Laurie David Curbs Her Enthusiasm for Balance, and for Science

By November 26, 2006Global Warming

Hollywood spouse and apparent climate expert Laurie David has a piece in today’s WaPo, expressing outrage that corporate America is helping to support science education in the schools. As outrages go, this one is truly a head-scratcher. Her latest rant was triggered by the National Science Teachers Association’s refusal to accept 50,000 free copies of Al Gore’s one-sided propaganda film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” a political film with a political message made by a once and likely future Presidential candidate.

David smells a rat since NSTA is the recipient of corporate largess supporting science education in the schools, presumably an otherwise-laudable goal. Seems that the nation’s premiere organization of science teachers demurred because they didn’t want to offer a “political” endorsement of the film. What?!? The nation’s science teachers are concerned about politics masked as science? Go figure. A portion of Corporate America’s contributions, says David, supports a program that brings “standards-based teaching and learning” into the school. Oh, the horror. Imagine if standards-based teaching caught on — where would it end?

David, of course, has been widely critiqued for her hypocrisy, Gulfstreaming around the country and fouling up the wetlands in Martha’s Vineyard, site of one of her many homes — all energy-efficient, no doubt. Every one of them. As for the “Gulfstreaming” of liberals, said Greg Easterbrook, quoting Eric Alterman, “Conservation is what other people should do.”

But the piece doesn’t fall for hypocrisy alone, although it’s an eyesore. She also is just flat wrong on the facts, referring twice to “shortfalls in education funding” and “tight education budgets.” This when education budgets are at all-time highs, far outpacing student performance. No matter. This alleged shortfall is the gap through which corporate America is rushing, filling it all with so much propaganda in David’s view. Like programs that support standards-based teaching and learning.

We noted a piece last week that critiqued Al Gore’s dismissal of peer review. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has hunted down those who disagree with him on climate change with unequaled zeal. This Star Chamber “off with their heads” approach to this debate by the left is a new low — even for the left. This is a world where no dissent is entertained, where skeptics are harassed and intimidated. Whatever happened to open debate?

For our part, we applaud the move of the nation’s science teachers, who teach the scientific method every day, who hopefully are instilling in young minds some degree of curiosity, inquisitiveness and yes, even skepticism. In the end, that’s what science teachers are supposed to be teaching.

Maybe David should pitch Al’s movie to the teachers of politics — or fiction.

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Nicole Easterwood says:

    How could you not know who Laurie David is? What rock have you Been living under? She’s awesome and people need to STOP global warming NOW!

  • Hi
    I teach Science Methods courses to new teachers and teachers in training.
    How can I acxquire 100 copies of an inconenient truth to distrubute to teachres who can use it in their calssrooms?

    Have a good holiday

    Len Golubchick

  • Richard Garrett says:

    Not to rock your collective boats too hard, but everyone of us is going to have to become an activist on the issue of global warming. The scientific evidence is irrefutable and shooting the messengers is not going to make it go away. We live in a fragile biosphere with very little margin for error. The room on this planet that we can safely, productively and successfully occupy is measured in less than 9,000 vertical feet. Its time to get past arguing about who caused what and do something to reverse the trends that threaten our existence.

  • Science Teacher says:

    NTSA could give it to me as a gift and I still wouldn’t show it in my classroom–I reserve my valuable class time for science, thanks.

  • Snowed In says:

    The easiest place to find Laurie David is at the Huffington Post (she posts there regularly), where she has never responded to comments questioning her Gulfstreaming and has occasionally had commenters banned from the site for mentioning it.

  • Californio says:

    So you see, Laurie David is the wife of a rich man – so you had better listen to her!!!

  • John Dunshee says:

    Being married to someone in show business makes you an expert on climate? What happened to listening to real scientists?

    If Laurie David is a expert than Zsa Zsa Gabor must have been Einstein.

  • Victor Erimita says:

    “Conservation is what other people should do.”

    This is close to my long time definition of an “activist”: Someone who adamantly insists that someone else do something.

    Don’t create jobs with high salaries, security and great benefits. Insist that others do so. Don’t go to medical school, do post-doc in pharmaceutical research and devote your life to finding a cure for something, or make a lot of money and fund others who do so, and then sell the product for small change. Insist that others do so. Etc.

    Your job is to produce things. My job is to tell you how you should do it. You know, the tough part.Great minds can’t waste their time actually doing things. They need to look at the big picture and use their broad vision to tell everyone else how to do things. People like Laurie David owe it to the rest of us. It is their obligation to mankind to use their money and celebrity (obtained through means and skills utterly unrelated to the objects of their activism) to enlighten us, the Great Unwashed.

    BTW, Laurie David, for those who don’t know who she is, also was one of the principal financial backers of “An Inconvenient Truth.” You know, as a gift to mankind. As for those poor science teachers: they’ll never work in this town again!

  • Jon Lester says:

    Maybe she thinks she should be one of those enlightened few who decide what’s best for the rest of us. Not exactly a democratic view but, unfortunately, a common Democrat view.

  • Pat Cleary says:

    Mike:

    Sorry — not necessarily. You can Google her, but she’s the wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame and apparently a climate expert — and a bit of a hypocrite.

  • Mike Rentner says:

    Are we supposed to know who Laurie David is?

  • lenny says:

    Apparently Laurie David finds the truth inconvenient. According to an NSTA statement (http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=52959), while they did not agree to distribute the DVD directly, THEY DID offer to make the DVD available through other means of distribution (making its mailing list available, through publications, at its conference etc). Apparently, Ms. David and her representatives never replied to this offer. Why would she not respond at all to this offer, and instead choose to skewer NSTA in the national media? Sounds to me like Ms. David was less concerned about getting this movie into the hands of science teachers, and more concerned about creating media buzz conveniently timed with the release of the movie on DVD. Whether or not she ever sees a penny personally is irrelevant. I guess this is the danger of accepting an op-ed piece as truth, convenient as it may be.