parents will not stand up to the NSTA and take action concerning the fact that children in America are not getting a good education in public schools, then the fight for our children to be properly educated will be lost.

Lucas Reid Cooper-Bey said...

someone here said this:
Anonymous said...
Gee, all of these comments, and not one from a real science teacher, like me.
I am a credentialed teacher with experience in the real world (15+ years as a manufacturing engineer) and 10 years as a physics and chemistry teacher. I teach in an urban school district, and would love to get my hands on free videos of scientific merit.
This isn't one of them.
This is a political document with a single point of view. It does not present both sides of controversial information, and opinion is presented as fact. This sort of polemic screed is not what should be shown in schools. Teaching using this is just as bad as claiming the "What The @#%& Do We Know?" is a marvelous depiction of quantum physics.
What, if instead of this film, a film on Intelligent Design was turned down? Would we hear as much bewailing of "Think of the children"? I think not.
Shoemakers, stick to your lasts. Let those who know how to teach science decide what is to be taught, and keep your ultra-liberal and fundamental-conservative ideas out of my class.
9:36 PM  

I believe there is more truth than falsity in this film. and i think it would be productive to have children be motivated to make changes in how they view there actions and what impact they have on the world. This movie can only be beneficial to our community.
As teachers, i suggest you do the research and pin point the inaccuracies thoughout the movie wile teaching. An Inconvenient Truth" would make a wonderful templet.
For the organization that governs teachers of science to negate the possibility is suggestive that there is an ulterior motive.

One more thing- this person said something i find vary offensive: "Let those who know how to teach science decide what is to be taught"

It cant be up to just the teachers.

There's no such word as "credentialed"

Anonymous said...

"National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)"

Well they just taught us all something, money is more important than anything else in the world. But like Gore points out in the film, you cant have money without a world.

T. Micklow said...

Global warming is a reality. The cause of which has not been proven to be purely fossil fuel emissions. Do they contribute? Surely they do. We must reduce emissions by changing the way we live our lives. However, there are natural explanations for climate change, such as the 'medieval warm period'. We must take care of our ecosystem, yes, but we should also examine these sensationalist and alarmist productions such as "An Inconvenient Truth" with a grain of salt, and examine them in our current political context.

Al Gore's political life is DOA. What's more, while Democrats have made huge strides in recent elections, they remain and-at the time of the release of Gore's 'truth'-very much were a ramshackle party without any pervasive mantra disseminated from a central party leader--no real congruent voice. They are merely anti-Bush, and anti-Rove. Say what you will about Rove, he knows how to deliver a consistent message, whatever that may be.

Democrats needed to establish a political agenda to run on in 2008. Gore's movie, which does contain valid points, is merely a political cement mixer that has laid a foundation Democrats can pontificate from in 2008-- albeit while flying their charted jets, tooling around in SUVs, not really giving a rats ass about the environment, but getting votes anyway.

Anonymous said...

Although I am appalled that the NSTA would refuse a donation of these movies - instead of blaming oil companies and school systems - shouldn't we perhaps look to other avenues of teaching our children. Local communities could offer to have a group viewing of the movie - free of charge. Have a discussion group afterwards and invite a speaker to attend. Most importantly, however, PARENTS are the main key to raising educated and internationally conscious children. People are always quick to pass the blame to schools and education systems - when we are all aware that they are run by commitees and are flawed. Parents need to step up to the plate and take responsibility as well.

Chubby Rain said...

To "annonymous" who wrote

"I attended a public high school where the average SAT score was lower than 900. I scored a 1600--not because of my teachers, but because of my curiosity."

What relevance does this statement have to anything? Do you offer this information up before you enter any conversation?

Good work on the 1600, but who the heck cares, this says nothing about how knowledgeable or smart you are.

As for the movie, it shouldn't be kept out of classrooms, but it shouldn't be considered as a reference or scientific informational piece. It has too much political baggage. If you want to show something in class, find a more scientifically recognized organization to produce a peice on the problem. This way politics don't enter the issue.

Anonymous said...

wrot the NTSA as well

Anonymous said...

>>"I am a credentialed teacher with experience in the real world (15+ years as a manufacturing engineer) and 10 years as a physics and chemistry teacher. I teach in an urban school district, and would love to get my hands on free videos of scientific merit.
This isn't one of them.
This is a political document with a single point of view. It does not present both sides of controversial information, and opinion is presented as fact. This sort of polemic screed is not what should be shown in schools.<<

You're not a SCIENTIST, you idiot! The actual SCIENTISTS who have reviewed "An Inconvenient Truth" have nearly unanimously praised it as accurate.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you guys will kill yourselves screaming about how we need to stop the Earth's climate from doing what it has done for millions of years... fluctuating. The hockey stick is broken. Please stop claiming that all the "real scientists" are on your side, that just reveals your intellectual dishonesty. If you'd like an education, please read:

or don't... I really don't care.

Anonymous said...

Has it occured to many of you that the scientists with disenting opinions may be just as valid? Seeing that "An Inconvienient Truth" is only one side of the Global Warming debate. Students should be taught how to think, not what to think in an agenda driven topic.

Good that the NSTA recognized that there are consiquences for teaching politics rather than undisputed fact.

Anonymous said...

What have the scientists who hold a different view of AIT thought of the scientific validity of the film? Of course the film was reviewed by scientists who agree. Still doesn't mean the perspective is balanced or true.

Anonymous said...

hey chubby rain, what that person means by talking about her high SAT scores is that students can watch the movie on their own. Their parents can buy it for them. Should schools be expected to import everything deemed worthy of a student's attention? They had the opportunity to see it in theaters, unlike the other scientific films that are brought into the classroom. The NSTA simply said its not going to promote Al's movie. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Laurie David finds the truth inconvenient. According to an NSTA statement (, while they did not agree to distribute the DVD directly, THEY DID offer to make the DVD available through other means of distribution (making its mailing list available, through publications, at its conference etc). Apparently, Ms. David and her representatives never replied to this offer. Why would she not respond at all to this offer, and instead choose to skewer NSTA in the national media? Sounds to me like Ms. David was less concerned about getting this movie into the hands of science teachers, and more concerned about creating media buzz conveniently timed with the release of the movie on DVD. Whether or not she ever sees a penny personally is irrelevant. I guess this is the danger of accepting an op-ed piece as truth, convenient as it may be.

Dave said...

I'm not sure how the movie is "factually incorrect" when just about every public scientific organization has said it was accurate. Maybe there are other "independent" scientific organizations and "think tanks" which claim otherwise, but I think you will find without too much digging that they are funded by special interests.

This is just one of those occasions.

What's interesting is that regular people think they need to take a political stance on this movie. I mean, what exactly do you disagree with? Are you a climate scientist with conflicting data, or did you just selectively read some web pages that discredit the movie? Or is it because you're a republican you have to parrot the party line? It is because you feel bad inside that you drive a monster SUV? What is it? I want to know.

Anonymous said...

No such word?

"The use of the participle credentialed to refer to certified teachers and other professionals is well established."


And I don't care how offended you are. When amateurs come into your office telling you how to do your job, you would get offended, just like I am when amateurs tell me how to teach.

Anonymous said...

"You're not a SCIENTIST, you idiot! The actual SCIENTISTS who have reviewed "An Inconvenient Truth" have nearly unanimously praised it as accurate."

Gosh, I'm glad that you have reviewed my resume, with my Bachelor's and Masters degrees in Physics, and have decided I'm not a scientist.

How nice it is to live in a world of certainty.

Kimberly said...

I for one think this film could be useful in classrooms. However, how likely is it, given the current political climate, that the film would be shown in order to generate genuine discussion about what can and can't be done to combat global warming? Would any teacher be willing to host discussions about how companies like Exxon might be doing a lot to help combat global warming? Or would it revert to nothing other than the usual US/Republican/capitalist bashing?

If this film helped even one student decide to go into the hard sciences in college, I'd be in favor of it, but I seriously doubt that in today's public school system it would be used as anything other than propaganda - schools today want "protestors" and "activists" who "care" about nature, not actual scientists.

Odiyya said...

For those interested, I've posted a follow up article addressing the NSTA's press release. You can read it on the main page or by clicking here.

Anonymous said...

I stopped using Exxon gas after the E. Valdez hit the rocks, and now I will immediately stop using any Mobil products. (I'd stop driving altogether if I could, but I have a small child to haul around. However, I drive a small car and I work as an environmental planner for local government.)

Pete Bogs said...

lobbyists not only own Congress, but now, apparently, the NSTA...

FieryLocks said...

Everyone who is a parent should take it upon themselves to show this movie to their entire family...especially your children! It's their future that is being threatened.

Anonymous said...

The Truth of Inconvenience!

hauksdottir said...

My letter to them (longish, but I'm pissed, too). I have seen the glaciers melt over the decades, with my own eyes, and wonder how can people be so blind as to not see!

Truth or Consequences?

Is truth inconvenient when it might possibly annoy some of your corporate backers? Do you dance to the bidding of the profit-bloated oil companies, pushing their promotional material, while ignoring peer-reviewed scientifically-backed information?

Is it more important for children to learn that all their clothes are made of petrochemicals or that we humans can and do affect the totality of life on this planet?!?!?

Are consequences inconvenient if you fail to meet a funding goal? Or if we as a nation fail to do what we can to mitigate pollution and waste? Are they inconvenient when the entire world's supply of fresh water is depleted? When air pollution is so bad that just breathing without a filter is life-threatening? When the oceans die and people go hungry? When the seas rise and people drown? At what point will you find it inconvenient?

Wars for oil are bloody enough, but we don't require oil for life. When humans fight over water supplies and clean air and food, we'll see true desperation.

Would it not be better to teach children to examine the science and the evidence, including rebutting points, or are you so blinded by the flash of money that you cannot see beyond it?

Carolly Hauksdottir

Josephine Nobile said...

Thank you, everyone, for sharing this information. From now on, I will be boycotting all Exxon/Mobil products, particularly gasoline. (I am already boycotting propane because Ferrellgas is tied in with "National Contracts"; I prefer that when I heat my home (now w/ electric heaters), no profit goes to the War Party efforts. I welcome impeachment proceedings to remove "President" Bush and "Vice-President" Cheney from office promptly, if not sooner. :)

Denis Robert said...

There should be a call to arms: Science Teachers around the country should resign their memberships to the NSTA in protest. Then, and only then, seeing that their paychecks might be affected, will the executive of the NSTA get the message.

Denis Robert said...

To one of the Anonymouses (the so-called science teacher):

The film is NOT propaganda; it is NOT one-sided. Both these words imply that there is a valid counter-position that should get equal play. There simply is NO SUCH THING. The scientific consensus is overwhelming. There are NO respectable critics anymore (outside of the petroleum and coal industries). Dr Gray, one of the last holdouts, is about to retire (and even then, his position is that Global Warning has had no impact on hurricanes AT THIS TIME; he makes no real claims beyond that).

So, instead of comparing accepting "An Inconvenient Truth" to accepting a film on Intelligent Design (What a canard! Intelligent Design has NO scientific foundation; not a single peer reviewed paper), you may want to make the proper comparison: A film on the fact that the Earth is round, or that Gravity exists. For that's the extent of the consensus.

What you are doing is exactly what the oil industry has been doing for years: Attempting to artificially create a controversy where there is none. THAT SIR, IS PROPAGANDA.

You may be a "Science" teacher, but I doubt that you are a scientist.

Anonymous said...


Where'd you get your credentials?
Intelligent Design is not science, moron. Thank God my kids aren't in your class. YOU are what's wrong with this country.

Diganta said...

What I would suggest is the following.

Why not give the movie away for free on iTunes. By pass the NSTA teachers and let the
students download it onto their computers or video enabled iPods. Al Gore is on the
board of directors of Apple, I'm sure he can work something out with Steve Jobs. All
Apple has to do is foot the bill for storage and download bandwidth. If Paramount
isn't happy about giving away the movie for free to the public at large, then restrict
it to people who qualify as students. This eliminates the cost of producing and
distributing DVDs.

My 2 cents

Anonymous said...

I am tired of the ad hominem attacks on me, my profession, and what I teach, since none of you have a clue what I do.
I am exactly what you should want from a teacher. I teach my subject matter, and damned well. I am a scientist, too. Published and everything, including a textbook.
Today, we touched on this subject in my Physics classes in a discussion of thermodynamics. We were looking at the Earth as an open system in dynamic equilibrium, and I pointed out that anything that is done to upset that equilibrium will be a really, really bad thing for all of us, since we are used to the status quo, that is, the climate that we have been enjoying since the last Ice Age. Anything that we can do to ameliorate the very real and very rapid warming that we are experiencing would be a prudent thing to do since we all are probably contributing to the problem in ways we don't even realize, such as using a lot of electricity to run computers to play games, buying cars that use a lot of fuel, etc.
There. Done. In a few minutes instead of two class periods that it would take to show the movie.
And I will revisit these themes repeatedly in order to make sure that they understand them and have integrated them into their understanding of the way in which energy affects their lives.
Since you all have taken it on yourselves to tell me how to do my job, I would love to see all of you go to your local high school and volunteer to assist the chemistry, geology, and physics teachers to teach a unit in energy and the environment that meets all of the federal, state, and local curriculum standards -- for free.

Definitions for those who can't use capitals:

ad hominem
1. a logical fallacy, arguing that an idea or concept is wrong because its proponent is flawed
2. an attempt to argue against an opponent's idea by discrediting the opponent himself
3. a personal attack

To make better, to improve; to heal or solve a problem.

status quo
The state of things; used in English to refer to the way things are, as opposed to the way they could be; the existing state of affairs.

The science of the conversions between heat and other forms of energy.

Gus M. Glover said...

have to weigh in on the side of Anonymous the Teacher

i don't see anywhere that they don't think that global warming is taking place

all they said is they didn't like this film, and they are being called IDIOT and MORON

really good way to make a point

don't blame 'em for keeping anonmous

Anonymous said...

I want to respond to :
Please educate yourselves before passing propoganda long to your children as absolutes.
8:27 PM

Educating our children means teaching them about reading for bias,being able to recognize bias, and researching both sides of an situation. As Science teachers we are charged with teaching skills to create the next generation of scientists. Those students must be individuals that question, form hypothesis, experiment, adjust hypothesis, and find supporting evidence. How can teachers do that if we do not provide both sides of a story? I'm a science teacher...I will show the DVD or portions of it if I can find a place that it supports my curriculum..(hmm, I teach continuity and change),but the bottom line is that I provide information for thinking students to form their own opinion. While climate change is a natural part of our planet, as stated by several other scientists here, there is substantial supporting evidence that the human race is contributing to these changes. We are beings that accept 'wonderful' new technologies without full knowledge of the liabilities. We have done it over and over again, i.e. nuclear power, vaccinations, drugs with side effects, the combustion engine, the cotton gin. Let us use what we need to teach our children to think and engage them in thought provoking discussion. I do not teach absolutes! I am an NSTA member and I am proud of the many good things that organization does for Science in schools. Oh, so you say they are not perfect? Welcome to the real world.

Steve Comprehensive Science Physics Core. said...

Please take time to read NSTA's response, and get the whole story before reaching a verdict. I have been a member for 4 years, and I would not continue to be if I thought they were unscientific in any endeavor--especially the problem of global warming.

Kye said...

All right...we have data prooving facts about global warming...we want to advertise it to the world to save us from a world wide disaster...we offer free DVDs about it...and NSTA (which should be jumping on scientific facts in an instant) is afraid that they are going to lose funding...well, without an earth, you cannot have funding...sorry for you, NSTA...we are not smiling anymore.

somisseagle13 said...

i'm a teacher, and i would just about lay face down on the bus ramp to get a free copy of this...
once again, however, those who think they have the power to speak for us, have, and in doing so, set us up to be pigeonholed based on a few previous instances

to heck with exxon-mobil---all they ever did for me is give me a lighter feeling sensation in my wallet after filling up my gas tank...

Cameron W said...

Re: Anonymous teacher...

Your comment above, painting this documentary as one-sided and partisan, shows that it is you who is blinded by partisan ideals.

Don't believe the climate change disinformation skeptics. They are paid by big oil to spread doubt, just like pseudo-scientists and 'experts' were paid years ago to cast doubt over whether cigarettes were really harmful to your health.

Same game for them.

Please see:
(to see the show at cbc, click on the little red camera on the right, under 'watch the 5th estate online.')

Anonymous said...

Please don't forget that the head of NSTA that made these decisions are not science teachers. Science teachers probably care more than anybody and the average science teacher doesn't care much about the bottom line of NSTA. NSTA is a great resource for science teachers but to say that the average science teacher has been bought out by an oil company is rediculous. I belong to NSTA and strongly disagree with the decision and have applied for the free DVD.

Anonymous said...

One of the earlier posts alluded to the article:

The article tells of a professor Bob Carter who denounces the claims of the film saying it is hardly scientific.

It is interesting to note that Bob Carter's research turns out to be funded by Exxon.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Corporate sponsorship is everywhere and largely invisible! -Harald Mackenzie

juandos said...

I ask you, who but a completely delusional libtard can believe in the myth of global warming?

Richard Greenly said...

For there to be people out there to still think global warming is a myth is beyond me. "Education kills fear."

Of course it is going to take some kind of disaster to have people realize this. In order to give global warming it's much needed recognition, it needs not only to be taught in schools and a global stand!

Stephanie said...

I am a teacher and a member of NSTA, although I was disappointed that I was not able to get a FREE copy of inconvinent truth I understand why they rejected the offer to give all NSTA members a copy of the movie. The movie is not void of political commentary. I show it to my students but I have to tell my students the political background of Al Gore in order for them to understand some of Gore's off hand comments regarding the current administration. Although I agree with Al Gore, all of the movie is not pure fact and should not be presented to the classroom as such. NSTA endorses material that is not politically motivated, which this movie in some ways is. Additionally I did get an opportunity to get a copy for free through the database of e-mails that I believe NSTA provided. In fact within a 2 day period I got 3 e-mails telling me know to sign up and get a free movie. In the end the teachers get their movie and NSTA does not have to compromise their status as a unbiased professional organization for science teachers.

neil said...

It doesn't really matter if teachers present the movie 'an Inconvenient truth' to their students, but I believe they have an obligation to present the current undisputed scientific evidnece. There are facts about Global warming in this movie that should be taught in our schools. If NSTA doesn't support this media for the presentation of this info fine, but what are they doing to ensure the science is taught in a more 'acceptable' format.

It's really too bad because Gore presents with overwhelming clarity at level you don't have to be a science teacher to understand.

Puud said...

Interesting & thanks for the "heads up". Not all teachers support this and I am sure there was some polical pull on the board making this decision. What a shame.

Thanks for those who posted the feedback info.

Steph said...

It's shocking. I was telling my mother the other night that I don't remember being shocked or disgusted or feeling scarred for life when first I learned about sex, but I vividly remember asking her what the NO CFC's label on our insect repellent meant. I was about six or seven, I think- and she explained to me that we were killing our world. I just couldn't understand, and I still don't why we aren't doing more.

S. Lorenzen said...

I contacted Laurie David as an educator and asked for one of the copies they were offering to schools...she told me to go buy a copy! I teach technology education and mentioned to her that she could try the ITEA or other group linked to technology education. I do not believe she has, however, she did ask if I would do an interview with a Washington Post reporter on the subject. I never heard from the reporter. 50,000 free copies to education and could not send one to an individual teacher...something doesn't jive.

brainsnorts said...

i'm disturbed that there are comments here that are criticizing teachers for the decision that was made by a national organization and far from the hands of the actual science teachers. you should not be criticizing "teachers" in general about this issue nor the science teachers organization. you should be criticizing the exxon-mobil corporation for threatening to pull funding because an education association wants to hear both sides of the story. as far as i'm concerned the only bad information is NO information. i want to hear bad information because i can learn from it. i can learn what to avoid and who to be wary of. the idea that exxon-mobil would pull funding only further supports the claim by green organizations that the oil giant is the worst polluter on the planet. if they weren't, they wouldn't want to hide what al gore has to say.

Odiyya said...

Tough for me to say. I do know that since this original issue occured the AIN team made the 50,000 copies available for free on a first come first serve basis, but that offer was only to run until Jan 18. (see my previous post here.

Could it be that you contacted her after that date, once all of the copies had been given away?

Colin said...

"An Inconvenient Truth" is not based on sound science at all. And in fact "sound science" really isnt that reliable either. Science is an inductive study, unlike philosphy which is deductive. take a man walking his dog. a scientist would see him one day walking a doberman, anotehr day walking a spaniel, and finally one day walking a poodle. the scientist would then induct that all the man's pets are dogs. now if you tell a philospher that all the man's pets are dogs and he is currently walking an animal, what is he walking, he would deduct that it is a dog. This is the problem with inductive thinking: it is all based on the logical fallacy of "post hoc ergo proptor hoc" literally meaning "after this, therefore because of this." Let me cite to you the 1930's new york baby killing. Everyone believed that the sudden increase in infant mortality was because of poisonous gas floatig up from freshly laid asphalt. however a heat wave was killing the babies and making the gas rise. they made a hasty generalization because when one thing happened so did another. We have only been reading CO2 levels for roughly 50 years, hardly enough to blame the destruction of the planet on. This is also an arguement from ignorance. "well..." you might say "we havent proved it isnt global warming." Well you havent proved it is. So some lakes have dried up...yes around desserts. Some flooding has occured...yes...around places where flooding tends to occur. Also look at all of the irrelevent appeals to pity the man uses: loss of election, son almost dying, dead sister, man against the world. There is a reason he is one man against so many...he is blowing the problem way out of proportion. Look at the great deal of money the man ahs made. ANd he tells us to convert our energy when he himself admittedly has not yet converted his HOMES (plural) to green energy. I rest my case. These are just a few of the many logical fallacies. IM an 18 year old kid, and fairly liberal i might add, but al gore is a moron, just like our president George "DubYA" Bush.

Odiyya said...

Wow, there you have it folks.

2,000 top scientists agree that global warming is real, but thanks to 18 year old colin, I now see that myself, and every well read person in the hemisphere, has been collosally duped.

If anyone from Exxon is reading, i now see that your baseless denial of climate change was in fact a visionary truth tirelessly put forward (and funded by) an oppressed minority.

However, I feel my the full conversion of my spirit is still falling short. Perhaps if you could cut me a juicey paycheque like you do for these guys, my journey to the dark side would be complete.


Anonymous said...

If Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" is so crucial for all to see, why not air it on all national networks?
Too much money to be made from mass hysteria perhaps. I smell a bigger rat than the oil companies.

Odiyya said...

i don't know, thats up to the networks, why don't you ask them? perhaps they are the rat your smelling

14 year ol filipino said...

The News Really Make me sad really as a 14 YEAR OLD student in the PHILIPPINES. An Inconvenient Truth is really a good video. It will surely help YOUR students to know more about the EARTH. Here in the Philippines, the video is very much welcomed. And some says that you AMERICANS hate talking about global warming because you people, are the largest "PRODUCER" of greenhouse gases and I hope you'll never be proud of it. Anyway, YOU are not affected of the danger, WE are the one affected.

I hope you can feel the heat we are now suffering because of some nature destroyers and the biggest one is yours. So please think,... think us

help us

Anonymous said...

to anonymous yapper, you're such an idiot..the one who keeps saying yaap..and telling that WE environmentalists YAPPER,,i hope you can feel the effects of global warming and pherhaps it'll kill you someday

Anonymous said...

TO the one who said that WE ENVIRONMENTALISTS are yappers or what ever, all i can say that you are all wrong, your surveys and %%%%% is nonsense!, i hope you will experience the effects of global warming and perhaps it'll kill you!

Odiyya said...

on a calmer note, any and all accusation against al gore alluded to above have been largely discredited. for the latest updates and facts, you can check out my most recent post Al Gore to Unveil Model Green Home.

Al said...

I have just seen Gore's film for the last time and it is full of lies and propaganda. I challenge anyone to explain to me what scientific proof there is in the film that CO2 is responsible for the current warming trend. There is none at all. There is no doubt the earth is getting warmer but this is clearly a natural phenonema.

For anyone hurls abuse at me I would like to say that I have degrees in a scientific subject and have published scientific papers in internationally recognised journals so am therefore reasonable qualified to decide what is good science and what isn't. I'm also not an American, therefore I have no political bias against Gore.

Odiyya said...

That's easy Al. The film does not contain "scientific proof", it is a presentation of evidence based on science. The evidence he presents is well researched and backed up by science, but he's obviously not going launch into a dissertation during a powerpoint presentation.

In short, it's a presentation made for the lay person who wants to become aquainted with the issue. The examples he brings forward are scientifically supported and factual, but it is not a presentation of scientific evidence (any more than a newspaper article is). That role goes to scientific journals.

Marisa said...

I think that we have to look beyond "scientific fact" and "actual evidence" and "credentialed teacher" to the heart of the matter. We are polluting the earth. Whether it is causing global warming or not is apparently debatable. All too often debates spiral out of control and those involved forget about integrity and respect. We don't need more words about who said what when and why. We need to look deeper. What's not debatable is that it's a bad thing to pollute the earth and we all know it, so let's stop doing it.

MR. Nature said...

yeah right...All I can say..people not beliveing this..."stupid" it is.
Is this what you call people a lie?
This is the truth. Maybe you people contradicting the concepts displayed on the movie are just afraid to face the truth! THE EARTH IS DETERIORATING! believe them.
This is the topic our teacher was discussing when I was o the 3rd it is now

oldtree said...


Anonymous said...

does anyone have a link to download this movie free. I would really like to see it. thanks for any help

Anonymous said...

I am also a Filipino. I really wish, hope and pray that everyone, particularly those people in the "1st World" will commit themselves into helping resolve the problem. You guys don't know how it is in our country. We are experiencing such hot temperature lately these past years. I am not saying that we're the only one experiencing this. I know everybody are. I'm just very worried for the reason that our country may possibly be erased from the world map. My and my other countrymen's life is as important as yours. So those who says its too late, I think not. Nothing is too late specially when our own lives are at stake.

Anonymous said...

Those adults out there. Please do help us children in bringing back what you guys took from us. It is not too late. We can still save our world

Anonymous said...

Don't lump all teacher together, I'm a science teacher and I show AIT every year...... and please don't knock the fact that an educational organization didn't want to mess with their funding, there is so little of it I can understanding not wanting to lose it......

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