back to article Judge rules Gore's film an inconvenient catalogue of errors

A UK judge has ruled that schools are allowed to show Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, but only if the film is accompanied by guidance highlighting the areas where the ex-vice president of America strays off the scientific terra firma, the BBC reports. Mr Justice Burton said teachers could show the film, but must highlight nine …

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  1. Michael

    A pity

    This shows the problem with polemical documentary. Because of a few sloppy sequences thrown in for dramatic effect, we get (in the public mind) a big question mark thrown over the whole issue of anthropogenic influence on climate.

    Shame.

  2. Naadir Jeewa

    A clarification on a clarification

    9 assertions which aren't supported in a mainstream science film is hardly bad going, and certainly isn't a catalagoue of errors.

    The fact that IPCC contributors over at RealClimate praised the general scientific accuracy of the film is still encouraging.

  3. Robinson
    Coat

    Title

    Yes Michael, that's because there's a big question mark over anthropogenic influence on climate.

  4. Sean Healey

    Alarmist Comments

    > He added that scientific consensus held that that kind of sea level

    > rise would be possible if Greenland's ice melted, but that that melt

    > would happen "after, and over, millennia".

    How is a documentary comment about sea level rises related to ice melt 'alarmist' ? Its *happening* for chrisakes. Its happening *now*. It is a *fact* that coastal regions are suffering unprecedented erosion due to higher sea levels, and its also a *fact* that there are smaller islands which have begun dissapearing under the waves. We just don't tend to hear about this stuff because only poor people live in these places.

    Ice melt rates have recently accelerated:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3922579.stm

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060920-greenland-ice.html

    Aw heck, just chuck 'greenland ice melt' into google to see the piles of info out there on this.

  5. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Counter-argument?

    Would it not have been helpful to include a requirement to spend equal time on the counter-argument? There is, after all, still hot debate on whether climate change is man-made or not. (All right, not among the mass public, but there appears to be some within the scientific community).

    Other than that, I'm sure the caveats will get lost on their way to most classrooms.

  6. Perpetual Cyclist

    So behind the times...

    A UN report to be published next month will show that total green house gas concentrations have passed 450 ppm CO2 equivalent, the level at which many scientists say that global warming will pass 2 degrees C globally, triggering 'serious' climate change problems, like the melting of the greenland ice sheet.

    And ten years sooner than predicted by the IPCC.

    We all know that the arctic sea ice is at record low levels (2.3 million square km less ice than 'normal' for this time of year), far worse than the worst case scenario from the IPCC. Tough for those polar bears...

    I have also seen a report (lost the URL) which suggests the world is twice as sensitive to global temperature rise as is generally predicted, so we actually passed the 'dangerous' level of temperature rise 40 years ago...

  7. The Mighty Biff

    Legal fees ?

    Anyone know who paid the rest of his fees ? 66 grand is whopping heck of a lot for Mr Dimmock to find and presumably it wasn't the school that funded the case ?

    I'm genuinely interested to know the answer.

  8. cor
    Paris Hilton

    The un-Bearable lightness of being.

    Well at least no-one is blaming the rain forest for all the pollution. Oh, wait... George W. what's that?

  9. Andy Wager
    Jobs Horns

    equal time

    If they are going to show Gores film (complete with dodgy science and analysis) then it should be right and proper that they show "the great global warming swindle" directly following it. Let the b&@@ers then make their minds up.

  10. Wade Burchette

    Victory for truth

    Meteorologists don't believe in anthropogenic global warming. Why is that people who are paid to study weather without bias don't believe humans are causing global warming?

  11. James
    Thumb Up

    Good.

    Good. The Gore film has plenty of unsubstantiated claims and dubious conclusions (increased CO2 levels always leads to warming being the biggy). Many of his points, presented as fact, remain unproven and are the subject of continuous research and debate. See commentators such Richard Lindzen (Prof. Meteorology at MIT). He made plenty of valid points (glacial retreat for example) but unfortunately his presentation was so subjective the film only has merit as a political broadcast.

    He should have made it clear that many of the claims are unproven and are the subject of heated debate. At least then, with some objectivity, his thesis would have been balanced.

  12. Paul van der Lingen

    who cares if it's man made or not..

    fact is - it's happening and no-one - rabid tree-hugger nor fundamentalist christian - can argue with that.

    So we, as a species are or are not the primary cause - so what. Can we move on from trying to assuage our guilt (or defend our egos) and get on with dealing with it.

  13. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Legal fees

    Let that be a lesson to you. If the government breaks the law, it will cost some enlightened citizen a small fortune to actually have somebody do anything about it. Better to let the government just get away with it. Now run along children, I have an ID scheme that needs to drive a coach and horses through the DPA.

  14. Len Goddard

    Why equal time?

    Dan said:

    "Would it not have been helpful to include a requirement to spend equal time on the counter-argument? There is, after all, still hot debate on whether climate change is man-made or not. (All right, not among the mass public, but there appears to be some within the scientific community)."

    Well, if you weighted the time according to the weight of scientific evidence (rather than commercially/politically inspired FUD), you might get 5 mins counterargument.

  15. neil

    Re: Legal Fees

    Dunno if you heard the news on BBC radio 4 yesterday. He was asked who had funded him, he admitted getting backing but refused to name his backers. I think they should be named as it is in the public interest.

  16. Alastair McKinstry

    Counter-argument?

    Dan,

    its the opposite way round: the existence of man-made climate change is effectively settled scientifically (not the _effects_, but its existence.). Most sceptics have been won over recently - eg. the last 5 years. Even the likes of Bjorn Lomborg, etc. no longer deny it -- hes changed his line to saying its 'not worth doing anything about' (shades of Bush).

    However the political spin has been to _claim_ there is much more scientific doubt than there is. About 50% of the population think that the scientific case is unproven; about 98% think its proven.

    Can you point for example to recent scientific literature that shows the case unproven?

  17. Danny
    Jobs Horns

    @andy

    The great global warming swindle was proven to be almost completely bogus using manipulated and out of date information, edited beyond recognition interviews and directed by a man with his own agenda therefore completely discrediting it.

  18. Bob Wheeler
    Paris Hilton

    How good are predictions?

    A general question on all the different claims and counter claims. Given they Met Officer can't predict with any accuracy what the weather is going to be next week, let alone in 10 years plus is my guess any better then anyone elses? If so, I predict that the world temperture (whatever that means!) will be 0.7825634892456841 C higher then it was on my last birthday.

  19. Mark

    Various points

    equal time:

    Only if they have equal validity. We don't give equal time to the Raelians that we have for the NHS natal nurses. David Ike isn't given equal time compared to "Stars on Sunday".

    There isn't any debate on whether man is making the change. There's a small ammount of debate (rather than denial) about how much "most" is wrt man's contribution and there's a slightly larger debate about what the consequences and a whole slew of debates (not gone in to because of the denial being so loud) about what we can do about it and how it will work.

    CO2 is a greenhous gas. We produce lots through burning fossil fuels. We can work out how much because the companies selling have figures on how much they are selling each year. Any attempt to show this isn't having a major effect on the earth is having to do a lot of work.

    As to the ruling, please find me a documentary from the TV that *isn't* alarmist or makes scientifically dubious claims.

  20. Dax Farrer
    IT Angle

    @Andy Wager

    No, because that was a load of crap and was found to be crap.

    @Dan

    No, there is no substantial debate in the science community. There is some right wing nuts that have a problem with what the consequences of global warming. They have spent a lot trying to manufacture an illusion of debate. But we actually got through most of the debate 10-15 years ago. Sorry you missed it, it was entertaining the first time, these repeats are becoming a bit of a boor though.

  21. Brendan Weir

    Equal time != Balance

    Any factual or analytical errors in Gore's film should be highlighted to the audience. But that doesn't mean the counter arguments should be given equal time, anymore than Creationism versus Evolution, as the scientific community isn't split 50:50 on the issues.

  22. Anonymous John
    Coat

    I'll get my coat

    On second thoughts, if it's getting warmer, I'll leave it at home.

  23. Leo Rampen
    Coat

    Swindle? Ha

    Perhaps if the "Great global warming swindle" is taken under the same scrutiny as Gore's film, and is found to contain only 5 factual errors, then we can watch that in schools. However, considering the scientific consensus for global warming, I doubt that the film would be allowed. Simply reading the wikipedia article on the film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Global_Warming_Swindle) essentially debunks the film - and wikipedia is relatively unbiased!

  24. Luther Blissett

    @Leo Rampen

    "wikipedia is relatively unbiased!"

    that exclamation mark just gets me

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Meh

    Can all the Americans in this thread out themselves first, please then get their coat and hail a taxi? There is no point in discussing climate change with people that dogmatically refuse to admit to anything that might be interpreted as threatening the American Way of Life.

  26. Steve Browne
    Thumb Down

    Green issues

    Whilst I am sure these are important to someone, I suppose I would find more credibility if it wasnt always used as a ruse to raise taxes.

    Quite why the focus is *always* on CO2, produced by every living cell as part of respiration, yet little is mentioned about CH4, mustnt upset the farmers again, no taxes to be gained there. Selectivity in the data presented effectively discounts most of the discussion for me, as I see it as someone with something to gain from omissions.

    So, I quite agree a balanced discussion would be most welcome, with figures that do not originate from the treasury, failed american politicians (with a reputation for exaggeration, did he still invent the internet ?) or other vested interests.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    I see the Yanks are out

    "man made climate change is lie", "Gore made up evidence", etc. etc.

    What is it about the Yanks that they can't accept the evidence everyone else accepted 15 years ago?

    The real problems with this verdict are:

    1) politicians and media pundits don't seem to be held to the same standards. Where is the alternative viewpoint to Mr "we don't torture*" Bush whenever he tells a porky about climate change?

    2) if anything the film underplays the extent of the problem and the impact of feedback loops. Greenland for one is look *very* bad and the judge is wrong when he says 7 metres will take millennia. Current best thinking is 2m this century if the feedback works out as it looks it might. You can't take the IPCC word on sea level rise since they EXPLICTLY exclude this effect that is actually already happening.

    [* where torture actually means kill, if you're a neocon]

  28. S

    generalities

    There's a good to be said about this topic, much of which has been waded through before. As a Phys grad with some environmental and meteorological exp, admittedly no specialist, there seems to be a gradual take-up of both of belief in first the changing environment, the significance of the speed of the changes and the likelyhood that these changes are significantly due to human-driven processes.

    It is interesting to look at the lifetime of scientific ideas and thier take-up by the wider population. A large part of the difficulty in developing a clear(er?) picture of the current and future climate change, its causes and effects, is the number and influence of the interested and affected parties. Much of what I have read/heard/seen on the subject is quite hideously biased or based on unsound, even non-existant, science. Obviously, this occurs on both sides.

    The issue deserves to be looked at with as objective an opinion as possible. Objective opinions need also to be given greater emphasis in order to increase the value of debate.

    IMHO it will benefit children to see the Gore film, the ~Swindle film, information directly from scientific comm and in seeing what they can determine for themselves. They could then be taught how to (and the reasons why it is useful to) evaluate the validity of any of the claims that are made.

    Does objectivity sell fewer newspapers? probably. Should we all invest a little more in significant debate. Yep. Is this issue going to be solved anytime soon? Nope. Do I over use the word significant? Yes, I like it very much. It makes me feel significant.

  29. Rob
    Coat

    Well I for one...

    ..welcome our new man-bear-pig overlords.

  30. RK
    Dead Vulture

    scientific consensus...

    ' He added that scientific consensus held that that kind of sea level rise would be possible if Greenland's ice melted, but that that melt would happen "after, and over, millennia" '

    er, "scientific consensus" recently re-consensed to the opinion that their models were inadequate and that ice-cap melting was happening much faster than they had forseen. thus, it stands to reason that the aforementioned "consensus" opinion is also incorrect, thus throwing the basis of the judge's assertion into doubt.

    but hey, it makes for good headlines, since we all know that global warming is simply a leftist commie feminist scare-tactic to try to force us to change our lifestyles into something a bit more ecologically sound. god forbid.

  31. Robert Long

    Hmmm

    If a person who defends themselves in court has a fool for a client, what does a person who goes to a judge for scientific knowledge have for a pupil?

    The oncoming (and already started) Greenland melt IS a huge threat and the idea that it will take "millennia" is laughable.

  32. Peter

    Bob Wheeler

    Climate science and weather forecasting are completely different things.

  33. Keller Drozdick

    For Anon, Meh

    I am an American, but I don't "dogmatically refuse to admit to anything that might be interpreted as threatening the American Way of Life." Sorry, but just because the loudest and/or most promoted voices in the media from over here are admittedly dogmatic, that doesn't mean we all are.

    However, I suppose it would take someone who was dogmatically opposed to folks from over here to assume that.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Planet" is in TROUBLE

    I have just seen "The Planet" which also states that Global Warming IS happening, at a much more accelerated rate than previously credited.

    I agree with the poster who says 'Who CARES who or what caused it; let's DO something about it!' ! ! !

    'Response and Responsibility' begins by recycling your own garbage.

    Going that extra mile means occasionally picking up litter on the streets!

    We must create a global community stance that we are ALL responsible.

    Bear in mind that RIGHT DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL in Nature, a bird never fouls its own nest.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meanwhile in the US of A...

    This puts it into the right context: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/24/literal_truth/

  36. Luther Blissett

    Postmodern science

    This is not the first time that a judge has been asked to rule on a matter of science. Which is to say, a judge has had to decide (aka judge) what is and what isn't reasonable to believe.

    Once upon a time the men of science (and it was mostly men then) could be relied to reason things among themselves. Of course they often held competing theories, but none was prepared to commit to them until it was unreasonable not to. Today we have the cart pulling the horse - truly science has become postmodern. In the one corner Big Science, aka commerce qua global monopoly capitalism; in the other the individual confronted by hierarchies, hegemonies, Big Media narratives that omit crucial facts, and needing peer support to feel secure in their beliefs, feelings, and dietary habits, and sexual proclivities. Consensus has become the important thing, not the theory. Truth is confused with theories, hypotheses, speculations, fantasies, phantasms, and assorted creatures of the night.

    The effect of agreeing, which is to cause a consensus, has been inverted with its cause, namely convincing enough people of the truth of something. And convincing people has turned from rationally appraising the evidence favouring or disfavouring the thing to be believed, into manipulating or persuading or coercing people into acting as if they believed it, e.g. Gee, World War III's out there - I guess it must be all right, as there's no one out there protesting about it.

    With things so arse about tit, perhaps more postmodern "science" should be inspected by the judges.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    @Paul van der Lingen and Anonymous Coward

    We should all care, if not simply for the reason that we "should" be doing something, think about the full context of your statement: "Can we move on from trying to assuage our guilt (or defend our egos) and get on with dealing with it."

    How can you *do* anything about it if you don't know, understand, or care about what caused it? What are we going to do, build bubbles to cover our cities to keep the climate under control? Of course that would keep the American money machine churning out the big bucks for Mr Bush et al..

    --Pete (sitting in his shorts in 30C weather on Thanksgiving in Canada!)

  38. John Stag

    Re: "the great global warming swindle"

    ...you mean that pseudo-documentary which has been shown to be full of deliberate lies and doctored graphs?

    Try typing "great global warming swindle" into google sometime.

  39. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  40. ChessGeek

    Ahem...

    "Can all the Americans in this thread out themselves first, please then get their coat and hail a taxi? There is no point in discussing climate change with people that dogmatically refuse to admit to anything that might be interpreted as threatening the American Way of Life."

    Hello. I'm an american, and I believe in global warming. I also believe Dubya is either an idiot or a self-serving liar - or, more likely, both. Oh, and I happen to be a Republican, at least nominally.

    What I find harder to believe is that there are still pinheads who insist on lumping all people of a particular nationality into a single category for the purpose of more conveniently insulting them.

    I'll leave my coat on its hanger and pass on the taxi for now, thanks.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    "Counter-argument?" by Dan. Posted Thursday 11th October 2007 15:17 GMT

    "There is, after all, still hot debate on whether climate change is man-made or not."

    I suppose if the Debate had been "Cool", it would contradict the Global Warming theory.

  42. Acme Fixer

    the American Way of Life???

    What _is_ the "the American Way of Life"??

    I just got back from lunch at The Olde Ship where the waitress from bloody Britain asked be if I wanted "a glahss of woatah" and I had to run that thru my mind a bit to interpret it into something I understand (I don't drink the Stella Artois that the others with me drank).

    Then last week I went to the Viet Namese Pho' restaurant, and earlier this week I went to a "comida autentica Mexicana" food restaurant, and the week before I went to a Persian restaurant and had Gormet Sabzi Polo. In each case I found Americans that were from another country.

    Unfortunately some of those commenting are too concerned about "the American Way of Life" to worry about global warming.

  43. Matt

    From a Yank...

    Yeah, I have no problem eliminating CO2. There's a lot of compelling reasons -- without even considering global warming -- to make a push to an electric and hydrogen economy powered by Nuclear or Windmills.

    Of course, if today's environmental zealots were in place in 1961, we still wouldn't have the environmental impact statements approved today for the first rocket launch, never mind achieving the goal of getting to the moon before the decade was out.

    Is the economic and technical capability here today to displace 80% of our carbon usage with either nuclear or windpower within 15 years? Absolutely.

    Do you think for one second the liberal dogmatics would accept hundreds of thousands of 100 meter tall windmills or the nuclear power plants needed to do so?

    Hah! They'd throw a complete snit.

    I do know a few facts. I know 11,000 years ago where I now live was under a couple hundred feet of ice. I know since the ice sheet retreated, there has not been a time the ecology of New England was not influenced by the activities of man. I know it snowed in my state in June, 1816. I know we've been breaking a lot of record temperatures recently...set in the 1930s. The same 1930s known for the dust bowl in parts of the great plains. I know when those dust bowl areas where known as the Great American Desert to the first American explorers of that region...and later as the best farmland conceivable...and then as a dust bowl...and then again as great farmland. Seems that things run in cycles, with a very long term trend towards a warmer planet (and the resulting rise in sea levels) whether modern technolgical man is present or not. Certainly many species and ecosystems will be affected by more rapid changes; however it's not like mammals would develop gills if the seas rose over 10,000 years instead of 1,000 years.

    I also know humanity has adapted to those great changes in climate over a geological blink of an eye.

    I also, unfortunately, know the left will not accept bold solutions that would address both the concerns over pollution while also maintaining and improving our quality of life. To the left, we must feel guilty about our lives, and we must flagellate ourselves for the simple act of breathing.

  44. Marco

    Dear Deniers

    The judge quite clearly expressed that the movie does not have to be banned from schools, because the nine inaccuracies were rather unimportant and that the movie's four main messages are very well and truthfully documented: Climate change is man-made, temperatures will rise further due to it, climate change will affect our lives negatively and that it is possible for countries and individuals to do something about it.

  45. LaeMi Qian Silver badge

    @ Steve Browne

    Gore never claimed to have invented the internet, he claims to have invented the TERM "Information Superhighway".

    I thought everyone in IT would know that old chestnut!

  46. RRRoamer

    Just a couple of minor tidbits...

    "and directed by a man with his own agenda therefore completely discrediting it" - Uhm, are you saying that Al Gore DOESN'T have 'his own agenda"??? Use that brush on BOTH sides of the isle if you want to use it.

    And if I recall, at one point, the "consensus" was that the world was flat. I think we have pretty well PROVEN that the world is, in fact, round.

    And a lot of folks around the world are forgetting that the say media idiots that were are jumping all over the current "global warming" band wagon are the very SAME media idiots that were all over the "new ice age" band wagon back in the seventies.

    Everyone seems to forget that the Earth has heated up and cooled down an uncountable number of times over it's history. At one point, we had some very nice jungle on the polar caps. At other points, we pretty much had a solid ball of ice covering this little planet of ours. I, for one, am NOT going to loose a whole lot of sleep over the fact that it is heating up right now.

    Heck, did you ever stop to consider the fact that we just might still be coming out of the last little ice age?

  47. Ed Motler

    @Alastair McKinstry

    You should read Bjorn Lomburg more carefully he has never denied Man made climate change. I quote; "This chapter accepts the reality of man-made global warming" (p259) The Skeptical Environmentialist, 1998, By Bjorn Lomburg.

    The whole issue needs much more open minded debate and the realisation that none of us really know what we are talking about. Take for example the issue of the Ice Calving in Antarctica. Much has been made about this terrifying development in Global Warming.

    Well here is what the British Antartic Survey have to say about it.

    "Unlike in the Arctic, where there has been a significant decline in observed sea ice extent over this period, there has been little change in the overall extent of Antarctic sea ice. However, at a regional scale, sea ice cover has declined substantially in the seas to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula but loss of ice here has been compensated by increased ice cover in other parts of the Antarctic6."

    All we ever hear is the bad stuff though. They go on to state that they predict increased snow fall in the central Antarctic core and state that whilst atmospheric temperature above Antarctica has risen below 8km, above this height temperature has fallen.

    The list goes on and on and that's one example.

    I'm glad that someone has finally pointed out that it's no all as straight forward as Al Gore wants to brainwash us into thinking it is.

  48. hypercommunist

    Hot off the presses

    Greenland ice cap melting faster than expected

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gtpmTPNQONWGgmgxaUoJVxAc_3kQ

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    "Bear in mind that RIGHT DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL in Nature, a bird never fouls its own nest."

    Never met a pigeon, apparently. They crap right where they roost.

  50. Alex

    global warming skeptics

    I am fascinated by the global warming skeptics in this group.

    - They write well and have clearly benefited from an above average education

    - They employ sophisticated analytical and rhetorical devices

    - And yet, they refuse to analyse the scientific evidence pointing to man's impact on the climate (or refuse to accept the consensus in the scientific community)

    - In spite of lacking the knowledge or background to challenge the scientific consensus, they seem to consider their opinion to be on par with the opinion of the climate scientists ("so what if the scientists say the world is heating up, I say it is just a cycle and it's my word against theirs").

    - Some of them even suggest that their opinion might be worth more than the scientific community's! Like the guy who compares himself to Ptolemy the only one to believe the world is spherical when when everyone else thought it was flat.

    - None or very few of them advance a better safe than sorry argument along the lines of "I don't believe the earth is warming but since the consequences of that are so grave, I will go along with whatever suggestions the lefties have to fix the problem". How certain do you have to be that a given danger does not exist before you will expose your kids to it? 50% certain? 90% certain? I am not sure what the number is for them but clearly it is high enough when it comes to global warming.

  51. Matthew

    Instead of being a skeptic, why not just care

    Are you a climate change skeptic, tied at being laughed at, at parties, your own mother looks at you as if you're a holocausts denier?

    Well Mat has the answer, you too can be invited back to those dinner parties and not look like an over bearing ass. It's simple. Just develop an abiding hatred of nature!

    Try these simple lines.

    "Of course global warming is real, but think if the beach-front property boom."

    "Well have you ever actually met a polar bear, nasty, nasty things."

    "I've got shares in that new Club Med startup in Greenland. So I driver a Hummer."

    "Do you actually like cold summers." (deep mocking laugh)

    "Of course it's real, but why on earth should I have to bear the cost of fixing it"

    I know it sounds callous, but please stop debating the science, and just embrace your world view.

  52. Thomas Binney

    Gore = Yank

    Quote: "man made climate change is lie", "Gore made up evidence", etc. etc.

    What is it about the Yanks that they can't accept the evidence everyone else accepted 15 years ago?

    This may come as a shock to you, but Gore IS a Yank. We aren't all retarded you know.

  53. Matt

    Title

    > And yet, they refuse to analyse the scientific evidence pointing to man's

    >impact on the climate (or refuse to accept the consensus in the scientific

    >community)

    Yeah, silly me.

    Refusing to accept consensus that pesticides are safe (that was and continues to be the predominate view) while I garden organically. And gosh, the scientific consensus was right on the money about over-population in the 1970s.

    Problem with going along with the Leftie's own solutions is...they don't even take it serious.

    Like I said folks, we could elimate 80% of our carbon emissions in 15 years, with profound geopolitical implications that are much less in dispute then global warming. After all, if CO2 is such a grave threat to the planet, wouldn't that make a lot more sense to commit to radical action to make the transformation now then trying to achieve it over the next 50 years? There are posts here that say it may already be too late after all.

    But does anyone honestly believe the left wouldn't

    1) Decry the visual pollution, construction of the infrastructure to support, impact on wildlife, noise pollution, and potential local micro-climate changes of windpower projects on the scale needed to serious displace fossil and nuclear fuel?

    (We're tearing out hydroelectric dams currently in North America due to their environmental impacts...)

    2) Would stubbornly refuse to consider nuclear energy, with it's much smaller environmental impact then any of the "green" energey sources with the zeal of a bible thumping anti-abortion creation science Kansan

    3) Would argue back against fast switch to alternatives to "conserve" when you simply can't conserve your way out of this situation and maintain economic output at levels sufficient to support the welfare states of the west.

    But wait, people who actually think for themselves and can see how technology like robotic cultivation machines, fueled by hydrogen produced from nuclear power, would enable us to virtually eliminate the use of herbicides in western agricultural; or that new machines similiarily powered would be able to control bugs with pesticides...nah, we're just dumb right wingers. We can't possibly see that Emperor Gore is wearing no clothes, living in his mansion with heated swimming pools and making proposals he knows darn well he won't be accountable for failing to meet forty years down the road.

    Come on Al, propose something bold -- let's see you propose the U.S. generates 80% of it's power from Nuclear by 2020, and has it's car and truck fleet converted over to hydrogen by 2030. Come on, I double dare you.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not one to fuel the fire...

    But, aren't we all carbon based life forms who exhale greenhouse gasses when we breath? Or the fact that we're constantly destroying one of the main sources that counteracts all of the greenhouse gasses we emitt for little things like confetti, paper and party favors?

    And in our angst to "go green" using dimmer lightbulbs that require a larger quantity to yield the same amount of light, AND that are filled with mercery vapor, aren't we kind of exacerbating the "problem"?

    Al Gore is full of shit, and what the hell, so is George W, but they're both politicians, which means they're both a couple of ass bags that like to talk quite extensively about nothing. Loosely translated, THEY are the cause of global warming, if it is real...

  55. yeah, right.
    Dead Vulture

    "Catalogue of errors" alarmist

    Actually, if a catalogue had only 9 items on it (which is all the judge found), I'd question whether it was a "catalogue" or just a "short list". Perhaps the Register is being somewhat alarmist itself?

    Doesn't matter though. Nothing effective will get done. Ever. There is simply too much money involved for the established governments (ie: bought and paid for by the various industry lobby groups) to actually do anything. There is too much money involved in the next year for companies to consider doing anything now for something that requires foresight, seeing as corporations are nothing by psychotic self-interested, short-term thinking "individuals" anyway.

    So nothing is going to get done. Get used to it. So let's put our efforts into surviving the climate change that is currently in progress, rather than bitching about whether or not we can do anything about it. Because at this point, we probably can't, regardless of the causes.

    Of course, there are those who will argue that there is no climate change at all and we can just continue "business as usual". I have no words that can adequately describe my utter shame at having to admit that I'm in the same genus, let alone the same species, as they are.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Gore is NOT a Yank

    Actually, Al Gore comes from Tennessee - a well known Southern State.

    The Septics all come from New England.

    For the Pom equivalent, it would be like calling Gordon Brown 'English'

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Convienient Lies....

    Plain and simple, there is a correlation. Population and CO2. Pretty simple. Solution: Shorter life spans, the plague, war, whatever. Draw your own conclusions.

  58. Nick Galloway

    Climate...change!

    Guess what folks, climate by its very nature changes. I seem to recall in the mid-70's a similar group of people with a similar bent to Mr Gore that the world was entering a new ice age based on the extreme cold weather. Thirty years on and it seems to have swung the other way?

    As for CO2, it does need to be managed better but what about methane. That makes carbon dioxide look like rhubarb leaves compared with cyanide. Get into the farming and forestry world if you really want to keep the effects of climate change in check.

    Alarmist is about right. Al Gore isn't a climate specialist, he is a washed up politician trying to create a niche for himself where he can gain massive support and accept no responsibility. This is the man who is so concerned about the climate that his monthly domestic power bill could keep a small village in power for a comparable period.

    Climate change and Kyoto is all about creating a new economic commodity. It doesn't really have an impact and that is why the US and a few others didn't sign up to it. See through the facade and get your head around a few inconvenient truths!

  59. John
    Gates Horns

    Meteorologists don't believe in anthropogenic global warming?

    They don't? Perhaps there's something here I don't understand:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=global+warming+site+bom.gov.au&btnG=Google+Search

    I home that early next year (post election) our govt begins planning for entire Pacific Is nations of refugees.

  60. Adrian Lidington

    Heat...

    Carbon dioxide may or may not make the planet retain heat. However, all of the automobiles, planes, trains and power stations burn predominantly fossil fuels. All heat engines generate lots of waste heat energy which goes in to the biggest heatsink of all, the environment.

    If you could accurately ascertain the total volume of fossil fuel burned, you could make a reasonable calculation as to the calorific energy released. From this, certainly in car engines, only between 30-40% does actual work. You get a bit of sound energy and lots of wasted heat energy. Maybe 50%. Heat engines, by definintion, create heat.

    CO2 aside, humans use more and more fossil fuels year on year, the waste heat from which goes in to the planet. Why are we surprised its getting warmer?

  61. SmokeyMcPotHead

    Just because...

    ...9 assertions which aren't supported in a mainstream science are in there. Just because it's not mainstream doesn't mean these points are not right. Merely that they are up for argument.

    As for Dimmock, well sorry but the guys a pillock, he wasted tens of thousands of pounds fighting a pointless case.

    Why pointless? Well at the end of the day it doesn't really matter whether global warming is real or not, the consequences of doing nothing are too great to take the risk of not doing anything. So it's better to do something to try and eliminate the problem; if we then find out we didn't really need to do anything, then whichever way you slice it we'll end up with a cleaner, healthier environment.

    Lets face it the whole global warming issue is one of population, there are simply too many of us on Earth consuming it's resources, i.e. there ain't enough to go round.

  62. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Smokey - the Exterminator

    "the whole global warming issue is one of population, there are simply too many of us on Earth consuming it's resources, i.e. there ain't enough to go round."

    Where do you propose going to start the culling?

    Not with yourself, I presume.

  63. Ross

    Polar bears

    Of course polar bears can't drown!! They're undead which explains why they are:

    1) so pale; and

    2) so mean!

    As they are undead they don't breathe, and so can't drown. Call your self scientists?....

    Anyway, as for man made contributions to global warming - CO2 is one of the greenhouse gasses. If we didn't live here lots and lots of carbon would be locked up in the billions of trees we've cut down and burnt to make room for MacD's cows (which excrete larges amounts of methane which is even more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2). It would also be locked up deep underground all squashed up as coal, and oil etc. Trouble us we dug it up and burnt it, so that lots of that carbon now floats around as CO2, and there are fewer trees to suck it up and use it to make energy.

    How anyone can state humans have no impact on global warming is beyond me.

  64. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    @ global warming skeptics

    Well you can call me a sceptic if you like, all I want to do is keep an open mind and listen to reasoned debate/discussion. All we get now is "AGW is the truth, the way, and the light. Non-believers will burn in the fires of hell" !

    It's turned into a political bandwagon where any attempt to actually discuss the issues is simply headed off by labeling people as deniers or whatever. There IS enough anecdotal evidence of political and financial pressure being put on the scientific community to "toe the politically acceptable line" to cast a shadow of doubt over the whole thing.

    If the IPCC report was SO cut and dried, why would people have to resort to legal action to not be associated with it ? Maybe what the report says is right, maybe it isn't - I don't know, but when I see enough evidence to suggest a political influence then I get somewhat sceptical of it's independence.

    OK, so the arguments against AGW may be bunk - lets have a calm, rational, and above all neutral debate, free of political and commercial pressure. AT present, the fact that such discussion is impossible means, to me at least, that there is a hell of a lot of doubt about EITHER side of teh argument.

  65. Mark

    Title

    [All we get now is "AGW is the truth, the way, and the light. Non-believers will burn in the fires of hell"]

    Um, nobody says you'll burn in hell for it, Simon. If you want to go on hyperbole, why do you hate children? After all, the consequences will be felt by the children while you live fat and happy. Do you despise children that much?

    Oh, and for Nick, I have a nanogram of cyanide and an ounze of drano. Cyanide is a far more deadly poison than draino. So you eat the draino, I'll eat the cyanide and the one left alive gets the stuff of the loser. Deal? If not, then why isn't the volume a consideration when comparing CH4 with CO2?

  66. S. Kimmel

    Title

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orlowski, the obfuscator

    '

    "the whole global warming issue is one of population, there are simply too many of us on Earth consuming it's resources, i.e. there ain't enough to go round."

    Where do you propose going to start the culling?

    Not with yourself, I presume.

    '

    If there ain't enough to go round then you could either either cull ... or *shock* reduce consumption.

    No doubt this will trigger another straw man argument about about us living in caves - or a secret left wing agenda to impoverish the earth.

    Oh well, back to the conjecture, assertions and deliberate misunderstandings - from all sides.

  68. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Orlowski, the clarifier

    "you could either either cull ... or *shock* reduce consumption"

    Make your mind up, dear chap.

    Population reduction is clearly on the fellow's agenda. Otherwise he wouldn't have introduced it -

    "there are simply too many of us on Earth"

    Methods and numbers, then, please.

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