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Criticisms of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth became a big part of the British secondary educational landscape when it was made part of the official curriculum. This was big victory for those who feel the world is in imminent danger because of anthropogenic global warming. However, the High Court of London recently said “not so fast.” Steward Dimmock sued under Section 406(1)(b) of the Education Act 1996, claiming that the movie is a form or political indoctrination. That law says that school governing bodies and head teachers “shall forbid… the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school”.

The court ruled that 1.) in order to show this movie to the children teachers must make clear that the film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Nine inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

I will use these nine cited inaccuracies as a jumping off point for my criticisms of An Inconvenient Truth, both the book and film. These nine inaccuracies are:

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct. more…
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years. more…
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming. more…
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case. more…
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm. more…
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.  more…
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

49 comments

  1. found it very useful


  2. Tom. Why are people so polarized about this issue. We should be working together, on both sides of the aisles, from all POVs, no?

    Danny

    Polar City site to list 6.6 billion Earthlings in global roll call

    PRESS RELEASE

    for immediate release anytime
    contact: Danny Bloom

    Virtual ‘global warming’ museum to list names of all 6.6 billion current
    inhabitants of Earth, country by country, as commorative time capsule

    Names will be printed on website of ‘polar city’ images created by
    Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong, according to site curator

    NEW YORK / TAIPEI — When Taiwanese artist Deng Cheng-hong came up with a
    series of computer-generated “blueprints” for what a future polar city
    might look like for survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or
    so, he had no idea that his images would find a home on the James E.
    Lovelock Virtual Museum of Polar City Images, curated by American
    climate blogger Danny Bloom. Although the online virtual museum has no
    official connection with Dr James Lovelock on Britain, it was named in
    honor of the British scientist because of his important work on
    climate change and global warming, according to the museum. And Dr
    Lovelock has seen the images that Deng created and said in an email to
    the musem: “Thank you for showing me these images. It may very well
    happen and soon.”

    Now the online museum, which currently displays a series of 10
    illustrations by Deng and has been the subject of news articles at the
    New York Times and the Kansas City Star, in addition to Gizmodo, is
    taking another step in emphasizing the gravity of the situation
    humankind finds itself in in regards to climate change and global
    warming.

    Bloom said that he has embarked on an ambitious and quixotic quest to
    obtain and list the names of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of the Earth as
    a kind of commemorative time capsule of people who are live today. He
    said that by compiling the massive list of names of all Earthlings
    alive today, he hopes to emphasize the seriousness of climate change
    and global warming and the possible problems they might pose for
    future generations of humankind if steps are not taken now to grapple
    with the issues involved.

    “We need to give people a positive vision of the future of polar
    cities for survivors of global warming in the year 2500 or so, if
    worst comes to worst, a positive vision that’s worth fighting for, ”
    Bloom said in a statement released on the Internet in April. “We will
    be looking at sustainable human population retreats, so-called polar
    cities, where there will be a lot of social interaction, where we will
    love being with each other, despite a difficult climate, despite a
    difficult world in the far distant future. I think that is a really
    important thing.”

    By compiling the list of all 6.6 billion inhabitants of Earth, Bloom
    said he hopes “to highlight the fact that the issues of global warming
    do not involve rich nations competing against poor nations, or
    rightwing pundits against environmental activists, but rather the fact
    that we are all involved in the future we are creating together, in
    this day and age.”

    To send in your own invidual name or a longer list of family members
    and friends to the online virtual museum for inclusion in what Bloom
    is calling a “global roll call”, Internet users are invited to send an
    email to reporter.bloom@gmail.com

    Bloom calls his effort, along with Deng’s striking illustrations of
    what a polar city might look like in the future, a wake-up call for
    those who are still sleepwalking toward the future. He has no
    particular agenda, he says, other than to help sound the climate
    change alarm in a provocative yet positive way, and says his campaign
    is just one among many around the world where local citizens are using
    the Internet to raise awareness about the issues of global warming
    that confront humanity today.


    POLAR CITIES BLUEPRINTS:

    http://pcillu101.blogspot.com


  3. [...] Criticism of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth –  Check out this [...]


  4. Well said!

    http://www.jonesview.wordpress.com


  5. Thank you for giving us the truth as I know it was inconvenient that you even need to. I hate the word green.


  6. This blog’s author clearly indicates that he believes global warming is a partisan political issue, when in fact it is as much of a scientific consensus as men having walked on the moon. You will find those who say no but they destroy their own credibility by ignoring reality and imagining vast conspiracies. Not that conspiracies never exist mind you, just not in cases so easily disprovable.

    The cosmic ray data are very interesting and there does seem to be some weak influence of cosmic rays upon cloud clover in a large amount of noise. The noisy data in fact indicate that there have to be other factors besides cosmic rays having huge effects on cloud cover. But somehow the author of this blog wants to draw the opposite conclusion and say there’s no human-caused global warming because it can all be explained by cosmic rays.

    Weather and climate involve complex systems with many inputs driving them; logic and reason would certainly suggest that there are many factors interacting to produce the observed global warming. There are long term trends in solar output over millions of years and we may be in an upward or downward trend but it isn’t going to be appreciable over a few years or even centuries. We do know there have been ice ages and that the climate is not necessarily constant but we also know that historical changes have been very slow. But we also know the Industrial Age began a period of dumping CO2 into the air that is unprecedented, millions of tons every year and still going on. We know the CO2 content of the atmosphere has changed significantly and we know that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is an important factor in weather and climate. Whether you’re talking about direct effects upon the atmosphere’s thermodynamics or CO2 indirectly increasing plant growth and affecting solar absorption, you can debate the relative proportions of influence and continue to research further to learn more about the complex web of interactions in our atmosphere that our very breath ultimately depends upon. But what you cannot do in any rational state is to pretend that there’s no human contribution to global warming or if there is it’s so small it doesn’t matter, just because you hold a belief system that makes you think in reverse to justify the opinions you want to hold, regardless of any objective reality. Science works opposite from that, taking the evidence available to form as accurate an understanding of reality as possible. Scientists don’t claim to have ultimate answers to every question, just some answers to some questions painstakingly pried from nature so far. Science is a work in upward progress in knowledge from many roots and not a frozen-solid top-down belief system like most churches exhibit. Clearly science is superior to dogma and superstition, there never once in history ever being a case where the religious view was found to be true when in conflict with science, the classic example being Galileo espousing the Copernican view of the solar system. It just never happens that religion is correct, and any rational person should be able to see that. Just as any rational person ought to be able to understand that we humans have been drastically altering our own atmosphere a lot lately, and if we don’t stop there can only be catastrophic consequences for some generation of our children’s children. We can quibble over details but it isn’t going to change the basic fact that we are seriously crapping up the planet. What kind of person would be so eager to crap up the planet for their own offspring? A: a person who is not rational.


    • DWFascists, a couple things;
      1) Paragraphs breaks are your friend. Use ‘em.
      2) This does not appear to be an anti Christian blog, a pro fascist blog, or a forum to wander through the nether regions of banality.
      As your prose tends to favor volume over substance, may I suggest you acquire a calligraphy set, rewrite the butchered block of black ink above, and mail it to yourself.
      Just think of the hours spent marvelling at your own musings, presented in fanciful calligraphy ~ why, you could upgrade your moniker to reflect the art you would inject into the void you live in.
      You could become “Fanciful Dances With Fascists”, and write yourself often.
      Your peers would be overwhelmed!


    • i would like to point out to you that if you had researched this you would see that there is not a consensus. Independant scientists who arent in danger of losing jobs will tell you the “real truth”. And as for using children!?!? Are you even aware what you silly people are doing here? It’s propaganda, “Save the Planet for Our Children” that screams propaganda. If you research from independant sources you will see why a) you are almost completely wrong and b) why it is that some facts are as they are. And science isn’t about BELIEVEING what you’re told, it’s about accepting facts.


      • http://lmgtfy.com/?q=climate+change+consensus


    • Men walking on the moon is a verifiable fact. They left behind a reflector which anyone can bounce a laser beam off of. There is a great deal of empirical evidence supporting the moon landings.
      In contrast, the amount of empirical evidence supporting CO2 caused global warming is zilch, zip, nada, none. After 25 years and nearly $100 billion in research, no empirical evidence linking CO2 or man to climate change could be found. That is a fact!
      Consensus is not science. There was a consensus that Newton was right for hundreds of years. The level of consensus was far higher than the contrived 97% for global warming. (The 97% has been thoroughly debunked) Einstein proved Newton to be wrong.
      For thousands of years consensus told us the earth was the center of the universe. Copernicus debunked that one. For over a thousand years the crystal sphere theory of the solar system was dogma. Given the historical record, consensus is probably the least accurate method of establishing scientific fact. In fact, Aristotle made the case against consensus over 2,300 years ago. Consensus means nothing. Verifiable, Empirical evidence is what science requires. That’s the reason there are so many skeptics. There is none. Until there is don’t expect the skeptics to go away.
      The solution is simple. Prove it scientifically and we go away. I see far too much reasonable doubt to accept this pseudoscience on faith.


  7. This site is crap


    • no it is not, someone else is…..


    • No, you just cannot accept the facts. This site is very useful in fact. So stfu.


    • Have to leave this message anonymously. I know, for a fact, that some environmentalists that video taped a power plant actually filmed the cooling towers of the power plant where my husband is the plant manager and in the film “An Inconvenient Truth”, it was said to be “pouring out pollution”. First of all, all that was coming out of the cooling towers was steam! Second of all, the units where any pollution POSSIBLY could come out are installed with scrubbers, which takes most of the pollution out! The coal powered-power plants have VERY strict environmental rules they follow! We live in a very small and rural area! We have some of the CLEANEST air in the nation and WORLD! I grew up in Southern California, and I LOVE breathing the air where I now live! Most of the energy that our area produces GOES to Southern California! Our bodies are about 30% efficient–the same as coal produced power plants. Hmmm… let’s think about that! Who invented our bodies? God! There’s not a more reliable energy source at the moment that’s as cheap as coal!


      • Your comment is perhaps anonymous because it is ill-informed – water vapour is the most abundant ‘greenhouse gas’. While you may not consider it problematic, water vapour is in fact the major contributor gas involved in the ‘greenhouse effect’. As water vapour is ‘H2O’ molecules, the links between the different atoms (‘H’ and ‘O’) absorb infra-red energy from the Sun. This means that more of the Sun’s energy becomes a part of the Earth’s climate system. Consequently the mass production of water vapour, or as you call it, ‘steam’, is actually a ‘pollutant’ – http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/pollutant.html
        So while it is not particularly ‘dirty’, anthropogenically produced water vapour is making a huge difference to the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere and hence affecting the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST).


  8. Dear sfsfdf,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and convincing comment.

    ClimateSanity


    • Tom Moriarty’s endorsement of this ill-informed comment highlights one of two things; (1) He too is ignorant of the basic and well-known fact that water vapour or steam contributes to the greenhouse effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_vapor) and this would clearly undermine his so-called expertise on the subject, or, (2) he does not have the courage of his convictions enough to put right someone when they clearly misunderstand that water vapour is a greenhouse gas, and is content to enable their continued ignorance if it suits his own agenda and aims. Either way, shame on you.


      • Hey Neal,

        take a stress pill and think this over.

        Mr. sfsfdf says of my blog “This site is crap.”

        I respond “Thank you for your thoughtful and convincing comment.”

        Do you think there might be a little sarcasm in my response? Or am I really agreeing with Mr. sfsfdf that my blog is “crap?”

        Response, Neal?

        Tom Moriarty
        ClimateSanity


      • Hi Tom,
        Here’s my response:

        My original comment (Nov 12 2012 11.22 am) seems to have been an error of attribution on my part.

        ‘Thank you for your thoughtful and convincing comment’ was shown below a different comment (anonymous, Aug 14 2012, 12.43 am) to which I have mistakenly connected your response. I can see now it is not related to the one you have mentioned; the date of your comment is waaaay before the ‘anon’ comment and of course the user (‘sfsfdf’) is different from that of the one I thought the comment was made for. I apologise for this mistake.

        As an aside, can sarcasm really be helpful? The comment by ‘sfsfdf’ is not really worth a reply is it? Surely not worthy of your time when there are more informed and eloquent responses here to argue against?


      • Neal,

        Perhaps you are right about the use of sarcasm, I don’t know.

        I often times use an overly “polite” response to simply shame the person who has left a particularly nasty or ignorant comment. Mr. sfsgdf’s “crap” comment fell into that catagory.

        Tom


  9. Ok, its impossible to have a major global issue be purely scientific with no political involvement at all.

    Also, why don’t you cite sources for your last four bullet points?


    • Dear Annoyed,

      Please, avoid whining in these comments.

      Best regards,
      Climatesanity


      • http://lmgtfy.com/?q=whining


  10. [...] Climate Sanity « Reply to John Mashey The Thermohaline Circulation Only Stops for Extreme, Unrealistic Models June 4, 2009 Return to Criticisms of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” [...]


  11. “This blog’s author clearly indicates that he believes global warming is a partisan political issue, when in fact it is as much of a scientific consensus as men having walked on the moon.”

    What a howler! One of the primary rhetorical tools used in an attempt to stifle debate and discussion is the “consensus” statement. Even a cursory review of the literature and the issues would be sufficient for most individuals to realize that there is a significant debate about many issues relating to global warming and that the mythical “consensus” is just that — a myth.

    The analogy to those who believe in a moon hoax is invalid, because we are talking about completely different percentages of individuals here, as well as the fact that the moon hoax refers to a small number of specific historical events, whereas global warming represents a mishmash of numerous theories, models, projections, conjectures, assumptions and the like about potential future events.


  12. [...] http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/criticisms-or-al-gores-an-inconvenient-truth/ [...]


  13. ilike “global role call” just sayin


  14. After this last month of record breaking snow storms, a lady from Maryland said a local announcer remarked that “It won’t stop snowing until Al Gore cries ‘uncle’.”


  15. [...] "http%3A%2F%2Fjlue.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F02%2F19%2Fmore-on-climate-change-or-global-warming%2F" } Climate Sanity is interesting reading and should help folks understand why some of us are not buying Al [...]


  16. One reason to be glad you doubt Climate Change: The Dutch – simply too dim-witted and self-absorbed to realize what fools they are making of themselves on this..
    Absurd images from recent National Dutch Climate Change PR-Event “Beat the Heat” here:

    Meet the winners of the Climate Science Quiz – showered with prizes for ‘correct’ answers to questions like “What would the temperature of the earth be without the influence of G/house gases??”..No prizes for ‘wrong’ answers unfortunately..


  17. Walter Williams, a personal favorite of mine, has written an interesting piece on this subject. It was on the editorial page of the Chattanooga Times Free Press March 20th issue.


  18. Nice work – thank you


  19. Your dad sucks dicks all day long lalalala


  20. Hey.. You don’t know who’s right or not, so why won’t you just be caareful just in case? :)


  21. Al Gore must be a self serving clot, to come out with such unsubstantiated rubbish!
    Anyone who gathers global data in the manner he had is advocating pseudoscience,and is bordering on the paranormal.
    For a proper analysis of our global situation,it should be left to uncomprimised scientists having solid evidence base on fact


    • http://lmgtfy.com/?q=climate+change


    • http://lmgtfy.com/?q=paranormal


    • Liberal don’t care about the truth. They are all emotion and not rational.


  22. [...] Read more … GA_googleFillSlot("EPA_Abuse_After_Post"); Filed Under: News [...]


  23. Funny how I would even try to get facts from someones wordpress blog about climate change. As for a consensus on global climate change, let’s look at a source far more credible than this here blog: wikipedia (and there was no sarcasm in that statement).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    Just a quick google search “consensus on climate change” will answer any questions about that. Try to look for the Scientific authorities like the first link from Science Magazine.

    Also there is a typo in the first paragraph: you wrote “or” instead of “of.”


    • The “someone” that you refer to is a working scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. See here http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/about/

      He signs his name to his material, which is more than I can say about you, Mr/Ms Anonymous


      • Renewable energy has little to do with climate science and more to do with energy efficience. Nowhere in his short about page is there any mention of any education or work that would have anything to do with climate science. From a movie ladened with facts, the pointing out that there is controversy about 9, 3 of which have no citation, proves little in the larger picture. Anthropogenic climate change is real as agree the vast majority of climate scientists who’s job is climate science not renewable energy.


  24. To “anonymous” at October 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Somewhat of a limp ad hominem attack.

    Do you also use this same criticism for Al Gore himself. He is certainly not a scientist of any kind.

    Or how about the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri. No degree in climate science there either.

    Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. Richard Feynman

    Bill J.


  25. you’re an idiot


    • Dear Mr(Ms). Openblogster,

      Thank you for the insightful comment. The logic of your argument is most convincing.

      Best Regards,
      ClimateSanity


  26. Please excuse my language mistakes. I am not a native speaker.
    What immediately catched my eye, was point 8 of your so called “nine inaccuracies” of Al Gore.
    First of all, the film does not talk about a rise of 7 but of 6 meters.
    But to accuse Gore of showing scenarios with a rise of 6 meters while the IPCC believes that there will be a rise around half a meter, is, excuse me, like comparing apples and oranges. Al Gore refers to a deglaciation that would take many centuries whilst the IPCC or other sources are showing the value for the year 2100. (http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_09.pdf)


    • Nonsense. Gore implies rapid sea level rise. He even employs the idea of rapid melting of Greenland glaciers to stop the thermohaline circulation. The melt rate required to stop the thermohaline circulation would also yeild an extraordinary sea level rise rate.

      Stop trying to make excuses “An Inconvenient Truth.” It was a comic book scientific travesty.


  27. if you think that global worming is natrial u are a ideut


    • Wow, that really hurts, coming from a “genis” like you



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