Don't Let Me Stop You

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An Inconvenient Lie

Posted by Dan Draney on June 29, 2006

We saw this AP article in the Lincoln Journal Star today under the ridiculous title “Scientists Give Gore Film Five Stars for Accuracy.” This sloppy, pseudo-journalistic paen to Algore’s glorified PowerPoint presentation, An Inconvenient Truth, is nicely debunked by SperoNews. See also this (subscription only link) WSJ column by Richard Linzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

Here are just a few paragraphs from this Inconvenient Lie:

The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.

But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Blah. Blah. Blah. An Algore lovefest followed.

This “study” has a huge problem with sampling. So they contacted “more than 100 top climate scientists,” of which only 19 had seen the film. We’re betting none of these people’s minds was changed by the film, and none of them heard anything they hadn’t heard before. Furthermore, scientists who agree with Gore’s position are much more likely to be interested in watching such a film than those who don’t. Or, to put it another way, scientists who view Algore as an opportunistic, fearmongering idiot are likely to choose not to see his film.

It was necessary to read the article very carefully to find any of the criticisms:

One concern was about the connection between hurricanes and global warming. That is a subject of a heated debate in the science community. Gore cited five recent scientific studies to support his view. “I thought the use of imagery from Hurricane Katrina was inappropriate and unnecessary in this regard, as there are plenty of disturbing impacts associated with global warming for which there is much greater scientific consensus,” said Brian Soden, a University of Miami professor of meteorology and oceanography.

Some scientists said Gore confused his ice sheets when he said the effect of the Clean Air Act is noticeable in the Antarctic ice core; it is the Greenland ice core. Others thought Gore oversimplified the causal-link between the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and rising temperatures.

Of course the last sentence above is the big enchilada. The “causal-link” between so-called greenhouse gases and rising temperatures is simply not established. In other words there is no proof as to what role, if any, these gases play in the climate change that is currently occuring. There simply is no scientific concensus on this critical point, no matter how many times Algore and his fellow travelers try to claim there is.

Interestingly, even this mild-mannered, one-sentence concession to truthful reporting doesn’t appear in many versions of the article we found online (e.g. here and here). Talk about an Inconvenient Truth.

UPDATE: The Lindzen article from the WSJ is now available on the free OpinionJournal.com site. Reader Ransom provides this link to another excellent article from Lindzen.

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