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35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore’s movie – Part 3 of 5

This is the third of a 5 part series reviewing the comments of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) in regards to “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT).

You can read Part 1 of 5 here.
You can read Part 2 of 5 here.
You can read Part 4 of 5 here.
You can read Part 5 of 5 here.

ERROR 18 – I can’t find evidence for SPPI’s statement that the Arctic has increased decreased in temperature 1 deg C in the last 60 years. SPPI falls victim here to the common Gore affliction of pointing out individual instances of information (ice bound ships) and assuming that this is conclusive data. I have called AIT out on this and I need to do the same with SPPI. Unless they can point to a reference for the temperature increase, I need to call this one spin.

ERROR 19 – Sorry, SPPI, this one is spin. NASA mapped the ice and it is adding in some places and subtracting in others but the balance is going down.

ERROR 20 – This one is tough. Gore definitely screws up saying that 40% of the world’s population gets their water from glacial melt. This isn’t true. I can’t find any evidence that snow melt is not decreasing as SPPI claims but since we are judging AIT, we have to give this one to SPPI.

ERROR 21 – There is no question that the glaciers in Peru are receding but as I wrote on this site before, the argument that it is caused by human caused global warming is very tenuous.

ERROR 22 – There is no question that glaciers have been shrinking for some time. Saying that this is caused by humans is very tenuous.

ERROR 23 – Gore definitely takes advantage of human suffering in the film and blames the Sahara on human caused global warming. He makes a poor argument here and this is where he also talks about Lake Chad so in essence this error is the same as 6. This is an example of double dipping so we can’t really say that SPPI was correct in both instances.

ERROR 24 – SPPI has definitely tried to spin this one. Gore was specifically talking about the Larsen ice shelf and it absolutely did recede dramatically in a short amount of time. Yes, much of Antarctica is getting colder but Gore’s facts were correct.

ERROR 25 – I cannot find evidence of where Mr. Gore says that half a dozen ice shelves the size of Rhode Island have broken up. Since I can’t find where it was said, I can’t say that AIT is wrong. I have to mark this as spin for SPPI. I am relying on the unofficial transcripts on this as I don’t want to watch the entire movie again just to find this reference.

ERROR 26 – There is no doubt that the ice shelf at Larsen was larger in history. There is also no doubt that it has changed shape dramatically over the years. I have to give this one to SPPI not because of what they said but because the shelf was so large in 1995. Global warming didn’t just start happening in the last 12 years so I have to call Mr. Gore on this reference since he is blaming global warming on the entire phenomenon. Rather, many scientists attribute this change to Arctic Oscillation and Mr. Gore doesn’t bother to mention this as a possibility.

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6 Responses to “35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore’s movie – Part 3 of 5”

  1. […] Original post by admin […]

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. […] can read Part 1 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 […]

  4. Your comment on ERROR 18 – I cant find evidence for SPPIs statement that the Arctic has increased in temperature 1 deg C in the last 60 years. SPPI falls victim here to the common Gore affliction of pointing out individual instances of information (ice bound ships) and assuming that this is conclusive data. I have called AIT out on this and I need to do the same with SPPI. Unless they can point to a reference for the temperature increase, I need to call this one spin.

    Acutally, SPPI said the Arctic cooled 1 C in the last 60 years. Here is the quote:

    “Gore does not mention that the Arctic has been cooling over the past 60 years, and is now one degree Celsius cooler than it was in the 1940s”

    I refer you to Fig. 5.2 in State of the Climate in 2006, Special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol 88, No. 6, June 2007, which shows the Arctic has warmed about 1 C in the last 60 years (1946 to 2006). This section of the Supplement was written by Overland et al. and I found it in about 3 minutes with a Google search. See http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/atmosphere.html . Not sure what this has to do with ice bound ships and spin. SPPI is just plain wrong. Apparently they arent sufficiently competent to read a simple graph.

  5. Chris – My statement was a typo that I will fix. As I said though, SPPI states that the temperature decreased 1 degree but didn’t give a source. I still have not found that source even though I know people at SPPI read my review!

    I am not sure that your referenced graph proves your point though. As with most temperature average graphs, this one shows a local high in the mid 40s which drops for a few decades to a low and then a steady climb to the end of the century where it goes relatively flat for about a decade. If you look at the high and low extremes, you can see that for one year in the 40s and one year at about 2005, the temperature is just a tad cooler. While I am not saying that this is significant, this is a standard “fact trick” that skeptics often use (or a variation of this). Most skeptics talk about the warming from the 40s and not the warming from 1900 or 1970 since there was a multi-decade warming and then cooling in the the late 30s and then into the 60s. Conversely, Gore followers almost exclusively talk of warming from the 60s or 70s and rarely discuss the cooling period in the 50s.

    Regardless of this small “trick”, it doesn’t appear that warming was a full 1 degree that you state. I don’t see any link to the raw data behind the graph but the 10 year average in the 40s visually appears to be somewhere just less than .5C. The ten years from 1996-2006 visually appears to be somewhere between 1 and 1.2C (once again, this is a visual approximation – without the raw data I am not sticking to these numbers). That would leave a rise of about .6-.8C.

    I go back to the first statement though. SPPI says that it was 1C cooler and I can’t find that reference. I am not saying that they are wrong just that I don’t believe it and considered their statement to be spin. AIT definitely spun their comments in this area as well.

  6. […] reasons that a glacier grows or shrinks are not solely due to air temperature (regardless of what Mr. Gore implies).  This story in the USA Today is a prime example of proving this false.  Unfortunately, […]