A UK High Court judge has rejected a lawsuit by political activist Stuart Dimmock to stop the distribution of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to British schools. Justice Burton agreed that

“Al Gore’s presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.”

There were nine points where Burton decided that AIT differed from the IPCC and that this should be addressed in the Guidance Notes for teachers to be sent out with the movie.

Unfortunately a gaggle of useless journalists have misreported this decision as one that AIT contained nine scientific errors. Let me name some of the journalists who got it wrong:
Sally Peck in the Daily Telegraph, Nico Hines in the Times, Mike Nizza in the New York Times, James McIntyre in the Independent, PA in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, David Adam in the Guardian, Daniel Cressey in Nature, the BBC, Mary Jordan in the Washington Post, Marcus Baram for ABC News, and (of course) Matthew Warren in the Australian.

Let’s look at what Burton really wrote (my emphasis):

Mr Downes produced a long schedule of such alleged errors or exaggerations and waxed lyrical in that regard. It was obviously helpful for me to look at the film with his critique in hand.

In the event I was persuaded that only some of them were sufficiently persuasive to be relevant for the purposes of his argument, and it was those matters – 9 in all – upon which I invited Mr Chamberlain to concentrate. It was essential to appreciate that the hearing before me did not relate to an analysis of the scientific questions, but to an assessment of whether the ‘errors’ in question, set out in the context of a political film, informed the argument on ss406 and 407. All these 9 ‘errors’ that I now address are not put in the context of the evidence of Professor Carter and the Claimant’s case, but by reference to the IPCC report and the evidence of Dr Stott.

If you noticed the quotation marks around ‘error’ then you are more observant than all of the journalists I listed above. Burton is not saying that there are errors, he is just referring to the things that Downes alleged were errors. Burton puts quote marks around ‘error’ 17 more times in his judgement. Notice also the emphasised part — Burton is not even trying to decide whether they are errors or not. This too seems to have escaped the journalists’ attention. (And yes, that was Bob Carter mentioned there.)

So what is Burton assessing in his judgement? Well, s407 says that where political issues are involved there should be “a balanced presentation of opposing views” so Burton states that the government should make it clear when “there is a view to the contrary, i.e. (at least) the mainstream view”. Burton calls these “errors or departures from the mainstream”.

So contrary to all the reporters’ claims Burton did not find that there were 9 scientific errors in AIT, but that there were nine points that might be errors or where differing views should be presented for balance.

Now let’s look at the nine points and see if Burton classified them correctly.


In scene 21 (the film is carved up for teaching purposes into 32 scenes), in one of the most graphic parts of the film Mr Gore says as follows:

“If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida. This is what would happen in the San Francisco Bay. A lot of people live in these areas. The Netherlands, the Low Countries: absolutely devastation. The area around Beijing is home to tens of millions of people. Even worse, in the area around Shanghai, there are 40 million people. Worse still, Calcutta, and to the east Bangladesh, the area covered includes 50 million people. Think of the impact of a couple of hundred thousand refugees when they are displaced by an environmental event and then imagine the impact of a 100 million or more. Here is Manhattan. This is the World Trade Center memorial site. After the horrible events of 9/11 we said never again. This is what would happen to Manhattan. They can measure this precisely, just as scientists could predict precisely how much water would breach the levee in New Orleans.”

This is distinctly alarmist, and part of Mr Gore’s ‘wake-up call’. It is common ground that if indeed Greenland melted, it would release this amount of water, but only after, and over, millennia, so that the Armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of 7 metres might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus.

The IPCC report does say that the ice sheets will melt if warming is sustained over millennia, but does not rule out it happening sooner:

Recent satellite and in situ observations of ice streams behind
disintegrating ice shelves highlight some rapid reactions
of ice sheet systems. This raises new concern about the overall
stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the collapse of which
would trigger another five to six metres of sea level rise. While
these streams appear buttressed by the shelves in front of them,
it is currently unknown whether a reduction or failure of this
buttressing of relatively limited areas of the ice sheet could actually
trigger a widespread discharge of many ice streams and
hence a destabilisation of the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Ice sheet models are only beginning to capture such small-scale
dynamical processes that involve complicated interactions with
the glacier bed and the ocean at the perimeter of the ice sheet.
Therefore, no quantitative information is available from the current
generation of ice sheet models as to the likelihood or timing
of such an event.

Burton:

In scene 20, Mr Gore states “that’s why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand”. There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.

Yes there is.

Seeing themselves as climate refuges some Tuvalans are already leaving their islands, moving their communities to higher ground in a new land. … Fala and Suamalie, along with international environmental activists, argue that Tuvaluans and others in a similar predicament should be treated like refugees and given immigration rights and other refugee benefits. This tiny nation was among the first on the globe to sound the alarm, trekking from forum to forum to try to get the world to listen. New Zealand did agree to take 75 Tuvaluans a year as part of its Pacific Access Category, an agreement made in 2001.

Gore’s statement is badly worded, since it could be understood to to be saying that entire countries have been evacuated rather than some of the residents.

Burton:

In scene 17 he says, “One of the ones they are most worried about where they have spent a lot of time studying the problem is the North Atlantic, where the Gulf Stream comes up and meets the cold wind coming off the Arctic over Greenland and evaporates the heat out of the Gulf Stream and the stream is carried over to western Europe by the prevailing winds and the earth’s rotation … they call it the Ocean Conveyor … At the end of the last ice age … that pump shut off and the heat transfer stopped and Europe went back into an ice age for another 900 or 1000 years. Of course that’s not going to happen again, because glaciers of North America are not there. Is there any big chunk of ice anywhere near there? Oh yeah [pointing at Greenland]“. According to the IPCC, it is very unlikely that the Ocean Conveyor (known technically as the Meridional Overturning Circulation or thermohaline circulation) will shut down in the future, though it is considered likely that thermohaline circulation may slow down.

The IPCC says that by “very unlikely”, they mean a 5-10% chance of it happening. Since the consequences would be very bad, I think Gore is justified in saying that it is worrying, though it would have been better if he had said that it was a possible rather probable result of continued warming.

Burton:

In scenes 8 and 9, Mr Gore shows two graphs relating to a period of 650,000 years, one showing rise in CO2 and one showing rise in temperature, and asserts (by ridiculing the opposite view) that they show an exact fit. Although there is general scientific agreement that there is a connection, the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts.

Burton is wrong here. Gore does not assert that there is an exact fit, but rather that:

The relationship is very complicated. But there is one relationship that is more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside

And that does reflect the scientific consensus.

Burton:

Mr Gore asserts in scene 7 that the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro is expressly attributable to global warming. It is noteworthy that this is a point that specifically impressed Mr Milliband (see the press release quoted at paragraph 6 above). However, it is common ground that, the scientific consensus is that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.

The Kilimanjaro glacier may or may not be disappearing due to global warming, but it is making other tropical glaciers disappear. So while he could have picked a better example, it doesn’t affect his argument.

The drying up of Lake Chad is used as a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming. However, it is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution. 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.

Sanjay Gupta reports:

The United Nations Environment Programme says that about half of the lake’s decrease is attributable to human water use such as inefficient damming and irrigation methods. The other half of the shrinkage is due to shifting climate patterns. Anada Tiega of the Lake Chad Basin Commission blames climate change for 50 to 75 percent of the water’s disappearance.

So some of it is due to human use, but it is wrong to say that global warming has been ruled out as a cause.

Burton:

In scene 12 Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is ascribed to global warming. It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that.

Gore does not ascribe Katrina to global warming. He follows the scientific consensus in saying that warming will make hurricanes get stronger. Katrina is used as an example of the damage that stronger hurricanes could do and of the consequences of ignoring warnings from scientists.

Burton:

In scene 16, by reference to a dramatic graphic of a polar bear desperately swimming through the water looking for ice, Mr Gore says: “A new scientific study shows that for the first time they are finding polar bears that have actually drowned swimming long distances up to 60 miles to find the ice. They did not find that before.” 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 is not to say that there may not in the future be drowning-related deaths of polar bears if the trend of regression of pack-ice and/or longer open water continues, but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description.

Burton is badly wrong here. Look at the news story on the drownings (my emphasis):

“We know short swims up to 15 miles are no problem, and we know that one or two may have swum up to 100 miles. But that is the extent of their ability, and if they are trying to make such a long swim and they encounter rough seas they could get into trouble,” said Steven Amstrup, a research wildlife biologist with the USGS.

The new study, carried out in part of the Beaufort Sea, shows that between 1986 and 2005 just 4% of the bears spotted off the north coast of Alaska were swimming in open waters. Not a single drowning had been documented in the area.

However, last September, when the ice cap had retreated a record 160 miles north of Alaska, 51 bears were spotted, of which 20% were seen in the open sea, swimming as far as 60 miles off shore.

The researchers returned to the vicinity a few days later after a fierce storm and found four dead bears floating in the water. “We estimate that of the order of 40 bears may have been swimming and that many of those probably drowned as a result of rough seas caused by high winds,” said the report.

There were storms before 2006, but they didn’t drown bears. The bears drowned in the 2006 storm because they had to swim further because of global warming.

In scene 19, Mr Gore says: “Coral reefs all over the world because of global warming and other factors are bleaching and they end up like this. All the fish species that depend on the coral reef are also in jeopardy as a result. Overall specie loss is now occurring at a rate 1000 times greater than the natural background rate.” The actual scientific view, as recorded in the IPCC report, is that, if the temperature were to rise by 1-3 degrees Centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and widespread coral mortality, unless corals could adopt or acclimatise, but that separating the impacts of climate change-related stresses from other stresses, such as over-fishing and polluting, is difficult.

Burton is wrong. The IPCC report actually states:

Late 20th century effects of rising temperature include loss of sea
ice, thawing of permafrost and associated coastal retreat, and more
frequent coral bleaching and mortality.

Overall, there are a couple of points where I wish Gore would have talked about timescales and probabilities (sea level rise and thermohaline circulation), and a couple of examples that could have been better chosen (Kilimanjaro and Lake Chad). Burton was mistaken on the other points where he felt that Gore went past the consensus. I don’t think that there is any harm in the Guidance Notes on Burton’s nine points, but the usual suspects will, of course, ignore the fact that the judge found that Gore was “broadly accurate” and try to make it look as if there are serious problems with AIT and climate science.

Also commenting:

James Annan:

I saw AIT recently, and while it does not make up lies out of whole cloth in the way that Durkin’s Swindle did, I was certainly uncomfortable with parts of the story Gore presented.

William Connolley, who also notices that “this judgment has been badly, consistently and lazily reported” and:

AIT is in some danger of becoming a cuckoo overshadowing what it is supposedly explaining. Skeptics can find it very convenient to attack the film, and thereby pretend they are attacking the basic science.

Andrew Dessler:

Here’s my take on this: there is no question that there are a few statements in Gore’s movie that make me flinch. Had he run the script by me, I would have suggested he rephrase a few of his points.

That said, I think the movie is overall quite good and I give it high marks for accuracy.

Kevin Grandia:

Looks like something fishy is going on with the funding behind the UK high court challenge against An Inconvenient Truth being viewed in schools.

Andy Rowell:

Dimmock is a member of the political group, the New Party. The founder and chair of the New Party is Robert Durward, whose party is so right-wing it has been labeled “fascist” by the Scottish Tories.

More importantly, there is a cross-fertilisation between the New Party and Durward’s other pet project – he is the founder of the anti-environmental Scientific Alliance. Both the New Party and Scientific Alliance work closely with the PR company Foresight Communications.

And what has the Scientific Alliance been up to?:

There was only one scientific advisor on the [Great Global Warming Swindle], Martin Livermore, whose sole scientific qualification is that he is the Director of a web-based think tank, The Scientific Alliance. The Alliance was set up by in 2001 by Robert Durward, the fiercely anti-green director of the British Aggregates Association, and Foresight Communications, a Westminster public relations and lobbying company, to “counter scare-mongering by the so-called green lobby”. (For more…)

Comments

  1. #1 Jack Lacton
    October 12, 2007

    Holy smoke, Tim. There’s a lot of work you’ve done to try and prop up a failed argument.

    A more accurate view is available from yours truly at http://ker-plunk.blogspot.com/2007/10/inconvenient-truth-ruled-inconveniently.html

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    October 12, 2007

    Jack, thanks for proving me right when I wrote:

    >but the usual suspects will, of course, ignore the fact that the judge found that Gore was “broadly accurate” and try to make it look as if there are serious problems with AIT and climate science.

  3. #3 Jc
    October 12, 2007

    Tim

    1. So are you actualy trying to say the judge found for Gore?

    2 Why does Gores “documentary” now require a disclaimer.

    3. Was Gore wrong in understanding all the science is settled?

  4. #4 Peter Bickle
    October 12, 2007

    Where are all of the islanders who were meant to be here in New Zealand from the pacific attols. That was a lie, not a mistake.
    ACT is a load of shit.

    Regards from a non warming New Zealand
    Peter Bickle

  5. #5 ChrisK
    October 12, 2007

    Don’t forget Andrew Bolt.

    Andrew even found 11 errors, so he did better than the others.

    I do think AIT goes a bit beyond the established science though.

  6. #6 David Roberts
    October 12, 2007

    Heroic work, Tim. Nicely done.

  7. #7 cce
    October 12, 2007

    Allow me to restate:
    “Al Gore’s presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.”

    Regarding what is “settled” and what is not — humans are responsible for most of the warming. That’s settled. Things like Hurricane intensity increasing due to warming is an “emerging consensus” and thus “not settled.” Or in the words of the IPCC, “more likely than not.”

  8. #8 Paul Crowley
    October 12, 2007

    The denialists are trumpeting these “nine errors” you say?

    …so, they accept that the science in the IPCC report is the right way to measure the number of errors, as the judge did?

  9. #9 pough
    October 12, 2007

    I’m torn between installing Greasemonkey just to shut Jc up and leaving it so I can watch him count. He’s like a horribly drunk version of Sesame Street’s Count.

    One! One things that I don’t quite get!

    Two! Two stuff with the whoozimayou’re wrong!

    One! One guy who shut up you don’t know anything…

  10. #10 IanP
    October 12, 2007

    Great – now we have Judges ruling on science! Should there be fines or prison sentences if he/she disagrees with any opinion put forward. Maybe it would be an improvement if there was an unbiassed expert panel of earth scientists (not computer scientists! or judges) to rule on matters of earth science. Look through the forest of computer modellers, weather forcasters, politicians and unqualified alarmists and see what the science tells us. Climate change is here to stay – nothing we can do about it. Global warming has occurred since day one and CO2/methane has played only a small role in how it occurs.

  11. #11 John Mashey
    October 12, 2007

    Well, actually, this is a great thing … assuming:
    1) Suppose the Royal Society put out of set of notes based on Tim’s, including a discussion of who the Scientific Alliance and Bob Carter are…

    2) I think seeing the movie, followed by a discussion of the fact that nothing is perfect, and it is always worth checking … and that some people are so unwilling to recognize AGW that they fly somebody in from Australia, and even then the judge didn’t even pay much attention to him, and what the judge found was pretty supportive of AIT – would be illuminating to kids who need to learn how to sort out politics from science.

  12. #12 richCares
    October 12, 2007

    pough,

    Greasemonkey works, great. I use it with Mozella, I browes with IE7 but switch to Mozella for blogs, there are a lot more like jc that waste time, so Greasemonkey saves a lot of time for me. Actually I didn’t see what jc said to make you comment(and don’t care), but I’m sure it’s a doozy.

  13. #13 John Mashey
    October 12, 2007

    Well, actually, this is a great thing … assuming:
    1) Suppose the Royal Society put out of set of notes based on Tim’s, including a discussion of who the Scientific Alliance and Bob Carter are…

    2) I think seeing the movie, followed by a discussion of the fact that nothing is perfect, and it is always worth checking … and that some people are so unwilling to recognize AGW that they fly somebody in from Australia, and even then the judge didn’t even pay much attention to him, and what the judge found was pretty supportive of AIT – would be illuminating to kids who need to learn how to sort out politics from science.

  14. #14 Jc
    October 12, 2007

    Ian says:
    Great – now we have Judges ruling on science!

    Well actualy Ian the case was over whether scienceor politcised junk ought to be taught in schools which has an eerily similarity to the junk the christian fundies were trying to pass with creationism down Kansas way about a year ago.

    Thankfully like that case sanity prevailed and the judge stopped young minds getting traduced in this case with Al’s “climate science” hour.

    I spilled my coffee when i read about it, I lughed so much. There, I thought another fine mess Al’s got himself into. He rarely disappoints in underwhelming me.

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    October 12, 2007

    >”I spilled my coffee when i read about it, I lughed [sic] so much. There, I thought another fine mess Al’s got himself into. He rarely disappoints in underwhelming me”.

    so says JC, someone with not a shred of qualifications in climate science or related scientific fields. JC, you rarely disappoint in underwhelming me. You tend to dominate these threads with a lot of essentially useless pontificating. AGW is already having a huge range of effects on natural systems. There are all kinds of biological indicators. Moreover, some of your points were the classic example of clutching at straws; for instance point 9:

    >”Judge: The IPCC had reported that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3 degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality, unless the coral could adapt. But separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was difficult”.

    What you are saying here, JC, is akin to saying that the victim may be dying to a combination of poisoning, gunshot and knife wounds, all inflicted by another party, rather than just gunshot. To the readers out there: this is the kind of inane, absurd argument I have to deal with all of the time.

  16. #16 Armchair dissident
    October 12, 2007

    JC: “So are you actualy trying to say the judge found for Gore?”

    Obviously I’m not speaking for Tim, but yup: the case was asking for the distribution of the film to be banned outright from schools. The judge found that the documentary was – as Tim pointed out – broadly accurate and should not be banned: I’d call that “finding for Gore” (well, technically, finding for the government).

    2 Why does Gores “documentary” now require a disclaimer.”

    It doesn’t. It simply requires that the guidance that was already being sent to schools be updated noting nine points to be debated in schools. This is hardly a “some people believe in that climate change is happening, others don’t”, this is just a small list of finer details of the results of climate change: the central point – that climate change is happening, and that it is largely caused by human activity – is not challenged.

  17. #17 Paul Crowley
    October 12, 2007

    Anyone who’s ever watched a documentary on any subject they know well must be amazed to see that the judge could only find nine points on which it might be said to be misleading or inaccurate.

  18. #18 James Wimberley
    October 12, 2007

    Tim:
    Your presentation of the issue at stake in the lawsuit is not quite accurate. It wasn’t to ban the showing of AIT in schools, but to
    “declare unlawful a decision by the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills to distribute to every state secondary school in the United Kingdom a copy of [AIT]“.

    Such mass distribution implies strong government endorsement of AIT’s accuracy. Teachers can show Leni Riefenstahl’s films without endorsing them. If the plaintiffs had tried to get a court ban on mere showing of the film as a controversial current-affairs item, it would presumably have been laughed out. If the government distributes stuff, then judicial scrutiny that it’s broadly accurate is warranted. You can’t criticise Burton for reviewing this; only for how he did it. Your post does this very well.

  19. #19 SmellyTerror
    October 12, 2007

    Why do I read this blog? It just makes me angry.

    First we have complete freaking morons in the media, then comes the comment thread full of denialists pointing and shrieking at stuff they clearly don’t understand like chimps at a monolith.

    Uh… Humans. WTF is wrong with them?

  20. #20 Doormat
    October 12, 2007

    Tim, excellent work as ever. I’d been looking for a detailed take on this story, and this is exactly what I was hoping for. Amazing how badly it has been reported in the media. That said, you can sort of tell: the headlines I caught on the radio seemed pretty damning for Gore, but then by the following day, the entire story had been forgotten. So I think the reporters knew that there was nothing big here, and were just being lazy in their reporting. Interesting to see who was ultimately behind the law-suit however!

  21. #21 David Kane's friend
    October 12, 2007

    For your list of journalists who got this wrong, you can add Bunny Nooryani and Kim Chipman of Bloomberg News:

    A High Court judge in London this week ruled that the film contains scientific errors and that students must view it with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. The film has nine main errors with some arising in the context of “alarmism and exaggeration,” Judge Michael Burton ruled.

  22. #22 Hans Erren
    October 12, 2007

    1)He showed the wrong map of The Netherlands (that’s an error)
    2) He claimed a future sea level rise of 7 meters for The Netherlands.

    Indeed, he did not say when, that’s called begging the question. Al Gore is a professional rhetoric.

    Al Gore thinks also that the Greenland Icecap could rapidly slump entirely into the Atlantic (in his address to a Dutch audience), “because recently icequakes dramatically increased”.

    Dutch glaciologist Hans Oerlemans has a different opinion on that.

  23. #23 David Kane's friend
    October 12, 2007

    And yes, his/her first name really is “Bunny”. ;)

  24. #24 sod
    October 12, 2007

    1)He showed the wrong map of The Netherlands (that’s an error)

    the judge confirmed the scientific consensus.

    the only reason why right wing commenters are running this story, is complete trust in the lack of brain power among their readers…

  25. #25 dhogaza
    October 12, 2007

    Thankfully like that case sanity prevailed and the judge stopped young minds getting traduced in this case with Al’s “climate science” hour.

    Oh, not exactly, JC.

    The judge has said the government can distribute AND ENDORSE the film, as long as the notes that go with it are expanded to cover nine additional points which he felt don’t properly reflect the latest IPCC report.

    That’s some “defeat”.

  26. #26 J
    October 12, 2007

    pough wrote:

    I’m torn between installing Greasemonkey just to shut Jc up and leaving it so I can watch him count. He’s like a horribly drunk version of Sesame Street’s Count.

    He consistently makes it as far as two, then things fall apart. I am beginning to wonder when he’ll realize he can use all ten toes for counting, rather than just two feet.

  27. #27 Brian Schmidt
    October 12, 2007

    I wrote this to the Washington Post ombudsman:

    Dear Ms. Howell,

    There are misquotes, mistakes, and bad journalism in the two Washington Post articles discussing the British court case over Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    The mistakes and misquotes are over the failure to use or include the scare quotes that the British judge consistently uses to discuss the “9 ‘errors’” in the film. The use of scare quotes and subsequent discussion make clear that he considers the ‘errors’ to be allegations and potentially misinterpretations of Gore’s statements, and not a finding of actual error. Eliminating the scare quotes conceals the judge’s actual opinion.

    The judicial opinion is here:

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html

    Furthermore, the Post commits bad journalism by failing to examine whether the decision is accurate. An unpaid blogger, Tim Lambert, has found significant problems with the decision:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/an_error_is_not_the_same_thing.php

    If he can figure this out, can’t the Post’s paid journalists do a similar amount of actual investigation?

    I hope you write about this.

    The Post articles are here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/11/AR2007101102134.html

    (error in the first sentence and headline)

    and here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101200364_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2007101102222

  28. #28 Steve
    October 12, 2007

    Tim, thanks for this post, but you do overstate things a bit in terms of what the judge actually said. You claim:

    Notice also the emphasised part — Burton is not even trying to decide whether they are errors or not.

    But in fact, in paragraph 17, the judge makes it clear that he actually has identified errors in the film, not just that he’s reciting allegations of error made by the plaintiff. He says:

    I turn to AIT, the film. The following is clear… iii) There are errors and omissions in the film, to which I shall refer, and respects in which the film, while purporting to set out the mainstream view (and to belittle opposing views), does in fact itself depart from that mainstream, in the sense of the “consensus” expressed in the IPCC reports.

    I agree with the gist of your post and the general way you’ve characterized the decision. I guess we could say your post was “broadly accurate.”

  29. #29 NT
    October 12, 2007

    Yes I agree with the very first posting, this is a lot of work to prop up a very shoddy documentary.

    The whole global warming topic is really a fascinating study in how gullible the human race can be, and how science can be abused for political purposes. That’s the real story here.

  30. #30 Chris Tucker
    October 12, 2007

    I am beginning to wonder when he’ll realize he can use all ten toes for counting, rather than just two feet.

    Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence.

    We do not know how many toes jc was born with, his repeatedly demonstrated congenital idiocy may also express in missing or additional toes/fingers, nor do we know how many toes he may have lost by his repeatedly shooting himself in the foot/feet.

    As an aside, thank you for such a great article concerning the “errors” in AIT.

    I am happy to see that the forces of reason prevailed in the U.K.

  31. #31 David Adam
    October 12, 2007

    Tim

    The judge also said:

    “However, as will be seen, some of the errors, or departures from the mainstream, by Mr Gore in AIT in the course of his dynamic exposition, do arise in the context of alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis.”

    That’s errors. Not “errors”

    Just for clarification, and to avoid future bouts of uselessness, which of the errors he’s talking about are actually “errors”?

    David Adam

    The Guardian

  32. #32 Tim Lambert
    October 12, 2007

    David, that’s “errors, or departures from the mainstream”. Burton said he wasn’t even trying to decide whether they were errors or not — it was sufficient that they be departures from the mainstream.

    I don’t think any of the nine are actual errors where the science says that Gore is wrong. In some of them, like Kilimanjaro, the science is arguable.

  33. #33 Steve
    October 12, 2007

    The context, it seems to me, is that the Government chose not to defend these various issues to the death, but rather to craft a revised set of teaching materials that “teach the controversy” on the points worthy of discussion. That’s a reasonable resolution.

  34. #34 Dano
    October 12, 2007

    I am beginning to wonder when he’ll realize he can use all ten toes for counting, rather than just two feet.

    Actually, from the quality of replies and dissembling, it looks like he counts to 11 quite frequently…

    Best,

    D

  35. #35 Ricky
    October 12, 2007

    “The whole global warming topic is really a fascinating study in how gullible the human race can be, and how science can be abused for political purposes. That’s the real story here.”

    I don’t cruise the right-wing or denialist sites but what is the political purpose that global warming is supposed to be propping up? About the only one I have heard aired is the silly congressman who said the whole global warming issue was made up to help sell ad space on The Weather Channel. I just don’t see any rationale for thousands of scientists to make up evidence and spend millions of hours in research, but none of them have profited in any major way that I can see. I would think thousands of climatologists and other scientists suddenly purchasing Ferraris and hundred acre ranches as being a pretty noticeable phenomenon. Maybe I should be taking those 9/11 conspiracy theories more seriously, they certainly seem more plausible.

  36. #36 NT
    October 12, 2007

    Ricky, the very fact that your post starts with “I don’t cruise the right-wing…” proves my point.

    I have often wondered how whole hoards of people could blindly follow a certain idea (religion for example), and I still wonder what causes that.

    But one sees the same thing in global warming. A sort of narrow-minded thinking that questions nothing and simply follows the cause blindly.

    There is certainly evidence suggesting that the earth is warming, and evidence to suggest that greenhouse gasses are one cause of that. But that doesn’t mean every doom and gloom prediction that is presented is right, or even based on good science. And it doesn’t mean that Al Gore has it all right either.

    And it certainly doesn’t in of itself mean that all the proposed “solutions” are fair or right, and in same cases one can validly question if all of them are even needed.

    I just marvel at how many people are willing to swallow the entire global warming story hook, line and sinker, and not question a single thing about.

    But again, that’s what people do in religion. That’s what the Russians did with communism. And there are other examples. It’s a real weakness in the human spirit.

    And let’s not forget that had we NOT burned fossil fuels in the last century many of the inventions that we now take for granted (this blog and the Internet it runs on being just one example), would never have happened.

    I see the same thing with my kids in school today. Kids are taught to question nothing, and swallow whatever the indoctrination of the day happens to be. That’s not how society advances.

  37. #37 dhogaza
    October 12, 2007

    But one sees the same thing in global warming. A sort of narrow-minded thinking that questions nothing and simply follows the cause blindly.

    Yeah, it’s very narrow-minded of us to place our faith in atmospheric physics rather than right-wingnut WOO.

    Let me guess, you think that tomorrow objects will rise to the moon rather than fall if you drop them, right?

    Wouldn’t want to follow physics blindly, would you?

  38. #38 Justin
    October 12, 2007

    I don’t see what part affiliation has to do with Climate change..as I understand that Climate Change is a problem that needs to be addressed. I do not however appreciate the over-dramatization and fabrication of a lot of the facts in Gore’s “documentary.” All of the sentimental stuff regarding his son and his childhood also had ABSOLUTELY no place in a documentary. It was tacky and was in poor taste. As someone who was interested in the topic, I did not appreciate the misleading info that the film attempted to force-feed it’s viewers

  39. #39 Steve L
    October 12, 2007

    Whoa, just a minute now. Justin says the part about “his childhood had ABSOLUTELY no place in a documentary.” Justin doesn’t understand that the documentary was about Gore and what he’s doing (his slideshow). It’s sad that science doesn’t reach an audience unless it is made personal, but that’s no reason to get upset at the movie. I’m not sure that documenting someone’s motivation (or their explanation of their motivation) is taboo in any case — people on both sides have tried to turn the discussion of the science in the movie into one about political motives anyway. This is a problem with human nature. Geez, complaining about the presenter being dramatic — who would go to a slideshow or a movie to be bored?

  40. #40 David
    October 12, 2007

    My God you really are clutching at straws. Your article is nothing more and nothing less than standard rebuffment prose cycled and recycled by the non anthropgenic global warming deniers.
    You have merely fisked the Judges words in order to further your flakey argument which is now recieved opinion just as other fashionable ideas caught on over the centuries. Let this era be known as the Great panic of the early twentieth century when scholars and students of social history will look back and debate not when agw ideas fizzled out but why they fizzled out and how the vacuum of ideas left behind in the messy intellectual trail of widespread global cynicism helped to unleash dark forces which set the whole world alight and eventually leading to a dreadful world war.

  41. #41 NT
    October 12, 2007

    dhogaza you would fit right in with the crowd that wanted Galileo dead.

    Al Gore is making a fortune – not a small amount, let’s be clear, millions of dollars – spinning the story that the world is going to come to an end.

    It’s scarcely any different than the Pope telling people that if they didn’t put money in the plate they would go to hell. That model became good business for the church.

    Science long ago became unimportant in the global warming debate. You have the sky-is-falling zealots who are trying to make money and policy out of fear (and forcing their political ideology on everyone in the process). And you have another set of zealots who believe that man has no impact on the earth’s ecosystem at all.

    And the real casualty in all of this will be the reputation of science in the eyes of the public.

  42. #42 dhogaza
    October 12, 2007

    My God you really are clutching at straws…
    You have merely fisked the Judges words in order to further your flakey argument which is now recieved opinion just as other fashionable ideas caught on over the centuries.

    The Judge explicitly accepts anthropomorphic global warming as being scientific consenus in the legal opinion Tim’s referencing.

    The Judge has minor nits with Gore’s movie, nothing more.

    Now, who is clutching at straws?

    Let this era be known as the Great panic of the early twentieth century when scholars and students of social history will look back and debate not when agw ideas fizzled out but why they fizzled out and how the vacuum of ideas left behind in the messy intellectual trail of widespread global cynicism helped to unleash dark forces which set the whole world alight and eventually leading to a dreadful world war.

    There are several people on the ‘net who will allow you to put your money where your mouth is, in the form of a bet.

    I assume you’ve already done so, or will, soon?

    Or all you all foam-at-the-mouth and no wallet?

  43. #43 sod
    October 12, 2007

    Science long ago became unimportant in the global warming debate. You have the sky-is-falling zealots who are trying to make money and policy out of fear

    this is TOTAL nonsense. there is a scientific CONSENSUS. this is NOT a “he says – she says” situation. the science is SETTLED.

    how exactly do scientists make money with this? they all had a huge payment increase lately? TOTAL NONSENSE!

  44. #44 dhogaza
    October 12, 2007

    dhogaza you would fit right in with the crowd that wanted Galileo dead.

    Galileo, like atmospheric physicists today, had his science right. Suggesting that my support of science today makes me fit in with those who wanted Galileo dead is a bit odd.

    It’s scarcely any different than the Pope telling people that if they didn’t put money in the plate they would go to hell.

    There’s tons of peer-reviewed scientific literature backing up the science in Gore’s movie.

    Where are the peer-reviewed scientific papers backing up any claim that not tithing will cause you to go to hell?

    Science long ago became unimportant in the global warming debate.

    Then why are thousands of peer-reviewed papers on the subject being published annually?

    You must think we’re fools if your stating obviously unsupportable comments of this sort will change anyone’s mind.

    Creationists say the same about biology, of course. Those of us who’ve been following the efforts of rightwing nutters to kick the teaching of modern biology out of public schools here in the US are used to the tactics you’re employing.

    Sorry, not impressed.

    Members of the Flat Earth society, homeopathic physicians, astrologists and crystal healers might be, though.

  45. #45 guthrie
    October 12, 2007

    NT- helping make the problem, then selling solutions to it, is the american way. How can you be anti-american?

  46. #46 s katz
    October 12, 2007

    The judge’s decision is near hysteria, a knee jerk reaction in it’s attempt to deflect the major thrust of Gore’s film. The implications of these nit picking attacks and implication of the ‘harm it does’ grossly outweighs any conflation done in the documentary itself.

    The overall conclusion from AIT is that we as a species are on a serious unsustainable course, which is imperiling the future of this planet, and future generations. It’s valid, and it’s real.

    If one wants to quibble about details of the impact of these changes and time lines presented in the film, cases can be made to do that within all of the models. But not one serious and fair scientific analysis can conclude we can continue on our current course without disastrous consequences.

    The Inconvenient Truth is that we are destroying the ecological balance which is required to support all current forms of life on this sphere.

    This sphere, our home, is the only one we have.

    So, what are willing to give up?

    How many species are an acceptable amount to go extinct? How many people relocated in those countries that cannot cope with climate changes? How much increase in disease vectors are we willing to tolerate? How many people will die?

    What is everyone globally willing to give up, so a small percentage of the world’s rich can rush around in their frenetic lives and stuff themselves full of mindless entertainment and trinkets?

    When is humankind going to become socially responsible for itself, as a community?

    This judge seems to be proud of himself for finding these things he can shoot holes in, and make these summary disparaging [and inaccurate] comments about AIT. In the US media, the giant propaganda right wing Wurlitzer is cranked up. The conclusion? They use this ‘finding’ as ‘proof’ that climate change is a mirage, that ‘Al Gore is a fraud’.

    This puffery, this indignation about how “Al Gore is scaring our children”, is thin gruel, and is a defense of greedy and selfish lifestyles, foisted upon us by mega-multi national corporations. We have been marketed to and sold a bill of goods, that life somehow isn’t complete with remote controls, huge televisions, giant sports venues and a massive consumer economy. We need ever more, our appetite for goodies and trinkets and labor saving devices outstrips every conceivable notion of common sense.

    It’s the convenience and entertainment for the lucky 25% of world’s population that is more important, no matter how inconvenient the truth is for the other 75% of the people who live on this planet with us.

    The basic facts remain.

    We are killing our planet: we either change the way we live, post haste, or we doom species on this planet to wholesale extinction, and end the lives of millions, if not billions of human beings who are not able to cope with climate change, changes in agricultural patterns, disease vectors .. horrors that we can hardly plan for and imagine.

    This bickering, this arguing is only about how soon these changes happen. We are already too late to prevent many of these changes from happening.

    As for ‘Scaring our children’, we are already here. The actions we take now are to mitigate the worst of the effects, to hopefully reduce the impact of the damage we have done. We should be empowering our children with the knowledge that they can make a difference, and reject the wasteful and greedy culture that has been marketed to us.

  47. #47 Andy
    October 12, 2007

    You have to remember that Gore’s movie was done before the emergence of the latest IPCC reports. So it is even not fair to compare his statements with knowledge that was compiled later. Then you could just compare IPCC AR3 with AR4 and you will find that they differ quite much. And, you know what, that is how scientific progress work!
    Way to go, Al. I’m totally pro your work. And congrats to the Nobel prize!

  48. #48 Charles
    October 12, 2007

    Thanks for being on it, Tim. One point that always has to be mentioned in these discussions is the precautionary principle.

    Possibility 1: Al Gore is wrong and we do nothing. Cost = 0, benefit = 0

    Possibility 2: Al Gore is wrong and we follow his advice. Cost = (say) $100B, benefit = cleaner air, fuel efficient cars, houses that cost less to heat

    Possibility 3: Al Gore is right and we do nothing. Cost = human civilization and (say) $500 Trillion. Benefit = cockroaches are very happy.

    Possibility 4: Al Gore is right and we take steps. Cost = (say) $100B and global warming deniers very unhappy, benefit = planet saved.

    To make an omelet sometimes you have to step on some chickens–t.

  49. #49 Hank Roberts
    October 12, 2007

    Killfiles are all very well, but until the Web catches up with Usenet newsreaders in the ability to kill followups, it would be a kindness to others not to feed trolls _or_ if that’s too much to ask, please, don’t regurgitate what you swallow when you allow them to feed you.

    I sure miss ‘nn’ and Lynx and text newsgroup structure where a whole thread could be killfiled and responses to the troll would go with the troll.

  50. #50 McKingford
    October 12, 2007

    Humans. WTF is wrong with them?

    Don’t worry, we’ll be gone soon enough. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “Our planet’s immune system is trying to get rid of us. And should”.

  51. #51 Kamron
    October 13, 2007

    And let’s not forget that had we NOT burned fossil fuels in the last century many of the inventions that we now take for granted (this blog and the Internet it runs on being just one example), would never have happened.

    The non sequitur! It hurts teh brains!

    Science long ago became unimportant in the global warming debate.

    Two possibilities:
    1)You know all about the science of global climate. You are on the cutting edge, eagerly reading the latest papers on wind shear effects on hurricane strength. And you are saddened that the vast majority of folks don’t have the time or intellectual horsepower to keep up with you on that cutting edge, and are dependent on summaries by leading scientific panels about their research and its implications.

    2)You are a worthless f@cknut, and may stfu now.

  52. #52 NT
    October 13, 2007

    dhogaza you are acting exactly like a zealot, reading things into what I am writing that are not even there.

    I am a Ph.D. educated Electrical Engineer. I believe in evolution and like you I don’t like one bit what is happening in schools regarding the teaching of Creation. Etc.

    But what you seem to miss entirely is that you yourself are behaving exactly like a member of the Flat Earth society.

    You are no better than the evanglists, rightwing nutters, etc. that you dislike.

    And the fact that you cannot see that only proves the point further.

    In short, your reaction and associated comments have basically proved my hypothesis.

  53. #53 luminous beauty
    October 13, 2007

    NT,

    Project much?

  54. #54 Me
    October 13, 2007

    For scenes 8 and 9, I don’t see why Al Gore is right here. When the temperature rises co2 follows, rather then temperature following co2 levels. In a system, there is usually relationships like that of temperature and pressure. That is there is most likely a similar relationship, that when temperature increases it also makes it possible for their to be more co2, or it has an affect on biology that causes the co2 sinks to decrease. As Al Gore says, it’s a complex relationship, but in his scenario it doesn’t make sense for co2 to increase while temperatures are decreasing.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=XDI2NVTYRXU

  55. #55 Colin M
    October 13, 2007
  56. #56 Ulpian
    October 13, 2007

    Well, at least the ambiguities have got everyone talking. And I don’t believe anything could be written on this subject without contention, so well done say I!

  57. #57 Me again
    October 13, 2007

    (#48) Charles, The problem with Pascals Wager, is there are infinite possibilities. In the case of Pascals wager, there are a number of different religions, which one is the right one (if any) is not simple. In the case you are presenting, you only look at whether we should do something or not do something, not at what is the best thing to do. Like for example, are we causing global warming or are we not, if we are causing it then we should spend resources (money/scientist) on developing ways of reducing pollution, if we are not causing it then we need to look at what is causing it to see if we can do something about it (weather control, etc). If we can’t do that, we also have to look at whether we should simply leave the earth and live in space, colonize another planet. We can not go in all directions at once, simply because it would be expensive and we would do all those things at a slower pace, as opposed to focusing on one thing and doing it quickly.

    What we need is more research in what is causing it, with out that we don’t know what direction to go, and we may be simply being conned by insurance salesmen. BTW If you think you know what is causing it, you can earn $125,000
    http://www.junkscience.com/

  58. #58 Pyre
    October 13, 2007

    dhogaza, #42: The Judge explicitly accepts anthropomorphic global warming…

    I think you mean “anthropogenic” (human-caused) rather than “anthropomorphic” (human-shaped).

  59. #59 Hans Erren
    October 13, 2007

    Indeed Pascals Wager:
    How high should the dikes of the Netherlands be, remember we cannot spent that money on hospitals and schools.
    Usually for this dilemma the optimum solution is sought, and not solving the worst case scenario. I trust the Dutch government to spend my taxes wisely.
    And I trust a Dutch glaciology professor more than an american rhetoric.

  60. #60 Vagueofgodalming
    October 13, 2007

    I trust the Dutch government to spend my taxes wisely.

    Hans, I think you just fried the brains of the American skeptics more effectively than any of us AGW-believing tax-raising liberals ever could. I can hear them all clanking and sputtering does… not… compute…

  61. #61 Ken
    October 13, 2007

    (#57) I think the Junkscience challenge rules say it all -

    Entrants acknowledge that the concepts and terms mentioned and referred to in the UGWC hypotheses are inherently and necessarily vague, and involve subjective judgment. JunkScience.com reserves the exclusive right to determine the meaning and application of such concepts and terms in order to facilitate the purpose of the contest.

    – with the purpose of the contest to throw doubt upon all the sound science that would win it, such science will probably be rejected on grounds of the subjective judgment of JunkScience.com. that it doesn’t facilitate their purpose.

    Hypothesis No.1 looks like something that could be answered if judged on scientific merit but No.2 is sufficiently broad, vague and subjective to allow JunkScience.com to reject anything.

    When the scientists and scientific bodies that do that science are deemed unreliable as sources of information on the work they do, no arguments that rely on them will be deemed sufficient. Seems like a sure way to prevent anyone winning the money.

  62. #62 anonymous
    October 14, 2007

    So, 75 islanders move to New Zealand, and that means they’re evacuating? At least 75 Australians migrated to New Zealand, are they evacuating here too?

  63. #63 RickD
    October 14, 2007

    Great job with the research, Tim. I see you’ve also ripped the Washington Post in another post of yours.

    If 75 Australians migrated to New Zealand because Australia was being flooded, then yes, they evacuated. That is what the word “evacuated” means. It does not mean the same thing as “immigrated”.

  64. #64 libertarian
    October 14, 2007

    “Usually for this dilemma the optimum solution is sought”

    Which is where we are now. Being green comes at a cost, and we can only expect some places in the world that can afford to be green to become green. The optimal solution is to improve the economy of poorer countries, so they can afford to have better greener lives. And taxes do not improve economies, they create economic parasites.

    “I trust the Dutch government to spend my taxes wisely. And I trust a Dutch glaciology professor more than an american rhetoric.”

    That is nice and all, but don’t hold a gun to neighbors head to force them to do the same. You pay who ever you want for services, and let others pay who ever they want. Don’t force others to support your favorite monopoly of services.

    Also I wouldn’t trust a glaciologist on global warming more then a meteorologist.

  65. #65 me
    October 14, 2007

    This is how smart the average person is about global warming :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

  66. #66 Dan
    October 14, 2007

    Al Gore cherry picked his information. Global Warming is not man-made and the science proves this. If you doubt my claim than watch the below links, or don’t and continue to taken as a fools.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3069943905833454241&q=global+warming+or+global+governance&total=8&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

    amd

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5577618752239769508&q=great+global+warming+swindle&total=133&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=9

  67. #67 luminous beauty
    October 14, 2007

    Ah, the libertarians are out in force.

    Perhaps the Dutch should all build dikes around their own little properties and allow their neighbors to fend for themselves.

    That’ll solve the problem of the sea inundating the entire lowlands.

    Oh, yeah!

  68. #68 luminous beauty
    October 14, 2007

    “And taxes do not improve economies, they create economic parasites.”

    So, I assume all the Republican farmers in Eastern Washington State, who benefit from the tax-payer subsidized construction of the Grand Coullee Dam are economic parasites? The productive capacity of their farmland hasn’t been improved?

    I suggest the next time you go to work, you not travel on tax-payer subsidized public roads, nor take tax-payer subsidized public transport. See how that improves your economy.

    No one’s holding a gun to your head.

  69. #69 Lee
    October 14, 2007

    Another wide miss, Lambert.

  70. #70 Oliver
    October 15, 2007

    @luminous beauty #68

    And let’s not forget all that medical progress thanks to tax-funded biomedical research….

  71. #71 duus
    October 15, 2007

    NT wrote: “Al Gore is making a fortune – not a small amount, let’s be clear, millions of dollars – spinning the story that the world is going to come to an end.”

    Millions of dollars IS a small amount. This speaks to Ricky’s comment: “what is the political purpose that global warming is supposed to be propping up? About the only one I have heard aired is the silly congressman who said the whole global warming issue was made up to help sell ad space on The Weather Channel. I just don’t see any rationale for thousands of scientists to make up evidence and spend millions of hours in research, but none of them have profited in any major way that I can see.”

    follow the money, NT. Not chump change like a few million dollars.

  72. #72 pough
    October 15, 2007

    I just don’t see any rationale for thousands of scientists to make up evidence and spend millions of hours in research, but none of them have profited in any major way that I can see.

    A strained incredulity is normally the problem of Evilution-bashers, but I must admit that trying to believe thousands of nerds have either gotten suckered by bad science or are trying to weasel money out of an administration who hates them strains mine.

  73. #73 classic liberal
    October 15, 2007

    Does any one have anything that refutes what this video says?
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5577618752239769508
    That is all I want to hear, none of the other distracting nonsense.

  74. #74 pough
    October 15, 2007

    Does any one have anything that refutes what this video says?

    Yes.

    That is all I want to hear, none of the other distracting nonsense.

    Assuming you have eyes and hands with digits, you can do the searching yourself. We all did. None of us is here to serve you, so maybe try not to be so demanding. You’re coming across as arrogant with your demands while waving old news in our faces.

    Trying searching here for words in the video title or its authors and also at RealClimate.org.

  75. #75 Dano
    October 15, 2007

    Does any one have anything that refutes what this video says?

    Almost the entire scientific community. A good place to start for the ‘anything’ – presuming your reading habits have led you to believe the IPCC is socialist, is on Google Scholar.

    Good luck deprogramming yourself from right-wing envirohate.

    Best,

    D

  76. #76 Mark A. York
    October 15, 2007

    Great work Tim. I have a novel nearing completion that will help if I can get it past media gatekeepers. It’s my answer to Crichton. Lazy reporting is the usual I’m afraid. Aside from Revkin and the editorial need for false balance. This leads to middle of the road people woundering if the warming is natural or not. I mean it could be our cars could it!

    Also comments on global warming articles in the papers seem to recruit only the frothing far right deniers from all points on the melting globe. It’s the same sort of blogmobs I’ve found on any political forum.

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2007-10-11-glacier-park_N.htm#uslPageReturn

    Keep up the fine debunking.

  77. #77 sod
    October 15, 2007

    Does any one have anything that refutes what this video says? http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5577618752239769508 That is all I want to hear, none of the other distracting nonsense.

    sorry, some people here are making the ERROR of discussing the topic at hand, instead of replying to your wishes. please accept our excuse!

    obviously you are unable to use google, because if you did, you would have noticed the MANY answers, completely debunking that film.

    two point out two major problems:

    1. basicallly all the graphs are WRONG or misleading.

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/klimaschwindel.html
    (texts in german, but as you can t read anyway..)

    2. Mr Wunsch feels misrepresented by his role in the film:

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2031455,00.html

  78. #78 jack
    October 15, 2007

    Jesus Christ there’s some grouchy gits here. Some guy, interested in climate change, not some crazy right winger asks if anyone knows the refutations to some right wing spam and everyone goes nuts at him for trying to ask experts. Take some prozac you tight bastards.

  79. #79 elspi
    October 15, 2007

    jack
    He said “That is all I want to hear, none of the other distracting nonsense.”

    That means he is a right wing troll.

  80. #80 Alice V
    October 15, 2007

    This is a first for me–I don’t do blogosphere. I do find the comments interesting and several made me laugh out loud. I believe in Spaceship Earth and that good maintenance and TLC are as important with our planet as with anything on it. I also find that those who can’t spell or write a coherent sentence impress me as sloppy thinkers. How can I take their points seriously? Does anger throw grammar and spelling out the window? Does it preclude reviewing what is written in a forum for others to read? Do contributers disdain spell checkers as something only sissies use? “Recieve”–come on!
    Thanks, Tim, for the time you took to point out just how this does affect what is and is not comprehended and the misinformation that results. I knew something was wrong when I read what appeared in my newspaper about the errors in “An Inconvenient Truth”. It just plain didn’t make sense even on rereading. Keep it up and kudos to Mental Floss for sending me to this forum.

  81. #81 pough
    October 15, 2007

    Take some prozac you tight bastards.

    I’ll stick to beer, thanks. BTW, he was lazy, demanding and off-topic; he got no worse than he deserved. He also got some answers, in case you didn’t notice. So maybe he got better than he deserved. Speaking of distracting nonsense, I’m going to get a beer.

  82. #82 Ian
    October 15, 2007

    Tim,

    To your list of ‘usual suspect’ deniers you can add Janet Albrectson (Australian), Miranda Devine (a Brisbane paper) and of course Alan Jones. Jones even had the audacity to preface his remarks by warning his more god-fearing listeners that the ‘truth’ could become a casualty of the election campaign. He then took 2 minutes to prove his own point.

  83. #83 Hypocee
    October 16, 2007

    “Let this era be known as the Great panic of the early twentieth century…”

    Yes, yes, it’s a dumb troll, old post, etc. but I came by here, laughed at this, and would hate for people of the future to MEGO past it.

    It’s the beginning of, er, the twenty-first century. Out here, at least.

  84. #84 Julius
    October 17, 2007

    “SmellyTerror”:

    “pointing and shrieking at stuff they clearly don’t understand like chimps at a monolith”

    I think I love you.

  85. #85 z
    October 17, 2007

    “how exactly do scientists make money with this?”

    The jig’s up, Lambert; time for you to reveal just how much money you are raking in with your high profile Chicken Little promotion of Fear of CO2. (Me, I’m only in it for the women).

  86. #86 piglet
    October 17, 2007

    “And I trust a Dutch glaciology professor more than an american rhetoric.”

    Hmmm, last time I looked there swere no glaciers in the Netherlands. Have you ever thought of listening to what Swiss glaciologists are having to say? ;-)

  87. #87 Ian Gould
    October 18, 2007

    “Al Gore is making a fortune – not a small amount, let’s be clear, millions of dollars – spinning the story that the world is going to come to an end.”

    Al Gore was seriously rich ( as in hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars) from the second he was born.

    Making An Inconvenient Truth and delivering hundreds of speeches to small groups (some times as few as a dozen people) probably COST him money since it took him away from his consulting work, company directorships and public speaking engagements. (Clinton reportedly pulls in over $100K for a single speech, Al’s rate’d be substantially less but still pretty lucrative).

    That’s BEFORE we take into account another Inconvenient Truth – all profits from the book and the movie were donated to charity.

  88. #88 Jc
    October 18, 2007

    Gouldiechops says;

    “Al Gore was seriously rich ( as in hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars) from the second he was born.”

    Gouldiechops , you’re getting in over your head on this one. He had a net worth of about $2 to $5 million when he left office. The family was well to do- upper middle class in terms of mullah but nothing in terms of the other fat guy in the senate – Teddy Kennedy or some others (again what is it with these fat guys)

    In fact he was actually worried when he left office in terms of being able to live the way he had been accustomed to and having to fork out college tuition etc.

    Larry and the Russian guy at google helped him out. He joined the board of google was handed lots of stock options and is now worth about $300 million+.

    He does get lots of money from speaking engagements etc.

    But he was not wealthy before he struck pay dirt with the google guys.

    “That’s BEFORE we take into account another Inconvenient Truth – all profits from the book and the movie were donated to charity.”

    Yes, Google stock made him quite generous unlike before when he was at one stage a slumlord refusing and being slow to repair a rental house on his tobacco farm that was in disgusting condition occupied by an African-American family.

  89. #89 dhogaza
    October 18, 2007

    Gouldiechops , you’re getting in over your head on this one. [Gore] had a net worth of about $2 to $5 million when he left office.

    JC is actually right about something for a change.

    I suggest everyone congratulate him for this stunning, surprising feat. The figures I can find place his net worth at the lower end of that range, BTW.

    But of course leave it to JC to spin away …

    Yes, Google stock made him quite generous unlike before…

    Gosh, when he didn’t have money he wasn’t generous with the money he didn’t have.

    The bastard!

    (most of his net worth was in a couple of houses, with about $850K in a trust fund that he might or might not have had personal control over).

    …unlike before when he was at one stage a slumlord refusing and being slow to repair a rental house on his tobacco farm that was in disgusting condition occupied by an African-American family.

    And this, of course, sounds like typical swiftboating behavior, the crap spun by the rightwingnut hatred machine.

    JC, back to normal, thank God!

  90. #90 Ian Gould
    October 18, 2007

    JC:

    How many “well to do- upper middle class” US families include an 8-term Congressman and 3-term Senator?

    Gore Sr. was a VP of Occidental Oil after his Senate days.

    Here’s a little fact that’ll shock you, politicians have been known to:

    a. stash assets under the name of other family members (in Al’s case he controls a trust fund left by his father which is nominally for the benefit of his mother and which he will inherit when she passes away); and

    b. cry poor.

    Looking further into it, hundreds of millions of dollars was probably an exaggeration but the Gore family is well a hell of a lot more than the $2-5 million you say Al copped to.

  91. #91 dhogaza
    October 18, 2007

    Looking further into it, hundreds of millions of dollars was probably an exaggeration but the Gore family is well a hell of a lot more than the $2-5 million you say Al copped to.

    I did some looking on the web and apparently $2M or so is the figure as far as was known back in 2000.

    There’s family money but his access to it at the time, at least, was limited (which is why he had $100K+ taken out on a bank credit line).

    But of course a man with his connections can pretty much turn on the money spigot at will, and he was never hurting in any sense.

  92. #92 Jim Prall
    October 21, 2007

    I read through most of the judgment document today, and I agree the media has overstated the negativity of it; however the judge does find fault with AIT. I agree Al Gore should have qualified the sea level rise by saying how long it could take; but the skeptics are acting as if the ice sheets are not going to melt and we’re just fine. This is a far worse error.
    The septics will continue to snipe and quibble, but we have to keep hammering home the main point – CO2 really does trap heat, and we have a choice about how much CO2 we emit in the future.
    Some of the projected impacts of climate change are already here, while others are far in the future. But we can’t just duck responsibility for the harmful impacts that will take a long time to arrive. I’d like to see the public discussion start addressing this: can we accept responsibility for choices that have consequences for 100 years from now? Do we just dismiss distant effects or can we start to behave as if our great grandchilden’s well-being is a real factor in our decisions?
    For instance, if we know Bangladesh, South Florida, the Netherlands and most tropical islands will be devastated by sea-level rise in the *distant* future due to our choices today, can we wash our hands of their huge losses as “not our problem” because it’s in the future?
    There wasn’t time to go into those deep questions in AIT. But the film did indeed get the basic science right. I’m really discouraged that this court case has given Gore’s many detractors extra ammunition to divert the public from the core message and fixate on how many Tuvalans already have moved to New Zealand vs. how many will be forced to go in a decade or two from now. Sea level is rising – that’s a fact.
    The judge’s critique strikes me as an unrealistical standard for getting all the details perfect. Yes, the script could have been better worded at a few places. But it’s *a movie!* Think of how many “errors” there are in a typical high school science textbook.
    Anyway, given that the basic science behind AIT is true, this is a *huge* challenge that humanity has to come to terms with. It’s past time to be debating what percent of Kilimanjaro’s ice melt is local vs. global warming. There is a problem that needs our attention. Quibbling with details of what Al Gore said distracts from this. For many that seems to be the point: a welcome distraction from the truth which really is … inconvenient.
    I concur with SmellyTerror that the human race leaves me speechless more often than not.

  93. #93 z
    October 21, 2007

    re #88
    To sum up:
    Al Gore’s just mouthing AGW rhetoric in order to make a fortune from AIT, even though he in fact gave all the money to charity, but he’s still a fraud because he made a fortune from Google stock, and anyway he’s a slumlord who’s keeping the coloreds down. (See, we just established that he only had a few million $, so obviously he’d be personally managing a $400 a month rental during the middle of a vice-presidential campaign.)

    At this point, it’s beating a dead horse to inquire what part of this http://www.mediaresearch.org/rm/cyber/2000/gore0711/segment1.ram leads to the conclusion that the Mayberrys are African American. I reiterate: it’s the analytical ability of the what-climate-change folks which drives them to their conclusions, not the lack of evidence.

  94. #94 Alan Cooper
    October 22, 2007

    When I first saw the movie I appreciated Al Gore’s decision to press the argument and (Re #38) I didn’t object to the idea of humanizing the messenger. But he has 4 kids! wtf? How could anyone who understands the issue do that?

  95. #95 swatter
    October 26, 2007

    Late to the game here. Wow, so much non-constructive and uncivil discourse in both directions.

    Compliments to Jim on his constructive and civil piece. It’s a stark contrast to Jack Lacton’s sarcastic and non-constructive style in his self referenced piece (first comment at top). Sure, there’s a little hype in AIT, but it’s a good starting point for many to learn about the issues. I suggest buying the dvd and with liberal use of the pause button, write down what the points are and the logic of the story, and then look for corroboration. Personally, I didn’t vote for Gore in 2000(I couldn’t vote for shrub either) because I was pissed at him for writing his enviro book but not doing nearly enough on the environment during the Clinton years; I wanted us off fossil fuels for many reasons long before I heard of AGW. But, however I feel about him in other ways, I think AIT is a great public service for those who need a starting point.

    As for comments about accepting GW without questioning, the same criticism can be made for most issues such as rejecting GW without questioning, or accepting the status quo without questioning. But it’s not that simple or symmetric in terms of consequences: if we take strong eco measures to slow global warming and it’s been overhyped, we end up with a cleaner environment in many other ways (no more oil spills, coal-mercury runoff, dead streams, black lung disease, trapped or dead miners), less environmental cleanup costs, new industries replacing the old, and greater energy and political security here; anyone who says we’ll be impoverished is living in a static world, and/or wedded to the status quo. Any new technology developed will benefit the poorer countries and make them more energy self-sufficient; remote villages in Latin America and Asia already use solar. On the other hand, if it turns out that AGW isn’t overhyped, every day that we do nothing will make the consequences come sooner, more serious, last longer and more costly. While it’s true that the developing world is likely to suffer more from any consequences of global warming, keep in mind that the developed countries have been throwing money at poverty for decades – sometimes intelligently, sometimes stupidly, sometimes with ulterior motives – but even without global warming, many countries have not developed much. Why would that equation suddenly change to help “grow” the developed world so that they will be less vulnerable to global warming?

  96. #96 Peter Bjørn Perlsø
    February 15, 2008

    Also late on the game, but I’d like to add my support for a well-written piece by Tim.

  97. #97 selbstbewusstsein
    October 21, 2008

    I think in this article is an error : )

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