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35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore’s movie – Part 1 of 5

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Several days ago, I posted about RealClimate.org’s defense of the 9 ‘mistakes’ that a British court found in “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT). My review was not well regarded by many at RealClimate as they defended their defense. My point at the time was that extremism is bad in all ways. Even if you think that the world is going to end due to human induced global warming, you must be able to see spin for what it is and confront it.

Conversely, if you think that all this global warming conversation is hooey, you still should not say that everything out of Mr. Gore’s mouth is biased and wrong. We need to evaluate each claim on its own and seriously discuss the viable issues.

Now I would like to do a review of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) to see if they were more fair in their analysis. I will let you, my readers, be the judge. You can read their analysis here.

My review of the SPPI claims comes from my own watching of the movie as well as the unofficial transcripts of the movie.

Due to the number of errors that SPPI is claiming, I cannot do this justice in one posting. So I am spreading this out over the next 5 days with the final day being my impression on the entire effort from Mr. Gore as well as the work of SPPI. I am going to not allow comments on the individual posts until after the fifth posting and then you are welcome to point out my mistakes as you wish. All 5 posts are already written, I have just learned that long articles tend to get skipped over so I broke up the finished product.

You can read Part 2 of 5 here.
You can read Part 3 of 5 here.
You can read Part 4 of 5 here.
You can read Part 5 of 5 here.

ERROR 1 – SPPI has this correct from what I understand. This is similar to the error that the UK judge found.

ERROR 2 – I don’t know about the claim that corals grow at ten times the the rate of increase in sea level. Not sure that is relevant in this discussion. However, SPPI is correct that there have been no mass evacuations as Mr. Gore claimed.

ERROR 3 – SPPI has this correct, I believe. Once again, this is the same as what the judge found.

ERROR 4 – I don’t believe that Mr. Gore ever said the words “in each of the last four interglacial warm periods it was changes in carbon dioxide concentration that caused changes in temperature.” This is a bit of spin by SPPI. There is no question that Mr. Gore tried to make people think that CO2 caused the rise in temperature. Once again, this is simply a repeat of the judge.

ERROR 5 – It is pretty well accepted that the primary influence on the snows of Kilimanjaro is humidity levels and the drop in those is likely the activity of man in that area but it is not global warming.

ERROR 6 – SPPI is correct on Lake Chad.

ERROR 7 – I believe that SPPI has this correct as well. While Ms. Kreider is correct that Mr. Gore never specifically said that Katrina was the result of global warming, he definitely made his viewers feel that it was.

I do need to point out here that SPPI threw in a bit of spin on this one. They blamed the Clinton/Gore administration for not adequately building the levees that failed. While this was true, the same argument could be made for the Reagan/Bush, Bush/Quayle, and Bush/Cheney administrations. For that matter, since the current levees were in response to Hurricane Betsy of 1965 we could blame every administration since then for only paying for Category 3 hurricanes.

SPPI is correct that according to NOAA, there has been no abnormal increase in the number of hurricanes however that doesn’t prove much since the sample set is so small – we haven’t been counting ocean based hurricanes for very long.

ERROR 8 – The SPPI is correct that we cannot discern any change in polar bear population due to global warming. To be fair, this is a bad metric and AIT should never have used it. The polar bear population has increased so substantially over the past few decades that it would be impossible to say that climate change was good or bad for these animals. Once again, this is a case for a true discussion of causality and since the current change in population is due to human meddling, we need to stop using the plight of the polar bears.

ERROR 9 – It appears that SPPI is correct on this issue.

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13 thoughts on “35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore’s movie – Part 1 of 5”

  1. We listed 35 errors in Al Gore’s movie because there are at least that many. None was double-counted: each was a distinct error. For instance, you have counted Gore’s suggestion that “global warming” caused the draining of Lake Chad and drought on the fringes of the Sahara as a single error, but these are two distinct errors. It is known that Lake Chad’s draining was caused by local factors, and that the Sahara has actually shrunk by 300,000 sq.km in the past 30 years, contrary to what Gore said about it.

    At a number of points you have carelessly dismissed our findings as “spin” because you were not aware of the data that demonstrate the error. The decline in serious typhoons and tropical storms is one example that is well attested to in the literature. Likewise, Gore’s interpretation of the growth in insurance losses is known to be incorrect, and there are papers on it in the literature.

    At some points you have not been careful enough to read what was actually written. We said that the Democrat administration in New Orleans (which has been Democrat-held for a long time) was responsible for not having responded to the pleas of the Corps of Engineers to arrange State and Federal funding for strengthening the levees. Under the US Constitution this comes under the heading of States’ Rights, and the Federal Government (of whatever stamp) could not intervene unless and until New Orleans, via the State Governor, made the necessary request – which it did not bother to make.

    For further details of many of Gore’s errors, watch the full-length feature movie APOCALYPSE? NO!, available from http://www.greatswindle.com.

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