Now that more and more work is being done using empirical techniques to analyse the data supporting the global warming argument the inconvenient truth about the accuracy of that data is coming to light.
A High Court judge today ruled that An Inconvenient Truth can be distributed to every school in the country but only if it comes with a note explaining nine scientific errors in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film.Not only would the whole of Greenland need to melt but it would need to reverse its inconvenient current trend of adding ice mass.
The Government had pledged to send thousands of copies of the film to schools across the country, but a Kent father challenged that policy saying it would “brainwash” children.
A judge was asked to adjudicate between Stewart Dimmock and the Department of Children, Schools and Families. Mr Justice Burton ruled that the film could be sent to schools, but only if it was accompanied by new guidlines to balance the former US vice-president’s “one-sided” views
The judge said some of the errors were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration” in order to support Mr Gore’s thesis on global warming.
He said that while the film was dramatic and highly professional, it formed part the ex-politician’s global crusade on climate change and not all the claims were supported by the current mainstream scientific consensus.
He went on to list those errors:
Al Gore: A sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”.
The judge’s finding: “This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore’s ”wake-up call“. It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water - “but only after, and over, millennia.”
Error twoWhat? Not even in poor, old Tuvalu?
Gore: Low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.”
Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.
Error threeNone of the climate models end up with a result in which the "ocean conveyor" is shut down even when massive quantities of CO2 are input into them.
Gore: The documentary described global warming potentially “shutting down the Ocean Conveyor” - the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to western Europe.
Judge: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it was “very unlikely” it would be shut down, though it might slow down.
Error fourThat's because in the graphs that Gore shows CO2 lags temperature increase. That's because temperature increase leads to oceans warming, which leads to oceans releasing CO2 they've stored.
Gore: He asserted - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”.
Judge: Although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”.
Error fiveThe disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro has been going on for as long as people have been looking at the thing. Given the temperature at the top never goes above freezing it's a tad hard to blame warming for the loss of snow. The real reason it's been lost is due to land use changes around the mountain, which have led to less moisture in the air causing a similar effect to when you put a tray of ice cubes in the freezer and come back a month later to find an empty tray.
Gore: The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to global warming.
Judge: This “specifically impressed” David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, but the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
Error sixLake Chad is extremely shallow and subject to a variety of factors that affect its size. The primary problem has been over-demand by the local population and, from the late 1960s on, a series of massive droughts that have failed to replenish it.
Gore: The drying up of Lake Chad was used in the film as a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming, said the judge.
Judge: “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.”
Error sevenThere are no credible hurricane specialists who make a link between climate change and Hurricane Katrina.
Gore: Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans to global warming.
Judge: There is “insufficient evidence to show that”.
Error eightPolar bear populations are at record levels. More warmth means more food means more bears. Warmth good for life on earth. Cold bad. Cold kills.
Gore: Referred to a new scientific study showing that, for the first time, polar bears were being found that had actually drowned “swimming long distances - up to 60 miles - to find the ice”.
Judge: “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 was not to say there might not in future be drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice continued - “but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description”.
Error nineWhen Saddam Hussein released huge amounts of oil that affected the coral reefs off Iraq it was expected that they'd be killed forever. As it turned out they were back to normal within about 10 years showing they're much more resilient than people think though you'd expect them to be to have survived the colder and warmer climates of the past.
Gore: Coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors.
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.
So there you have it. Jack Lacton 9 - Al Gore 0.
When subject to analysis the 'facts' of An Inconvenient Truth are found to be wanting. However, to the biased BBC that's not a problem.
BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be "embarrassing for Mr Gore" but would not affect the government, which said it is happy that the judge did not dismiss the film's mainstream argument.Oh, dear! Imagine the public drawing that conclusion when the most iconic documentary and advocate of climate change has been shown to be little more than a serial fabricator and truth distorter.
But, he added, this controversy could encourage the public to think there was scientific doubt about the facts of climate change.
Children's Minister Kevin Brennan had earlier said: "It is important to be clear that the central arguments put forward in An Inconvenient Truth, that climate change is mainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases and will have serious adverse consequences, are supported by the vast weight of scientific opinion.Clearly, Minister Brennan hasn't actually read the judge's comments.
"Nothing in the judge's comments today detract from that."