Free speech in the US

By | January 17, 2008

More on democracy…from today’s NYT

“CHOTEAU, Mont. — School authorities’ cancellation of a talk that a Nobel laureate climate researcher was to have given to high school students has deeply divided this small farming and ranching town at the base of the east side of the Rocky Mountains.

The scholar, Steven W. Running, a professor of ecology at the University of Montana, was scheduled to speak to about 130 students here last Thursday about his career and the global changes occurring because of the earth’s warming.

Dr. Running was a lead author of a global warming report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 400-member United Nations body that shared last year’s Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore. 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.

What a wonderful country. Meanwhile the mudslinging gets going in South Carolina. Now they’re saying that McCain sold out his fellow POWs in Vietnam. Our little FG/FF spats are nothing…

5 thoughts on “Free speech in the US

  1. EWI

    because no opposing view would be offered

    I guess we should be relieved that there’s no mandatory appearance by the Flat-Earth Society when astronomy talks are given… as much as Pope Benny! may wish it.

  2. Tom N

    Unfair comment. There are at least two reasonable opposing views (and dozens of looney ones)

    1. That Global Warming is only partly caused by human activity. (I don’t subscribe to this, but have heard amazingly convincing arguments from some academics.)

    2. With China & India’s new economic wealth comes huge increases in consumption in carbon based fuel. So we are all srewed so we might as well enjoy it while we have it. We should do our bit, but if that’s not good enough to save us, then we can’t say that it was our fault. The collective will must include these countries as well as the USA and all major countries. Signing Kyoto won’t even work as it is too drastic and unachievable. It must be punitive and enforced on every single person on earth. Even at that would life be worth living? If they paid my flight and accomodation, I would have drawn up a good alternative.

    Back to the question at hand. Yes he should have been allowed to speak. But I have been shot down for making point no 2. Hope we don’t get a load of anti-american rubbish on this thread.

  3. EWI

    Unfair comment.

    I disagree. When some supposedly reputable papers such as the Sunday Business Post let charlatans write global-warming denialist crap (and in this I include the oh-so-convenient “well, we’re screwed anyway” bollocks) then no quarter should be given to lobbyist stooges and cranks.

    With China & India’s new economic wealth comes huge increases in consumption in carbon based fuel. So we are all srewed so we might as well enjoy it while we have it. We should do our bit, but if that’s not good enough to save us, then we can’t say that it was our fault.

    The Chinese *are* taking this seriously, they’re hobbled by the same corruption of politics by big money that bedevils western efforts, but they are doing it.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,6903,1635188,00.html

  4. EashtGalwayWoman

    Sarah, somewhat off topic but…check out HBOs documentary Friends of God by Alexandra Pelosi (she made Travels with George). It will help you immensely with the upcoming primaries in the South.

  5. jmcconnell

    “Nobel laureate climate researcher”??

    Since when did the Nobel committee give out prizes in forestry?

    When the paleo-climatologists (the scientists that actually study climate change over geological time scales) start taking anthropogenic climate change seriously then I will.

    Until then it is all just trendy pseudo-science. Just like all the Club of Rome crap back in the 1970’s.

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