Mr Justice Burton was asked to rule on whether An Inconvenient Truth could be shown in UK schools. He agreed that it could, provided the “one sided” film was accompanied by guidance notes for teachers.
The case was brought by school governor Stewart Dimmock, from Dover, a father of two, and who is a member of the New Party.
Mr Dimmock did not want the movie distributed to schools. He called the Oscar-winner a “shock-umentary” and objected to children being “indoctrinated with this political spin”.
I remember vividly reading a National Geographic magazine about greenhouse gases and how increases in said gases have caused global warming1. This was back when I was a very impressionable child, and it spurred me, along with my peers, to action. From then on, we damn well switched lights, computers and TVs off whenever we weren’t abusing our gawd-given right to electricity. It didn’t make me a tree-hugging eco-warrior, but it made me very aware of humans’ actions on their environment. Photos of polar bears will usually do that.
Nonetheless, it started a lifetime of being careful and making the greenest-possible choices with my limited willpower and means. Damn right I was an impressionable child. Who knows how my life would have been different if National Geographic had been more responsible and published guidance notes to temper the one-sidedness of the greenhouse gases->global warming message. I ought to sue! They denied me decades of swanning about in low-MPG SUVs like the Glorious Humvee, sleeping by the glow of my 200-inch TV and banks of computer monitors, commuting by plane every week from Asia to Europe. And it would have saved me countless hours of sorting my glass from plastic from paper from metal waste. Hours I could have spent swanning about in my Glorious Humvee.
1 Incidentally, this is now known to be an overly simplistic view, but the take-home message is still the same.