The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.
But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
“Excellent,” said William Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. “He got all the important material and got it right.”
Robert Corell, chairman of the worldwide Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group of scientists, read the book and saw Gore give the slideshow presentation that is woven throughout the documentary.
“I sat there and I’m amazed at how thorough and accurate,” Corell said. “After the presentation I said, `Al, I’m absolutely blown away. There’s a lot of details you could get wrong.’ … I could find no error.”
Not everyone took the news so well, though, especially those who’ve made a career out of ignoring glaringly obvious scientific facts.
Not to be outdone, global warming denialist James Inhofe (R – OK) released his own press release via the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which he chairs. The release, entitled “AP Incorrectly Claims Scientists Praise Gore’s Movie”, is about as crazy as anything else Inhofe has had his hands on, but just for good measure, Tim Lambert of Deltoid takes it on point by point. His post is thorough and informative, so make sure you check it out.
The most disturbing aspect of this, to me at least, is that Inhofe is able to publish this junk as an official government press release. As our own President continues to skirt around the issue as well (to put it lightly), it’s informative to think about how the debate over global warming would play out in a rational democracy. And, no, it wouldn’t be a debate over whether global warming is happening or whether humans are at fault–that was so last century. Instead, the only legitimate debate we should be having now about global warming now is over what we need to do to stop it. As each prime minister hopeful from either side in the UK, for example, tries to prove that he is the real anti-global warming candidate, press releases like the one from Inhofe look, well, juvenile.
It’s time to grow up, kids.