Friday, October 12, 2007

"An Inconveniently Untruthful Assault on Reason" by Al Gore

The news reported today that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize because of his work toward understanding global warming. Ironically, The news also reported today that Al Gore's movie about global warming has been deemed largely fiction by the British High Court. A research organization is now also asking that his Oscar award for his film "An Inconvenient Truth" be withdrawn. How come I can't get that much press?

I have written on SUMP before that I actually appreciated much of what Al Gore wrote in his book "The Assault on Reason". I've also written here that I think he is 'up in the night' about global warming. But as ABC News is reporting, a recent development couldn't have come at a worse time for Al Gore. The British High Court has ruled that
Gore's global warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," while "broadly accurate," contained nine significant errors.
I'm not sure that the Nobel peace guys and gals are scientists, but their designation of Mr. Gore and the completely impartial, unbiased, honest, and unbeholden Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as recipients of the Nobel peace prize comes at a pretty embarrassing time, too.

By the way, I would like to be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize next year for my study of black holes. Here's are the likely results that my study has yielded--if we get sucked into a black hole, the following will likely happen (do they sound familiar?):
1.) The sea level will rise up to 20 feet...

2.) Some low-lying Pacific islands [will have] to evacuate...

3.) [Black holes] will shut down the "ocean conveyor," by which the Gulf Stream moves across the North Atlantic to Western Europe...

4.) There is a direct coincidence between the rise in [black hole forces] and the rise in temperature...

5.) The disappearance of the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro is expressly attributable to [the black hole we got sucked into].

6.) The drying up of Lake Chad is a prime example of a catastrophic result of [us getting sucked into a black hole].

7.) Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is because of [yes...black holes].

8.) Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim long distances to find [light, due to our having gotten sucked in a black hole.]

9.) Coral reefs all over the world are bleaching because of [black holes] and other factors.
Well, at least if we got sucked into a black hole, I'd be right with my list of nine things. Which is more than can be said for Al Gore.

So, yes, I think we should take away his Oscar. Either that or transfer it to the proper category--the one the British High Court placed it in--science fiction.

26 comments:

  1. It's amazing how successful propaganda can be sometimes. Edward Bernays himself would be surprised to see the effects of Gore's work.

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  2. I have three quick questions, Frank:

    1) What kind of science did you get a degree in?

    I think the stat I read a few months back said that upwards of 700 scientists, working in fields that relate to environment, atmosphere, oceans, etc. etc. all agree about Global Warming, catastrophic consequences, anon, anon. The EiB does not. So, I'm wondering from what scientific direction you're hitting Gore from.

    2) Did you see Gore's movie?

    3) Why the anger?

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  3. Connor,

    And then the pretty boys like Huntsman come along every so often just to confuse the people who finally think they're understanding the truth.

    JM,

    1. College Physics 100.

    2. Yes. It scared the SHIT out of my kids. I pointed out several things to them (to comfort them) that couldn't possibly be true, many of which are on the British High Court's list. (I don't have a law degree, either, though.)

    3. It's not anger. It's devilishly humorous satire. ;-)

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  4. JM,

    Have you watched the Great Global Warming Swindle? You can find it on google video. One interesting tidbit they discuss is the amount of money that the government has pumped into research and new projects along this line. When you offer free money to people, you'll attract all sorts of people who will say or do whatever it takes to get a piece of the pie. Sure, there are plenty of scientists that agree. They get paid to. :) To be sure, there are good arguments on both sides, but Gore's film is anything but entirely factually sound.

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  5. Connor,

    Right on. I've made this point about following the money here and here.

    This is NOT a hard concept to grasp. Heck, it is now being alleged (and they're probably right) that Parents for Choice in Education was offering to pay $10 per person that votes for Utah Vouchers in November.

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  7. Gore Thoughts:

    1- If his film were accurate, wouldn't he have won the Nobel Prize for Science?

    2- Last year it was micro-loans, this year it's an 'Ocar winner'? Then again they gave Jimmy Carter a Peace Prize too for his 'sucessful' negotiations with South Korea...

    3- He wants 'change', but what change did he create when he was VICE PRESIDENT?

    4- He's denied a number of times that he's running for president, maybe he want's his old job back, but this time being Rodham's VP.

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  8. If his film were accurate, wouldn't he have won the Nobel Prize for Science?

    Hahaha! Zing!

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  9. This is the fate of Al Gore. Right wing politicians like President Bush can lie about everything all the time and not get called on it. But everything Gore says is carefully scrutinized for the slightest inaccuracy.

    I agree, there are factual errors in "An Inconvenient Truth." It's a classic mistake of environmentalists, who often exaggerate unnecessarily in an attempt to draw attention to their issues. But nine mistakes in a 100 minute film? That's nitpicking.

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  10. Right wing politicians like President Bush can lie about everything all the time and not get called on it. But everything Gore says is carefully scrutinized for the slightest inaccuracy.

    I would argue that the people criticizing Bush for his lies are the same ones criticizing Gore for his. The mainstream media ignores both, while individuals and certain organizations take it upon themselves to research and report the facts, since our journalistic empire fails to do so.

    Gore isn't getting off the hook for his lies, and neither is Bush, from those that seek truth regardless of its source. Mainstream media, obviously, disqualifies itself from that category.

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  11. Come on, Gore was mercilessly hounded by the media. For example, when he said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

    Most politicians could get away with a vague statement like that. Not Gore-- he was ridiculed for years for allegedly saying he "invented the Internet."

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  12. Most politicians could get away with a vague statement like that. Not Gore-- he was ridiculed for years for allegedly saying he "invented the Internet."

    He was only ridiculed because pop culture came to mock him for it, much like the Senator who said that the internet is a series of tubes. The mainstream media had little effect on engraving this statement of his into people's minds.

    And we're talking about his documentary, not a statement from years ago. Where has the mainstream media relentlessly called out Gore for his half-truths and lies in his film?

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  13. It hasn't gotten anywhere near the traction of the Internet gibe, but the media have gone after Gore's movie. Here's Gregg Easterbrook from May 2006:

    "The picture the movie paints is always worst-case scenario. Considering the multiple times Gore has given his greenhouse slide show (he says "thousands"), it's jarring that the movie was not scrubbed for factual precision."

    Specifically, he nails Gore on his prediction of a 20-foot sea level rise in the near future.

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  14. jm bell,
    It doesn't take a scientist to research it and understand the facts. If I was a scientist and told you that you could fly, would you jump off a cliff and try it? I wouldn't; but hey, some people might. Apparently a lot more than I would think. The problem is a lot of people will say certain things to get a buck--including scientists. Words follow money.
    And Frank, That is the same reason why you can't get that much press, cause your words don't tend to follow the money. Start lying and being rediculous, that might help with the press. Oh yeah, and flag a few million around to have people say off the wall stuff. That will help too. :)

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  15. Richard,

    I agree with Connor. True journalists point out truth and error no matter where it is found. Bush should be as critiqued as Gore. It's good the media nailed him on the 20-foot sea-level rise.

    Salt,

    It is interesting that he does nothing as vice president, yet now wants to be revered enough to force himself into the limelight. I seriously thought (and yes, I watched it ALL) that Inconvenient Truth was in a was sad, because it was an Al-Gore lovefest for the most part. Yes, Richard, there were only 9 things, but he spent about 10 minutes on each one in the 100-minute film.

    Danny,

    Good point. Scientists actually ARE telling us to jump of a cliff. Scientists who know better, but wonder what would become of themselves if they leave the government's employ. For us to believe that we need to turn that kind of allegiance over to government to solve these problems would be a cataclysmic error.

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  17. Let's try this comment again...

    The irony of the nay-sayers of global warming is the sheer lack of vision.

    Some of the most innovative developments and improvements to quality of life in America, and around the globe were not based on guaranteed conclusions, but having the foresight and presence of mind to accurately estimate the risks of action versus inaction.

    Head count the scientists, confirm their allegiances, poo-poo Al Gore, anything you want. For those of you with children, what will you say to them if, and notice I say "if" for the sake of fairness to you, one day you find that Al Gore was right, and you were horribly wrong? How, exactly will you explain yourself? "Sorry, kids, I wasn't sure enough to do anything about it?"

    I am not completely convinced by the science myself, but I know that common sense in this situation would be the opposite of inaction. To wait until we have "proof" would be idiotic when it comes to our global climate, because the proof won't come until it is too late to apologize for ignorance.

    When did we become the country that does nothing until we are absolutely 100% convinced on an issue? When did we stop making educated decisions, working with the best knowledge available, and always working to improve our quality of life, instead of shamelessly (and irrationally) defending the status quo out of fear of change?

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  18. There is excellent science that says there IS NO PROBLEM. There is a lot of science that says MAYBE there is a problem.

    I don't think we need to worry about what might be when we can easily extrapolate what has been, including during the industrial age when the occurrence of CO2 skyrocketed.

    It's not fear of change I'm worried about. It's fear of the implications of that change (governmental control over much of our lifestyles) that I'm worried about. And I sincerely don't think that change is necessary.

    I've written a lot about global warming on this site, which might give you a better idea of where I stand. This satirical piece is probably not the best example of that. I do believe that man should be a steward of the environment, that we should search for cleaner energy sources, etc.

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  19. Let me try and untangle some of this. I agree that Gore should be called on the 20-foot sea level rise, but some of the other stuff is nitpicky.

    It outrages me that Bush can flat out lie again and again and the media just print it as if he makes sense. For example, the Bush's implied claim that U.S. forces are capturing 1,500 Al Qaeda terrorists a month in Iraq. That's patently absurd.

    Maybe it's easier to fact-check Al Gore because he's not going to exact revenge the way Bush did on Joe Wilson.

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  20. Richard,

    I agree. It outrages me too. I very little respect left for George Bush (Sr. or Jr.)

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  21. Couple of thoughts:

    Nobel prize for Peace not Science:
    By promoting the global warming fallacy, Gore has created a global enemy that everyone can be against regardless of race, religeon or anything else. By banding together against Global Warming, we might forget our differences and work together in Peace. Unfortunately when you use lies (or even gross exaggerations to promote your agenda, it's bound to crumble)

    Reasons for Global Warming Propoganda:
    Yes this has been a tool of evironmentalists for a long time. Recently I read "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton. It's a fictional book, but very well researched. It provides a very plausible explanation as to why this is now being used by governments. I wouldn't read it to my kids, due to the language used, but it was a little scary, and rightfully so.

    Scientists: A group of Climate Scientists (You think they would be experts.) put together a series of video's explaining some of the problems with the global warming argument. No anger, just solid scientific data and analysis. And the video is free, so I don't think money is playing into this one. The link is:
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=158

    I think the climate is changing, but that's what happens when you aren't living inside of a controlled scientific experiment. Temperatures change, the earth adapts and life moves on. Change happens! Get over it.

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  22. Gore should have received the Nobel War prize, perhaps. ;-)

    I read State of Fear as well, and it really WAS well documented for a fictional book.

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  23. Good point, although you'd have to think the Bush Administration would have to come in as a close contender.

    Gore would probably take it though, with bonus points given for being able to sway both sides of the political spectrum in the US.

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  24. Knowing how much Frank relies on Media Matters, here's a link to their analysis of Gore's media coverage.

    Reporting on a recent ruling by a British judge about the documentary An Inconvenient Truth (Paramount Classics, May 2006), featuring former Vice President Al Gore, numerous media outlets -- including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, CNN, and Fox News -- routinely reported that the judge found that the film contained nine "errors" without mentioning that he also stated in the ruling that the film is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact." The judge also said he had "no doubt" that the defendant's expert was "right when he says that: 'Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.' "

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  25. I pointed out the "broadly accurate" statement at the beginning of my article. I never said the Media Matters got it wrong every time. Just quite often. ;-)

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