October 15, 2009

Apparently, Al Gore has given plenty of speeches over the past four years promoting his agenda driven documentary, ‘An Invonvenient Truth‘. And amazingly, not once has he allowed a question and answer period afterward.

Well, at long last, at the The Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Madison, Wisconsin last week, Mr. Gore opted for a question & answer, and "enviromnetal journalist" Phelim McAleer, the director of Not Evil Just Wrong, jumped at the opportunity to ask Al Gore about the British Court Case that found his documentary (An Inconvenient Truth) had nine significant errors.

What followed was a quick but classic verbal tennis match of what happens when truth speaks to power.

Here’s the scoop from the "Not Evil Just Wrong" blog:

Al Gore & The Death of Journalism

Written by Not Evil Just Wrong

The Society of Environmental Journalists spent much of its conference in Madison, Wis., questioning why mainstream journalism is dying.

Then they answered their own question when they decided it was their role to protect Al Gore from An Inconvenient Question.

Phelim McAleer, the director of Not Evil Just Wrong, asked Al Gore about the British Court Case that found his documentary An Inconvenient Truth had nine significant errors.

McAleer said that given his documentary is being shown in schools, does he accept the errors and has he done anything to correct them?

However, Gore declined to address the issue and when asked for a straight answer from McAleer, the response of the Society of Enironmental Journalists was not to applaud one of their own for bringing truth to power, but instead they cut the mic of a journalist.

It seems it is more important to protect a wealthy politician/businessman than to allow a journalist to ask inconvenient questions.

And they wonder why no one wants to buy their journalism.

Here’s a list of the nine above mentioned (and rather major) errors:

fall of the republic

1. The claim: Melting in Greenland or West Antarctica will cause sea levels to rise up to 20 feet in the near future. The truth: The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change concluded that sea levels might rise 20 feet over millennia — and it waffled on that prediction. The IPCC envisions a rise of no more than 7 inches to 23 inches by 2100. Gore’s claim is "a very disturbing misstatement of the science," John Day, who argued the British case, says in Not Evil Just Wrong. The judge said Gore’s point "is not in line with the scientific consensus.

2. The claim: Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim farther to find ice. The truth: Justice Burton noted that the only study citing the drowning of polar bears (four of them) blamed the deaths on a storm, not ice that is melting due to manmade global warming. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, furthermore, found that the current bear population is 20,000-25,000, up from 5,000-10,000 in the 1950s and 1960s. Day says in Not Evil Just Wrong that the appeal to polar bears is "a very clever piece of manipulation."

3. The claim: Global warming spawned Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The truth: "It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that," Burton wrote in his ruling. A May 2007 piece in New Scientist refuted the Katrina argument as a "climate myth" because it’s impossible to tie any single weather event to global warming.

4. The claim: Increases in temperature are the result of increases in carbon dioxide. The truth: Burton questioned the two graphs Gore used in An Inconvenient Truth. Gore argued that there is "an exact fit" between temperature and CO2, Burton said, but his graphs didn’t support that conclusion. Recent data also do not support it: The global temperature has been declining for about a decade, even as CO2 levels continue rising.

5. The claim: The snow on Mount Kilimanjaro is melting because of global warming. The truth: The melting has been under way for more than a century — long before SUVs and jumbo jets — and appears to be the result of other causes. Justice Burton noted that scientists agree the melting can’t be blamed primarily on "human-induced climate change."

6. The claim: Lake Chad is disappearing because of global warming. The truth: Lake Chad is losing water, and humans are contributing to the losses. But the humans in the lake’s immediate vicinity, rather than mankind as a whole using fossil fuels, are to blame. Burton cited factors like population, overgrazing and regional climate variability.

7. The claim: People are being forced to evacuate low-lying Pacific atolls, islands of coral that surround lagoons, because of encroaching ocean waters. The truth: By their very nature, atolls are susceptible to rising sea levels. But Burton said pointedly in his ruling, "There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened."

8. The claim: Coral reefs are bleaching and putting fish in jeopardy. The truth: In his ruling, Burton emphasized the IPCC’s finding that bleaching could kill coral reefs — if they don’t adapt. A report released this year shows that reefs already are thriving in waters as hot as some people say ocean waters will be 100 years from now. Burton also said it is difficult to separate coral stresses such as over-fishing from any changes in climate.

9. The claim: Global warming could stop the "ocean conveyor," triggering another ice age in Western Europe. The truth: Once again, Gore’s allies at the IPCC disagree with that argument. Burton cited the panel in concluding that "it is very unlikely that the ocean conveyor … will shut down in the future." The fact that the scientific understanding of how the conveyor belt works remains unsettled further exposes the flaw in Gore’s claim.

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