The social news aggregator Digg is my friend, in so many ways. It provides me with a good 25% of the stories that I write here, and almost triple that for the other sites at which I am employed. So when I saw the heading “Nobel Winner Speech Canceled Over Global Warming Controversy” I hoped that it wasn’t what I suspected.
You see, Digg.com has a certain type of crowd, and after being on there as long as I have, you start to have premonitions about these sorts of things. The heading suggested a story that would only really gain popularity on a site like Digg, where moral outrage is all the go.
Needless to say the story focuses on the actions of Choteau schools Superintendent Kevin St. John, who asked University of Montana scientist Steve Running to come and speak to the school’s 130 students. However, after pressure from the school board to bring in someone with an opposing viewpoint, St. John cancelled the event.
“Nobody wants to believe in science and promote science more than we do,” said St. John. “It was my decision to bring him in and it was my decision to cancel him.”
According to St. John, the board pressured him in to his decision due to the fact that they believed Running’s message on climate change would naturally be “anti-agriculture.” Not surprisingly, considering that Running is part of the Nobel Winning U.N. science panel.
Running told reporters that he had never been cancelled before, by any organization or for any other event. “I think there’s a faction of society that is willfully ignorant, that they just don’t want to know the facts about this,” he said.
An environmental group asked Running to speak the evening of the cancelled event, but the event was mostly attended by adults. Many of the students who would have had the chance to hear what he had to say were at a basketball game.
The cancellation however did stir up tempers in the small community, only 1,800 large, sitting at the foot of the Rockies. One of those, high school senior Kip Barhaugh, wrote the local newspaper the Great Falls Tribune saying that school officials were “spoon feeding” them information on climate change.
“With this single act, some members of the Choteau School Board not only denied its students access to valuable information about the future of our planet, but they demonstrated their shortsightedness,” he said in a letter to newspaper.
I started out writing this article with the intention of being outraged, and visibly so. Instead, I’ve reached the point where I would normally have gone off my rocker, and realized I needn’t do so; the facts speak for themselves.
AP via The Raw Story – Mont. high school cancels climate speech
Photo Courtesy of Stinging Eyes via Flickr