10 October 2007

Convenient Untruths

Just last week, the envirocrats again attempted to flood the news airwaves with their apocalyptic message that the fabled opening of the Northwest Passage means the Arctic is melting at a disasterous rate and constitutes the latest catastrophic evidence of global warming — when, in truth, scientists told us earlier this year that the ice sheets are not losing their mass through melting but because the ice is flowing into the ocean faster than the snow is replacing it and that, without knowing why this is happening, it is impossible to predict the extent of future sea level rises, especially as climate modelling predicts that snowfall on the ice caps will increase over the coming century.

It was therefore a good day for science and education today when, despite Al Gore being tipped as the favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of the climate change lobby [Can anyone seriously tell me he is in the same league as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi?!], a High Court judge ruled in favour of Kent father Stewart Dimmock, who accused the Department of Children, Schools and Families of trying to "brainwash" children by sending thousands of copies of Gore's "shockumentary" An Inconvenient Truth to schools across the country. The judge concluded that the Oscar-winning film should only be distributed if it is accompanied by new guidlines explaining the numerous scientific errors contained in the former US vice-president's "one-sided" views — errors that he attributed to "alarmism and exaggeration."

As has previously been commented on this blog, if the Government were to send the failed presidential candidate's propaganda to every secondary school, then a copy of Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle should also be sent, to encourage proper debate and help develop the next generation's critical thinking skills.

The Times lists the nine errors identified by the judge:

Error one

Al Gore: A sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting
of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”.

The judge’s finding: “This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr
Gore’s ”wake-up call“. It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would
release this amount of water - “but only after, and over, millennia.”

Error two

Gore: Low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated
because of anthropogenic global warming.”

Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.

Error three

Gore: The documentary described global warming potentially “shutting
down the Ocean Conveyor” - the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over
the North Atlantic to western Europe.

Judge: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), it was “very unlikely” it would be shut down, though it might slow down.

Error four

Gore: He asserted - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs,
one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period
of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”.

Judge: Although there was general scientific agreement that there was
a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”.

Error five

Gore: The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly
attributable to global warming.

Judge: This “specifically impressed” David Miliband, the Environment
Secretary, but the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established that
the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced
climate change.

Error six

Gore: The drying up of Lake Chad was used in the film as a prime
example of a catastrophic result of global warming, said the judge.

Judge: “It is generally accepted that the evidence remains
insufficient to establish such an attribution. It is apparently considered to be
far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and
over-grazing, and regional climate variability.”

Error seven

Gore: Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans
to global warming.

Judge: There is “insufficient evidence to show that”.

Error eight

Gore: Referred to a new scientific study showing that, for the first
time, polar bears were being found that had actually drowned “swimming long
distances - up to 60 miles - to find the ice”.

Judge: “The only scientific study that either side before me can find
is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned
because of a storm." That was not to say there might not in future be
drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice
continued - “but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description”.

Error nine

Gore: Coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global
warming and other factors.

Judge: The IPCC had reported that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3
degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality,
unless the coral could adapt. But separating the impacts of stresses due to
climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was


Anonymous said...

Coral Reefs Dying . . .
Yes, we recently saw coral reefs in the Red Sea that were no longer vibrant and 'moving' in the waves. So Sad.

However, on visiting a scuba diving site further north - where there are not so many visitors like ourselves - the coral had not been damaged and the quantity and size of fish in the area were much more abundant - including a 2m long white tip reef shark which swam past us on one dive.

The Bedouins who inhabit the area are well aware of the 'dangers' of the tourist trade as well as the economic benefits from it.

P & G in Oxfordshire