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Loose with the facts

Science | British judge says An Inconvenient Truth is 'alarmist' and 'exaggerated'

In the same week that environmentalists are celebrating Al Gore's
Nobel Peace Prize and green Democrats are rallying to draft the former
vice president for another run at the White House, a High Court
British judge has declared Gore's Oscar winning film An Inconvenient
Truth to be "alarmist" and "exaggerated." Justice Michael Burton
determined that the documentary contains nine scientific errors,
including its extreme forecast of a 20-foot sea-level rise that would
wipe out downtown Manhattan.

In a 17-page decision published Wednesday, Burton ruled that schools
in the UK could not screen Gore's movie without also providing equal
time for balancing views. He wrote that "it is not simply a science
film… but that it is a political film."

The Norwegian Nobel committee awarded Mr. Gore the prize (along with
the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Oct. 12, saying the
former vice president was "probably the single individual who has done
most" to create greater worldwide understanding of climate change.

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The court decision concludes a months-long legal and political battle
in the UK that began when government officials included Gore's
documentary in a climate change packet for national distribution to
more than 3,000 secondary schools. Stewart Dimmock, a parent and local
school board official, sued to block the film, calling it propaganda.

In the wake of Dimmock's victory, some national press appear eager to
publish propaganda of their own: BBC environment analyst Roger
Harrabin cautioned media members against reporting that the High Court
ruled Gore was wrong on climate. Harrabin suggested that journalists
spin the verdict with "something like: 'Al Gore whose film was judged
by the High Court to have used some debatable science' or 'Al Gore
whose film was judged in the High Court to be controversial in parts.'
The key is to avoid suggesting that the judge disagreed with the main
climate change thesis."

In other words, Al Gore remains a trustworthy source on global
warming-never mind that he plays loose with the facts.


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