Only about a month ago, channel nine showed Al Gore’s propaganda film on one of is minor networks; ‘gem’. In light of the fact that kids all around the world are shown this in class, presented as fact, I would like to throw my ten cents worth into the growing criticism of this movie.
I won’t go into the factual errors Gore made as they are well documented, with Christopher Monckton being at the forefront of the criticism. Another criticism is here on conscious.com. I will mention the absolute howlers however. Gore presents two pieces of evidence which seem to point to a significant anthropogenic aspect of recent climate changes. The first if the Vostok ice cores which show a correlation between carbon dioixide and temperature over 600 000 years. This link is in fact the other way around, temperature drives climate preceeding it by 800 years. This was known at the time and it seems Gore deliberately misrepresented causality.
The other is the Michael Mann hockey stick graph which shows a relatively stable climate before a sudden rise about 100 years ago, suggesting our doing. This has been discredited by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, proven to be statistical garbage and a look at the climategate emails would suggest Mann had dliberately excluded the medieval warm period, which was actually warmer than today.Although not officially debunked until a year later, it was sufficiently controversial at the time for the IPCC to omit it from their fourth assessment report.
The most alarming claim of Gore is that sea levels will rise 6m. This was a claim first made by Gore’s mate James Hansen of NASA, the same James Hansen who suggested deniers be jailed. This estimate goes even beyond the IPCC’s wild estimate in its 1990 report (they get less and less after every report) and is based on a tipping point, due to instability in the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. This would only add to 15% of the latest IPCC estimate (59cm).
The worst claim however is that “no fact is disputed by anyone”. Actually 35 facts are disputed by Lord Monckton and a British court thought nine of them were bad enough to force schools to disclose them before showing it to their students. There is also growing dissent among scientists around the world, with 31000, 9000 of them PhDs signing the petition project, rejecting the hypothesis that we are driving the climate.
The most amusing thing I found about the film is the familiar cartoon clip it showed. I recognised the explanation of the greenhouse effect from futurama. No doubt, all Gore’s appearances of that show prompted a bit of quid pro quo.
Notice how much of Gore’s life story he told; his college lecturer who had such a profound influence on him, his 2000 election loss and a number of tragic instances that while sad, really are irrelevant. These were all an attempt to demonstrate his motivation, but it doesn’t really address the issue.
How many scientists did he talk to in the film? Really, how many? By my count, zero. My suspicion is that no scientist, even if they did believe there was an issue, would associate themselves with Gore’s other lies. Contrast that with The Great Global Warming Swindle whch interviews two dozen scientists and other authorities on global warming.
An Inconvenient Truth is a propaganda piece that contains very few facts and a whole lot of lies. He spends about twenty minutes talking about the impacts of global warming we are all ready seeing, without any evidence linking them to our activity. No doubt the drama in the film warranted an Oscar, but given the lack of facts, not for best documentary.