Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Very Inconvient Court Ruling

Below in Warmmonger Considered for Peace Prize I quoted the source as saying there were eleven errors in Al Gore's documentary An Inconvient Truth. The final order by the court changed the total to nine, combining two errors and dropping another one. A post from the National Center for Public Policy Research has the text of the Court Decision. Note the judge used more judicious language than the news articles, but it is still pretty strong indictment against the documentary being what it claims to be.

But then in Gores own words:

Q. There's a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What's the right mix?

A. I think the answer to that depends on where your audience's head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.
(Interview with Grist Magazine’s David Roberts and Al Gore about An Inconvenient Truth) HT: Krystin Byrnes for the quote.

An attitude that can easily slip into poor fact checking, over dramatization, and even lying.

Most of the errors are Global Warning Marketing, items that would impress no real scientist and could be easily knocked down by anyone who looks, but sound very impressive to concerned and uniformed members of the public who would be unlikely to look further. Just propaganda to convince the poor schmuks in “Category 5 denial.”

However error four is substantive. A central claim to (at least the popular versions) Global Warming theory is that CO2 rises precede and cause temperature rises, thus current man made rises in CO2 levels will warm the earth to the point it is uninhabital.

‘Error': Direct coincidence between rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and in temperature, by reference to two graphs.

Error 4. In scenes 8 and 9, Mr Gore shows two graphs relating to a period of 650,000 years, one showing rise in CO2 and one showing rise in temperature, and asserts (by ridiculing the opposite view) that they show an exact fit. Although there is general scientific agreement that there is a connection, the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts.

There are differences between methods used to produce the data, but general scientific agreement is that temperatures rise 1500 to 2000 years before the rise in CO2. source

When I took research methodology the instructor was quite insistent that

If ‘A’ comes before ‘B’

Then either
‘A’ causes ‘B’ or
Both are caused by a third factor or
There is no cause and effect relation between them

But never

Does ‘B’ causes‘ A’

If temprature rise come before the CO2 rise then there is a major problem with the data if one wants to support Global Warming.

While there is much more to Global Warming theory than what Gore put in “An Inconvenient Truth,” correcting the error noticed by the court invalidates the main point of Mr. Gore’s documentary.

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