Who is educating who?

  Blackhat 18:18 06 May 2007
Locked

A thread here a while ago indicated some basic flaws in the documentary by Al Gore entitled "An inconvenient truth"

I saw the program "The great global warming swindle" and have to agree that Al's documentary is not compleatly true (only my opion) but if this is the case why then is every secondary school in the UK being sent this video?

There is a legal challenge already under way
click here

The origonal thread is here, comments on the films in question are on page 3.
click here

Does anybody agree that uncorroborated material should be used to educate our children?

  Kate B 18:24 06 May 2007

Not a problem for the Americans, who teach creationism and Intelligent Design in their schools!

  Blackhat 18:27 06 May 2007

Kate B.

Yes, but thats in America, why should we abopt their policies on education?

  Forum Editor 18:35 06 May 2007

has been used to educate our children for decades. I remember being taught that Germany was an evil country, full of evil people, and that Britain singlehandedly won the second world war - at least that's how it cam across to me at the time.

Neither of those assertions was true of course, but hey, what did that matter?

When it comes to the environment I think almost any information is better than no information at all. We can argue about the finer points until the methane-producing cows come home, but I would be surprised to hear anyone seriously arguing that the world doesn't have some massive environmental problems to contend with.

Children aren't all stupid blank canvas, they will read and see lots of stuff about the environment as they grow up, and they'll shuffle everything into some kind of perspective, just as I did on the Germany/second world war subject.

Bring on the uncorroboarted material, let our children see it for themselves, and as they assume responsibility for their lives, and for the planet on which they'll live, let them decide for themselves what is, and what isn't worth believing. I hope the legal challenge fails. At least Al Gore has done something - I don't see our government coming up with anything similar.

  tried 19:13 06 May 2007

germany wasent evil its just that Mr hitler though he could rule the world! unfotunately old churchill decided hang on a minite guys this chap is bombing poland and gosh his troops and tanks are crashing into france thankfully the free world came and gave us a hand to win!trouble is who won thats the real qustion?

  Kate B 19:30 06 May 2007

"germany wasent evil" - er, yes, that's the point. Children were taught that Germany was evil when it wasn't.

  tried 19:40 06 May 2007

Thanks Kate at liest someone agrees with the rubbish I write! trouble is I cant speel liest!!

  robgf 01:52 07 May 2007

Surely it makes sense for both sides to present their opinions on global warming and allow children to make up their own minds.
It's a very big subject and neither side has positive proof yet and probably wont for decades.

That said, whether global warming exists, or not, I think it is prudent to preserve oil, gas and nuclear fuel stocks, for as long as possible, by using alternative energy.
Diversifying energy sources also protects the country against economic blackmail and makes the country more secure in the event of another large war.

Incidentally, I don't remember ever being taught that Germany was "evil". It wasn't very popular (there had just been a war!), but not evil.
We were taught that Britain was civilised and every other country needed a "helping hand", to sort out their affairs.
Britain then, was about like America is now, always thought it new best.

  Kate B 12:20 07 May 2007

I'm not agreeing with you, I was trying to show you that you missed the point of the FE's post.

robgf, yes, that's the important bit, that all sides of the argument are presented, but I think it's got to be done dispassionately, ie without saying "this is wrong" or "this is right". You can say that the science tends to suggest that global warming is a manmade phenomenon and then use it as a springboard to discuss reliable sources vs unreliable ones, the magic of PR and how Al Gore is bound to attract attention, etc etc.

  Forum Editor 13:11 07 May 2007

the information I received there came at me from two sources - teachers and textbooks. That meant I absorbed what the system had decided I would absorb, and so did all my contemporaries. At home I was exposed to more information, and that came via TV/radio/newspapers/books/my parents.

Quite early on in my secondary education something happened to make me realise that not all adults thought the same, and that it wasn't easy to decide what was the correct version of something. It dawned on me that it was up to me to make up my mind, and once that happened I was liberated - I could explore the world on my own account, and gather information for myself.

The event that triggered this personal watershed was a school trip to a nearby engineering works. The company made precision parts for high-performance cars, and over lunch we were joined by one of the engineers. He was a Hungarian refugee, and made camshafts to very high tolerances. He told me how he had grown up in Hungary, and a little of what it was like to have to flee your own country and start again. It was a wonderful conversation, and opened my eyes to another side of life.

That's the kind of experience children need, and whether or not the information they're given about environmental issues is 100% correct isn't that important. What really matters is that they learn about diversity of opinion, and that they form their own views, hopefully using the sound set of values given to them by their parents.

  Wilham 14:10 07 May 2007

I was impressed in the TV Warming Swindle programme by the graph of atmospheric CO2 against Earth's temperature long-term. Of course one has to be cautious, but here the data was supported by academics who would hardly risk the reputation of their university departments.

No one doubted Global Warming. No one denied the associated rise in CO2. The pertinent observations included... (i) Closeness of the two undulating graphs, and (ii) The rise in temperature was ahead of the CO2 lift.

The increased CO2 came from from warming sea water. It would have helped to compare the volume of CO2 in Earth's oceans against vol of CO2 in atmosphere, but it did give 800 years estimate for temp. to stabilise in ocean deeps. It also gave how small man's CO2 emissions were small against natural sources.

I think what is missing in the next step is the Maths relationship between the pressure in a bubble and its radius. Differential calculus is used to show the property that pressure difference across a surface (such as an elastic membrane) is a function of the reciprocal of the radius of curvature. OK, we don't want a page of equations, so in practical terms it means the more you blow up a balloon the lower becomes the pressure inside. Reversing this ... and the pressure rises as you let out air. In practice, as the radius of a raindrop becomes v small, the surface tension becomes impossibly high. So there is no such thing as a stable very tiny raindrop!

Because of this, supersaturated air cannot initiate raindrops in the sky. Water can condense to enlarge existing drops, or it can 'form dew' on anything around, and wonderfully clears pollution. Latent heat loss with turbulence at aero wingtips can form ice crystals. The Wilson Cloud Chamber demonstrated how particle rays do the same thing, and hence must particles emitted by the Sun.

The final link in the Global Warming Swindle shows the graph of particle strength from Sun spots leading the global temp rises.

I am bewildered by the apparent rejection of the GWSwindle by the press and politicians. Could it be to do with urgent need to save Earth's resources?

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