Global warming warning

26th January 2007 at 00:00
Al Gore's climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, is to be shown in all of Scotland's secondary schools.

The Scottish Executive, with Learning and Teaching Scotland and ScottishPower, will also provide educational resources based on the film by the former US vice-president. These will be piloted towards the end of this academic year, with the full programme expected to be ready by next year.

The move comes in the wake of a warning from the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry that the teaching of global warming in schools is flawed by simplification and misrepresentation.

Dr Richard Pike said the real picture was not being articulated because of very limited references to climate change in school textbooks. "These deficiencies are partly the result of needing to give youngsters easily digested concepts, but many teachers now agree that in doing so, there is the risk of losing sight of the bigger picture.

"Support from web-based organisations is making progress, but is fragmented and lacks engagement with leading academics and industrialists in the field," he said.

Dr Pike said there were four key facts children should know which have been distorted or overlooked: that it is water vapour, not smoke, which emerges from cooling towers; very low-sulphur fuels can be worse for the environment than higher-sulphur fuels; oil and other fossil fuels may be burned for another century; and energy storage and transportation will be essential for long-term sustainability.

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