21 January 2008

Small town turns down Nobel laureate

Climate Talk’s Cancellation Splits a Town

When you don't know who you're dealing with, its much easier to make a fool of yourself.

But when some residents complained that his presentation here would be one-sided because no opposing view would be offered, the superintendent of Choteau School District No. 1, Kevin St. John, canceled it.
Those who complained misunderstood the content of the talk, Mr. St. John said, but there was no time to explain to all of them that Dr. Running was a leading scientist rather than an agenda-driven ideologue.

A portion of the community seemed to think they were turning down someone crazy tree hugger. But this isn't about laughing at the people of the town for acting like back water hicks; this is about the fact that the superintendent caved into the pressure and treated the scientific consensus as a merely one opinion that would need another to balance it out. Truth is not determine by a vote.

Some students however are smart enough to recognize when their elders are not as wise as they claim.

The controversy here intensified when a local student’s article criticizing school officials was published Monday on the student-created “Class Act Page” of The Great Falls Tribune, a statewide daily.

“I was insulted as a high school student prepared to enter the world I need to hear both sides of the story,” the student, Kip Barhaugh, 17, said in an interview Tuesday. “I don’t feel there is another side. Global warming is not a controversial issue, it’s a fact. We need to be prepared to deal with it.”

Hearing this makes me slightly more optimistic. Just because the other generations are still fighting a pointless "debate" about global warming, doesn't mean we can't see the truth of the situation. We've already figured that part out and are moving on to the real questions; how are we going to take care of this problem?

That sound you here is an entire generation sighing and rolling their eyes as their parents argue about whats happening and why, when they've already started changing the light bulbs and researching how to switch the truck to veggie oil.

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