Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Frosty E. Hardison. This version has been corrected. It also incorrectly said that a Newsweek article on world climate appeared 37 years ago; it was 32 years ago.
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Gore Film Sparks Parents' Anger

The Federal Way Public Schools Board of Education, including members from left, Thomas Madden, David Larson, Edward Barney and Charles Hoff discuss the controversy surrounding the Al Gore-narrated movie.
The Federal Way Public Schools Board of Education, including members from left, Thomas Madden, David Larson, Edward Barney and Charles Hoff discuss the controversy surrounding the Al Gore-narrated movie. (By Joshua Trujillo -- Seattle Post-intelligencer)

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"We do not need to lose balance in order to save the Earth," Larson said.

Exactly what "balance" might amount to, however, was not spelled out.

The National Academy of Sciences, together with nearly all of the world's leading climate experts, have agreed that there is conclusive evidence that human activity is causing the Earth to warm and that there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of carbon being released into the air.

In public comments at the board meeting, several riled-up Federal Way residents argued that "An Inconvenient Truth" was, indeed, scientifically true and that saying otherwise is "deliberate obfuscation."

These residents derisively compared the search for "balance" in the global-warming issue to decades of phony claims by cigarette companies about the lack of "proof" that smoking is harmful to human health.

Before the board meeting started Tuesday night, several residents buttonholed Larson and asked him if there should be a "balanced" presentation of the Nazi Holocaust, because there are many who deny that it occurred.

"The Holocaust happened," Larson said. "We have evidence and photos. The difference between the Holocaust and the global warming is we don't have photos of what will happen 50 years from now."

Sitting in on this conversation was Walls, the seventh-grade science teacher whose class includes Frosty Hardison's daughter.

"We do have photos of snow melting off Kilimanjaro," Walls said, hopefully.

In the end, though, the board opted for an abundance of balance.

That means that "An Inconvenient Truth" may be shown only with the written permission of a principal -- and only when it is balanced by alternative views that are approved by both a principal and the superintendent of schools.

Hardison was pleased.

"I am happy they are giving the kids as much information as possible," he said.

His daughter's science teacher, meanwhile, said she is struggling to find authoritative articles to counter the information in the Gore documentary.

"The only thing I have found so far is an article in Newsweek called 'The Cooling World,' " Walls said.

It was written 37 years ago.


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