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Science Museum Declines To Show Climate Change Film 398

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the i'm-not-listening-i'm-not-listening dept.
sciencehabit writes "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hour long film about climate change and rising sea levels. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position. It is part of a state agency, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The state government has been perceived as hostile to action on climate change; last year, the legislature passed a bill forbidding the state coastal commission from defining rates of sea-level rise for regulation before 2016."
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Science Museum Declines To Show Climate Change Film

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:18AM (#45524441)

    "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hour long film about climate change and rising sea levels and 'mocks North Carolina politicians'. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position because residents of a state don't enjoy having their state made fun of."

    • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @07:06AM (#45524641)

      The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position because residents of a state don't enjoy having their state made fun of."

      Oh, because the politicians are "the state"? We shouldn't question our elites? Nice servitude attitude you got going on there.

      Maybe it being banned has something to do with those same politicians having their hand in the till of the yearly multi-million dollar campaign to sell climate science denial [rtcc.org]. Forget facts. Forget science. Yay for forum shills, newspaper and television paid climate science denial.

      At least we will know who to persecute with extreme prejudice if (when?) climate chaos ends up killing millions [democracynow.org].

      • by usuallylost (2468686) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @09:07AM (#45525203)

        We should question our elites and we should feel free to mock our politicians. Expecting them to pay the costs and provide the venue for us to do it is a bit much. Nobody is saying that they can't play the film in a private venue. They are only saying that the state owned and operated museum isn't going to do it.

        State run institutions have a very treacherous tightrope to walk on things like this. If they play the movie and offend a bunch of office holders they could find their funding in jeopardy or invite office holders to start actively attacking the institution. I don't blame the administrators for wanting no part of this. Biting the hand that feeds you is a dangerous game.

        • by thaylin (555395) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @10:35AM (#45525843)
          Except the politicians are not paying for it, Me and other residents of NC are paying for it, so yes I do expect it to be covered by my taxes. It is better than the other stupid shit they waste our money on, such as stealing the airport from Charlotte, or the water plants from Asheville because they could unregulated it if it was in the right hands.
        • Politicians are public servents. "We" pay "them", and I absolutely want some of my money supporting people that are critical of those in power.

          Here in Canada we have a long history of publicly funded shows (satire and serious) whose main goal is holding the people in power accountable.

        • by microbox (704317)

          Expecting them to pay the costs and provide the venue for us to do it is a bit much.

          This isn't lords and ladies. The politicians don't pay out of pocket. That's YOUR money they are spending.

    • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @09:16AM (#45525267) Homepage

      "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hour long film about climate change and rising sea levels and 'mocks North Carolina politicians'. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position because residents of a state don't enjoy having their state made fun of."

      In that case, so much for an academic center's freedom to purport controversy and satire independent of the state's political POVs and the current temperament of the plebe.

      You bold that part out as if that was a valid reason for the museum to decline the exhibition of said film. How much more stupid could that statement get? You are equating the state with the residents whereas I can assure you a substantial number of NC's residents would disagree with you.

      And if the state, and academia for that matter, were completely subject to whatever the popular mood might be (which in this case, your statement is completely debatable to begin with), then we would still be living with segregation laws.

      The whole point of state-sponsored academic institutions in the developed free world is to present information, examine controversy, and why not, satirize and challenge the status quo independently of what state officials, and even residents think.

      I could see how the Nazis sponsored Aryan science as opposed to "corrupted Jewish thinking" proposed by the likes of Einstein.

      I could understand Soviet academies forced to abandon research deemed counter-revolutionary which brought us stuff like Lynsenkoism [wikipedia.org]... and even then the Soviets were wise enough to give Soviet intelligentsia a great degree of freedom.

      But to whiff the smell of such thinking in a developed, free/capitalist country, in America of all places, man, that is a sad day for humanity.

      • I could see how you'd have a point if the film in question was the only material available about climate change, or even the best material available. As it stands the people who run the museum think that the film is needlessly provocative and does not further the debate. The museum does address [naturalsciences.org] climate [naturalsciences.org] change [naturalsciences.org]. Those 3 links are what I found from a single search, I'm not sure how much you'd see if you actually visited the museum.

    • by 0racle (667029) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @12:23PM (#45527021)
      I have no idea of the value of the content of the film in question, but if the residents of NC don't want to have the rest of the world point and laugh at them, perhaps they should stop doing things and stop electing people that cause the world to point and laugh at them.

      NC has earned all this derision.
  • In the USA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:29AM (#45524485)

    Climate change being real or not is completely irrevelant. We're NOT going to do anything about it. No way no how. Until it's a major serious problem that might impact someones cashflow. Until then. And it can be proven that it will cost some rich people some money... Until then. We're not going to do shit except scream 'it's not real i cant hear you'. So just stop with the storys about it. You're causing global warming with the wasted energy it took to type the story in.

    Willful ignorance. We haz it. It's standard policy too.

    • by narcc (412956) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:56AM (#45524603) Journal

      Willfully ignorant? That's not fair. Have you considered that perhaps they're simply global warming supporters?

      Progressive climate advocates aren't afraid of change, unlike you right-wing climate conservatives. Change is good.

      "But ... But Florida will be under water!" cry the anti-climate change zealots. I can live with that. There's nothing but retirees, crazies, and scientologists down there anyway.

      Bring on the heat!

      • by Kythe (4779)
        Not just Florida.

        Climate Change and Ocean Levels [furman.edu] Ironic that North Carolina has a lot to look forward to.
      • Re:In the USA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @07:30AM (#45524741) Homepage

        "But ... But Florida will be under water!" cry the anti-climate change zealots. I can live with that. There's nothing but retirees, crazies, and scientologists down there anyway.

        Um, won't they all leave Florida and go to live near you...?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gmuslera (3436)

        In a complex system like the world, rising temperature just a few degrees won't be an isolated event. Extreme weather is becoming more prevalent, you seen the storms that happened over asia, europe and america in the last year.. Also, more moisture in air, so more rain, and more floods. Extreme weather and floods will make it difficult to succeed some "long term" investments like crops,

        You are right in one thing, change is good, life adapts with time, or die. And you could end being in the second group, or

        • Re:In the USA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @09:22AM (#45525321)
          I love how when anti-global warming types point at a big snow storm or what-have-you and say 'look, global warming can't be real!' and the pro-global warming crowd points out, rightly, 'weather isn't climate' ... but then when there is a big wind storm or what-have-you the pro-global warming types start crying 'look what global warming is doing! waaaaa!'

          Weather isn't climate.

          That being said, any fantasy about humanity being at risk for significant biological hardship is ludicrous considering that we can eat almost anything, live almost anywhere, are more resistant and adaptive to toxins and pathogens than most other large animals, and we have this thing called "technology" that allows us to move anything anywhere, radically adjust our environments, etc. etc.

          We really need to get over the conceit that we developed in the one true immutable biosphere. 99% of previously extant species are extinct, and that's going to keep happening regardless of what we do because the environment has never been static. Without mass extinctions like what occurred during the Oxygen Catastrophe, animal life wouldn't even exist.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tbannist (230135)

            I love how when anti-global warming types point at a big snow storm or what-have-you and say 'look, global warming can't be real!' and the pro-global warming crowd points out, rightly, 'weather isn't climate' ... but then when there is a big wind storm or what-have-you the pro-global warming types start crying 'look what global warming is doing! waaaaa!'

            It's called Loading the Dice [nytimes.com]. Big snowstorms acn actually be evidence for global warming (if it's warmer but still below freezing that means more snow in wet areas and less snow in dry areas). But when we start seeing events which probably could not have occurred under previous climate conditions, those individual extreme events may be actually evidence that the baseline has shifted due to global warming. Hot days aren't evidence for global warming, but record-breaking heatwaves and droughts? They proba

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Xyrus (755017)

            I love how when anti-global warming types point at a big snow storm or what-have-you and say 'look, global warming can't be real!' and the pro-global warming crowd points out, rightly, 'weather isn't climate' ... but then when there is a big wind storm or what-have-you the pro-global warming types start crying 'look what global warming is doing! waaaaa!'

            Why are you listening to the general public? The SCIENTISTS and the SCIENCE make no such claims. They have repeatedly stated that it is very difficult to attribute any single weather event to climate change. Greenpeace or the Heartland Institute or CNN or Fox News are TERRIBLE sources for scientific information. If you want the science, go to the source. Or get a summarized version of the IPCC if slogging through pages of dense science isn't your thing.

            Weather isn't climate.

            Correct.

            That being said, any fantasy about humanity being at risk for significant biological hardship is ludicrous considering that we can eat almost anything, live almost anywhere, are more resistant and adaptive to toxins and pathogens than most other large animals, and we have this thing called "technology" that allows us to move anything anywhere, radically adjust our environments, etc. etc.

            Your the one living in a fantasy. Despite all o

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      We won't change our direction going toward that cliff until we are actually falling. Won't be too late, we will have already enough money to buy me a parachute.

  • Is it science? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Silverhammer (13644) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:31AM (#45524493)

    From TFA:

    Director Ben Kalina says he hoped that an event at the museum would spark dialogue, especially because the museum is across the street from the state Capitol. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to invite people from state legislature, people working on issues in the state, and the public to discuss these issues.” Kalina says he made a balanced film that is not a polemic, although it does contain a scene from The Colbert Report, in which the comedian mocks North Carolina politicians for the bill. “I’m sure some people wouldn’t appreciate that,” he admits.

    That's not science.

  • understandable (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:33AM (#45524501)

    the problem is with the message in the video, not science.

    Shored Up is a convincing call for action along our coasts. As the oceans rise and storms flood our towns and cities, we have a choice to make: do we continue to develop as we have in the past, ignoring clear risks and danger?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982" (source: NOAA).

      But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a good movie - right?

      • Re:understandable (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kythe (4779) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @07:06AM (#45524637)
        There are STILL people who think a single season, storm, or record defines climate?

        Thankfully, they seem to be fewer and farther between than ever. Hard to deny the evidence for global warming right in front of you, developing year after year.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yep, sure are. . Look at all the folks (& politicians) who were claiming that typhoon in the Philippines is proof of AGW. With the solution being a transfer of wealth from 1st world countries to "the poor" countries.
          • I looked around - didn't find any.

            I found a few who said that the increasing severity of these sorts of storms in specific regions is linked to changing climate - but that is completely different statement and to collate the two as one would indeed be disingenuous. And nobody would want to be regarded as disingenuous.

            Would they?

            • I looked around - didn't find any.

              Holy cow - you need to listen to some of the audio coming out of Poland right now. Start with the Phillipines rep who is on hunger strike.

        • I think it might be partly due to all the Albertans who lost their computers in last years big flood [wikipedia.org]. Don't worry once they dry out they'll be back on.

          For anyone that can't see I'm being facetious, one flood isn't proof of global warming, but this was an extreme event, which we seem to be getting more and more of lately.
          • by theM_xl (760570)

            Not particularly. The cost of natural disasters as a percentage of global production is remarkably stable. We're mostly taking notice more because increased populations means the absolute number of people getting hit at once goes up, which makes for great television.

            • by dkleinsc (563838)

              Aren't the people getting hit more important than the effects of a major disaster on global economic production? Basic morality, codified in numerous legal codes, artistic works, and centuries of human behavior says that lives matter more than stuff.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Uberbah (647458)

          There are STILL people who think a single season, storm, or record defines climate?

          There are STILL people pushing this butthurt deflection? Warmer more humid air makes for more powerful storms, and warmer, drier air makes for record drought conditions. So yeah, denialists, record tornado seasons, massive forest fires months before fire season, record heat waves of months of 100+ degree heat and the most powerful hurricanes/typhoons in a century/of all time are evidence of global warming.

          • So yeah, denialists, record tornado seasons

            2013 was the quietest tornado season on record [wordpress.com]. Don't make shit up to try to win an argument. Try instead explaining how the heat in the climate shifts around from one region of the plant to another from year to year. You do have an accurate model for that, right?

        • by gmuslera (3436)
          Also people that think that global climate is exactly the same as weather. This list [wikipedia.org] don't seem to go in the direction of "nothing happened".
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:33AM (#45524503)

    the legislature passed a bill forbidding the state coastal commission from defining rates of sea-level rise for regulation before 2016.

    They really ought to keep the sea in check right now. Without regulation, it's free to rise however fast it damn well pleases until 2016.

  • How's the beachfront property in Atlanta?
  • Complex topics? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:37AM (#45524517)

    The museum's statement reads, in part:

    It would be a disservice to the people of North Carolina who generously funded the construction of the Museum, and who are joined by other visitors from all other US states and numerous other countries, if we were to maintain that showing one organization’s film constituted a comprehensive approach to an issue as significant and complex as sea level science.

    Science cafe events are all about providing a quick, accessible, but by no means comprehensive view of an topic. Most of the ones I've been to have involved a single academic pontificating on their area of expertise and their own ideas for an hour. It seems rather odd to me that a Cafe Sci would restrict itself in this way. They can't have a very rich slate.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    About 7000 years ago:

    "The Older Peron... throughout the period, global sea levels were 2.5 to 4 meters (8 to 13 feet) higher than the twentieth-century average."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Older_Peron

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      If we're going to wind the clock back 7000 years I'd rather start with re-establishing bears and coyotes as the dominant predators in the National Mall.

    • by teg (97890)

      About 7000 years ago:

      "The Older Peron... throughout the period, global sea levels were 2.5 to 4 meters (8 to 13 feet) higher than the twentieth-century average."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Older_Peron

      True, but infrastructure(there wasn't any) and populations were a lot more flexible then. Right now, with the concepts of property, cities, countries the impact of a 4 m rise in sea level would be catastrophic.

  • by some old guy (674482) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @06:56AM (#45524609)

    Whether it is corporate shills in climate change denial or religionists diluting science with creationism and imaginary divinity, the inescapable conclusion is that the willful ignorance and in-grained avarice of politicians will surely be the death of us all.

  • Tantrums, much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bradley13 (1118935) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @07:18AM (#45524691) Homepage

    Poor baby, he didn't get his way.

    The musuem director said that the "Science Cafe" was the wrong forum, but that they would consider showing the film as part of a larger project.

    This film is an advocacy film for one particular viewpoint, being pushed by one particular organization. The musuem rightly sees that showing this film alone, with no context or alternative viewpoints, may not be the best way to present a balanced viewpoint on a difficult and controversion subject.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Science isn't a view point. When will you get that?
      There is NO scientific alternate viewpoint of the increased energy in the atmosphere.

      " present a balanced viewpoint "
      False equivalency.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence [wikipedia.org]

      Which you probably believe becasue of:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_balance [wikipedia.org]

      Facts:
      1) Visible light comes from the sun
      2) visible light hits the earth an IR is expressed.
      3) CO2 is transparent to visible light
      4) CO2 absorb IR energy

      Please explain why increasing CO2 would not res

  • If these bozos are forced to show that documentary chalk up a win for environmenalism because the film may make a few more people think abut climate change, if they put up a fight chalk up an even bigger win for environmentalims because the publicity raises awareness about global warming. If we get really lucky Fox News will contribute to that publicity by reporting on this before they realize they may actually have caused a few of their viewers to watch the film to see what all the hullablaloo is about (ir

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      I thought it was literally a documentary about how you should sell your seafront properties?

  • Nice Museum from the outside, not many places you can place a large
    globe of the Earth and it look good. - yet I may be pushing it.

    I scanned the articles, No, a museum or library isn't a place for taking sides on such
    a subject, how soon many forget, Global warming is of major concern, then not a
    month ago were told it's been a farce, (sorry Gore I like you). Temps were ignored
    the unseen heat placed in the ocean currents that take can take a thousand years to complete
    a cycle, (good hiding spot).

    Yet it continue

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @08:36AM (#45525045)

    In the USA, the climate changes you!

  • The Free Market (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @09:04AM (#45525175)

    "The state government has been perceived as hostile to action on climate change;"

    It's all fun and games until the insurance companies believe that climate change is a threat.

    And they do.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/insurers-stray-from-the-conservative-line-on-climate-change.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

    Even if you don't believe the scientists, you'll have to believe your insurance company, especially when you get the bill.

    Perhaps the so-called "Fiscal Conservatives" of NC should be, you know, fiscal.

    --
    BMO

    • We got the bill years ago. We not only got the high premiums but we also have unbelievably high deductibles which makes insurance payout much less likely. Insurance companies looking for a reason to cancel policies or raise premiums is old news. Where have you been?
  • N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences director puts kibosh on documentary about sea-level rise [indyweek.com]

    This wasn't the simple-minded decision that partisans on both sides are trying to make it. But in the wake of the high-profile departure of the Nature Research Center's top scientist [wral.com], it does seem a bit chilling.

  • FTFA:
    "The problem, Koster says, is that the Science Café venue was not the right format for a complicated and controversial topic, because events are only an hour long and the Café only has small screens."

    And yet, later in the article:
    "The Science Café has addressed climate change in its Café programs as well. “This is by no means a new issue,” Koster says."

    So, which is it?

  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Tuesday November 26, 2013 @11:40AM (#45526427) Homepage

    Ultimately, government entities only know how to make one type of decision: political decisions. If you want an organization to make decisions on any basis other than politics, make sure it is not part of the government.

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