Nine inaccuracies = partisan lie?

A day before the announcement of Gore’s Nobel Prize, a British court found that the film “An Incovenient Truth” included nine inaccuracies that were made “in the context of alarmism and exaggeration.”

High Court Judge Michael Burton said that the film is “substantially founded upon scientific research and fact” but that the errors were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.

Burton found that screening the film in British secondary schools violated laws barring the promotion of partisan political views in the classroom. But he allowed the film to be shown on the condition that it is accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore’s “one-sided” views, saying that the film’s “apocalyptic vision” was not an impartial analysis of climate change.

Hmmm. Now I see the validity of criticizing some of the film’s claims (most notable is that glacial melt could lead to sea level rise above 20 feet) as exaggerated or not based on scientific consensus, but stating in a court of law that the film is thus “one-sided” I find bizarre.

Of course, the major takeaway here will be further grist for the deniers amongst us. Our good pal Glenn Beck will be jumping all over this, I’m sure, if he hasn’t already. The obvious extension? The Nobel Prize committee is a bunch of European socialists who envy the United States for its freedom and industry.

Battles over the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” to students is not unique to the Brits. We’ve had a few here in the states:

Earlier this year, parents in Federal Way, Wash., complained to the local school board about plans to show the film in schools and eventually pressured it to impose a ban on screenings for two weeks.

Frosty E. Hardison, a computer consultant and evangelical Christian, was outraged when he learned that the film would be shown in his daughter’s seventh-grade science class. He sent an e-mail to the school board, declaring, “No, you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation — the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet — for global warming.”

Frosty? Ironic, no?

Among the nine statements in the film found to be errors, I have to say that I agree a few could have been restated (New Zealand evacuees, sea level rise, Lake Chad). I say “restated,” not eliminated because while there appears to be scientific uncertainty about the precise probability or direct influence of climate change on these, evidence does point to valid concerns about the role global warming will play in storms, droughts and sea level rise. Others–notably the coral reef reference–are just plain ticky-tacky.


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