(Chicago, Illinois – October 9, 2007) On October 2, 2007 a British court found Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, to be politically biased, and it ruled teachers must warn students of that bias before showing the film.
In the statement below, James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, elaborates on factual errors in the film identified by the court and comments on the ruling.
“Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, represents ‘partisan political views’ and must be treated as such by teachers in British schools, a British High Court judge has indicated.
“The British court was swayed by numerous factual inaccuracies portrayed in the movie. Among them:
- “The film claims global warming is responsible for the gradual retreat of the alpine glacier atop Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Scientists have conclusively demonstrated no such link exists.
- “The film presents graphs indicating that fluctuating carbon dioxide levels have always preceded and caused global temperature fluctuations. In fact, temperatures changes have always preceded carbon dioxide changes.
- “The film suggests global warming caused Hurricane Katrina. Few hurricane experts believe this, and substantial scientific evidence indicates global warming is having no impact on hurricane frequency or intensity.
- “The film asserts global warming is causing Central Africa’s Lake Chad to dry up. In fact, land use practices are causing the drying up of Lake Chad, and Central Africa is in an unusual and prolonged wet period.
- “The film asserts global warming is leading to polar bear deaths by drowning. Yet the only documented drowning deaths occurred due to a freak storm, and polar bear numbers are growing substantially.
- “The film claims global warming threatens to halt the Gulf Stream and initiate a new ice age. The vast majority of scientists who have studied the issue have determined such a scenario is implausible.
- “The film asserts global warming is causing the destruction of coral reefs through bleaching. Scientists have identified other causes for coral bleaching and have additionally noted bleaching is a natural process by which coral continually selects ideal symbiotic algae.
- ” The film asserts Greenland is in danger of rapid ice melt that will raise sea levels by 20 feet or more. The scientific consensus is that any foreseeable Greenland ice melt will be gradual and will take centuries to substantially raise sea levels.
- ” The film asserts the Antarctic ice shelf is melting. In fact, only a small portion of Antarctica is getting warmer and losing ice mass, while the vast majority of Antarctica is in a prolonged cold spell and is accumulating ice mass.
“Also highlighted in court arguments was Al Gore’s admission in Grist Magazine that ‘I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it [global warming] is.’
“As a result of the partisan political nature of Gore’s film, school teachers will not be allowed to show the movie without telling their students the film is scientifically controversial.
“The British High Court properly recognized that Al Gore’s movie is nine parts political propaganda and one part science.
“The British court decision should guide teachers in the U.S. to similarly treat Gore’s movie as the inaccurate and misleading propaganda tool that it is.”
For more information about The Heartland Institute, please contact Jim Lakely, director of communications, at 312/377-4000, email [email protected].