Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," was critiqued, Wed., by a high court judge in the United Kingdom who pointed to what he perceived as "nine scientific errors" in the film.
The judge, identified only as Mr. Justice Barton by the Guardian, noted his opinion when mulling a case brought by Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor, who is opposed to a government plan to show the film in secondary schools.
The judge ruled that the film can still be shown in schools -- with the proviso that it might be necessary for the Department of Children, Schools and Families to make clear to teachers some of Gore's views were not supported or promoted by the government, and there was "a view to the contrary."
Justice Barton, although conceding that many of the claims made by the film were supported by the weight of scientific evidence, identified the following nine points as troubling: The film claimed that low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls "are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming," but there was no evidence of any evacuation occurring. It spoke of global warming "shutting down the ocean conveyor" - the process by which the gulf stream is carried over the north Atlantic to western Europe. The judge said that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it was "very unlikely" that the conveyor would shut down in the future, though it might slow down. Gore had also claimed - 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." The judge said although scientists agreed there was a connection, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr. Gore asserts." Gore said the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to human-induced climate change. The judge said the consensus was that that could not be established. The drying up of Lake Chad was used as an example of global warming. The judge said: "It is apparently considered to be more likely to result from ... population increase, over-grazing and regional climate variability." Gore ascribed Hurricane Katrina to global warming, but there was "insufficient evidence to show that." Gore also referred to a study showing that polar bears were being found that had drowned "swimming long distances to find the ice". The judge said: "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." The film said that coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors. The judge said separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution, was difficult.
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