This just in from Fox News:
A High Court judge in London has turned film critic, highlighting “nine scientific errors” in Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The judge said some of the errors had arisen in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration” to support the former US vice-president’s thesis on global warming.
The Government’s decision to show the film in secondary schools had come under attack from father-of-two Stewart Dimmock, a Kent school governor and a member of political group The New Party, who accused the Government of “brainwashing” children with propaganda.
Justice Burton ruled at London’s High Court that the film, much acclaimed by environmentalists, could be shown in schools as part of a climate change resource pack, but only if it was accompanied by new guidance notes to balance Gore’s “one-sided” views.
Here’s my take on this: there is no question that there are a few statements in Gore’s movie that make me flinch. Had he run the script by me, I would have suggested he rephrase a few of his points.
That said, I think the movie is overall quite good and I give it high marks for accuracy. In addition, I think it’s important to remember that the movie is a piece of advocacy — it is not designed to give both sides of the argument, but rather to push a particular agenda. It’s basically an op-ed in film form.
Because of this, I think it’s a mistake to look at Gore’s movie in isolation. To assess its intellectual honesty, it is useful to compare it to the other side — say an op-ed by Dick Lindzen.
Take a look at Fox’s list of errors in An Inconvenient Truth (linked above) with realclimate’s critique of Lindzen’s Newsweek piece.
In this comparison, Gore’s film is a sparkling gem of integrity and accuracy. The misrepresentation, obfuscation, and downright mendacity of Lindzen and the rest of the denialist crowd is staggering in comparison with the few nits in Gore’s movie.
While errors do exist in Gore’s film, it is still far more accurate and believable than the arguments made by those opposed to action on climate change.