Climate Hero: Laurie David

If you’re reading this web site, chances are you want to stop global warming. So does Laurie David, one of the producers of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

She and her fellow producers thought it would be a good idea to send free copies of the movie to educators. Seems like it would be a no-brainer: a documentary about one of the critical issues of our day, to show to today’s students, the future adults who will be inhabiting and inheriting the world we leave behind.

But no: the National Science Teachers Association NSTA) declined an offer of 50,000 free DVD’s. Why? According to an editorial written by Ms. David published in the Washington Post, the NSTA was concerned that the videos would place, in their words, “unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.” Who might that be? Well, the list of NSTA’s supporters includes ExxonMobil (who is well known to fund misinformation campaigns that disparage climate change) and the American Petroleum Institute (who stated in a leaked 1998 memo that “informing teachers/students about uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect barriers against further efforts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future”).

Appalling stuff, this. Ms. David has launched a website,, to enroll a community of concerned citizens to mobilize against climate change. The site includes a host of useful information, but also contains two spoof videos — Will Ferrell as President George Bush and Martin Short as a climate change denier from the energy industry — that are hilarious, until you realize how close of an approximation they are to the truth. Fortunately, satire has through the ages been an effective force for reform, so maybe these will add to the pressure for change on the U.S. stance towards climate change.

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