wild places | wild happenings | wild news
make a difference for our wild places

home | links | search the site
  all articles latest | past | articles by topics | search wildnews
wild news on wildsingapore
  The Telegraph 11 Oct 07
Al Gore's 'nine Inconvenient Untruths'
By Sally Peck

Times Online 11 Oct 07
Al Gore’s inconvenient judgment

Lewis Smith Environment Reporter

BBC 10 Oct 07
Gore climate film's 'nine errors'

The Herald Sun 10 Oct 07
A convenient fraud now being exposed
Andrew Bolt

Earthtimes 9 Oct 07
British Court Rules 'Inconvenient Truth' Represents 'Partisan Political Views,' Requires School Disclaimer
The Heartland Institute

CHICAGO, On October 2, 2007 a British court found Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, to be politically biased, and it ruled teachers must warn students of that bias before showing the film.

In the statement below, James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, elaborates on factual errors in the film identified by the court and comments on the ruling.

"Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, represents 'partisan political views' and must be treated as such by teachers in British schools, a British High Court judge has indicated.

"The British court was swayed by numerous factual inaccuracies portrayed in the movie. Among them:

-- The film claims global warming is responsible for the gradual retreat of the alpine glacier atop Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. Scientists have conclusively demonstrated no such link exists.

-- The film presents graphs indicating that fluctuating carbon dioxide levels have always preceded and caused global temperature fluctuations. In fact, temperature changes have always preceded carbon dioxide changes.

-- The film suggests global warming caused Hurricane Katrina. Few hurricane experts believe this, and substantial scientific evidence indicates global warming is having no impact on hurricane frequency or intensity.

-- The film asserts global warming is causing Central Africa's Lake Chad to dry up. In fact, land use practices are causing the drying up of Lake Chad, and Central Africa is in an unusual and prolonged wet period.

-- The film asserts global warming is leading to polar bear deaths by drowning. Yet the only documented drowning deaths occurred due to a freak storm, and polar bear numbers are growing substantially.

-- The film claims global warming threatens to halt the Gulf Stream and initiate a new ice age. The vast majority of scientists who have studied the issue have determined such a scenario is implausible.

-- The film asserts global warming is causing the destruction of coral reefs through bleaching. Scientists have identified other causes for coral bleaching and have additionally noted bleaching is a natural process by which coral continually selects ideal symbiotic algae.

-- The film asserts Greenland is in danger of rapid ice melt that will raise sea levels by 20 feet or more. The scientific consensus is that any foreseeable Greenland ice melt will be gradual and will take centuries to substantially raise sea levels.

-- The film asserts the Antarctic ice shelf is melting. In fact, only a small portion of Antarctica is getting warmer and losing ice mass, while the vast majority of Antarctica is in a prolonged cold spell and is accumulating ice mass.

"Also highlighted in court arguments was Al Gore's admission in Grist Magazine that 'I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it [global warming] is.'

"As a result of the partisan political nature of Gore's film, school teachers will not be allowed to show the movie without telling their students the film is scientifically controversial.

"The British High Court properly recognized that Al Gore's movie is nine parts political propaganda and one part science. Virtually every assertion that Gore makes in the movie has been strongly contradicted by sound science.

"The British court decision should guide teachers in the U.S. to similarly treat Gore's movie as the inaccurate and misleading propaganda tool that it is."

For more information about The Heartland Institute, please contact Harriette Johnson, media relations manager, at 312/377-4000, email hjohnson@heartland.org.

The Heartland Institute

BBC 10 Oct 07
Gore climate film's 'nine errors'

A High Court judge who ruled on whether climate change film, An Inconvenient Truth, could be shown in schools said it contains "nine scientific errors".

Mr Justice Burton said the government could still send the film to schools - if accompanied by guidance giving the other side of the argument.

He was ruling on an attempt by a Kent school governor to ban the film from secondary schools.

The Oscar-winning film was made by former US Vice-President Al Gore.

The judge said nine statements in the film were not supported by mainstream scientific consensus.

In his final verdict, the judge said the film could be shown as long as updated guidelines were followed.

These say teachers should point out controversial or disputed sections.

Without the guidance, updated after the case was launched, the government would have been breaking the law, the judge said.

The government has sent the film to all secondary schools in England, and the administrations in Wales and Scotland have done the same.

'Landmark victory'

Mr Justice Burton told London's High Court that distributing the film without the guidance to counter its "one-sided" views would breach education laws.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families was not under a duty to forbid the film, provided it was accompanied by the guidance, he said.

"I conclude that the claimant substantially won this case by virtue of my finding that, but for the new guidance note, the film would have been distributed in breach of sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act", he said.

The nine errors alleged by the judge included:

# Mr Gore's assertion that a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of ice in either West Antarctica or Greenland "in the near future". The judge said this was "distinctly alarmist" and it was common ground that if Greenland's ice melted it would release this amount of water - "but only after, and over, millennia".

# Mr Gore's assertion that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming - the court heard the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established the snow recession is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.

# Mr Gore's reference to a new scientific study showing that, for the first time, polar bears had actually drowned "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."

The case was brought by school governor Stewart Dimmock, from Dover, a father of two.

His lawyers described the ruling as a "landmark victory".

Mr Dimmock said: "I am elated with today's result, but still disappointed that the film is able to be shown in schools.

"If it was not for the case brought by myself, our young people would still be being indoctrinated with this political spin."

The judge awarded Mr Dimmock two-thirds of his estimated legal costs of more than £200,000, against the government.

BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be "embarrassing for Mr Gore" but would not affect the government, which said it is happy that the judge did not dismiss the film's mainstream argument.

But, he added, this controversy could encourage the public to think there was scientific doubt about the facts of climate change.

Children's Minister Kevin Brennan had earlier said: "It is important to be clear that the central arguments put forward in An Inconvenient Truth, that climate change is mainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases and will have serious adverse consequences, are supported by the vast weight of scientific opinion.

"Nothing in the judge's comments today detract from that."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/10 21:53:22 GMT

The Herald Sun 10 Oct 07
A convenient fraud now being exposed
Andrew Bolt

A WORD of advice to the many teachers who have been scaring our children with screenings of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

Be aware that a judge this month instructed British teachers showing the film to tell their pupils that Gore makes at least 11 false or unsupported claims.

I hate to think it is necessary to remind our own teachers to do likewise, but I fear the worst.

Every school in the country has now been offered free DVDs of An Inconvenient Truth, by Paramount and Jackgreen International, which makes money from the global warming scare. Even the Environment Protection Authority is urging schools to show it.

And, indeed, with our pop stars lip-synching green platitudes and polls showing Australians are more panicked by global warming than people of almost any other country, it seems all this propaganda is working brilliantly already.

In Britain, though, teachers are at least required to be more careful before force-feeding such hype to children. The Education Act bans the teaching of partisan political views and demands politics be taught in a balanced way, which would be a novel approach in some of our own schools.

So, when Stewart Dimmock, a truck driver and school governor from Kent, heard that Britain's Labour Government was sending copies of Gore's film to more than 3800 schools he sued. "I wish my children to have the best education possible, free from bias and political spin, and Mr Gore's film falls far short of the standard required," said the father of two.

What followed was three days of argument in the English High Court on just how truthful Gore's Academy Award-winning film really was.

Justice Michael Burton is yet to give his final ruling, but has already said the film promotes "partisan political views" and schools must warn students of that.

Worse for Gore's reputation, Burton also said the Government had to rewrite the guidance notes for teachers that accompany the film to point out that An Inconvenient Truth contained 11 serious untruths or unsubstantiated claims. Only then could it be shown in class.

Here are those 11 corrections to Gore's film - and many will be familiar to readers of this column:

Gore presents Mt Kilimanjaro's melting snows as proof of global warming. In fact, the snows are vanishing thanks to local factors, including deforestation.

Gore suggests Antarctica's ice cover is melting. Most studies says it is increasing or stable.

Gore shows scary graphics of cities drowning in seas that rise 7m, causing millions of refugees. But the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the seas will rise at worst by 59cm this century.

Gore uses images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests it was caused by global warming. The Government's expert in this case admitted such one-off events can't be blamed on warming.

Gore suggests ice-core evidence shows rising CO2 caused temperature rises, which ended the past seven ice ages. In fact, the CO2 rises followed temperature rises by 800 to 2000 years.

Gore claims global warming could stop the Gulf Stream, causing an ice age in Europe. Recent studies deny it.

Gore blames global warming for species losses and coral reef bleaching. The Government couldn't show evidence to back this claim.

Gore claims a study showed polar bears had drowned because of vanishing ice. The study actually said just four polar bears drowned, and only because of a bad storm.

Gore suggests Greenland's ice could melt, causing a dangerous rise in sea levels. In fact, Greenland's ice won't melt for thousands of years.

Gore shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert agreed this was not the case.

Gore claims rising seas have forced people to flee Pacific islands to New Zealand. There is no record of any such warming-caused evacuation.

I don't know why the court stopped at just 11. Hyperbole overload? But this must be enough to make rational viewers sceptical of all Gore's case.

The British Government has now rewritten its guidance to teachers to take in those 11 objections, while trying very hard not to make Gore's film seem fraudulent.

To correct that last false claim, for instance, of global warming causing islanders to evacuate their homes, the guide now includes this weasel disclaimer: "It is not clear that there is any evidence of evacuations in the Pacific due to human-induced climate." What: not clear?

But that's not the only sign that the educationists who push Gore's film on to students are as devoted to his apocalyptic faith as are our own class of teacher-preachers.

Note this line from the guide, urging children to question even their parents' lack of faith: "Pupils may ask, what were my parents and grandparents doing during this time? Did they know that this was happening?"

But here's the real questions those students will be asking once they are old enough to think for themselves, and to see Gore's promised Armageddon never came.

What were my teachers doing, pushing on me an end-of-my-world film that clearly didn't tell the truth?

What madness took hold even of our scientists, that the CSIRO could claim of this deceitful film, "its scientific basis is very sound"?

Children, you are being told untruths to scare you. And shame on those who are party to this deceit.

Times Online 11 Oct 07
Al Gore’s inconvenient judgment

Lewis Smith Environment Reporter

Al Gore’s award-winning climate change documentary was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, a judge ruled yesterday.

An Inconvenient Truth won plaudits from the environmental lobby and an Oscar from the film industry but was found wanting when it was scrutinised in the High Court in London.

Mr Justice Burton identified nine significant errors within the former presidential candidate’s documentary as he assessed whether it should be shown to school children. He agreed that Mr Gore’s film was “broadly accurate” in its presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change but said that some of the claims were wrong and had arisen in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration”.

In what is a rare judicial ruling on what children can see in the class-room, Mr Justice Barton was at pains to point out that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change.

“It is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film, a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film,” he said in his ruling. “It is built around the charismatic presence of the ex-Vice-Presi-dent, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming.

“It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film.”

The analysis by the judge will have a bearing on whether the Government can continue with its plan to have the film shown in every secondary school. He agreed it could be shown but on the condition that it was accompanied by new guidance notes for teachers to balance Mr Gore’s “one-sided” views.

The Government’s decision to show the film in secondary schools had come under attack from Stewart Dim-mock, a school governor in Kent and a member of political group the New Party, who accused the Government of brainwashing children.

The first mistake made by Mr Gore, said Mr Justice Burton in his written judgment, was in talking about the potential devastation wrought by a rise in sea levels caused by the melting of ice caps.

The claim that sea levels could rise by 20ft “in the near future” was dismissed as “distinctly alarmist”. Such a rise would take place “only after, and over, millennia”.

Mr Justice Burton added: “The ar-mageddon scenario he predicts, inso-far as it suggests that sea level rises of seven metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus.”

A claim that atolls in the Pacific had already been evacuated was supported by “no evidence”, while to suggest that two graphs showing carbon dioxide levels and temperatures over the last 650,000 years were an “exact fit” overstated the case.

Mr Gore’s suggestion that the Gulf Stream, that warms up the Atlantic ocean, would shut down was contradicted by the International Panel on Climate Change’s assessment that it was “very unlikely” to happen.

The drying of Lake Chad, the loss of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snows and Hurricane Katrina were all blamed by Mr Gore on climate change but the judge said the scientific community had been unable to find evidence to prove there was a direct link.

The drying of Lake Chad, the judge said, was “far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and overgrazing, and regional climate variability”. The melting of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was “mainly attributable to human-induced climate change”.

The judge also said there was no proof to support a claim that polar bears were drowning while searching for icy habitats melted by global warming. The only drowned polar bears the court was aware of were four that died following a storm.

Similarly, the judge took issue with the former Vice-President of the United States for attributing coral bleaching to climate change. Separating the direct impacts of climate change and other factors was difficult, the judgment concluded.

Despite finding nine significant errors the judge said many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified “four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC”.

In particular, he agreed with the main thrust of Mr Gore’s arguments: “That climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (‘greenhouse gases’).”

The other three main points accepted by the judge were that global temperatures are rising and are likely to continue to rise, that climate change will cause serious damage if left unchecked, and that it is entirely possible for governments and individuals to reduce its impacts.

— A High Court judge since 1998, Sir Michael Burton, 60, was president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 2002 to 2005. He stood in local elections for Labour in Kensington and Chelsea in 1971; Stratford upon Avon in the General Election in 1974; and for the SDP in Greater London Council elections in 1981. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, his wife died in 1992 leaving him to bring up four daughters

The speech, the film, the book

— An Inconvenient Truth is the third-highest grossing documentary ever in the United States, making more than $23 million (£12 million)

— It has so far earned $49 million at the box office worldwide It was shown at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Oscar this year for Best Documentary, Features

— The film is based on a lavishly-illustrated public lecture that Mr Gore has given more than 1,000 times in the US and elsewhere It was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who has also directed episodes of the hit television shows Deadwood, The Shield and 24

— The companion book written by Gore has been on The New York Times bestseller list since June 11, 2006

— Mr Gore has been nominated jointly with Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his global warming campaign, including making the documentary

— President Bush, when asked whether he would watch the film, responded: Doubt it"

— The documentary has featured on The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama and even in an Ozzy Osborne song, The Almighty Dollar

The Telegraph 11 Oct 07
Al Gore's 'nine Inconvenient Untruths'
By Sally Peck

Al Gore's environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth contains nine key scientific errors, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

The judge declined to ban the Academy Award-winning film from British schools, but ruled that it can only be shown with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.

In the documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, the former US vice president and environmental activist calls on people to fight global warming because "humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb".

But Judge Michael Burton ruled yesterday that errors had arisen "in the context of alarmism and exaggeration" in order to support Mr Gore's thesis on global warming.

His criticism followed an unsuccessful attempt by Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor, to block the Government's plan to screen the documentary in more than 3,500 secondary schools in England and Wales.

The father of two claimed An Inconvenient Truth included "serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush".

The film's distributor, Paramount, warns in its synopsis of the film: "If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced."

But the judge ruled that the "apocalyptic vision" presented in the film was politically partisan and thus not an impartial scientific analysis of climate change.

It is, he ruled, a "political film".

The nine alleged errors in the film

# 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.

A Government spokesman said he would not make any further comment on the case today.

Related articles on Climate change
about the site | email ria
  News articles are reproduced for non-profit educational purposes.

website©ria tan 2003 www.wildsingapore.com