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15 May 07
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One week before Earth Day, the professors of the RWU course, "Core 101: Science, Technology and Society," required their students to watch An Inconvenient Truth. The students were not presented with any other viewpoint on global warming.
Controversy erupted when the president of RWU’s College Republicans club complained to assistant dean Jeffrey Hughes, "With the issue of global warming being such a highly politicized topic, with the scientific community unsure if global warming is man-induced or part of the natural cycle of the earth, do you think that it is intellectually honest to only show the alarmist viewpoint?"
Hughes responded that Gore’s movie is an "ideal subject for a Core lab" because "the point of Core is to inform students of scientific principles and help them make decisions on issues with a scientific basis in their everyday lives," according to a CNSNews.com report.
Dean Hughes continued, "After an initial and heated debate, scientists no longer question whether the atmosphere is being warmed due to human activities and instead are increasingly impressed with the speed and impact of the process.
"I repeat: There is no doubt that we’re warming the earth and that a continuation of our activities will lead to profound changes. Penguins, polar bears and your unborn children have no vote in this. They must live with decisions we make today. As educators, we’re charged to encourage your intellectual growth.
"That can (actually, will) be uncomfortable at times, and we’re also here to help you deal with that discomfort. It’s truly what makes being a human such a joy, privilege and challenge.""
But if anyone has learned about how "uncomfortable" learning can be, it is Dean Hughes, who seems to have changed his mind about RWU’s one-sided global warming curriculum.
An RWU spokesman told me that the backlash against the required viewing of Gore’s movie prompted Dean Hughes to "explore alternatives" to teaching global warming. The spokesman said that one alternative includes the presentation this fall of the counter-alarmism movie, The Great Global Warming Swindle, a Channel 4 (U.K.) documentary that is best described as must-see global warming TV.
(I’m heartened by this backlash to the "gullible warming" propaganda machine.)
As the chastened Dean Hughes learned, while many people have made up their minds about global warming, many others have not. Further, there is evidence that, when presented with both sides of the debate, many believers end up changing their mindset from alarmism to skepticism about the alleged climate crisis.
It’s time to learn that bias plus teaching does not equal education.
Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRWatch.com. He is a junk science expert, and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
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