Correction: Judge Finds Only Nine Convenient Untruths in Gore's Film

October 11th, 2007 12:23 PM

NewsBusters reported Tuesday that a British court rendered an opinion concerning Al Gore's schlockumentary "An Inconvenient Truth" citing eleven inaccuracies in the supposedly factual presaging of imminent planetary doom.

As it turns out, the judge, Michael Burton, announced his ruling Wednesday, and he listed only nine key scientific errors in this piece of detritus that should never have been allowed by the Motion Picture Association of America or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be marketed as a documentary.

According to the British Telegraph, Burton claimed these "errors had arisen ‘in the context of alarmism and exaggeration' in order to support Mr Gore's thesis on global warming."

Pretty much what climate change skeptics around the world have been claiming since this abomination was first released in 2006, wouldn't you agree?

Here were the nine pertinent errors reported by the Telegraph Thursday:

  • Mr Gore claims that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland "in the near future". The judge said: "This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore's "wake-up call". He agreed that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water - "but only after, and over, millennia"."The Armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of seven metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus."
  • The film claims that low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls "are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming" but the judge ruled there was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.
  • The documentary speaks of global warming "shutting down the Ocean Conveyor" - the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to western Europe. Citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the judge said that it was "very unlikely" that the Ocean Conveyor, also known as the Meridional Overturning Circulation, would shut down in the future, though it might slow down.
  • Mr Gore claims that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed "an exact fit". The judge said that, although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts".
  • Mr Gore says the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was directly attributable to global warming, but the judge ruled that it scientists have not established that the recession of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro is primarily attributable to human-induced climate change.
  • The film contends that the drying up of Lake Chad is a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming but the judge said there was insufficient evidence, and that "it is apparently considered to be far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and over-grazing, and regional climate variability."
  • Mr Gore blames Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans on global warming, but the judge ruled there was "insufficient evidence to show that".
  • Mr Gore cites a scientific study that shows, for the first time, that polar bears were being found after drowning from "swimming long distances - up to 60 miles - to find the ice" The judge said: "The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm."That was not to say there might not in future be drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice continued - "but it plainly does not support Mr Gore's description".
  • Mr Gore said that coral reefs all over the world were being bleached because of global warming and other factors. Again citing the IPCC, the judge agreed that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3 degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality, unless the coral could adapt. However, he ruled that separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was difficult.

For those interested, here were the two errors listed in the NewsBusters article that the judge ended up not specifically addressing:

  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
Regardless, it is indeed fascinating the American media seem quite disinterested in sharing this ruling with the public. In fact, apart from Fox News and NewsMax, no major stateside press outlet has felt this decision newsworthy.

Maybe even more disgraceful, the New York Times reported the following concerning this matter in its Arts section Thursday without any reference to the film's scientific errors:

British Judge Rejects Ban on Al Gore Film

A British judge has rejected an effort to ban school showings of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Academy Award-winning documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, about Al Gore’s quest to spur action against global warming, Agence France-Presse reported. But the judge ruled that it should be shown only with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. The decision by High Court Judge Michael Burton was in response to an effort by Stewart Dimmock, a father of two and a member of the fringe New Party, to block the government’s pledge to send DVDs of the film to more than 3,500 secondary schools in England and Wales. Mr. Dimmock contended that the film included “serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush.”

Nice reporting, boys! I guess the Times, and the rest of the American media, don't want to do anything to distract from the praise Gore is about to get once the impending announcement about his Nobel Peace Prize is made.

Certainly wouldn't want to expose the charade, would you ladies and gentlemen of the press?

Of course, potentially even graver than the hypocrisy of a man receiving such an award for producing a film that has now been officially determined to include material falsehoods is the fact that one of these inaccuracies is largely responsible for the public's current anxiety regarding global warming: the erroneous connection between climate change and Hurricane Katrina.

After all, a huge part of the marketing and subsequent impact of this film was its finger-pointing at global warming being responsible for what happened in New Orleans in September 2005. Without the hysterical and unscientific claims about said connection, this film likely would not have generated near the buzz that it did.

Even the marquee poster advertising the film used an image of a hurricane coming out of a smokestack to establish this connection.

As such, now that a judge has specifically ruled that there was "insufficient evidence to show that" global warming was responsible for Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent damage and suffering in New Orleans, it is incumbent upon media to share this revelation with the public in order to put an end to this canard.

Anything less and press outlets around the country are once again abdicting their solemn responsibility to the public in order to advance an agenda.