REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 238

Revolt news 9/10/2007

1. More on the proposed 500 kV line between Edmonton and Calgary in Canada: along with the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) scrapping three years of hearings and setting aside a decision, there is an impending Bill 46 for an Alberta Utilities Commission Act which, the Alberta NFY says, would further restrict landowners' rights. The NFU calls on the Alberta government to withdraw the legislation.

2. Still more from Canada, this time Ontario. Shane Jolly, Provincial Green Candidate, blogs that a 600 million dollar power line expansion is forcing the destruction of homes, farms and businesses for unnecessary excess capacity. The company Hydro One claims it is needed to deliver renewable energy. Good to see a Green candidate recognising the downside of bulk transmission, including "intrusive power corridors that lose 20% of the energy in transit". 

3. The legal challenge to showing Al Gore's global warming film in UK schools (news236.6) has been upheld after a hearing 27 September, but scarcely reported in the UK. A full ruling is expected later this week (at 9 October). Preliminary statements indicate there might be a soft remedy, just to require schools to say the film is political and to ask pupils for their views, but what pupil could withstand such emotional political indoctrination?

4. A short reports on the legal challenge to Gore's film appeared in Times On-Line. A fuller report can be found from a New Zealand service, including the list of eleven "serious inaccuracies" in the film, pasted at APPENDIX A herewith.

5. Philip Stott, professor of biogeography at the University of London, joined Nigel Lawson in a dissenting contribution at the Conservative Party Conference. Professor Stott accepts that the climate is changing; and that human activity does influence the climate. What he disputes strongly is that man can manipulate climate predictably. Stott concludes: "We cannot stop climate change. It is the political hubris of our Age to think that we can. We cannot even manage climate change predictably. But we can constantly adapt to inexorable change, as we have done throughout all time."

6. It was nice of NIE to ring me today to say that the Public Consultation is under way this week for the 85 km single-circuit 400 kV Tyrone-Cavan Interconnector. Information packs have been sent to all premises within 1 km either side of the proposed line route. NIE intend to submit an application for planning permission on completion of the consultation process. Details are on the web site 

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APPENDIX A Legal challenge to Gore global warming film in UK schools 

Politics in Schools on Trial (extracts from the article)

Last Tuesday, a British High Court Judge ruled that school children need protecting from political propaganda like Al Gore's creative film making. The action was taken by Stewart Dimmock, a lorry driver and school governor from Kent who argued that his 11 and 14 year old sons should not be subjected to propaganda and 'brainwashing' in the classroom: "I wish my children to the best education possible, free from bias and political spin, and Mr Gore's film falls far short of the standard required", he said.

Mr Dimmock was responding to the Labour Government's decision to send copies Al Gore's film to more than 3,800 schools in England. The film was part of a Climate Change Resource Pack aimed at children aged 11 to 14 years.

During the three-day hearing the Court heard that Al Gore's film contained scientific inaccuracies, that it was 'politically partisan', and that it contained 'sentimental mush'. The Government was accused of backing the film as way of 'brainwashing' pupils on global warming.

As part of the evidence, it was pointed out that Al Gore himself has gone on record saying that it was appropriate to over-represent the facts on global warming in his film 'An Inconvenient Truth' in order to get the message across: "I believe it is appropriate to have an over- representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is".

While Mr Justice Baron will deliver his ruling in the case later this week, he has already stated that the film promotes "partisan political views" and that the schools will need to issue a warning to the students before they show it. He has determined that the Government must amend the Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that the film is a political work that promotes only one side of the argument, and he has also decided that the eleven serious inaccuracies in the film that have been identified by the Court, must be pointed out to the children.

The eleven inaccuracies the High Court identified in the movie are:

1.The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government's expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

2.The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

3.The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that it was "not possible" to attribute one-off events to global warming.

4.The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that this was not the case.

5.The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

6.The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream, throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant's evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

7.The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

8.The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

9.The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

10.The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

11.The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government was unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

This case against the British Government has only been possible because of amendments to the British Education Act which prohibit political indoctrination by banning the teaching of partisan political views and by requiring that political issues are presented in a balanced manner.

Section 406 of the Education Act 1996 states that local education authorities, school governing bodies and head teachers "shall forbid... the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school". And if political issues are brought to the attention of school pupils, the authority, the governors and the head are required by Section 407 to take "such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that... they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views".

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-- Mike O'Carroll




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