CNN’s Dobbs Interviews Producer of Film Debunking Gore’s Inconvenient Truth

October 16th, 2009 7:14 PM

Monday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN gave attention to filmmaker Phelim McAleer – whose film Not Evil, Just Wrong premieres this Sunday and challenges Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth – in the aftermath of his recent attempt to get Gore to respond to the British High Court ruling that there are nine factual errors in An Inconvenient Truth. But McAleer’s microphone was cut off as he tried to get Gore to answer for some of these inaccuracies and whether the former Vice President was trying to correct his mistakes. After a report by correspondent Casey Wian – who showed a clip of the exchange between McAleer and Gore, and who also mentioned some of the inaccurate points in An Inconvenient Truth about polar bears and Hurricane Katrina – Dobbs hosted a debate segment between McAleer and Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund.

McAleer pointed out that many of the environmental scientists pushing global warming theory were pushing global cooling theory decades earlier: "And the same environmentalists who are now saying it is warming, 20 and 30 years ago were saying we're going to have an ice age. I'm old enough to be at school and I was told that we're going into a new ice age."

He also complained about the "scare tactics" as children are subjected to the film in schools, and insisted that there is a burden on Gore to answer charges of inaccuracy in his film if he is going to push the theory that the human race is in mortal danger: "This documentary has been shown in schools across America and across the world to children who get scared about these scare tactics, and I wanted to say, you have a moral duty either to accept the judge's rulings and issue corrections or reject the judge's rulings."

Below is a complete transcript of the report by Casey Wian, and the debate which included Phelim McAleer, from the Monday, October 12, Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN:

LOU DOBBS: California today signing a deal with the Obama administration. The point? To speed up renewable energy projects in that state. It is the latest attempt to demonstrate that climate change debate could drive public policy. But some, most notably former Vice President turned filmmaker Al Gore, well, he doesn't want to debate at all, as Casey Wian now reports.

CASEY WIAN: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed an agreement Monday that will make the state eligible for $15 billion in federal bailout money to fight global warming and boost so-called green energy jobs.

GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R-CA): Only with the help of Secretary Salazar we will be able to go and get those permits done by that time so we can benefit from those billions and billions of dollars.

WIAN: Yet the debate over climate change is far from settled. Former Vice President Al Gore – whose 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, considered a turning point in the effort to combat climate change – spoke to a group of environmental journalists Friday. He did not directly answer questions from the director of a soon to be released documentary highly critical of Gore's film.

PHELIM MCALEER, FILMMAKER: A judge in the British High Court, after a lengthy hearing, found there were nine significant errors. This has been shown to children. Have you, do you accept those findings and have you done anything to correct those errors?

AL GORE: Well, I'm not going to go through all of those. The ruling was in favor of the movie, by the way, and the ruling was in favor of showing the movie in schools. And that's really the bottom line on that. There's been such a long discussion of each one of those specific things. One of them, for example, was that polar bears – if I remember it correctly. It's been a long time ago – that polar bears really aren't endangered. Well, polar bears didn't get that word. So-

MCALEER: Well, the number of polar bears have increased, actually, and are increasing.

GORE: You don't think they're endangered, do you?

MCALEER: The number of polar bears have increased.

GORE: Do you think they're endangered?

MCALEER: The number of polar bears have increased. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] I mean, if the number of polar bears increased, surely they're not endangered. And a judge did have a lengthy hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to move on.

MCALLER: No, but no, I mean, Vice President Gore, Vice President Gore hasn't-

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not doing a debate here.

MCALEER: No, this question, he hasn't answered the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have 10 minutes left for these people to ask questions.

MCALEER: Yes, but I would appreciate his answer to the court-

WIAN: Conference organizers then cut off McAleer's microphone. The dispute centers on a 2007 British court ruling that Gore's film had nine significant errors, including its assertion that ice pack melting would cause the sea level to rise 20 feet in the near future, and that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming. Gore's Spokeswoman had said in a statement earlier that the former Vice President was gratified by the judge's decision, saying that, "Of the thousands and thousands of facts presented in the film, the judge apparently took issue with a handful." Now, we looked into the polar bear question, and it is true that their numbers have increased dramatically since the 1950s, mostly though because of restrictions on hunting. Those who see climate change as a threat point to more recent declines in some polar bear populations as evidence that a warming planet threatens their existence. Lou?

DOBBS: Yes, well, the actual point of contention, as I recall, I love the way that Al Gore makes it sound like that was 200 years ago. That was just two years ago, 2007. It involved four drowning polar bears. It turns out they didn't. That's sort of straightforward and a simple fact, isn't it?

WIAN: Yeah, and it's one of those claims that the film made that this British High Court ruled that, yes, it could be shown in the schools over there, but with the disclaimer that these nine facts asserted in the film were in error, and Al Gore didn't mention that, Lou.

DOBBS, LAUGHING: Well, we did, didn't you? Appreciate it, Casey. Thanks so much. Casey Wian. Well, the extent of the threat posed by climate change is the subject of our face-off debate tonight, and, as always, it is an emotional, a controversial issue. And the emotionalism that surrounds it is in and of itself fascinating, at least to me. Joining me now is Phelim McAleer. He is the director and the producer of the documentary, "Not Evil, Just Wrong," who you just saw, by the way, questioning Al Gore. Good to have you with us. And Fred Krupp. He is the president of the Environmental Defense Fund. Good to have you with us.


DOBBS: I just, let's deal with the first issue. Why is something like climate change so emotional, such a, if you will, contentious issue. It seems there are straightforward facts that would be there for everyone to either agree upon or disagree, stay away from the ambiguous and deal with the salient and the crystal clear. Why don't we do that?

KRUPP: Well, I think, just like a lot of things in Washington, Lou, climate change has become a bit of a partisan football. But now there is a bipartisan pathway forward, and the New York Times just on Sunday, both Lindsey Graham – the conservative Republican Senator from South Carolina – and John Kerry agreed on a market-based path forward, the same sort of cap and trade system that was used so successfully in the 1990s to combat acid rain. So hopefully we're getting across that partisan divide right this week.

DOBBS: All right. First of all, you were working hard to get a straightforward answer from the former Vice President. What drove your inquiry?

MCALEER: Well, as the organizers said, this was the first time in four years he agreed to take questions from reporters. That's a disgrace. For someone who says the world is ending, the world is in crisis, that he won't put the facts out there and take difficult questions is bizarre. I must believe that he doesn't really believe the world is about to end. So I went there to ask him. This documentary has been shown in schools across America and across the world to children who get scared about these scare tactics, and I wanted to say, you have a moral duty either to accept the judge's rulings and issue corrections or reject the judge's rulings. But you haven't the moral, you have no right to not, refuse to answer those questions.

DOBBS: What do you think?

KRUPP: Well, Lou, first of all, the Vice President takes questions from reporters routinely. He took questions on September 22, he took questions from reporters at the U.N. September 24, he took questions at this event. So, actually, after Phelim had his say, it was in a desire to take more questions that, other journalists were waiting in time, so the idea that he hasn't taken questions in three years is just wrong. He takes questions weekly.

DOBBS: All right. Let's go to a couple of things. The BBC climate reporter this weekend I think probably shook up the society there a bit this weekend, talking about the fact that over the course of this new millennia, young though we are, nine years into it, I think he begins his lead, "You may be surprised to learn that the hottest year recorded is not 2008, not 2007, nor one of the previous, the last ten years, but rather you have to go back to 1998." And I have to say, I think most people would say, "What?" because they've been led to believe that the climate is warming almost daily.

KRUPP: Well, Lou, actually, if you look at the trend line, it's undoubtedly, definitely rising up. There’s year-to-year variability because of El Ninos. But when you plot the dots on the trend line, we're going up. Since 2000, all eight years, 2001 to 2008, have been eight of the 14 warmest years on record. And 2009, when the data comes in, this decade will be the warmest decade since we've been keeping records.

MCALEER: Well, that's just not true. And let's be honest, the climate models, those quick climate models that say we're all going to die by 2050, missed this cooling period. In fact, if it cools much longer, it will be cooling longer than it warmed. And the same environmentalists who are now saying it is warming, 20 and 30 years ago were saying we're going to have an ice age. I'm old enough to be at school and I was told that we're going into a new ice age. So, for them to, for these people to say, for people like Fred to say that the facts aren't there, it has cooled. It hasn't warmed in 13 years, and it was warmer before. Britain was warmer. We used to grow wine in Yorkshire, in Britain, you know ... But if they did grow wine, you know, grapes were growing there, it has been warmer before and these are all part of the natural variability of climate. And, you know, and who's to say that 10 years ago the climate was perfect then? Why are we so obsessed with, you know, the climate is warming or cooling? You know, Helsinki is one of the coldest places on the planet. It's very rich. Singapore is one of the wealthiest places on the planet. It's very hot. Man will adapt. But it's not, this is not, you should not close down the American economy and drive jobs out of America and stop using fossil fuels for fake science.

KRUPP: The good news, Phelim, is it's not fake science. If you go to the National Academy of Sciences or look at the reports from NASA – and anyone in our audience can go to the Web site – you can see that this decade has been the warmest on record. But the good news is even if we don't convince you of that, and I hear both arguments, maybe it's not warming, and even if it is, so what? The good news is we have a common sense plan that's tried and tested in the United States, a market-based plan that will keep America in the driver's seat for the economy. Lou, you know, China is-

DOBBS: ... This is the driver's seat we're in right now?

MCALEER: Lou, it's a common sense plan by a millionaire head of an environmental organization, with big business to keep smaller competitors out. It's about regulating and keeping big business in the position it's in by these millionaire environmental organizations.

KRUPP: Not so. You know, we have a Web site-

MCALEER: You know, Fred earns half a million dollars a year. Do the people of America want their future and their economy to be decided by a millionaire lawyer who calls himself an environmentalist working with big business, keeping competitors out and bringing in increased regulations?

KRUPP: There’s a Web site called ... Less Carbon, More Jobs, where a series of small businesses have come out saying pass cap and trade and the cap puts a driver in place that allows-

DOBBS: So you're supporting cap and trade?

KRUPP: Supporting cap and trade, Lou, because it gives the economic incentives to energy efficiency that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

DOBBS: But you call that a private, you call that a market solution? That is extraordinarily based on government intervention in the market place. How could you call that a market solution? I'm not discussing the merits of cap and trade, but, my God, if that's not government intervention what is?

KRUPP: Yes, the government creates a market. That's true. And for these tragedies in the commons, it's what George H. W. Bush put in place, the best of the Republican intellectual capital. It creates incentives to get new jobs for Americans.