Recently a UK court decided that Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, could be shown in British schools, despite an attempt by a school governor to suppress it on the grounds that it is biased. The movie now has to be preceded by a disclaimer, but I’m guessing the film itself will have more impact on kids than any warning given by a teacher will. That school governor may be calling it a victory, but it’s a very hollow one.
So is the film biased? Well yes, of course it is, but what isn’t? Most of the history I learned in school was biased in some way, as was the religious education I was given. We learned about evolution through natural selection in science without any mention of creationism so I suppose that was biased too. Luckily most of the biases I was faced with were toward the truth (apart from the religious education).
Instead of trying to suppress information like this, schools should be actively promoting critical thinking at all levels, giving the kids the tools they need to take information and process it with care and skepticism instead of just accepting what they’re told.
Yes, An Inconvenient truth contains bias; Yes it contains exaggerations; but the message is clear, and it is an inconvenient truth.