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Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 10/12/2007

An Inconvenient Truth for Al Gore

By Michael Dobbs


Al Gore believes that global warming contributed to the Hurricane Katrina devastation.

AL GORE:

The melting of ice in either West Antarctica or Greenland would result in a sea-level rise of up to 20 feet "in the near future."

--Oscar-winning movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."

BRITISH HIGH COURT JUDGE MICHAEL BURTON:

"This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore's 'wake-up call.'" While it is generally accepted that the melting of Greenland's ice will eventually lead to rises in sea-levels of this magnitude, this will only happen "after, and over, millenia."

--Legal ruling, October 10, 2007.

Al Gore received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work drawing attention to the effects of climate change. Today's topic: Just how accurate are his assertions?

The Facts

The former vice-president has won plaudits around the world for his work on global warming, publicized in a best-selling book, an Oscar-winning movie, Power Point lectures, and now the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel prize announcement coincided with the conclusion of a months-long court case in Britain examining whether An Inconvenient Truth can be shown to British school children. The judge ruled this week that the movie can be shown in classrooms, but only if accompanied by teacher guidance notes balancing Gore's "one-sided views."

After listening to government witnesses, environmental campaigners, and skeptics on global warming argue their case, the judge described Gore's film as "broadly accurate" in its presentation of climate change. At the same time he also listed nine significant errors in the movie which, he said, reflected a general context of "alarmism and exaggeration" surrounding climate change.

Obviously, it is impossible to adjudicate this argument with a quick post. But it is worth while at least taking a look at the judge's nine objections to the Gore movie, which are as follows:

  1. Burton found that Gore's assertion of a rapid rise in sea-levels caused by the melting of icecaps in Antarctica was overly "alarmist."
  2. Gore claimed that the disappearance of year-round snow from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa was expressly attributable to global warming. The court was not convinced. According to Burton, the scientific "consensus" is that the reasons for the snow recession on Kilimanjaro cannot be established.
  3. Gore cited a scientific study showing that polar bears had drowned by "swimming long distances--up to 60 miles--to find the ice." Evidence backing up this claim was not produced to the British court. The judge wrote that the only scientific study shown to him indicated "that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm." See early news story on bear drownings here.
  4. Gore attributed the Hurricane Katrina devastation to global warming. The judge found that there was "insufficient evidence to show that."
  5. The Gore movie depicted the drying up of Lake Chad as a prime example of the effects of global warming. Expert testimony in front of the British court suggested that "far more likely causes" were "population increase, over-grazing, and regional climate variability."
  6. Gore suggested an "exact fit" between the rise in carbon dioxide levels and the rise in temperatures over a period of 650,000 years. According to the judge, scientists generally agree that there is "a connection," between the two phenomena, but claims of an "exact fit" cannot be established.
  7. An "Inconvenient Truth" claimed that citizens of some low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls "have all had to evacuate to New Zealand" because of the inundation of their islands caused by global warming. The judge said that he found no evidence of "any such evacuation having yet happened."
  8. The movie suggested that global warming could shut down "the Ocean Conveyer," a process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to Western Europe. The judge cited a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace prize, which concluded that it was "very unlikely" that the Ocean Conveyer would be shut down completely, although it might slow down.
  9. Gore argued that coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors. The judge cited the IPCC view that it was difficult to separate the impact of stresses on coral reefs caused by climate change "from other stresses such as over-fishing and pollution."

Both sides claimed a victory of sorts after the verdict was delivered. The man who brought the case, Stewart Dimmock, said he was "elated" with the result, but disappointed that the film could still be shown in schools. He said that the judge's order for balancing material to be included with the movie would keep British school children from being "indoctrinated with this political spin."

A Gore spokeswoman said that the former vice-president was "gratified" that the court had agreed with "the central thesis of the film--that global warming is real and caused by human activities." She noted that the judge had only disagreed with a handful of the "thousands" of facts in the movie.

The Pinocchio Test

It is way too early for a Pinocchio ruling on this one. The question is not whether global warming is a fact, or whether Gore deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, but whether he has exaggerated the case in order to draw attention to the threat facing humanity. There are good arguments on either side. Let us hear your views.

UPDATES: See update here, the Gore team's response here, and the eventual Pinocchio ruling here.

SOME USEFUL LINKS

Online Post discussion with Martin Parry, co-chair of a working group at IPCC, which shared the Nobel prize with Gore.

The full text of Justice Burton's opinion, which is available here as a PDF.

The official web site of An Inconvenient Truth.

The official website of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel prize with Al Gore.

Studies from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change

A British movie that claims that Gore is at the forefront of a Great Global Warming Swindle.

A March 2007 New York Times article asking whether Gore has been over-alarmist.

A web site supporting Stewart Dimmock, the man who brought the lawsuit against the Gore movie.

By Michael Dobbs  | October 12, 2007; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  1 Pinocchio, Environment, Video Watch  
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Next: The Mitt and Rudy Show, Part II

Comments

Sour grapes.

Posted by: Malafry | October 12, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Agreed...I'm sure British Petroleum's reach into the British Govt is just as strong as Exxon's reach into the U.S. govt. I cannot believe the "Nobel-Envy" demonstrated by the GOP in the blogosphere today. Its as if the country is swarming with howling swarms of Bushie's defaming the Nobel Prize and Norway in general. Its actually entertaiing...congrats to Al Gore. I think we all know America would be a better place if the 2000 election was not stolen from Gore by Bush's father's hand-picked "supreme court". TGIF!

Posted by: Don | October 12, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you post a similar evaluation of President Bush's statements on the environment? To attack Gore like this just shows how much Posties resent him. What's next, an op-ed from Broder that attacks Gore's lack of moderation?

Posted by: Washington, DC | October 12, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

asking the courts to rule on exaggerations seems quite frivolous. also, this case strikes me as an ad hominem attack on the messenger.

Posted by: mamund | October 12, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Science as a discipline is based on hypotheses/theories supported by evidence.

There are no "facts" in science. Which is why the politics of science are so challenging and issues in science don't belong on "Fact Checker."

Posted by: WT | October 12, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Apply the Pinocchio test to those who insist there is no evidence for Climate Change. Seriously,do it, and do it in your next column.

Gore's documentary is actually pretty balanced, and recent events (unprecedented and alarming increases in arctic melting this year), have, if anything, shown that his take on the issue is pretty spot-on.

A quick glance at the rhetoric spewing from the incredibly shrinking minority (the climate change skeptics), is telling. So, be fair and balanced and look at the coverage presented on the issue by Fox News, by Limbaugh and other conservative commentators, and especially the staggeringly anti-intellectual Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma, and you'll find Gore is no Pinocchio.

The question is, indeed, whether global warming is a fact. Gore led the charge to fixing a pernicious problem, that's why he deserves the Prize. He did more than any other American to move the issue forward and to help bring about a dramatic shift in public opinion. Global Warming is a serious problem, and he worked to solve it. That's the issue, here.

Posted by: RMahtlin | October 12, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

... This didn't take long.

Petty.
Can't you find something to write about that doesn't appease the winger base? God, there are so many lies out there, and this is what you write about.
Wow, how about fact checking Inhofe and the other Petroleum Apologists?

Posted by: Lauren M | October 12, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Can you find one scientist who still denies global warming, who isn't funded directly or indirectly by oil companies? maybe you should try fact checking the skeptics,just for balance.

Posted by: atlliberal | October 12, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Pinocchio couldn't possibly grow a long enough nose to respresent Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." It's simply fear mongering propaganda.

Hmmm... I wonder what caused those so many climate changes throughout history, waaaaaaay before the industrial age and the boogeyman CO2.

The Nobel Prize committee shames itself yet once again.

Posted by: Cocoa | October 12, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

When is the Post going to fact check Bush on Iran/Iraq?

Posted by: Peter | October 12, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

4. Gore attributed Hurricane Katrina to global warming. The judge found that there was "insufficient evidence to show that."

This is wrong and misleading. Gore said that the strength of hurricanes is exacerbated by global warming; not that hurricanes are caused by it.

Posted by: Bartolo | October 12, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I also think we should have a "Fact Check" on the claims from the Bush Administration on climate change, air pollution policies, and the environment in general. In "An Inconvenient Truth" the subject of drilling in the artic preserve is broached and the problem of the permaforst melting and reducing the number of days that trucks can drive there is mentioned - as we strive to pump out more crude and therefor add more air pollution and CO2, we'll reduce our ability to even get that crude oil from the artic preserve.

Posted by: MAU | October 12, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Using a court ruling to weight scientific evidence is foolish. Courts rule "one way or the other" they don't pronounce qualitative or quantitative decisions. While Gore certainly has exaggerated some points and made some claims that are not true, in the whole his messages are pointed in the right direction. The truths, as inconvenient as they may be, are clear:
Global warming is real
Human contribution to it is extremely likely.
We need to act now and more aggressively as the time scales involved are at least many decades before halting or reversal can begin.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it have been nice to have a fact checker before the Washington Post led the charge into the Iraq War.

This is why journalism as a profession makes me want to vomit.

Posted by: Peter Sinclair | October 12, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The Mainstream Media has always LOVED using Al Gore as a punching bag, led by the Washington Post. Here is another shining (or sliming) example. The whole Republican candidate group owes you today--no doubt you will collect big time. "Congratulations."

Posted by: Blacksburg | October 12, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Out of numerous examples given by Gore in his movie the judge picks out how many? Nine? Nine arguable points upon which to base his decision? That judge is a silly-willy (feigning Brit-speak).

And besides, who would want to watch, let alone who could understand, a movie filled with citations, ROC curves, sampling methodologies, etc? One must, as the judge did not, take into account the audience Gore was addressing and the format he was using. The movie was a vehicle to generate interest among laypersons who could, on their own initiative, look for further evidence and research if they so desired. Seems to me like an excellent learning opportunity for English schoolchildren.

This "case" was an illegitimate use of the court. The issue of global warming is something better argued among scientists, politicians, and the public rather than in court.

Posted by: squashua | October 12, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

So the Fact Checker wants us to consider a judge's ruling, a critic of Gore, and a New York Times article so we can decide who is right. What about science? The problem with this sort of "fact-checking" is that this debate requires a really broad understanding of multiple scientific disciplines and a whole lot of reading. The only place to go for an opinion that matters is to a body of scientists who actually know what they are talking about. You'll still find controversy but this is the best you can do unless you are only looking for someone to validate your highly subjective notion of what is really happening.

Posted by: jaurl | October 12, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Thank God for George Bush and global warming. Summertime temps stretching into October means more days on the water.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | October 12, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

We should not that most of what you are saying is that Gore's claims may be exaggerated, not that his assertions are incorrect.

You are never going to make everyone happy.

Posted by: ben | October 12, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Who is this judge to make scientific judgments? What scientific "evidence" is he/she using? Then again, is the Post "fact checker" a scientific journal? Gore has taken the time and effort to do thorough and extensive research and presented it systematically. What process has the high court used? That would be in an interesting follow-up piece.

Posted by: Virginia | October 12, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the earlier commenters: this has a strong flavor of sour grapes, and an effort to achieve "balance" by giving equal time to people who are simply wrong. A "fact check" of the global warming deniers (such as Senator Inhofe) would be far more useful and revealing. Instead of looking to a British court for judgments about scientific matters, here is a much better source to add to the list of websites: the Royal Society of London (the foremost scientific body in Britain) has posted a thorough and accessible debunking of the misleading claims made by those who say global warming is some kind of hoax or swindle. You can find it at http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/ , along with the statement the Royal Society endorsing the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the IPCC.

Posted by: Bruce Hunt | October 12, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Four links to choose from:

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" web site, and three sites slamming him. No mention of the dozens and dozens -- even hundreds -- of sites and articles supporting his position. I think the "Fact Checker" is failing its own Pinocchio Test. The prejudice of the Post shines through.

Posted by: Jeff Elijah | October 12, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Better that the threat of global warming be exaggerated, than the reasons for war.

Posted by: hihomoron | October 12, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Climate change happens... just ask the folks who lived through the Medieval Warm Period. There are plenty of scientists who don't agree with the Gore's alarmist tactics. All the folks who cheer for him will no doubt go home in their SUV's, turn on their pc's (one for each child) and fly their private jets to his next talk. The real inconvenient truth is, like Gore, people are much better at telling other people what THEY should be doing, but when asked why they aren't making the same sacrifices give excuses. Leonardo DiCaprio made his own enviro documentary film but flew into DC on a private jet to do filming of Bodies of Lies. Memo to Leo...plenty of airlines are already making stops here. Today, 2 very liberal friends of mine will be taking 2 separate cars to the Zoo, then going home to the same house... because, heh, Metro is too INCONVENIENT and work comes first. Like Bill O'Reilly, I think there is too much gunk in the air and it would be good to get it out. But let's cut the hypocrisy, the alarmism and the radical ideas that would destroy our economy and send us back to the Dark Ages.

Posted by: Leni | October 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

absolutely unbelievable. the only links you provide are to websites attacking Gore. many of the attacks have been proven false, but you don't link to any of them (other than Gore's website).

As usual, your "he-said, she-said" argument leans against the progressive.

I think you should stop writing this column and live it to someone who actually understands what finding out the truth means.

Posted by: Angry Voter | October 12, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

How do I get my parrot to crap on the on-line version of the Washington Post? What a despicable hit piece by a completely unqualified "journalist."

Posted by: gator | October 12, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Oh please! It's pretty obvious that much of the British government has been in the Bush administration and big oil's pocket all along. Nitpicking details from Gore's movie that aren't completely "proven" is absurd. According to whom?

The Arctic ice is melting faster than anyone predicted... we better stop fooling around here, before we're all underwater.

Congratulations to Gore!

Posted by: Adam | October 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"The IPCC predicted an ice-free Arctic by the end of the century; some scientists now predict it for 2020. Ten years ago, it was thought that the Greenland ice cap -- 3350m high in some places -- would take centuries to melt. Now, the pace of melting of the ice cap, and the unpredictable interaction of the feedback loops such melting may trigger, makes any firm prediction hazardous. In Greenland they know human civilization is already entering unknown territory.

Robert Corell, a US-based Arctic scientist and member of the IPCC, described what he found three weeks ago on a visit to the ice cap.

"I spent four months on the ice cap in 1968 and there was no melting at all," he told participants at the Symposium on Religion, Science and Environment in Greenland earlier this month.

"Now it's dramatic. There are thousands of moulin holes that go down into the ice. You can hear water roaring and gurgling. Nobody knows now how quickly it will melt, but the palaeo-data tells us that at three degrees warmer than at present, the ice cap will melt. The projections for global temperature increases are now between three and four degrees," he said."

From: Greenland is now fit for broccoli growers

By Isabel Hilton
THE GUARDIAN, QASSIARSUK, SUBARCTIC
Monday, Sep 17, 2007, Page 9

Posted by: katman | October 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

WT said it: there are no facts in science. There are theories and there is evidence for theories. And there is a lot of evidence for human-caused global warming.

But if you are going to try to "fact check" Gore, why pick one judge in Britain to hold up against him? There is a scientific consensus, even though the Post has been diligent lately in giving space to the few people in the field who are professional skeptics. Why not go look at the scientific literature? Is that just too hard? And if it is--if you cannot really check Gore's assertions--why run this piece in the first place?

ben: While you're right that there are subtle distinctions to what the Post is doing here, consider the effect of a piece like this. The effect is to distract from the problem of global warming.

Posted by: Jon FD | October 12, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why the Post is holding Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" up to the British High Court opinions alone. Are they the utmost authority on environmental issues, to the exclusion of all others?

Every assertion in the documentary can be backed up. To even mention the word "alarmist" is a stomach punch to those of us fighting against the naysayers who just want to put off further what MUST be addressed right now.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | October 12, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

What does this have to do with his Nobel Peace Prize? He's being credited with raising awareness worldwide to the imminent threat of climate change. It's true that he reads the data as indicating a more extreme outcome than many scientists feel can be supported by hard evidence. However, based on what we've been learning about feedback mechanisms, his assertions are mostly plausible even though not necessarily backed by airtight science. Regardless of these few excesses, the overwhelming evidence shows climate change is occurring and that humans are exacerbating the effects of a natural process in ways that will be dangerous and costly for both our economy and our health. Why are you running a front page Gore-bashing piece? Why are you arguing against your own self-interest?

There is no controversy here, only special interests trying to protect short-term profits at the expense of everyone else. This piece is a red herring, distracting the public's attention from the real story that climate change is real and is going to require the most costly environmental intervention human society has ever had to plan, fund and endure. It's baffling to me how 7 years after 2000, goring Al is still a favorite pastime of the media, with this headline in bold on the front page, while in small type underneath are the headlines about a bomb in Baghdad and a UN report about the deepening crisis in Iraq, and no further coverage of our practice of combining naked stress positions with simulated drowning, sleep deprivation, and attack dogs, while having previously criticized enemies of human rights violations for those same practices. Hooray Washington Post! Why not spice up the headline, though? How about, "Effeminate Ex-Presidential Candidate Up to His Old Exaggeration Tactics?"

Posted by: Paul Rodriguez | October 12, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The British court's ruling, which didn't refute a single one of the hundreds of claims in "An Inconvenient Truth" outright but suggests that nine of them are arguable, is actually quite reasonable--except in its uses of the words "alarmism" and "exaggeration," the latter of which is the moronic right wing's favorite tool with which to bludgeon Al Gore. There are many aspects of global warming that have not yet made themselves clear as day--for example, the exact effect on hurricane strength--but the cumulative evidence is overwhelming.

Yet these right-wing blowhards despise Al Gore for being smarter and more statesmanlike than a single person on their side--and for being the real, legitimate winner of the 2000 election. They're also quite happy to watch the planet be destroyed in order to ensure the short-term financial success of their masters in the energy and automobile industries--or to get the hollow satisfaction of having proven Gore "wrong" about something.

These idiots will exploit any tiny crack in the undeniable evidence about global warming to claim that the entire theory is a hoax. It's sort of like acquiting a gang of bank robbers because they aren't sure whether the getaway car turned right or left coming out of the bank.

Still, one can only expect the discredited right-wing idiots to harp on about the British decision as one more reason to slag Gore and deny global warming. Well, here's a message to you: Yes, Al Gore DID take the initiative in turning the Internet from a military tool to a public phenomenon; yes, he and Tipper WERE (at least in part) the inspiration for "Love Story"; yes, he DID take the lead in publicizing the Love Canal tragedy; yes, he WAS the legitimate winner of the 2000 election; and while you crow about this ruling in Britain, please remember that British children will be watching "An Inconvenient Truth" in classrooms for years to come, while they'll be laughing at you for denying the seriousness of global warming.

And one other thing: Al Gore just won the Nobel Prize for his work over the last six years, while your efforts over the same time period will be ridiculed for the rest of human history--which, if you keep standing in the way of efforts to curb global warming, will be a shorter history than it should be. Maybe you take that as consolation.

Posted by: jonfromcali | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, bury your head in the sand all of you naysayers. As usual I doubt seriously that people base their opinions on fact or science but rather on ideology. If you like/support Gore you buy this, if you don't you don't. By and large Americans aren't smart enough to see beyond ideology. Global warming is a freaking fact, it's caused by man and if something isn't done the planet will suffer and so will the human race.

Posted by: Red | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

How sad that this judge is so jealous that he has to resort to such a pathetic and unsubstantiated "expert opinions" to get his name in the paper. Perhaps if he visited the arctic to see first hand the impact of shrinking sea ice on the polar bears or visit Alaska or Russia where walrus are migrating to dry land because of ice melt.

All of America can be proud today because such a great man has been given the honor of a Nobel Peace Prize. Such reflects positively on the entire nation.

It is unfortunate that the Washington Post felt it necessary to give front page coverage to a British court ruling that really amounts to nothing.

Posted by: obx2002 | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that the Post would immediately call to question statements made in Gore's film. After all, it was the Post, along with the New York Times, that engaged in a series of nitpicking character assasinations during Gore's 2000 Presidential Run. Meanwhile, that dry drunk Bush got treated with kid gloves and was portrayed as the gool ol' boy we all wanted to share a beer with.

Dear Washington Post - stop trying to fit the news to pre-determined "narratives" and try reporting for a change.

Posted by: Pedropolis | October 12, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Fair? Much of what you refernece -- and the British judge sites -- is at best a misunderstanding of the science presented in the movie and at worst another uninformed attack on the facts of global warming.

Balance? Name one mainstream scientist that disagrees with the premise and the presentation in An Inconvenient Truth. As Gore himself said 2 days ago in Cupertino, the mainstream press are attempting to create a controversy where none exists.

The only controversy is what, if anything, to do about it. Mr. Gore makes an impassioned plea for action. This is the informed debate we should be having and the Post should be leading...

Posted by: tommyg | October 12, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

If people are truly interested in fact-checking Gore's movie--or better yet, the multitude of truly misleading movies, reports, books, and web sites out there--you could always consult those who actually know what they're talking about. See www.realclimate.org, a blog by climate scientists. They're more interested in sharing information than in political gamesmanship. No partisan mumbo-jumbo allowed.

And geez,all credit to Al Gore for actually taking on the topic. That's what leadership looks like, I guess.

Posted by: bluedog | October 12, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It is pathetic to see what the Washington Post will do to hurt anybody related to the Democrats, or that matter to people who are seeking real truth (and I am not talking about religion) and not the Washington Post truth. I have been reading these so called fact check articles for some time now and I have never seen something so inaccurate as the misused quotes used in your articles. At best you would deserve a C- for your work. On top of it I found all these articles laden with revenge type motives. The fact checking by your news paper, most likely done by a lazy unhappy misunderstood editor and his assistants, by means of spending the most a few hours on a computer, is as false, inaccurate and potentially damaging to the science as the statements made by a British Judge, who also finds himself suddenly a scientist and came up with his list of inaccuracies mentioned in your article.
What are you trying to achieve, clearly not the truth. As a jealous scientist and there are many of these, you are splitting hairs, with absolutely no understanding of the bigger science (picture). If you believe that you discovered the wheel, I have to disappoint you, everybody knows, including the Nobel prize committee, that theory's are never complete.
By trying to add a line at the end, that is is too early to use the Pinochio rule, you show even more your incompetence and the real reason why this was written: revenge, hatred and incompetence, the three worst enemies of any scientist.

Posted by: jand | October 12, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

A fact checker on Al's work on the day he wins the Nobel Prize? This may be good for another day, but today, it does seem to betray a bias. Today, an American won the Nobel price for a work that the overwhelming majority of scientists agree is needful. Today, we should celebrate Al Gore.

No objective person will quote the submissions of a British Judge over the verdict of the community of scientist when the issue at stake is scientific, not legal. Neither do a few factual errors in a huge body of work (if indeed they are factual errors) render an entire work questionable.

I disagree with Mr. Dobbs, the central question today as it relates to The Inconvenient Truth is not if Mr. Gore exaggerated "some" facts, the question is whether the documentary is right about the threat of global warming, and whether this work has made a significant difference to the world community on the issue. The general consensus on this is that the central arguments are dead-on accurate, the warnings are valid; the impending crisis he speaks about is real.

Seven years ago, journalists, making similar pretenses of objectivity, mischaracterized the positions, and arguments of Al Gore to America. There are many eggs on faces today. Please don't do it again. America expects more from writers.

Posted by: Wale | October 12, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The climate has never been static - it is always in a state of flux. Clearly, the earth at a macro level is in a warming period. You need to look at global temperatures in geologic time to realize that we are still coming out of one of the coolest periods in earth's history. See here: http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm

It would be odd if the planet's mean temperature was not warming. Al Gore is that he seems to think that mankind is the primary driver of climate change. I'm not persuaded. What makes me crazy is when people look at a drought, or a record high, or a hurricane and scream "global warming." Please let's calm down and put things in perspective. Mankind cannot slow climate change - it's folly to think so with countries like China and India developing so rapidly. We need to learn to adapt, as we always have throughout history.

Posted by: JH | October 12, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker, in just a few short columns, now has the same standing as Novakula and Will. No point in reading what they have to say, as that's a given. Simply skip to the comments section and have a good laugh. Get rid of this clown, WaPo.

Posted by: Zoltan | October 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore delivers more facts that are true than stretched truths. Even those that dispute his accounts stretch their stories. The fact is Global Warming is not just about CO2. It has more to do with conservation than just gas. There was a time people thought the world was flat and called Christopher Columbus a fraud. Today, especially many in the GOP call Gore a fraud. These are the same people who would have hang Columbus for hearsay. If you have lived in what you call the Third World, you would know what happens when floods come, or when there is no rain or the loss of trees and how far one has to go for firewood. It is a crisis in many African countries but who cares as long as we have our bottled water right? The 9 facts disputed are not fully disputed which means they are not lies like WMDs under a rock. Something is happening in the environment and whether we call it Global Warming or not, we should recognize it and make changes. Congratulations Mr. Gore. Keep up the work.

Posted by: Michael | October 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Just to follow-up, here is the article I'm referring to. It's a sad commentary on the "gotcha" politics that spun out of control during the 2000 election between rival newspapers who wanted to "one up" each other. To paraphrase - Gore = Stiff, boring, know-it-all where as Bush = fun, jocular, he-man.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/10/gore200710

Posted by: Pedropolis | October 12, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

For the love of.....

I got a 91 on an important exam once - I don't remember anyone pointing to that as my having made "nine errors." As I recall, it meant I got an "A."

In addition to the Nobel Prize for his environmental awareness, Gore deserves another one for putting up with this &*%$ from the media

Posted by: cmo | October 12, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

An "exact fit"--words Gore used--were probably not chosen with the precision required by a modern politician defending against the inevitable winger polemicists. Of course, as anyone with a college education would know, an exact fit would imply a 1.00 R^2, which of course would never be seen in typical scientific observation. Regardless, Gore's right--no statistician in his right mind would dispute a powerful link between CO2 and temp. This type of rectal exam (using Gore's unscripted words against him and out of context) is exactly why Gore isn't running. He figured out in 2000 that Presidential campaigns are allergic to real ideas and civil / scientific debate. We'll have to leave the pandering to Hillary and Rudy--thank God for Gore.

Posted by: Andy | October 12, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

So, the Washington Post has now appointed a judge in England as the arbitrator of truth on Global Warming? Now that is very strange. I would think they would give that job to scientists, not to a conservative judge in England.

The Washington Post apparently is still carrying water for the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Kate Henry | October 12, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore delivers more facts that are true than stretched truths. Even those that dispute his accounts stretch their stories. The fact is Global Warming is not just about CO2. It has more to do with conservation than just gas. There was a time people thought the world was flat and called Christopher Columbus a fraud. Today, especially many in the GOP call Gore a fraud. These are the same people who would have hang Columbus for hearsay. If you have lived in what you call the Third World, you would know what happens when floods come, or when there is no rain or the loss of trees and how far one has to go for firewood. It is a crisis in many African countries but who cares as long as we have our bottled water right? The 9 facts disputed are not fully disputed which means they are not lies like WMDs under a rock. Something is happening in the environment and whether we call it Global Warming or not, we should recognize it and make changes. Congratulations Mr. Gore. Keep up the work.

Posted by: Michael | October 12, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

How disgusting -the man gets a Nobel prize and the Washington Post has to have an article in the very same issue that purports to question that. Of course they can't get any reputable scientists to put on the front page so they use a ruling by a judge to give it a patina of legitimacy. This judge doesn't have any scientific basis for his questions and the legal ones aren't relevant. How many other scientific theories are required to meet legal levels of evidence? Most importantly the judge didn't even have the most recent evidence that the Arctic ice is actually melting faster than the models predicted. And he may not have seen it but I have that at least one island nation is facing evacuation in the next several years. How nonsensical the whole article is and how does the Post justify stooping so low?

Posted by: bornagaindem | October 12, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The Bible predicts global warming, which proves that only Jesus Christ can save you from it. Please read http://healtheland.bravehost.com/Docs/GlobalWarmingProphecy.htm

Posted by: freedom | October 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Let me clarify: my brief may not be with the author of this piece; I mean, the editors could use this sort of puff, inconsequential drivel as filler for Parade magazine in your Sunday edition. But how dare the editors use this junk so prominently in their coverage of Mr. Gore's Nobel prize? There's literally NOTHING in this piece, it's just another opportunity for this rag to smear a decent man and an emerging scientific consensus. For shame.

Posted by: gator | October 12, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Kids,
This is the media trying to stir stuff up.
"Gore Wins Nobel" is too pat for them. They have to "provide opposing viewpoints" in order to pretend they're unbiased, while all they're really doing is creating a tempest in a teapot in the hopes you'll read.

Fortunately, the battle is already won. The mainstream view is - there's warming, and it's caused by humans. Take a diametrically opposite viewpoint and you look like a crank. (Because you are one.) So, for that, we thank you Vice President Gore.

Enjoy the rest of the day on your laurels, then get off them and RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

Posted by: Cazart | October 12, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Great hit piece.

Based all on one English judge ruling on the basis of English law and no reference to the greater scientific debate on the subject? How is that fact checking? This a terrible hit piece.

The links at the bottom just confirm that this is what it was all about. Posting it directly under the Gore story just underlines the overall intent of the Post's online editors.

I only hope the GOP paid you folks enough for the hit piece.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It seems that the word "check" in the title of this blog is meant to be read as in hockey: "hamper or neutralize (an opponent) with one's body or stick." Hence, "Fact Checker."

Posted by: Alex Merz | October 12, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"There are plenty of scientists who don't agree with the Gore's alarmist tactics."

Fine one that isn't on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry or a right-wing think tank.

Posted by: Kate Henry | October 12, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this fat slob windbag won a Nobel Prize? I didnt realize they handed those out for fiction work. Moreover, love his contributions to Co2 emmissions in his private jets. Total Hypocrisy. Hey Mr. Veep, wanna another donut?

Posted by: zap | October 12, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the time frame for sea level rise due to the melting of Greenland's glaciers, I find a real expert opinion, that of Dr. James Hansen, much more persuasive than some British Judge who is merely repeating outdated information. In several recent essays and papers Dr. Hansen explains how current scientific evidence indicates that there is a high probability that Greenland's glaciers are going to melt fast, much much faster than was previously predicted. Well written for a general audience, I suggest reading Hansen's abbreviated, popularized version, titled "Climate catastrophe" and published in the 28 July 2007 issue of New Scientist, found at http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2007/Hansen_2.html. The abbreviation aims to make a broader audience aware of the threat to ice sheets. The fuller version is "Scientific reticence and sea level rise" http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2007/Hansen.html

Dr. Hansen, Director NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is a true expert on the subject, with hundreds of scientific articles published, and his opinions and predictions have proven to be accurate and correct over the past several decades. He is unusual in two regards: he is willing to step forward and express opinions ahead of the scientific herd and he has a track record of being right.

So Gore has good reason for thinking sea level rise will be faster than previously predicted and the Judge is just out-of-date, on this and several other of his opinions quoted here.

Posted by: Donald Condliffe | October 12, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Gore may be an alarmist, but not for the reasons given by the British Court. Nitpicking over coral reefs and Kilimanjaro has no bearing on whether global warming is a scientifically proven hypothesis. Nor does such anecdotal evidence have anything to do with "alarmism."

According to the "Fourth Special Assessment Report" published in February by the IPCC (co-winner with Gore of the Nobel Prize), global warming is confirmed by a combination of global observations which have no other reasonable explanation: increase in average nighttime temperatures + parallel warming trends over land and water + upper atmospheric cooling. The total pattern makes sense if the earth's lower atmosphere is trapping more heat due to greenhouse gas emissions. Solar variability or increased urbanization, frequently invoked as alternative explanations for rising temperatures by global warming critics, cannot explain rising temperatures over sea or the fact that the stratosphere is actually cooling.

No one knows what the consequences of this warming will be with respect to storms, droughts, floods, etc. and their mortality and subsistence effects. Those who call out "alarmists" can just as easily be called out as "pollyannas." It's just noise.

Gore has done a big service in getting more people to talk, write and think about this.
He would do an even bigger service if he addressed THE UNDERLYING BIG ISSUE, which is overpopulation. That is the main reason why global warming is occurring so rapidly AND why the demographic and economic consequences are likely to be severe.

Posted by: mnjam | October 12, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick comment from someone who's not a fan of the former VP, about why people like me find his assertions re: global warming (or the new vogue term, the more encompassing "climate change") troubling. I'll let others carp about or praise the Nobel committee and that British judge, and I'll leave the re-fighting of the 2000 election recount to those who prefer not to move on (to coin a phrase).

Mr. Gore and his allies have been charged with using exaggerations (and worse) to make their case. Many who agree that Mr. Gore plays loose with the facts are willing to forgive him for that, because they feel he does it in furtherance of a good cause in which he earnestly believes, and hey, a little propaganda and exaggerated alarmism is OK if it "raises awareness" about this important issue (especially if it isn't conscious or deliberate).

I'm almost willing to buy that excuse, up to a point, except for one thing. Mr. Gore and his allies are not just trying to raise awareness. They are trying to build the foundation for some rather radical policy proposals, and they are seeking to do this by convincing people that failure to act -- to act now, and dramatically -- will have catastrophic and almost immediate results. They declare that the debate about global warming is over, that there isn't time to listen to nay-sayers -- and they don't really want to have a debate about what we are supposed to do about it, because a global catastrophe is imminent. They're the forces of goodness and light, their policy prescriptions are reasonable and necessary, and anyone who disagrees with them is ignorant at best, or an evil tool of the dark side at worst. At least that's how I see it.

If you want to use hyperbole and half-facts to convince me that something is a problem, that's one thing. But don't expect me to change how I live my life -- or to support using the power of the state to force people to change -- based on slippery political advocacy dressed up as science. That's hardly democratic, and if the case can't be made without resorting to such tactics, I for one will have to keep asking questions.

Posted by: dcpost1 | October 12, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Who should I believe?
Should I believe the Judge - or should I believe those lying melting icecaps?

Posted by: Alain James | October 12, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Here is an excerpt from a speech given by former Vice President Al Gore at the National Sierra Club Convention in San Francisco on September 9, 2005 addressing the challenges and moral imperatives posed by Hurricane Katrina and global warming.

"Here's what I think we here understand about Hurricane Katrina and global warming. Yes, it is true that no single hurricane can be blamed on global warming. Hurricanes have come for a long time, and will continue to come in the future. Yes, it is true that the science does not definitively tell us that global warming increases the frequency of hurricanes - because yes, it is true there is a multi-decadal cycle, twenty to forty years that profoundly affects the number of hurricanes that come in any single hurricane season. But it is also true that the science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger, not only makes the winds stronger, but dramatically increases the moisture from the oceans evaporating into the storm - thus magnifying its destructive power - makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger." - Al Gore

This doesn't sound to me like a person who "...believes that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming" as your caption above reads. It sounds to me like Al Gore is saying that if we don't do something about global warming, we will see a lot more hurricanes like Katrina.

Therefore, Michael, you may want to look in the mirror and ask yourself, who exactly is doing the misleading???

BobM

Posted by: BobM | October 12, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Al Gore is not that he distorts the facts or is untruthful, but that he is careless with his phraseology to the point of exaggeration. As a politician, he was prone to taking more credit than was needed. No, he didn't claim that he invented the Internet, but he did tell CNN, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." In fact, he was a early supporter of expanding the ARPARNET, a computer service that pre-dated his entry into Congress by eight years. Similarly, instead of stating that he supported McCain-Feingold as vice-president, he claimed to have been a co-sponsor in the Senate. As an environmental spokesman, Gore suffers from the same credibility issue. Global warming is scary enough without implying that the ocean levels will rise 20 feet in our lifetimes or that category 5 hurricanes are the immediate result of global warming. I will grant you that there is some very unfair bashing of Gore on the right, but there is also a case to be made as to the motives of the Nobel Committee. Similar to Jimmy Carter's sudden Nobel recognition in 2002, you could ask, "exactly why the Peace Prize and why now?"

Posted by: Oakton | October 12, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I am ashamed of what the Nobel Peace Prize has come to mean. Gore's inconsistent, politically-motivated drivel has caused anything BUT peace in this world. Contrast him with last year's peace prize winner, Muhammud Yunus who has dramatically improved poverty in Bangladesh through his radical idea of microcredit. That man is saving lives and causing peace. Gore and Co. are simply spinning a cause with the aid of deep pockets and a widely developed web of power created by those who long-ago stopped listening to reason, choosing hype instead. How silly they will all look when their dire warnings pass like the 1950s predictions about the world in 2010.

Posted by: lhass | October 12, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the only folks who read and post here are "true believers". I feel sorry for those whose naive ideas and opinions are shaped by the AGW charlatans. I seriously doubt that they, and the many others who sip the AGW cool-aid of the fraudmeisters like the IPCC, Al Gore and Jim Hansen, have thoroughly researched the more logical side of this egregious scam.

If we think us mere mortals can change the course of speeding asteroids or alter the course of our climate, which has changed constantly and dramatically over untold millennia, we ALL need to get a serious reality check. Global warming is real, it's just not in our power to cause it or stop it.

The saddest part of this political opportunism is the serious damage it will do to worldwide economic growth, which promises to bring those who don't currently share our wonderful standard of living out of their miseries in the less developed parts of our globe.

Hang on to your wallets, folks, Gore is on the way. Carbon credits, indeed!

Posted by: Coast Rattler | October 12, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"An Inconvenient Truth" for Michael Dobbs. You are not a fact checker, you are an entertainer.
Kevin

Posted by: Kevin | October 12, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I know I have seen news reports documenting the fact that some South Pacific countries are already starting to be swallowed by the ocean. Either Vanuatu or Tuvalu is already sending people to New Zealand and they are trying to come up with a plan for how to resettle even more people as the islands keep disappearing while holding on to their own identity and nationhood in a new place. I am surprised that the judge thinks Gore made that up! Seems like it would have been very easy to verify.

Posted by: Glenn | October 12, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

This is it. I am cancelling my Washington Post subscription.

Posted by: ARGHH | October 12, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm not arguing with your fact-checking, but I do wonder how often you are so prominently displayed on-line. It seems to me that the Post is going out of its way to push the agenda of the oil companies and other global warming naysayers. Did you fact check the administration's WMD and Al Qaeda claims about Iraq as vigorously? And did the Post put those at the top of the web-page? Will you be fact checking all the Nobel prize winner's works, or just the ones your right wing masters tell you to. I'd really like to know. The headline alone is terribly misleading. And Zap, you're a fool.

Posted by: Gerard | October 12, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it's both very difficult and far too early to accurately understand and measure man's involvement in global climate change. The larger point, though, that the dirty consumption and depletion of fossil fuels, air and water pollution, overpopulation, a looming freshwater crisis, etc., seems to be an easy one to understand.

Whether or not man is contributing to uber-long term climate change is a massive question, nearly too big to understand. That man's polluting, consuming ways are bad for the Earth at this very minute is as simple as looking out the window.

Wasting time and energy debating the "political" implications and/or influences of environmentally-concerned efforts is like counting the flies buzzing around the head of a starving child.

Posted by: Tim | October 12, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What I find most curious about the Nobel prize award is that AL Gore says the sea-level will rise 20 feet this century, while his co-winner, the UN panel, predicts about a ONE-foot rise.

That's some gigantic differential.

And all of this is supposedly based on the same data and computer models.

Hmmmmmmmm.
.

Posted by: gitarre | October 12, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Reality? Yeah, the Earth is getting warmer. But then again, there was the Ice Age, then the little Ice Age...and didnt just last year scientists pull up vegitation on the north pole from thousands of years ago? The reality is this, its all part of a normal cycle. People just can't handle change, and always have to lay blame somewhere. Now its Co2 emmissions (of which fatso Gore) is a capital offender. Gimmie a break. Mother nature does what she wants, and all we can do is hold on.

Posted by: zap | October 12, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I work with several meteorologists at a state agency. Their consensus is that:

a) It is getting warmer globally

b) Anthropogenic factors are having some effect

c) There has yet to be a verifiable method of quantifying the amount of change resulting from anthropogenic effects.

My personal opinion as a scientist (wetland ecologist) by training, is that a lot of the folks (including VP Gore) who are pushing man-induced global warming so stridently, are deliberately ignoring the inevitable caveats that are inevitably included in science. They believe that the only way that they can get global action on reducing pollution (which is a laudable goal), is by exaggerating the causes and impacts of global warming.

In other words, they believe that the ends (reducing pollution), justifies the means (vastly overstating global warming.)

To be perfectly honest, I find that as abhorrent as the corporate shills on the other side of the issue who are minimizing any risk at the behest of corporations.

The problem, is that politicians should let the scientists do the science.

Posted by: Michael N. | October 12, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Is it too soon for a Pinocchio test? Not at all. All the of the judges alleged concerns are addressed here. And they don't make the judge look too good.

Posted by: James Hrynyshyn | October 12, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse


Another frustratingly stupid, lazy and ultimately dishonest hitpiece disguised as "balanced."

First, where's the "fact check" on Gore's opponents? They spew truly remarkable lies all the time.

Second, Gore never made half the claims attributed to him before their "rebuttal". The one involving Katrina is a good example. Gore never said that. Morons said that, and attributed it to Gore because it was simplistic and attackable.

I could go on, but I'm really tired of lazy, stupid media getting manipulated to accomodate the howling "loyal bushies" who oppose science and uncomfortable facts.

Posted by: Egilsson | October 12, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

that Gore line about Polar bears drowning because they couldn't swim far enough to find ice.. that had me on the floor laughing. Obvious propaganda aimed at children, but it is really over the top. So in the hour or so that the bears were merrily swimming around hunting for fish, the ice they had just come from melted for 60 miles!!!!!!! What a bunch of losers this whole group of global warming alarmists are. They can't hold real jobs so they invent them.

Posted by: Brian | October 12, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

As Deborah Tannen describes in her book "The Argument Culture", the problem with the media is, even when the score is 91 to 9, they feel compelled to offer BOTH sides of an argument as equally legitimate in an EFFORT to promote "Fair and Balanced"... nevermind that it is incredibly unbalanced.
I am so happy for Gore. He made a complicated issue understandable to us all...if his conclusions "exaggerate" that is better than downplaying risks that, by the time the naysayers come around to the truth it is too late to save the planet. And if the coral reef's bleaching is due to pollution or warming, BOTH problems need addressing. Gore's film has made that so obvious, WHO can argue with that?!

Posted by: Seg | October 12, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... One judge versus the entirety of science? How does that even begin to get at "fact?"

Posted by: Mobedda | October 12, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

to leni:Again,the bottom line is economy over the earths' furture,right?
It's that mentality that got us into this mess in the first place. Remember "acid rain"? That was bunked at first too,but due to stronger emission laws,it has been lowered to somewhat acceptable levels.
Recycling:remember when that was the big kick back in the 70'? Well people started doing it and it helped to reduce the land fills which were starting to overrun us. I'm sure the debunkers writing to make it sound like everythings fine,it'll take millions of years for this to happen,are the same ones who miss the public garbage can or throw it out there car window with no regard to my environment.
I can't help but remember when these same people debunking Gore,are the same one who said,"Oh the levees are fine"in New Orleans. Look where we are now with that. So if it's a choice between Al Gore and his global warnings or the know it alls that are more concerned with the $$$$,
I'll take Als' side any day.
And as for this article,it's despicable!
Why don't they just change the papers' name to the Fox Post.

Posted by: jime | October 12, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

If only the Washington Post had spent an equal amount of time exposing the distortions, untruths, and malfeasance of the Bush regime over the past seven years, perhaps this country and this planet would have been spared an uncalculable amount of tragedy.

Posted by: Robert McConnell | October 12, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

There's that open-mindedness you liberals are so famous for.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Michael N., you embody the classic story of a victim of misdirection. Gore says you think, but you now attribute "stridency" to him that is actually a manifestation of the strident and irrational rants of the folks who do not accept the three now obvious points you do agree with.

Posted by: Egilsson | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We can't even prove beyond a doubt that smoking causes cancer. There is a high correlation, but not absolute proof. That the judge required absolute proof in many of these cases, shows that no one could ever meet these standards and that perhaps a court of law is not the place to decide them. A jury might have had a different opinion. There is much that cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but we accept it as fact. Do they even understand what gravity is? I don't think so, not in a complete absolute way, but I hope someone doesn't take the scientitsts to court for talking about it. We know there is gravity even if we don't understand everything about it. Science is about exploring our world to find out as much as we can. It can be a long process. With global warming, we just don't have the centuries needed to be absolutely sure of what is going to happen. The event itself will overtake our scientific inquiry, and I for one am not willing to gamble that the scientists are wrong. And when it is just a matter of changing technologies, standing up to the coal and oil industries, we just can let one British judge stand in our way.

Posted by: goldie | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Although the greenies are thrilled to have Gore as the face of its cause, his entry has also politicized the debate, further complicating any attempts to resolve these problems. I have always said government is way too important to be left to politicians, and I think I would add environmentalism should be left alone by the politicians. I am comfortable letting those that really know what is going on fight it out, rather than grandstanding buffoons with axes to grind, whether that be a left-handed ax or a right-handed model.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time.
It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. Might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. You think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine.

When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. Hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us. --Michael Crichton

Posted by: JC | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I really have to agree with most of the other comments. This piece is a disgrace. It is insulting to have it on your front page the day Vice President Gore is nominated for this prize.

More importantly, The Post (and Journalists in general) needs to realize that good reporting does not always entail a "fair and balanced" approach between two sides of an argument. When one side is a small, right-leaning minority (Senator Inhofe et. al) advancing almost no evidence to support their hypotheses and the other is the vast, vast bulk of the scientific community, is there really a debate any more?

Posted by: poliscientist | October 12, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

This headline appears on your site today. How convenient. Poodle. Of course the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program wants to discredit Gore. They work for the no-bid Bushies, not the American people.

Bush called Gore Ozone Man. Bush is an evil man and his toadies will smear one of the greatest American presidents ever elected: Al Gore.

Posted by: Singing Senator | October 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

DI don't see where the 'fact checker' has actually checked any facts, just re-printed an unsubstantiated news article. Or are news articles now considered 'peer reviewed' and newsprint 'scientific journals'?
Looks to me like the Fact Checker' is just presenting more 'convenient ignorance'.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. Instead of celebrating a great achievement by one of your fellow countrymen (and I am not one). And a political one at that (how many other countries can make similar claims?) the Post immediately launches an attack.
(If only the Post itself would be held to such unbelievably high standards.) Especially when it comes to something as complex and important as Global Warming.I am so disgusted it's subscription canceling time for me.

Posted by: G | October 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I do not know why our atmosphere is going away or why our polar icecaps are disappearing or why Greenland turning Green, but WE need to find out quickly. And God help us if GORE is wrong.

Because of others and Gore, at least, we are asking the question.

Posted by: ez o | October 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think it's irresponsible to lump all of the most recent Nobel Laureates in with criticisms of Al Gore's film, as portrayed in the heading on the front page. The IPCC's reports were a careful analysis. Gore's movie was an educational documentary. To publish something without making that clear distinction provides fodder for skeptics and critics and lends credence to the misguided notion that there is another side to this argument.

Posted by: CY | October 12, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

First, I just wanted to point out that the "High Court" is not particularly high in England. I don't know why I would refer to it as an authority, particularly a scientific authority.
Why is this article important? Maybe it belongs on a sidebar, somewhere, but it is certainly not a headline. The Nobel prize, of course, is.

Posted by: Heather | October 12, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

JC
Your post is interesting, largely true, and irrelevant. No scientist has ever claimed that humans could "destroy" the earth. Go back and read the latest IPCC report.

Posted by: Robert McConnell | October 12, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore believes that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming. George Bush doesn't believe Katrina occurred.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

On the day when George W. Bush announced "mission accomplished," I don't recall the Washington Post leading its front page with a "Fact Checker" article. In fact, I am still waiting for the Post's editorial board to take some responsibility for having helped to whip up the Iraq war fever.

Posted by: Rich | October 12, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore is a liar who will say anything to make him popular. He doesn't deserve anything but to be ignored. He has spread all sorts of lies and half truths which "prove" his points. Millions of years have proven global warming and global cooling. As recent as 20 years ago "scientists" told us we were near a little ice age. Now "Algore" has "proof" that we are nearing global warming because we are all breathing. He would help us all if he gave up his private airplanes, 30,000 square foot house and the air he breaths. He is a total loser who is a forerunner to Hillary, the biggest loser of all.

Posted by: Loyal US Citizen | October 12, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. I was wondering what would be the so-called "errors in fact". Only a very impractical and unusual interpretation of "fact" could lead to conclusions of "errors" in this case.

Does the Post employ journalists interested in finding out who provided funds and experts for the critical testimony against Gore to the British Court, how its convenient timing was scheduled?

Posted by: SteveK | October 12, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I was a coral reef scientist at NOAA for many years and have read scores of peer-reviewed scientific reports that show direct correlations between coral bleaching and rising water temperatures - in fact, it's the underlying basis behind NOAA's Coral Reef Watch which alerts coral bleaching events globally. This is just one piece of evidence that discounts the judge's ruling...of which I have several issues with. There are two sides to many stories and each side picks what they like best to prove their point.

Posted by: NOAA scientist | October 12, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

In the 1970's, scientists foretold of the catastrophic effects of "Global Cooling." I feel like Winston in 1984. They're trying to re-educate us by erasing our memory.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

As recent data has shown, the one thing we know for sure is that we don't know anything for sure. In fact, it seems that certain effects attributed to global warming are increasing at a rate exceeding even the doomsayers' projections. Clearly, something is going on, and we will appear as foolish as Dr. Seuss' two stubborn Zax (and just as extinct) if we don't stop quibbling and start working together.

Posted by: S. Munson | October 12, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am concerned about global warming but I agree with Micheal N, let the scientists do the work and prove the issues. It has already been PROVEN that global warming is a cyclical pattern of weather events and changes just as the Ice Age, etc, etc. The extent that humans contribute to the pattern of warming has yet to be proven by ANYONE, scientists included. If I understand my research correctly, the emissions of methane gas from the ocean floor has been proven to be one of the greatest contributors to global warming. These are not man-made gases so we are not the greatest contributor, nor even close.

One of my greatest concerns about the judges ruling is that he has agreed to allow this film to be shown in classrooms in Britain .....but this is a PG rated film. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't that mean parental guidance is suggested, not teacher guidance? If the critics feel that parental guidance is suggested, who is this judge to determine otherwise? How can he approve this and step on the rights of the parents to control what their children see and do not see?

Posted by: Balinda Z. | October 12, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

It is disappointing that Gore exaggerated some effects of global warming, and apparently fabricated some of the facts (Drowing Polar Bears, evacuated Pacific Island nations, etc.). It distracts from the central issue. Since he exaggerated/lied on some of the facts, opponents will use this as leverage to discredit the entire issue.

Like Michael Moore, Gore has inserted himself into the debate, trying to "own" the issue, much as Moore has tried to hijack the health care issue in this country. People resent Moore for this, and for his twisting of the facts. Since Moore is wrong on many things, it creates ammunition for opponents to argue he is wrong on everything.

The issue becomes the personality. This is wrong. Global warming is more than Al Gore.

Enough of these "documentarys" that are little more than politcal soapboxes and vehicles for their MAKERS to advance themselves. The documentatiran should remain in the background and let the story tell itself.

Posted by: robertplattbell | October 12, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What a joke! You rely on a British court's "fact" checking to ascertain whether Al Gore's movie is accurate. My favorite comment: Gore cited a scientific study showing that polar bears had drowned by "swimming long distances--up to 60 miles--to find the ice." Evidence backing up this claim was not produced to the British court.

How about checking with the scientists? I think this sort of nitpicking is just so weak. There is no "analysis" by the Fact Checker. What do scientists think about the nine disputed facts? You don't do any original research -- and that is a big problem. Gore did -- and relied on scientists' assertions -- to make his movie. You just reiterate what some judge in England concluded. . . .

Posted by: teo123 | October 12, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -- Mark Twain

Never speak in absolutes when it comes to weather.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Rather than argue about the premise, the lawsuit seemed to be arguing the specific facts. Nothing in the original complaint got at the scientific premise, which remains almost totally uncontested. However, this is the way that modern scientific theories are "Swift-Boated", by attacking supporting facts as not being 100% accurate rather than attacking the premise.

Posted by: William Smith | October 12, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Your fact checker needs serious fact checking. The only source you used was a court case in Britain? That's your only source? And WaPo calls that "fact checking"? Shame on you!!

Why didn't you go back to scientific sources, rather than a non-specialist judge? Why did you stop with the judge who ruled only on the basis of information submitted to him, rather than on the universe of scientific information that was available?

And why didn't you point out that there weren't "nine" mistakes or inaccuracies. Even if you use only the British court case, you should have admitted that several of those nine items were not wrong, but inconclusive. But your question mark in the fact checker article suggested that Gore's film was deeply flawed and inaccurate, suggestions that are false.

Your so-called "fact checking" is terrible, and a distinct embarrassment to the Washington Post. This is another example of not fact checking, but right-wing smear through innuendo and insinuation using cherry-picked sources.

Shame on Washington Post!

Posted by: Connecticut | October 12, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Good to see the Post is right on top of this story. Unlike the millions spent by Exxon Mobil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and other fossil fuel profiteers, over a period of a decade, all of whom get their promotional materials, generated by PR firms rather than peer-reviewed, into schools, exert pressure on organizations like the National Science Teachers Association to keep Gore's movie out of schools, and demand 'balance' in news coverage, the kind of balance the Post so dutifully provides when it puts a so-called 'fact checker' article right below the announcement (based on a court case?? What's next? Scalia being used as a content expert on civil rights law?).

Just what I've come to expect. My guess is people don't read the Post for news coverage of this sort anyway--but rather just to see how a commercial news outlet that hasn't completely compromised its integrity--yet--is covering it.

Posted by: Omar Traore | October 12, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This whole "Global Warming" scare is a complete crock of s**t. Yes, the planet is getting warmer. No, it's not because of anything man has done or is doing. Consider the following facts:

* It was warmer in the year 1000 than it is today. How do you think that "Greenland" got its name? When the Vikings first landed there, it was actually GREEN! That could only have happened if temperatures were significantly higher than they are today. As far as I know, the Vikings weren't driving SUV's back then.

* As for this supposed "exact fit" between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and global temperature, there is no doubt a strong correllation. But if one looks a bit closer, one sees that carbon dioxide levels are a LAGGING indicator, not a LEADING one!!! This means that global temperatures aren't rising because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere. On the contrary: There's more CO2 in the atmosphere because global temperatures are rising! And the reason the planet is getting warmer is because of fluctuations in the energy output of the sun. Period. Earth has undergone countless periods of warming and cooling over the past 4 billion years, and none of them, including this one, were caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

* How many out there actually know the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? It's 0.3%. A miniscule amount. And by far the most plentiful source of new CO2 pumped into the atmosphere each year is evaporation. For every pound of CO2 that man puts into the air each year, the oceans of the world pump over 200 pounds into the atmosphere. So, if man were to cut his CO2 emissions by 50% ... or if man-made CO2 emissions were to double ... it would make absolutely no difference in the overall scheme of things.

This whole "global warming" thing has taken on the context of a religious movement, and you're nothing but a deviant heretic if you DARE to question it. But just as all of the learned scientists who, in the 1970s, predicted that a new "Ice Age" was about to begin were shown to be idiots, so too will all of today's global warming zealots be similarly exposed in due time.

Posted by: Dan | October 12, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Gore has a long history of stretching the truth dating well back to before he started his crusade against global warming. He has no credibility in my book.

Posted by: M Taylor | October 12, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The quote from Judge Burton's opinion, saying that sea level change will happen only after millenia, indicates that he is either ideologically opposed to Gore or ignorant of both the current situation and the historical pattern of *precipitous* change in nature.

A specific mountain or lake is subject to numerous conditions, so it may be impossible to attribute change there to the single condition of global warming. Still, global warming could be a factor even if it is not the only factor.

By all means, give teachers and students more information on the subject. But let's stay focused on the important questions: Do hydrocarbon emissions cause global warming? (Yes.) Is global warming harmful? (Yes.) What can we do to slow or reverse global warming. (Start by admitting answers to first two questions.)

Posted by: Richard | October 12, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This column is a lousy hit piece. You should be ashamed. I really can't stand the Washington Post.

Posted by: laurenyoung | October 12, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How accurate Gore predictions precisely are is not easy to tell. However, it is very obvious that they are accurate enough to propell him into 2008 presidency, if he enters the race now. And, I think, he should and would.The entire construction of 'Art of Betrayal' created by Mrs. Clinton or both Clintons is destined to be demolished similarly to the way WTC towers were demolished on 9/11. Go to http://www.lulu.com/browse/preview.php?fCID=956874 to read more.

Posted by: aepelbaum | October 12, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

There's evidence of human influence on CO2 (although not completely human caused). There are models showing warming from CO2, but warming has been occuring without increases in CO2 as well. It's foolish to make all or nothing statements about warming. The proposed programs to slow the growth of CO2 are politically inspired and will be ineffective (trillions spent for negligible gain).

Ask the modelers about the best way to cool the earth if it needs cooling. If they don't say "particulates" or high altitude sulfur, and instead say decrease CO2, then they have given a political, not scientific answer.

Posted by: Eric (skeptic) | October 12, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone, for pounding the Post. Seriously, this is just a disgusting piece of garbage that we don't normally expect from The Post. Sure, it's pro-war and it's participated in the global-warming process by publishing articles that make global-warming appear somewhat in doubt. BUT, to attack Al Gore, after he won a Nobel Peace Prize, on the basis that some judge in England objected to some facts (or, worse, that Gore may have "exaggerated"), is just repulsive.

Posted by: teo123 | October 12, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

One Judge, one court, vs thousands of scientists.

Who do you believe?

I only need to look out my window each snowless December (and now January). If anything, Global Warming has been way underestimated.

But, what me worry? -gotta jump in my suv and get to the mall to do some shoppin'

Posted by: Dan from the unfrozen North | October 12, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I've done a lot of study on environmental issues. While Gore did at times push things a bit and claim climate change as a cause for things that may be otherwise caused, the fact is that he has not pushed the facts near as much as big oil, energy producers who pollute, and so on. The real issue for me is that I was taught to keep my house clean. If we know that we can do something to keep our planet clean and that making it dirty causes possible harm to it, then why not opt for keeping it clean. One thing Gore did say that is true. In the long run it is profitable to be ethical.

Posted by: Parrish Jones | October 12, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Lord, get this idiot off the newspapers! The ignorance is unbelieveable. Look, it is happening all round us, we have been preparing the gournd for global warming for years and years and years, it is so obvious. Your intro of trying to rebut Gore's (and Science's - yes that is a capital S) assertion with an assertion by a British High Court judge is pathetic. I mean pathetic in the sense that I am sorry you had to stoop to that level. Now if you could have got a reliable source like a major (not minor, not fringe) group of scientists (remember, these are the people that study global warming every day, not lawyers or judges who study it when they need to make an opinion) instead of a member of the legal community, tehn you would have made a better impression on me.

In any case, you have your head somewhere in the sand and, for whatever reason, instead of taking note of the 800lb gorilla in the room, you have decided to see nothing, hear nothing and look at nothing unless it is what you want to see.

take him off, reasoned opinion is one thing but hearsay and isolated anecdotes instead of evidence is another.

Posted by: Dominic | October 12, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Melting snow and ice have nothing to do with warmer temperatures. Fact.

Posted by: Bill Monroe | October 12, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

There is something going on with the planet's climate.......so poking a stick at Gore...or Bush...or anybody.... will not reverse what's happening. While we debate the personalities or the science involved it's not getting any cooler either.

Posted by: tonyholst | October 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow ... so the Washington Post "fact checks" SCIENCE by ... listing a court opinion by someone not a scientist, and then linking to three sites that disagree without actually providing scientific evidence (the anit-film and NYT article have been widely debunked, time and again, by real scientists)?

Wow ... just ... um ... who the holy heck came up with this? Seriously. Why is there not any actual, you know, SCIENTISTS linked to in an article fact checking science?

Truly sad.

Posted by: Mark | October 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I concur with all the commentaters who question the veracity of the "Fact Checker" and their wasted time and energy reporting on a non-scientific body as the British Courts. I, also, concur on their suggestion, which I STRONGLY suggest that you do a "fact check" on the bogus invasion of Iraq. Hmmm. I think it was based on WMD that were never found by the Un Forces who went in to do an investigation before Bush and his war-mongering cronies decided that this would be a good excuse to get over there to protect their monetary oil interests. CHECK THAT OUT IN YOUR FACT CHECKER!!!!

Posted by: KarenAnn Levine | October 12, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

A pretty lukewarm rebuttal (no pun intended). I guess "Maybe Not" is always a safe counter to Gore's "Maybe". In the end, the educational value of Gore's work was recognized, and the recommendations seem pretty sensible. Hopefully they will both strengthen the learning environment for British children - and hopefully those children will be spared the shrill ranting from either side that claims absolute knowledge or understanding of global climate issues.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Congradulations to a great American and citizen of the world, Al Gore. President Bush owes him another apology. So let's get on with the solutions to global warming already!

Posted by: s koehler | October 12, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Schools, British or not, should show the "Eyes of Nye" episode on Global Warming (Episode 12, Climate Change) if they want a thoughtful, scientific view on global warming without the political fuss. http://www.eyesofnye.org/

Honestly, the thing that bothered me most about Al Gore's movie wasn't the facts about global warming; I'm a Gen Y'er, I've known it's existed since I was a little girl in elementary school. The problem I have is the little "personal" moments throughout the film about Gore's fam and the 2000 election. Those aren't necessary and are distracting and DO imply a political bias. They should have never been included; Gore should have stuck solely to his powerpoint presentation in the film if he wanted a truly bipartisan film. I would have respected him and the film more if such a route had been taken.

Posted by: Liz | October 12, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

STOP the FairTax SCHEME


WT wrote the following:
"Science as a discipline is based on hypotheses/theories supported by evidence. There are no "facts" in science. Which is why the politics of science are so challenging and issues in science don't belong on "Fact Checker."
Posted by: WT | October 12, 2007 11:20 AM"


I don't know where WT went to school but if he believes that "there are no facts in science"

He/She should get a full refund on his education expenses from elementary school on up.

I was taught that a scientist advocates a theory and then devises an experiment to prove that theory, if he can show that his theory is correct and is independently repeatable then his theory becomes a fact.

For instance let us take water. A scientist has a theory that water (a liquid) when heated becomes steam (a gas) and when frozen turns to ice (a solid). This is easily demonstrated by various experiments and is repeatable by individuals world wide therefore it is a fact. It will remain a fact until someone can demonstrate to the contrary.

There are FACTS in science.
.
.


STOP the Fair Tax SCHEME

The FairTax Scheme is a double tax on the savings of the citizens of the US. Ask Rep Linder (sponsor of the bill) why income (savings/investments/retirements/inheritances/home equity) taxed under the income tax system is not excluded from a double taxation at the point of sale consumption tax.

You'll get double talk for an answer.

Posted by: STOP the FairTax horsepucky | October 12, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Of all Creation's errors the biggest one is man's inability to concede facts he doesn't like even when his survival is threatened. Man has wiped out forests, denied truths about disease, raced into needless wars, wiped out species for silly fads, and now quibbles over causes of global warming even as it threatens his existance. Humans are not long for this world--they consume instead of conserving even their own lives.

Posted by: Paul R. Cooper | October 12, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Umm...for a fact checker, why haven't you published any scientific facts?

"[Dobbs published] portions of a court decision in the U.K. where a judge decided that there were portions of the movie that exaggerated reality. Note: This is a legal decision, not a comprehensive scientific study; the Post actually does no fact-checking; there is no actual science involved here; and the conclusion they reach is that "There are good arguments on either side."

Then for more information, they point you to the official An Inconvenient Truth site, the website of the widely debunked counter film The Great Global Warming Swindle (which has even been disavowed by one of the main scientists featured in it), a broadly criticized counter article from the New York Times, and a site supporting the guy who brought the lawsuit to court. If you're counting, that's three sites that aim to take down the movie and ... the movie's own site. Which equals zero independent scientific evaluation. Thanks, Washington Post, for this significant contribution to the conversation."

From - http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=10&year=2007&base_name=factcheck#022408

Posted by: You Can Do Better | October 12, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing that you write about some stupid Court ruling that has no basis for its own findings. But I guess you all think that the reports on PBS, with most of the reports coming out of the PBS British stations about the current conditions as direct result of Global Warming as stated over and over again by scientists. At least Gore has made people more aware to be more conscience of how we burn fossil fuel that spews CO2 into the atmosphere that most definitely has an impact on the environment.

Don't you have more important issues to check into the facts about besides a British Court ruling that is, at its best, burning their tax-payer's taxes for such a frivolous issue?

Posted by: Karen-Ann Levine | October 12, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Washington Post, I thought you were going to actually TELL me something, instead of just linking to third-party sites. That's OK, I guess, but it ain't no fact-check. Maybe you would've wanted to wait a couple of weeks (NOT a few centuries!) and try to do the job right.

Might as well include realclimate.org, including the thoughtful discussion of Gore's movie by actual climate scientists here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=299

Posted by: Bill Camarda | October 12, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Shame on the WaPo.

Posted by: Jb | October 12, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

How the mighty have fallen. From the brilliant Watergate reporting to save the republic to outright hackery and spokesmanship for the regressive conservatives within a span of just thirty three years.

Sad. Very sad.

Posted by: gregor | October 12, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Photo Caption: "Al Gore believes that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming."

Wrong. Did you see the movie? He was very clear that the evidence suggested that Katrina was made more intense by global warming.

Good god, even the "fact checkers" at the WaPo can't get anything right.

Posted by: Gromit | October 12, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

There are not "good arguments on both sides".

Read, seriously, the language from the UK. This does not say Gore was WRONG, it says that there are complexities that are not fully laid out in the movie. Gore does not say bleaching is solely because of Global Warming. Nor that Lake Chad is solely due to Global Warming. He does not say that Europe WILL face an ice age. Etc ...

No wonder the Post feels comfortable hosting a screed by Bjorn Lomborg. Want to do a "Fact Check"? Why not do it on the columnist so prominently published in Outlook?

Posted by: A Siegel | October 12, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore did not win the Nobel Prize for making a movie. He won the Oscar for that. Critiques of the movie should be reserved to discussions on whether he deserved the Oscar.
His Nobel Prize (which is truly deserved) was for raising awareness about the truth of global warming and the inevitability of an accompanying planetary decline for the better part of a couple of decades now.

Posted by: surelyyourejoking | October 12, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

We can only hope the Post does comparable "fact checking" before the U.S. invades Iran.

Posted by: b | October 12, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This so-called "fact checking" exercise relies entirely on the opinion of some dumbass judge, not a scientist. What kind of fact checking is that? Congratulations to Al Gore and tough luck for Mr. Bush. The Nobel committee is not "anti Bush", it is just that Bush is the antithesis of greatness in every way.

Posted by: davewaugh | October 12, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with the Washington Post that on the day Mr. Gore wins the Nobel prize, you have to put such a negative header on this exercise in ridicule and on your front page!! Do you want the country to continue sliding into fascism, war-mongering and the increasing chasm between rich and poor. This is needless belittlement!!

Posted by: Valli Geiger | October 12, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

S. Munson has it right--the old axiom "Nothing is Absolute" absolutely plays here. No one can state with irrevocable truth that the emissions from 100 Cadillac Escalades dried up Lake Chad, but scientific inquiry (and, as all inquiries should...) involves making an observation, forming hypotheses, testing them with rational experimentation and forming conclusions based on that data. It is clear from the observations that something serious is going on--perhaps not the imminent destruction of the planet, but enough of an effect that we as a race can arrive at some simple conclusions and take specific action. An earlier post stated that any catastrophes from climate change won't happen for a millennium. Those thousand year are but a blink in the planets age, so should we as a people avoid ANY kind of action because the effects won't be devastating until after we're dead? Don't we have even a smidgeon of responsibility to future generations? The easiest example is transporation: I freely admit that I don't ride my bike to work as often as I should, and I am certain liberals and conservatives alike at times hop in the car when they could take the metro, but the energy barrier to do these simple thing might be reduced if we made it easier to get to and participate in public trasportation. If our country spent a fraction of what it spends to build more highway lanes (that just bring more traffic) on building alternative forms of transportation and, for Pete's sake, bike lanes--we may be encouraged to use some of our own energy on getting to work and save a couple molecules of polluting emissions. Yeah, yeah, I know, what difference will that make? Probably more than the hot air spent on whining about who's right and who's left.

Posted by: JChem | October 12, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank everyone who helped me raise ManBearPig awareness! I couldn't have done it without your gullibilit...er I mean support.

Posted by: AG | October 12, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"In the 1970's, scientists foretold of the catastrophic effects of "Global Cooling." I feel like Winston in 1984. They're trying to re-educate us by erasing our memory."

You are not even close to correct. In the 1970s a handful of scientists claimed this, and the idea that cooling was a long term problem was held by a small minority of scientists. Most reports emphasized uncertainty. But human-caused global warming reflects the high-confidence consensus of thousands of scientists and is based on evidence published in thousands of peer-reviewed publications.

For some more background and pointers to the original sources that you can check for yourself, see this article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

Posted by: Alex | October 12, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

You really have no idea what you are talking about. This supposed "fact checker" is nothing of the sort. That some british judge is a buffoon, or relies on outdated science is really not a "fact check" of any sort. Rather than face the issues, Dobbs sets up straw man arguments that he then purports to knock down. And of course, Judge Burton did exactly the same thing.

Judge Burton's central assertion, that sea levels will only rise over millenia, has already been disproven by the rapid melt in the North Pole over this summer. And the idea that a judge can conclusively decide an issue of science is ludicrous. If that were the case, we'd still be claiming that the world was flat. The science on climate change is settled. There is no serious debate (just look at the "sources" Dobbs cites as offering an opposing view). Judge Burton and Mr. Dobbs is clearly just another right-wing water carrier. Neither the Judge's opinion nor this article has the ring of truth. Perhaps because the truth here is rather inconvenient?

(yeah, sorry, couldn't resist.)

Posted by: Nonesuch | October 12, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This "Fact Check" is anything but. How about talking to, say, climate scientists? (You know, people who actually know something about the subject--what a radical concept). There are thousands upon thousands who will support Gore's central assertions.
Are there no editors any more at the Post?

Posted by: Doug | October 12, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is a fact. The world needs to come to grips with its TRUE source: human over-population. Earth's natural resources are finite, and if we don't move to zero population growth soon, nature will make a correction for us.

Posted by: John | October 12, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord! Science by litigation.

Posted by: blpeyton | October 12, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

what a disgraceful attempt by the wapo to smear and diminish al gore's recognition by the nobel committee.

truly astonishing.

Posted by: mycomment | October 12, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

This fact check reminds me of Sanjay Gupta's BS rebuttal to "Sicko." Completely empty nitpicking that doesn't address the underlying assertions. What happened to journalism? What happened to this country? We spend billions on a missle shield that will never work and is arguably unnecessary, but when it comes to the health of our children we have to tighten our belts. We run deficits that the kids will have to pay and let corporations jeopardize the planet's well-being and all one half of our political system harps on are tax cuts. Disgusting...

Posted by: Spiro Agnewt | October 12, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I must say that this article smacks of envy and bad form. Is this an example of a fair presentation of fact? No it is a mean spirited indulgence of polemics and snarkyness. The sources you site are ridiculous. What is amusing is that one example you site a modern British Court has chosen to pretend that a court ruling is all powerful and can adjudicate the weather. That British Justice obviously missed King Canute's pointed demonstration from his country's history that he the King or the Courts for that matter do not have the power to command the tides. It might have been useful if you had also linked to the latest scientific data which shows that Gore is not alarmist enough that the danger is nearer than you think. Fortunately I live at a higher latitude and altitude than you folks in DC so all who work for the Post will be doing the back stroke long before me.

Posted by: Redman | October 12, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

You will never defeat me! I am MANBEARPIG!! I will get all of you!!!

Posted by: ManBearPig | October 12, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Fire the "Fact Checker." Today. Please.

Posted by: Andy Lowry | October 12, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm extremely saddened that the Post chose to run this. Like the judges ruling, they go on to basically admit that Gore is correct when it comes to his central assertion. And yet they ran it under an inflammatory headline, that will only give fodder to the so called skeptics, who would like to ignore sound science in order to reap more short term profits at the expense of our children's future. This kind of nitpicking isn't worthy of the Post much less the British courts...What it comes down to is an attempt to distort the truth by implying that there is parity between those on both sides of the debate.

Posted by: James | October 12, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to point this out:

"But let's cut the hypocrisy, the alarmism and the radical ideas that would destroy our economy and send us back to the Dark Ages."

You deride Gore as hypocritical and his ideas as alarmist, then you go on insinuate that "radical" ideas such as reducing greenhouse gases and petroleum dependence will "destroy our economy and send us back to the Dark Ages."

That sounds alarmist, which makes your argument hypocritical. It's like you meant it to be funny.

Posted by: Hodges | October 12, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm totally cereal!

Posted by: Al | October 12, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This.

Is.

The.

Worst.

Feature.

In.

This.

Crappy.

Paper.

For the love of all that's good and pure in the world, fire this guy, get rid of this inane, pathetic claptrap, and let's all forget we ever soiled our minds here.

Posted by: ethan salto | October 12, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Take it from someone who knows, my dad is a nutjob.

Posted by: Al Gore Jr | October 12, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think its important to realize the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace prize. It is understandable that Gore, a non-scientist communicating to a lay audience, didn't explain all the details perfectly. But he's right about the big picture. Those interested in the scientific details should read the various IPCC reports, which represent the understanding of the scientific community as a whole.

Posted by: Kirk | October 12, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Are we changing the planets atmosphere?
Fact: Yes. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

Any projection of future events cannot be fact.

Studies suggest that the soot in the atmoshpere may be mitigating the first order effect of higher CO2 concentrations - the greenhouse effect. So as long as we keep changing the atmosphere by injecting soot along with CO2 - then warming may be avoided.

I, for one, would feel more comfortable with our experiment on changing the atmosphere after we've found some other planet we can move to.

The solution is to leave fossile fuels unburned in the ground. Simply driving down the price of oil is silly.

If one takes this seriously enough to be willing to pay $10/gallon for gasoline, then nuclear (waiting for the screams to die down) may be considered. Once society fears climate change equal to that of radiation - nuclear may become viable once more.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

what a shameful piece of crap you are foisting on the public. why would you direct your readers to anti-gore sites that have been refuted, including by one of the scientists who was scammed into an appearance. tapped at american prospect has a very useful takedown of this dobbs piece.

Posted by: linda | October 12, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker is falling down on the job here, especially with the claim that there are "good arguments on either side." In his Post op-ed, Bjorn Lomborg also makes this "either side" argument, when the scientific consensus is overwhelmingly on the side of great concern about the impact of global warming, a consensus which the Nobel Committee has implicitly endorsed by including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a co-recipient of this year's Peace Prize. For more on the flaws in Lomborg's "either side" argument, see Putting the Heat on Lomborg (http://www.postcarbon.org/lomborg).

Posted by: Richard Bell | October 12, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Gore has done a great job, and it is a disservice to the nation and the world to nit-pick this way. I am increasingly disappointed in the Washington Post. I had had hopes for the Fact √ Checker; America needs a source of objectivity. But so far you've not met the promise, rather you've inclined to the right. You're not yet as bad as Fox, but the Post used to be a good newspaper.

Posted by: Richard Weaver | October 12, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Fact-checker Michael Dobbs, I have a question for you: Do you have a climate-related degree from a university?
What is your experience in climate-related matters?

Posted by: Andrew | October 12, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hodges- I was just about to make the same point.

MMMmmm.... Delicious Irony!

Posted by: bsimon | October 12, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

If Al Gore is so concerned about global warming, why does he personally exhibit behavior that exacerbates the problem? Read http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp for the real Inconvenient Truth. Never trust a man that says one thing while doing something entirely different himself!

Posted by: GoreLies | October 12, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that you didn't bring in any POSITIVE third-party evaluations of Gore's work. You didn't even cite the Nobel Committee's statement on Gore and the award!

Why do you hate Al Gore?

Posted by: Adam | October 12, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the judge found the film "broadly accurate"(!) is conveniently submerged in the paragraph preceding the one where the nine points are listed in a much more conspicuous way. If you take the judge's criticism for granted (which I don't), you should also accept his general conclusion.

Posted by: jeroen | October 12, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

People who discount the effect of humans on the global ecosystem and by extension global warning are analogous to the same (dead) people who said that cigarette smoking had nothing to do with lung cancer.

Posted by: TechNomad | October 12, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

It is indeed ridiculous for a judge to pronounce on this subject. The evidentiary standards in a court are not the same as those in the scientific or policy worlds. Judges are generalists, not experts. This judge presumably does not have twenty years of experience on the subject. Gore does.

Posted by: Ron Levy | October 12, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I would call Gore's movie 95% accurate. Some puffery thrown in to motivate people to action, but I'm not opposed to that when it's appropriate.

Balance Gore's movie with this paper's coverage of the Iraq war and the intelligence which preceded it, which was 98% inaccurate and I'd say the fact checker should move on to something else.

Posted by: Buck Batard | October 12, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see. The Polar Bears may have drowned in storms. Hmmm, "Fact Checker" maybe you should actually think about what you check. Instead of just blurting out rebuttals. Common sense would point out that if the Polar Bears were on "ICE" they may have survived the storms. They have survived storms for thousands of years. Only they could take refuge in a habitat that include a higher percentage of ice! Hello???!!

Posted by: dorklord | October 12, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

A very good source of information for anyone who wants to check what Al Gore says is the September issue of Scientific American magazine. There has been much in various scientific magazines and journals over the years. It is difficult to keep up with it all. But there is quite a bit of data and the article is very readable unlike some journal articles aimed at researchers in the fields discussed. If more people looked at what is available and not just listen to political types on both sides, a much better discussion could occur.

Posted by: phys1 | October 12, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"It is way too early for a Pinocchio ruling on this one."

What a bunch of wusses you are. Do you stand by your reading of Gore's statements, or don't you?

Nobel committee 1, WaPo zero.

Posted by: fzdybel | October 12, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dobb's discussion of the "9 errors" or overstatements in the Gore movie. This is however a mild overdramatization of the basic issue of global warming. Global warming IS occuring and mankind HAS contributed substantially to this since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The overwhelming scientific evidence for this is well summarized in each of the sets of IPCC reports, the most recent of which came out in 2007. The most convincing single set of evidence comes from the antartic ice core samples which shows that the CO2, NO2, and methane levels in the atmosphere are the highest they have been in the past 600,000 years !! and they have been climbing steadily since the early 1800s. You figure it out. To deny the existence of global warming is right up there with denial of evolution and basic scientific fact.

Posted by: Doug Smith | October 12, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"British intelligence has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

-- George W. Bush, President of the United States, State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003. By the time Bush made this assertion, his administration had already been warned by the CIA that this intelligence was not credible, and, indeed, the claim had been excised from previous speeches about the case for Iraqi possession of WMD.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Irrefutable
Washington Post editorial
Thursday, February 6, 2003; Page A36

AFTER SECRETARY OF STATE Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Powell left no room to argue seriously that Iraq has accepted the Security Council's offer of a "final opportunity" to disarm. And he offered a powerful new case that Saddam Hussein's regime is cooperating with a branch of the al Qaeda organization that is trying to acquire chemical weapons and stage attacks in Europe.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm awarding Michael Dobbs four pinocchios for this one. He didn't check any facts, and he got his own facts wrong. The judge did not say that there were errors in AIT, but that there were 'errors'. Note scare quotes. More here

Posted by: Tim Lambert | October 12, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Don't worry, it's a slam dunk!"

-- George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, assuring President George W. Bush at a White House meeting that the intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction was foolproof, December 21, 2002.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts, corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence services of other countries."

-- Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, offering "proof" before the United Nations Security Council, to back up his claims about Iraq's possession, and surreptitious hiding, of weapons of mass destruction, February 5, 2003.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

17,100 scientists that have been verified as physicists, meteorologists, geophysicists, climatologists, oceanographers, chemists, biochemists, etc... have signed a petition against the idea that man is causing global warming. You want to see the petition list? Here it is http://www.oism.org/pproject/ This argument has nothing to do with whether it's "Right Wing" or "Left Wing" this is about science. Al Gore is not a scientist, like it or not, he is a politician.

Posted by: Dan | October 12, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow! A Media company that couldn't even see through BushCo's transparent attempts to manufacture intel is now serving as a "fact checker" for the Nobel committee. Can you possibly be more simultaneously arrogant and incompetent?

Posted by: daniel | October 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."

-- Paul Wolfowitz, testifying before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee about the relatively modest amount of money that fighting a war in Iraq would cost American taxpayers, March 27, 2003. As of May 29, 2007, the National Priorities Project estimated that the share of Iraq War costs borne by U.S. taxpayers to date exceeded $430 billion.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Since when does a judge qualify as an expert on global climate conditions? And since when does the moment that New York sits under one hundred feet of sea water matter in the discussion of the seriousness of the global climate crisis. Do you not argue the merits because you know you can not prevail on the merits? Or do you not argue the merits because you have been trained to attack the message?

Posted by: alprufrock | October 12, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

-- George W. Bush, responding to a reporter from TVP, Poland, who had asked how Mr. Bush could justify the invasion of Iraq now that no weapons of mass destruction had been found, May 29, 2003.

Posted by: Klem | October 12, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Fact Checker and the judge can explain the link between overfishing and coral bleaching. Go ahead, explain it.

Posted by: Checking the Fact Checker | October 12, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I normally love the Post, but this is just a disappointingly poor article. It says it all that you link to "The Great Global Warming Swindle", a thoroughly discredited movie, at the end of the article. I'm sorry, but I simply can't read a "Fact Checker" section if it doesn't check facts appropriately. I need to see an apology before I start reading this section again.

Posted by: Dave | October 12, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

STOP the FairTax horsepucky | October 12, 2007 01:00 PM

EXCELLENT point!!!!! Always wondered why the IRS gets away w/double taxation on already taxed dollars??? It is against the Constitution. Maybe we s/all do a variation on the the Boston Tea Party. Granted that was all about "taxation w/o representation." But shoudn't we protest double taxation as well??? Ok, maybe not w/tea but maybe some other vehicle that would make an impact. Any suggestions.

Posted by: Karen-Ann Levine | October 12, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am a physicist at the University of Maryland.

1. Since when is a judge a valid scientific source?

2. As per the Atlantic conveyer, there have been dozens of articles about it potentially shutting down in reputable journals like Nature and Science, and many, many more in the discipline specific
journals. Why not go and look at the actual peer-reviewed science and the actual (will he say it) measurements?

Not everyone needs to be a physicist or an oceanographer but, presumably, the "fact checkers" at the Post should have someone who can actually read science, rather than relying on the opinions of attorneys and pundits.

3. As per Kilamanjaro. It had snow year round for all of human memory. Now it doesn't. And here's a tough scientific principle. Ice melts when it gets warm. Is it possible that things are warmer than they were in the past?

Posted by: Joe | October 12, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

My, the WaPo certainly managed to blow this one. Let's see-
a)whoever decided that the "truth' of "An Inconvenient Truth" should be assessed by a judge with no known scientific credentials? Not blaming the judge- he was stuck with a case dropped in front of him- but why is the Post using this, especially when
b) your conclusion is "it's way too early to decide on this?" So why publish this at all if you cannot actually make any decision?
c)Do you plan to provide oracular guidance on the nine points the judge listed and on his overall conclusion that the thrust of the movie is correct, or are you only going to focus on the specific points the judge decided to talk about?
c) However you decide in your little game of Pinoccios, will you at least apply the same standards to, for example, Administration statements about "we do not torture," "a mushroom cloud in an American city," and all the rest?

It appears that whoever writes these little missives had the bright idea to play fact checker, but is incapable of actually DOING the fact checking. Otherwise, why all these "it's too early to tell" and "we are waiting for comments from one of the parties" kinds of comments?
If you want to do sloppy jounralism, at least please refrain from pretending it is incisive.

Posted by: skeptic | October 12, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I do not agree at all that we should change the basis of our economy on the faulty, and non-consensus science of Al Gore.

However, I do agree that man is causing some climate change; it may have some harmful effects; and, we should try to be good stewards of the earth and make changes where appropriate.

And, since I DO believe we should get off oil as a national security issue, I represent the guy who could be swung away from Limbaugh and to Gore IF Gore was seeking change for change sake, NOT for his personal ego.

While everyone says it is not ego, he flies on private jets, drives in limos, and his peronal electric bill dwarfs the average American by 20,000%. The left attacks Preachers as hypocrites - what is the difference?

So I am not still not convinced, instead of trying to bridge divides and bring conservativs and rightists over to his side by pointing out that we may agree to disagree, but both want the same outcome - he instead preens with his ego and constantly needing to show that he is right.

So I ask you, would you drive less each week to conserve when the man asking is doing so from a private jet? Give me a break.

I remain skeptical but willing to calmly accept a move off of carbon for national security reasons - I await to follow the leader not driven by ego and hypocrisy.

Posted by: Steve Rodriguez | October 12, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The exaggerations are unfortunate and un-needed. The ultra-picky criticisms of those who would rather believe that gross carbon pollution has little to no effect on our climate are far more intellectually dishonest and should be automatically "fact checked" if the purpose of fact checking is to determine better truths. I noted that the romney/rudy spat presented evaluations of both side's claims. I would easily guess that Gore is likely 99% correct and the anti-global warming crowd is 0% correct leaving ~1% for uncertainty. Considering that the well known strategy for the deniers is to discredit the whole with micro-slivers of uncertainty this "fact check" seems to fall into that camp. So "fact check" this.

Posted by: Rich Rosenthal | October 12, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Fmr VP Gorp long ago implanted himself as high priest, chief evangelist, and head cheerleader of the frenzied, pathetic OMIGODWEREALLGONNADIE! religion, so it's really not all that big a surprise that he's the perpetual sweetheart of the practitioners thereof.
Thing that bugs me is that he has now,with the help of his fellow worshippers, brought 'SMUG', to the level of a sanctity. If a Republican showed even half the arrogance that Gore displays in his every utterance, these goofs would explode in rage.
How about the big OLD private jet, Al? How about his big-ass house, Parishioners?
How about a little consistency, lefties?
Actually, I would enjoy a Gorp campaign... it's gonna be fun watching a fat pasty white guy like him try to Tap Dance with a significant portion of the media elite superglued, lips-first, to his hindquarters...

Posted by: Rick R, Anaheim,Ca. | October 12, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

This is a poor poor excuse for "fact-checking."

I used to love The Washington Post, but it has become so shabby. Our family subscribed to the Post for 40+ years until this spring's pro-Scooter Libby editorial. Let the subscription go; resubscribed about 6 weeks ago (unbelievably good deal) but have decided to let it go for good once this term is up.

Can still get a lot of the news from the website and pick up the occasional paper copy.

But the paper's reporting quality has declined so much, the bright spots of Dana Priest, Thomas Ricks and Rajiv Chanderasekaran notwithstanding.

Posted by: Grace, Northern Virginia | October 12, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Dobbs and the Post miss the forest for the trees--again. WaPo--you need a legion of fact checkers perusing your "news". And not those who are in the pocket of Big Business.

Posted by: jkhall | October 12, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

And while we are on the subject, may I suggest a title for replacement column? Life under the jackboot.

Posted by: lwps | October 12, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The Fact Checker starts right off with an incorrect fact, fact number 1.
Neither Al Gore nor anyone else is claiming the melting of icebergs in Antartica will raise sea levels. Icebergs float, when they melt it does not raise sea levels. What raises sea levels is the melting of ice that is on land, such as the landmass of Antartica and Greenland.

Posted by: Ken Krich | October 12, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post's bias against Al Gore is obvious. I wonder why the film "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is linked by the Post as a reliable source of information despite its having been pretty thoroughly debunked. The Post fails once again to inform and enlighten the public, and again carries water for the Bush administration. But I'm sure Howard Kurz will be all over this....NOT!

Congratulations to President Gore. (Notice that no Republicans have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, but Presidents Wilson, Carter and the deposed Al Gore have)

Posted by: John Gissy | October 12, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

And this year's Sour Grapes Award goes tooooo... The Washington Post.
You are using a legal decision from one judge in a British court to dispute a few isolated facts in what is universally beginning accepted as a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Even CNN figured out the difference between real refereed science and PR generated by industry hacks, and they admit the dimensions of the problem are staggering.
Now I worked as a journalist for a decade and am currently a professor teaching the topic and a few things cross my mind about the Post's application of professional canons:
What do we know about the judge in England? Do we really understand the rules of evidence in an English court? In most the 9 points listed the judge states there was not sufficient evidence to support Gore's claims. Is that sufficient to deem the claims exagerations?
And finealy, if we took any Washington Post story of the same scope as Gore's documentary how many similar isolated errors of fact could we find?

Posted by: John Newhagen | October 12, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

This is not fact checking, by a long shot. This is a verbatim repetition of court ruling (not a scientific finding) followed by a list of links, presumably "balanced" (but which seems skewed towards the "anti-Gore" side). Oh yes, and the weasel words "There are good arguments on either side." How lazy can you be? How hard can it be to check the "facts" with reputed authorities? Of course, that would bring the wrath of the wingnuts down on you, something you seem determined to avoid at all costs.

Posted by: Brian Gygi | October 12, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow. "Too soon to tell." An Exxon talking point!

Posted by: lambert strether | October 12, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious, why is Michael Dobbs playing dumb, and why is the Post publishing it?

Posted by: David | October 12, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Shame on the WP for putting this supposedly fact check on their front page just minutes after a former president of the US and 2000 scientists won the Nobel for making people aware of global warming, an undisputed fact. Global warming is real not because 4 polar bears may or may not have drowned, but because years of peer reviewed scientific research say so.

Posted by: vgiguere | October 12, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I just hope that the anti-global warming film goes through the same legal vetting. I will wager that the other "balanced" film will have more flagrant errors than "exact fit isn't the same as correlated."

Posted by: Bob Sonant | October 12, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Compared to the 100 percent lies coming out of the White House each and every day, it's amusing how the MSM tries to prop up their candidate Sen. Clinton.

Look, I was on ARPA*Net in the 70s - Vincent Cerf and others pointed out Sen. Gore was why we got funding - in fact, the MSM just tries to distort words and phrases and then reinvent reality.

Latest data shows that global warming is accelerating even FOUR times more than we predicted - so the first "Fact" you say is distorted actually matches today's reality.

Global warming always was - and is - cataclysmic massive changes in weather and temperature on a global and local scale. It's an increase in both the oscillation and the amplitude.

Denying science to serve your masters won't change the fact that President Gore still won the popular vote by a landslide in 2000, nor will it change the science.

Posted by: WillSeattle | October 12, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, I´m sure Judge Burton can be relied upon in his assertions - surely the title "Judge" in itself must imply that the man´s verdicts are accurate, even if they are not in his area of expertise? And, sure, he won´t be around when the iceberg melts, so why worry? (See quote below:)

"While it is generally accepted that the melting of Greenland's ice will eventually lead to rises in sea-levels of this magnitude, this will only happen "after, and over, millenia."

--Legal ruling, October 9, 2007.

Soooo comforting...right?

Posted by: Cyan | October 12, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Science tests whether a hypothesis agrees or not with observed phenomena and experiments. Only those who feel that the shape of the earth or PI can be legislated think otherwise.

Statements of science are not to be placed "on trial" nor is the correctness of a hypothesis decidable by lawyers, lordships, authorities, or priests. To suggest, or imply, that a court decides otherwise is simply absurd.

Now, the British Court (which I think many a lawyer thinks made a fool of itself for considering whether documentaries can be shown to students) had to decide on the suitability of An Inconvenient Truth as material with educational value.

Now, the Court was not ruling on whether Greenland Ice would melt, nor did it pretend to. Hence, to present the conclusions of the court as "facts" is also false.

Today the Fact Checker ends in the Science Hall of Shame and in the Legal Hall of Shame!!! I guess a review of some journalism textbooks is in order.

Posted by: LabMike | October 12, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Look at all the intolerance out here today. The left-wing crazies are ready to kill if you don't accept what they think as fact. Good job, fact checker, for letting us see them as they really are - hypocrites. They want you to be fired because you dare to publish another point of view. Hitler was more tolerant than these left-wing fanatics.

Posted by: hilda | October 12, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

As usual the right wing propaganda shills were waiting to provide a negative "report" on liberal agenda items. What the author of this article would do if he was actually interested in checking the accuracy of stories is to check on the accuracy of Bush statements. This would be far more useful and substantive than nit picking about details of climate change.

Posted by: Claude | October 12, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Gore is exaggerating, although I have not seen the movie. Take sea level change. His estimates for sea level rise are in line with what I've seen in the scientific literature. Science magazine has a recent article in which the authors point out that current consensus models for sea level rise leave out Antarctic ice shelf melting simply because the uncertainties in that source are large, thereby ignoring what could be the dominant source of sea level rise. This is why standard models give 1-3 ft rises in 100 yrs rather than 20-50 ft. The ultimate "penny-wise, pound-foolish" model of sea level rise. Rises of 1-3 ft are therefore likely to be too conservative, and maybe way too conservative. What is clear is that we, as lifeforms, can affect our atmosphere and potentially our climate. (We owe most of our atmospheric oxygen to the presence of plants, for example) Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has gone up steadily every year for the past >100 yrs, ever since the industrial revolution. Is it our fault? I dunno, you want to wait to find out? I don't know where this British judge gets the idea that he can make a judgment on this subject.

Posted by: Jean | October 12, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

When I was a boy growing up in Southern California, all of us kids had trouble breathing on summer days that were exceptionally smoggy. We experienced chest pains, shortness of breath and burning pain in our lungs, whether or not we had asthma, lung or other problems not attributable to the smog.

It is a well-documented and well-accepted medical fact that man-induced pollution is bad for people. That alone is plenty more than enough reason to get rid of as much pollution as possible, as quickly as possible.

Such problems are well documented to have increased significantly in both China and India over the past 10 years, since pollution has skyrocketed in their urban centers along with their surging economies.

Our ever-myopic U.S. media, as usual, is focusing on the wrong thing. Whether or not human pollution is causing global warming is irrelevant to the larger issue of increased lung disease, cancer, liver disease and heart problems that are clearly caused by human pollution.

There is no legitimate argument to the contrary. Case closed.

--Richard Aberdeen
www.FreedomTracks.com

Posted by: Richard Aberdeen | October 12, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Did Gore exaggerate some? Yes, I'm sure he did. Most every argument does. Or at least it interprets disputable facts in the light most favorable to its argument. But really, if a court were to examine everything taught in school, we'd squander our entire schooling on "balancing" the views. Who ever took elementary (e.g., pre-college) school teachings as gospel? I mean, you do have to test the kids' learning, and having them know that the Civil War was because of slavery is better than trying to present a "balanced and accurate view" that could take the full school year just to explain, nevermind test. As adults they can separate what was exaggerated or overly-simplistic in school. When I was a kid my teacher told us the world was running out of clean drinking water, and we might run out of it in the next 30 years. Was it alarmist? Yep, sure was. Did it cause me permanent injury? Not that I can tell. It did make me take on a life-long habit of not wasting water, and frankly I think that is a good thing.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | October 12, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hilda: nobody is out ready to kill. They are just weighing in on a very poorly prepared "Fact Check" column. Civilly, in fact, until you showed.

Posted by: Grace, Northern Virginia | October 12, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I see that Hilda has bought into thetheory that, well, global warming is, after all, just a theory.

The problem -- and the former VP points it out -- is that Exxon, BP, and the others have emphasized that there is some dispute about global warming. Instead of, for example, developing cleaner-burning fuels or building products that run on cleaner-burning fuels, these players claim that global warming is just a theory.

There isn't a lot of dispute around whether it exists -- and whether humans cause global warming. We do. Yet, the conglomerates that financially benefit from global warming try as hard as they can to make people like Hilda believe that global warming is just a theory. She then goes out the blogs like this and asserts it's just a theory.

this is exactly why Gore shouldn't run. He'll be pounded by the press, which is funded by BP and by Exxon-Mobil and other large oil firms.

Posted by: teo123 | October 12, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Washington Post would have been half as contentious during the run up to the Iraq war as they are about Al Gore's environmental claims.

Posted by: Chris | October 12, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

There are "good arguments on either side?" blech...
very misleading "fact check." Who decides what will get this kind of treatment? Where is your fact-checking when it comes to administration claims? I'd love to see a good fact-check accompany every alarmist headline about Iraq (Iran too, for that matter). Truly shoddy journalism.

Posted by: CB | October 12, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

A shamefully misleading and mendacious column...you use opinions (literally--as in legal opinions) to check facts.

Posted by: kmcg | October 12, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

And this British High Court judge bases his expert scientific judgement on ..... what?

It appears that the British High Court has formally ruled that no final judgement can be formally issued.

Thanks for nothing on that point.

Posted by: DF in FL | October 12, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the Post possibly purposely put up such a badly flawed "fact check" to drive traffic to this site? We are commenting a lot more than if they'd gone with something better and more fairly prepared.

The decline of this paper has been so sad to watch, because it's done some great work over the years.

Thank God for the internet. God help those who get all their news from the mainstream (corporate masters) press.

Posted by: Grace, Northern Virginia | October 12, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is a total joke. "Fact checking" Gore by comparing him to some English judge's decision, on the day he wins the Nobel Prize?

I look forward to the WaPo's factcheck of itself when it wins its next Pulitzer. Perhaps it should concentrate when journalism went out the window and the corporate subservience came in. Or how it missed the story that Bush is a dangerous boob.

This column is very helpful to ExxonMobil, Conoco, GE, and their ilk. For the planet, not so much.

Posted by: truth | October 12, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way, a High Court's ruling is formally known as an "opinion", not a "fact".

Posted by: DF in FL | October 12, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, so every global warming skeptic is funded by the oil industry and is a right winger. I guess it is just a coincidence that every scientist who believes in anthropogenic global warming is an avowed Leftist? Why is it relevant whether a skeptic is part of a right wing think tank if it is NOT relevant that all the alarmists are Leftists?

Liberals are intoxicated with their own virtue. Their arrogance knows no bounds, not only can man destroy the planet, man can now save it as well. Forget the fact that oceans contribute to over 97% of global warming. We must focus on the 3%, because that 3% will overshadow the 97% and save the world.

The Left stupidly believes Utopia can be achieved on Earth because they are so ignorant of human nature.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Here are some facts you can check out yourself:
1. Temperatures in the Arctic were higher in the 1930's than today.
2. Polar bear populations in the Canadian Arctic are 10 times higher today than they were 70 years ago, and rising.
3. Sea level has been rising for over 200 years, we are coming out of an ice age, there is no data showing an acceleration of the rate of rise.
4. The geological record is full of multiple occurences of: large sea level fluctuations, temperature fluctuations higher than the IPCC is warning us about, CO2 levels that are much higher than even the most ridiculous IPCC estimates.
5. I know it's upsetting to hear facts instead of rhetoric but all of the above can be confirmed in official publications, go ahead do it, I dare you.

Posted by: Roger | October 12, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

One more thing, how has anything Gore done contributed to world peace?

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the Left relies on judges and the courts to put through all their ridiculous legislations that people would never vote for, yet as soon as these same judges or courts rule against them they're all of a sudden not a place for facts.

The Left, reliably wrong since 1939!

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I think the Post's attitude and competence on science is sufficiently proven by its printing of articles (see On Faith) about contacting spirits from the dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Roger, Roger, Roger, didn't you get the memo? The debate is over! Your facts are meaningless because only an oil company exec could believe such lies!

Any scientist who disagress is funded by oil companies. Any scientist who agrees is perfectly objective and not coerced by funding in any way. Didn't you already know this?

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe next time you want to fact check a science documentary you can ask a few scientists, instead of listening to a group of lawyers.

Posted by: Jinchi | October 12, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

so who is this judge and why do we care what he says? and is this the same fact checker who concluded that Gore actually WON the 2000 election but BURIED that conclusion on page 27 and entitled/slanted the rest of his "news" article as tho benito bush actually won, rather than STEALING, the white house. and anyone should believe the WAPO under the editorial fuhrership of Freiderich Seig-Hiatt WHY????

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Calling Michael Dobbs a 'fact checker' would be sort of like calling Rush Limbaugh a 'journalist.' Judge's opinions may be facts, but not the kind that tear down the compelling evidence that global warming is human-driven, and US society one of the main culprits. Why you chose to put that tripe on the front page says more about the Post's aspirations of readership (and advertising revenue from car manufacturers, petrochemicals, etc.) than any understanding of science, or public perception of the problem.

As for fact-checking, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya from the 'Princess Bride,' 'I don't think that word means what you think it means.'

Posted by: Omar Traore | October 12, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

As an attorney I can only applaud your reliance on a ruling by a recent British Court ruling that Greenland's ice will melt only over millennia. Now, may I inquire if you will kindly volunteer to serve that restraining order on the Greenland ice ( service of process I assume must be effected in person ). I, for one, will sleep better in the sure and certain knowledge that should the ice, in violation of the Court's ruling, voluntarily or involuntarily, melt more quickly than allowed by law that the Court will swiftly rectify the injustice with a well-timed contempt citation.

Interesting, that as I. H. Longworth notes in "Prehistoric Britain", at the end of the last Ice Age, the land bridge between Britain and the Continent was severed by a great influx of water. "From this time on," Longworth says, "Britain was to remain an island, often in contact with but never again forming part of the European land mass." Perhaps, the court's ruling will hold back the tide of melting ice but it will never hold back the tide of scientific evidence that our planet is in grave peril because of our folly.

Posted by: Larry Cole, Dallas, Texas | October 12, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"I know it's upsetting to hear facts instead of rhetoric but all of the above can be confirmed in official publications, go ahead do it, I dare you."

Well, if Michael Dobbs doesn't pan out as a fact-checker, I dare you to put Roger on the short list . . . I dare you.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Nine factual errors? Out of how many facts in the film? Does the Post understand the meaning of context anymore?

Posted by: Jan | October 12, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I believe the Nobel Peace Prize Comittee gave Al Gore the award to correct the error they made when they failed to give him the award for inventing the internet superhighway.

Posted by: U.R. Schaller | October 12, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Consumer Warning: The Washington Post has advertising contracts with several large petroleum companies (BP and Chevron at least; you are well advised to keep on the lookout for others). Their choice of commentators on this subject on multiple occasions has rendered them narrowly above the Exxon Annual Report in terms of credibility on this subject.

I HAVE NEVER POSTED IN ALL CAPS HERE BUT I CAN THINK OF NO OTHER WAY TO EXPRESS MY UTTER DISGUST AND DISAPPOINTMENT AT THIS SAD SHELL OF A NEWSPAPER. I HARDLY KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN.

Okay, there are so many things wrong with this picture. First, the credibility of this newspaper on reporting the mainstream of climate research community was severely compromised a week ago when they published an editorial by Bjorn Lomborg, an economist (not a climatologist) who has been censured for scientific dishonesty in his own country and - to put it politely - not well thought of in the mainstream scientific community. That you days later saw the error in giving him a soapbox upon which to mislead the public and invited - to my and others' shock - a real, peer-reviewed earth scientist to clean up after the charlatan gave your shrinking educated leadership a glimmer of hope that you might have some desire to join the 21st century and leave behind the likes of adherents to Intelligent Design and the Flat Earth Hypothesis. Now this. I believe your previous commentator - who also earnestly counselled your readers that climate change was nothing to worry their pretty little heads about - was ADVICE COLUMNIST AND SELF-DESCRIBED "MATH MORON" Emily Yoffe. At that point it would be needlessly flattering you to refer to your paper as a tabloid.

Let me start by educating you on a general point about science. It's abundantly clear that the Post reviles science, and makes a pointed effort to avoid contact with any people who work in it for a living. In any case: scientific truth is not subject to the arbitrary pronouncements of powerful people in black robes with law degrees, an unknown political agenda and zero particular training in the question at hand. Except in Kansas, it is, shockingly enough, determined by the accumulation of peer-reviewed research by highly trained professionals in the appropriate area. I do hope you will try get your wilfully primitive minds around this basic concept.

As others have pointed out, it is notable that this politically motivated lawsuit managed to focus on just nine "errors" in a documentary that presented on the order of HUNDREDS if not thousands of points or concepts. I will now attempt to do justice to the injustice practiced yesterday in England with respect to these nine.

1. The fact that a judge considered one person's take on the importance of certain quite damning scientific conclusions "alarmist" is so subjective as to barely require comment. I could as easily consider someone's emotional reaction to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 as "alarmist" and my reaction would be exactly as unproveable as an objectively correct conclusion as the judge is on this point.

2. Very, very few things in this complicated, noisy universe are CAUSED 100.000000000000000000000000000000% by ONE contributing factor. If global warming contributed 97% (say) of the cause for the melting of Kilimanjaro's snows, it would be the easiest thing in the world to find one scientist who objected to the statement "it was caused by global warming". This point by the judge is entirely unimpressive to a scientifically educated observer.

3. The statement by Gore about actual polar bear drownings is apparently unsupported by any reports *I* can find. However, in searching I have also found that the notion that this is or will be happening is not in much dispute. Incidentally they HAVE been actually witnessed practicing cannibalism for the first time, due to the drastic alterations in their fishing grounds.

4. I only watched the movie once so I don't recall how strong Gore's implication was that the warming-hurricane connection was settled in scientific circles. I would grant that it is possible that someone watching this movie - especially someone with a paranoid/suspicious eye and ear - might have interpreted the flow and emphasis of the narration as implying more than is warranted. In any case there is growing evidence for this connection, but it is far from settled.

5. See my response to #2 above. These aren't black and white/either-or questions.

6. There are no exact fits in science, not in the real universe. Gravity even varies depending on how far from the center of the earth you are, and the matter in the terrain around you. You don't see people getting upset however that we are teaching in the schools that g = 9.8 meters per second squared. If you look at that graph, that fit was about as exact as things ever get in science. It was meant for general public consumption, and if Gore diverged into correlation coefficients and other modelling parameters he would have lost his audience immediately, for no substantive gain in faithfulness to the current literature. I'm sorry but this is a moot point.

7. There is a fair amount of peer-reviewed literature on the effects this is already having on Pacific Island nations. I'm not sure I understand what they are referring to here. Did Gore actually say there were mass exoduses already? If so, to my knowledge that would indeed be misleading.

8. Gore was demonstrating what could happen, and it is agreed that while this isn't the most likely scenario currently, it absolutely *could* happen. Remember that many things we didn't think could happen so fast (like the Larson ice sheets collapsing into the ocean) just 10 years ago now have. It's important to realize here that there are so many non-linearities in this system that, while you want to stay sober and rational in your predictions, it is a little precarious these days to rule anything out with too much confidence that is theoretically possible.

9. Gore is saying the same thing that the scientists are, and the British judge by the way. Am I missing something here?


Posted by: Mark | October 12, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Gore did not really exaggerate the danger. It is much worse than you think. Once the glaciers on greemland begin to float on the melt water, they can slide into the sea at an extreme high rate of speed. Short duration lurching speeds as high as three kilometers in 90 minutes have already been recorded. I predict sustained speeds higher than that are possible.
A lot of people are relying on the "I will be dead so who cares" rational, but y'all might be unpleasantly surprised. The fossil record shows extreme climate change in very short periods of time.
Supporting evidence:
In south america, ancinet tropical plant remains were found to have been buried under a glacier that recently melted.
That means one day, it started to snow in tropical environment and never stopped.

Posted by: katman | October 12, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I sense Nobel Prize Envy.

Since you can't win it, there must be something wrong with it... not you.

Posted by: WWWexler | October 12, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I think that if you have a brain, see Gore's stuff and use common sense you will know that 1. Yes it is a problem 2. No it probably isnt going to drastically change our lives - but it will change the lives of our children and grandchildren. The point is to take action now - while we still can make a difference.

Posted by: macMommy | October 12, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs,

If this is the quality of journalism that passes for "fact-checking" for the Washington Post, no wonder subscription rates are down. I find it interesting that you play exactly into the play-book of climate change denier, nay-sayers, and those that smear Gore by insinuation. I have read the post for almost 20 years and I am embarrassed to have my home town newspaper become a platform for "He Said, She Said" journalism and stenography of talking points. Please, follow up this column with a fact check of your profile on Bjorn Lomborg from the Outlook section, the Great Global Warming Swindle, or other peddlers of lies and mistruths. Ross Gelbspan won a Pulitzer for uncovering those liars, you appear to be using them as sources. Shame.

Posted by: The Fact Checker is Embarassing | October 12, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Congratulation to the Washington Post. It must have been awfully important to be the first ones out of the gate to sling mud at the Nobel Prize winner.

I too can't understand how someone who is trying to save the planet could be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize. What does the planet have to do with peace? This is Earth after all.

Besides, there can't be global warming because too many scientists believe it. These yo-yos probably also believe in evolution.

Posted by: CChase2 | October 12, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Rape-Public-Can haters will laud "this" legislative judge. Laughable!!!!

Sour grapes is the expected Christian Taliban flat earth creation dominionists. Science is the enemy.

Congratulations to Gore for raising the awareness and the simpletons racked by fear and knowledge feel free to have some cheese with your whine.

Posted by: Your Conscience | October 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I have been and remain an avid reader of WashingtonPost.com. But I must say, this column is laughable in every respect--poorly-chosen topics, sloppy criteria, opinion-checking versus fact checking, stupid conclusions, juvenile logic, etc. If you are the WP manager responsible for this column, please provide some adult supervision over this mess. At minimum, this thing hurts the WP's credibility.

Posted by: Onl00k3r | October 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

This hit piece is simply disgraceful. A British judge is hardly an authority on global warming science. These things are all plausible worst case scenarios based on existing science. Gore received high marks from many climate scientists for An Inconvenient Truth.

Posted by: Andrew | October 12, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...why are we hearing about a British judge's "rulings" on Gore's assertions? As far as I know, when the movie came out, it was generally accepted by scientists throughout the world that his statements were by and large true and factual.

Posted by: Wait | October 12, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the British Court case just happened to be announced the day before the prize selection and how utterly dicounting this article is the day of.

This kind of stuff belongs in the Enquirer.
Gauche

Posted by: Maggie05 | October 12, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Gore embellished a bit but this is something that seems to require something drastic order to get the world to listen. Will you listen? Or are you willing to accept what the governments are trying to push against it? I know I will not be around when it happens,(and it will happen) but what about my children/grand children.

Posted by: lgralph | October 12, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The checker needs a checker. What a colossal waste of time for the WaPo (aka Faux News in disguise).

Posted by: 2greekdc | October 12, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Where is the fact-checking in this column? All I see is quoting some dude who wears a wig to work. How do we know this guy isn't the Judge Gonzales of England?

Posted by: Xtopher | October 12, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, if we only had someone to apply "The Pinocchio Test" to the case for war in Iraq, or the drumbeat to airstrikes on Iran....
Isn't it funny how the Post kicks the tires on some things, and lets others just flow on through? And if there is possibly some merit on the case, some objective reality, some quantifiable analysis -- well, why don't you just go ahead and use the "he said, she said" method of obfuscating the truth? Oh, yeah, that's exactly what you do.

Posted by: mk | October 12, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

In regard to the great concern being expressed about the melting of the ice in the Arctic, you might want to check the following historic facts

From the Archaeological Survey of Canada

THULE ESKIMO PREHISTORY ALONG NORTHWESTERN HUDSON'S BAY
by Allen P. McCartney

"The marked continuity of artifact styles found here with other assemblages from the classic Thule period in the central and eastern Arctic suggest that the spread of Thule culture from its western source was rapid. I concur with McGhee that the best model for this spread is one of climatic shifts affecting the range of bowhead whales in the Canadian archipelago. During the Neo-Atlantic or secondary climatic optimum period about A. D. 800-1200, warmer arctic temperatures caused a retreat of ice in the sounds and channels of the archipelago. With the expansion of baleen whales throughout most of the archipelago, Thule whaling culture followed rapidly and eventually reached Greenland, Southampton Island, and both the east and west shores of Hudson Bay.
Our sites are thought to have been abandoned during the early 13th century as a response to deteriorating climate. The Neo-Atlantic period ended about A. D. 1200 and the Pacific period of colder temperatures and unstable climatic conditions began. Ice again choked the archipelago channels and an almost total dependency on other sea mammals and caribou began. This climatic shift was rapid, lasting probably only several decades."

In other words the melting also happened a thousand years ago, and lo the polar bears suvived, our ancestors did not drown, and perhaps its about time to stop the panic.

Posted by: Heading out | October 12, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Global warming or not! Human species will get wipe out sooner or later either by nature causes of by human actions just like the dino. Hopefully the species are much more intelligent then the previous generation "us".

Posted by: God | October 12, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore got me to think a lot deeper about this do-or-die issue. You may nitpick some of his examples, but frankly, judging by how the climate news changes so rapidly, I suspect your experts could as easily get your Pinocchio award as Mr. Gore. He's got the bulk of it right, and he's opened people eyes.

Posted by: PeterJ | October 12, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This factchecker venture is a total joke. The Post should shut it down before their reputation is further tarnished.

I will say two things:

1. OF COURSE a judge ruled that certain things couldn't be PROVED. To a legal standard, it will be near impossible to EVER PROVE that melting ice caps cause sea level rise (in the near future) among other facts. Even when the eastern seaboard of the US is under water, there will be nutjobs saying, "you cant PROVE it was from CO2". Same goes to less snow on big mountains. Just because you can't prove it in a British court, doesn't mean that it's not true or that we shouldn't CONSIDER it to BE TRUE. If only 10% of the worst harms from global warming come true, we're still screwed as a nation and a world.

2. OF COURSE the movie has an alarmist tone. Gore is trying to create change, trying to stave off environmental catastrophe. You don't do that by hemming and hawing and hedging. You do that by saying, here's what I think is happening - here's what I think is going to happen. Your hit peice reads like someone who just watched Sportscenter ripping on the newscaster for hyping the Dallas-Patriots game this weekend. You should at least acknowledge that the movie is part of a sales pitch. (The label "documentary" doesn't mean its 100% true, you dolt.)

Next time you think of putting finger to the keyboard, don't. You'll save yourself further embarassment.

Posted by: Nobcentral | October 12, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

How many species have to become extinct for you all to believe that the enivronment has been damaged?

Posted by: skylark | October 12, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

What utter nonsense. In each case, the British judge takes out the 'may" or "could" from the examples he cites, and pretends that Gore is saying that, for instance, "Gore claims that Katrina happened because of global warming." He didn't do that. He said that, with warmer water in the gulf, there will be stronger hurricanes. In fact, last year there were no major hurricanes, but this year, the first few have risen to the highest intensity. Global warming? Could be. That's all that Gore said. This is not peer-reviewed science. This is popularization, to make people understand the spectrum of possibilities. He COULD be right about the Greenland ice cap melting quickly, and some scientists agree. IF that happens, Manhattan would be under 20 feet of water. The IPCC would not go along with that at the moment, but so what? Doesn't anybody understand how science works?

The whole treatment of this issue by the Washington Post will go down as the most shameful chapter in this newspaper's history: it's as if you had spent the Nixon administration covering up Watergate.

Posted by: Jim H | October 12, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If you used the same effort to investigate Bush's reasons for going to war, 3,800 soldiers would be alive today. Al Gore undertook his effort for no other reason that it was an honorable thing to do. And he did it in the face of this kind of foolishness. By the way one of your commenters claims to the Al Gore, Jr. Prove it.

Posted by: Joe Cowart | October 12, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Scientific research and understanding of phenomena such as climate change continues to evolve and deepen. The question should be were Gore's statements substantially correct at the time they were made (after all, the book, movie, etc., didn't spring complete from his hands in a single moment). If research, computer modeling and the like have given us a fuller and/or different understanding of a particular phenomenon in the meantime, of course we should know that and communicate it to others. That does not mean we should dump all over the person whose earlier statement is not now as "correct" as it was when initially made.

We are already experiencing geopolitical conflicts over access to and control of some finite resources (e.g., oil). In some countries, those conflicts are already starting to involve fresh water for drinking and irrigation. We can either begin to act now to mitigate these conflicts or we can see them only get worse.

Posted by: freckleface | October 12, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Buy this month's National Geographic and look at the fold out charting the relationships between average temperature, sea level, CO2 concentrations and how eliptical the earth's orbit is. We have ice ages when it is more circular.
You will see two things on this chart: 1) average temperatures are currently as high as the highest peak temperature recorded during the last 400,000 years but we are moving towards a near circular orbit and 2) CO2 concentrations are 1/3 higher than the highest level recorded in the last 400,000 years. Let me repeat: So high that they have never been recorded at this level in the last 400,000 year AND they are 1/3 greater than the highest levels ever recorded in the last 400,000.
800AD was a hiccup compared to what we have now.

Posted by: katman | October 12, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sea level rise is not uniform across the globe. Of course we can trust the opinion of a British judge over the overwhelming opinion of scientists.

You don't believe in Evolution right?

Nothing is as bad as the debilitating effects of stupidity,

Posted by: Richard Damian | October 12, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"Fact check" this statement. Attacks on Gore are the result of being assigned by editorial superiors to find ways to cast Gore in a bad light, lest the executives in the petroleum sector become momentarily disgruntled, and ad revenues are affected.

This entire column is bilgewater.

Posted by: Mr Blifil | October 12, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the WaPo felt compelled to put this propagandistic, misleading "fact check" hit piece on the front page of the site speaks volumes about the ideological biases of the paper's management.

Sad. This was a great paper, 30 years ago.

Posted by: Max | October 12, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This is 'fact checking'? Hard to believe the Post has sunk so low.

Posted by: LEK | October 12, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's another error in your column. It is indeed possible to determine whether Gore deserves to win the Peace Prize, as he was voted the winner by the board of judges, and in consequence, won the Prize. Had he not deserved it, they would not have voted for him, and he wouldn't have won.

That was easy, now wasn't it?

Posted by: Mr Blifil | October 12, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Er, the WaPo Factchecker might want to check the Arctic ice.

But hurry.

It's not going to be there for much longer.

Posted by: cskendrick | October 12, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It is mind boggling to read how Gore's film is being challenged by pseudo scientific experts and mindless bloggers who miss the point entirely. Gore's film is aimed at drawing attention to a global crisis, and in this he has succeeded magnificently. The Nobel award is well deserved.

Posted by: polar bear | October 12, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My view is that the Post is engaging in the same petty bs they did during the 2000 campaign where you gave Bush a pass on obvious mischaracterizations about his past but stayed up Gore's colon counting how many times he sighed in a debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm...the 9 things you posted were not facts. They were unsubstantiated assertions.

A real "fact check" would have included some rational basis for your counterclaims.

Posted by: JLT52 | October 12, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It is very disappointing to see the Washington Post mis-report the UK legal case.

1. A lawsuit accuses Al Gore's film of containing errors.
2. The judge refers to the suit's alleged list of "errors" - placing the term in quotes. His conclusion actually says - "Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate."
3. The Washington Post, and other news organizations, say the judge found errors in the film. The paper removes the judge's quote marks around "error", and ignores the judge's conclusion.

No surprise last week's Sunday Outlook was devoted to denying Global Warming. It is very sad to see the Post act like this.

An 'error' is not the same thing as an error - Tim Lambert
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/an_error_is_not_the_same_thing.php

Posted by: Eric Dahlstrom | October 12, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow - the WP hits a new low today....seriously - where is the ombud?

Posted by: blf | October 12, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps this article needs some "fact checking" of its own. Gore uses the Apple presentation program Keynote, not Power Point. Trivial, yes, but ironic as well.

Posted by: Aubrey Miller | October 12, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

folks, it's not just about whether or not there's climate change, or global warming. It's about asking us to pay attention to something we go along day-to-day ignoring.
We've added another billion people to this small island in space in eight years. Discussing global warming is practice, an exercise for us to recognize the truly significant, often detrimental affect we have on our planet.

Posted by: Joel Merchant | October 12, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Al needs this folks, really. The guy is married to Tipper and take it from me - he needs an "outlet". Let him have his spotlight, it's all he has.

Oh, and vote for Hillary!

Posted by: B Clinton | October 12, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

One thing we can be sure of: anyone who could write something this intellectually dishonest won't be influenced one iota by the barrage of valid criticisms posted here. What we have here is a fake journalist hiding behind the skirts of a single, utterly unqualified source of information. Personally I would rather quit my job than engage in such shameful behavior.

Posted by: Andrew | October 12, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mark, holding up the Leftist shield that anyone who disagrees with you is a warmonger and/or an oil compnay funded lackey.

I ask again, why are all the pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists avowed Leftists? Does this not matter?

The Left is so enamored of their own virtuosity. They actually think they can "save" the planet. The Left is so noble the way they want to control your life in the interests of "saving" the world. Their goals are so noble, in fact, they'll tell any lie they have to to achieve those goals. Such is the intellectual bankruptcy of the Left. LIE LIE LIE because what does the truth matter when you're trying to "save" the world?

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Mmmwwaaahhhaaahhhaaaa!!!! Al Gore can't stop me! No one can!! ManBearPig will not be stopped no matter how much awareness you drum up!!!

Posted by: ManBearPig | October 12, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Gee, why don't you have these "fact checker" items by each and every claim from the administration? Had you been as vigilant with them we wouldn't be in Iraq, might have our Constitution in one piece, might not torture our enemies (oh, that's right, we don't torture), and so on...

Posted by: bbjonz | October 12, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Anyone ever find out the results of the PWC audit of the carbon footprint for Live Earth that was promised? Seems like that audit has been conveniently forgotten.

Posted by: Live Earth Audit? | October 12, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The Left loves to go on and on about how humans are detrimental to the planet. Why not kill all humans then? Far Left totalitarians just LOVE to kill millions in aid of achieving their Utopia on Earth.


And do any of you far Left loons believe in the concept of Gaia? Why would Gaia allow humans to develop on the planet if it did not foresee the effect they'd have?


No amount of truth can ever get in the way of the Left and their concept of how the world should be run. They live by the LIE.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

The Goebbles propaganda machine is alive and well at the Washington Post. Yet another attempt to demonize Al Gore.

Posted by: chhabili | October 12, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the "truth" behind the British lawsuit against showing "An Inconvenient Truth" in British schools you will find that "The New Party" would be defined as a libertarian/conservative group in the US.

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=83662003

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=43412003

I'm surprised that the Post didn't dig deeper for "The Truth."

All the best,

Peter S. Cohl

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

bbjonz, I love the way you want to defend the Constitiution, and how you want it in one piece after this Administration.

Can you do me a favor, show me where it says abortion is a right. You're a Constitutional expert and all, I figured you'd know. Also, are you in favor of gun control? I hope not, considering how much you want the Constitution in one piece.

Funny how the Left wants the Constitution to be a living, breathing, changeable document, except when such a reading of it goes against their opinions, then they're all "Stop Trampling on the Constitution!!!!"


LYING HYPOCRITES OF THE LEFT!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

This article is truly bad journalism.
The Post should be deeply embarrassed by it.
If you are going to run articles that claim to check facts, you should actually take the time and energy to check facts with major authoritative sources. It appears that the Post just wasn't up to this challenge.

Posted by: terryh | October 12, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse


October 12, 2007 (Flatfoot, TX) The world is really flat.

Alicia Flatfoot only has to point to the ruler-straight highways in the Panhandle of Texas to prove that the world is really flat. And now she has a court judgment to prove it. Her grandfather, Judge Theocratic Flatfoot, ruled today that the world is flat and that the Flatfoot School District must immediately correct their scientific curriculum. He stated: "It is quite clear. Revelation 7:1 in the King James version of the Bible states that four angels stand on the four corners of the earth."

O.K - most of us have seen those wonderful NASA images of earth from space and don't agree with Alicia Flatfoot. But I have to wonder how the Fact Checker would present such a story. List an equal number of scientific websites and websites of flat earth proponents? Ignore the major issue - is the earth flat - and instead discuss in detail whether it is true that highways in the Texas Panhandle are straight and whether the quote from Revelation 7:1 is accurate? Or would he simply rely on the findings of Judge Flatfoot as proof of the scientific accuracy of Alicia's claim?

Please, Washington Post, hire some real environmental journalists. They're out there and they're good - though many are now unemployed. Many actually have scientific backgrounds and take the time to interview scientists and read and study environmental reports. They point out inaccuracies, but they don't attempt to mislead readers as to the broader picture.

Posted by: Disappointed in Post | October 12, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

chhabili - I hope you also decry the Goebbles propaganda machine of global warming, considering how much you hate falsehoods and propaganda.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It is depressing and unfortunate the Washington Post has started down this path. From the article by the economist last week to this piece, it is frustrating as a reader to find the Post giving equal weight to an economist making fallacious arguments about costs of global warming to the global economy to the Dobbs piece, which features what is scientific consensus as alarmist.

These stories add to what becomes distorted misinformation of society of what is real and what is an deliberate attempt to forestall national policy to reduce our impacts on the planet.

Shame on the Post for going this route, for giving equal weight to an economist regarding climatology and adopting neoconservative rhetoric regarding policy decisions.

Posted by: The Post adds to misinformation of public | October 12, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

So the Post ran their "fact checker" on Gore's movie. Never mind the fact that the film has already been deemed accurate and the fact that this judge has a few minor quibbles with some statements made in the film. But Gore is actually TRYING TO DO SOMETHING GOOD WITH HIS TIME AND HELP THE HUMAN RACE and the media hate him for it.

Why can't the elite media outlets like the Post spend some time doing a little more "FACT CHECKING" of the Bush administration?

Don't you all feel bad AT ALL for being partly responsible for the debacle this country finds itself in, in Iraq where our young kids are dying?

This is despicable...

Posted by: Ben | October 12, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse


Boy is it obvious that the WaPo is really pissed off at Gore's success! Bushism was even more deeply entrenched here than I thought, and that's saying something.

It's fortunately just as obvious that the readers and contributors of comments on this page can easily see through the spitting and scratching propaganda merchandise in this article.

This "fact checker" is about as infallible as the Pope.
Like many, he seems to think that finding a chink in someone's armor means they are dead meat and that everything they say is groundless.

The point is AWARENESS. The Bushies would prefer us to look for a small weakness in one of Gore's arguments as an excuse for the continued violent and mindless rape of the planet. We need to KNOW what we are doing, and people like Gore are shedding some light on a matter which is crucial to us all.


Posted by: wardropper | October 12, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

chhabili - I hope you also decry the Goebbles propaganda machine of global warming, considering how much you hate falsehoods and propaganda.

Posted by: | October 12, 2007 04:38 PM

This must be written by the "anonymous" writer of this wretched article as no name is attached. Global warming is a scientific fact to your gutless spin on misinformation that you relish with such greed.

Posted by: chhabili | October 12, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

What? Is this a parody?

Posted by: Avedon | October 12, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if Darwin's theory of evolution, or Einstein's theory of relativity, or Newton's laws of gravity, etc., required approval from the judicial branch of government.

Posted by: gary | October 12, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Because, after all, one conservative judge knows more about the environment than a guy who has just spent the past 20 years or so studying it.

Good job, Washington Post. You're an embarrassment.

Posted by: Anon | October 12, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to acid rain? I thought that was going to kill us 25 years ago.

Posted by: terri | October 12, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Burton's comments on Lake Chad were somewhat misleading. His comments on overgrazing in Lake Chad failed to realize that more goats are required to feed ever more people,more goats, more desertification. There are no trees because all have been used for firewood and cooking in an already fragile place. Several of his comments failed to grasp the human impact.

You cannot look at the planet in small pieces, the impact is overall and there is indeed great impact from our poor land practices including forestry and destruction of all the great forests of the world.

While he may be a judge,and can offer opinion, he is not a scientist and I am surprised there have not been challenges to his opinion.

On the other hand he did say that the overall impact of human on climate change was correct and did not wish to stop it being shown in British schools.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Gee put a little truth in the way of Gore and the moonbats shriek. Look, the British judge was weighing the consensus of scientific opinion, not making scientific judgments himself. And hardly anyone in the scientific community buys in to the load of crap that sea levels will 23 feet in the near future. Or the other findings he made. Like the other great global climate scams of the 20's and 70's, our man-made global warming zealots will look as stupid as the global cooling morons of yesteryear. (PS go read the Time and Newsweek cover stories of 1976 - they use the same doomsayiing language of denial and apocalyse as the current ones are).

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

How desperate the Flat Earthers must be, along with their apparent representation in UK courts and now the front page of the WP, to single out a paltry nine statements. Last I checked nine divided by several hundred was less than 1% inaccurate. Would that the Post were so accurate in all of its reporting, and that when such errors are committed it puts them on what page? 35?

Posted by: Whatever | October 12, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

The issue is not the stylized "facts" as presented in this column. The issue is the presentation of such a column on the very day that Al Gore is awarded the Nobel Prize.

The Washington Post should acknowledge publicly that it has always disliked Al Gore and regularly publishes articles that continuously put him in a bad light.

Nothing wrong with bias in journalism. Your breathren at the esteemed Washington Times do exactly the same thing. Join them in the party. Elevate yourselves.


Posted by: William | October 12, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The earth just looks flat but it's not.
Study the National Geographic pull out graph on climate change. Something seriously different is going on.

Posted by: katman | October 12, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

My uncle is a physicist in University of Rome. Earth will not see acid rain tomorrow. However, the human contribution to warming is indisputable. We can "only" control what is in our hands and cannot control "Sun flares" that does not mean we give up. Gore is not the issue, it is the God's creation.

Posted by: DrLam | October 12, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

What lazy reporting, instead of doing the hard work, you merely attach the findings of a single judge, who is by the way in England,
as if he matters in the weight of scientific evidence, rather than do any work yourself. This is why the WP is a joke!!

Posted by: Prince of Darkness | October 12, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Right. WaPo should be proud that American has won a Nobel Prize but instead slings mud.
WaPo is unamerican. Who is your daddy Bradlee?

Posted by: katman | October 12, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Michael Dobbs has written a hack piece against Al Gore and the Washington Post printed it.

When will Michael Dobbs fact check the Washington Post's coverage of the lead up to the Iraq war and the WMD's. Did the Washington Post do a good job or did it print pro-war propaganda for the Bush Administration? These are, of course, facts that Michael Dobbs will never check. He will, though, go after Al Gore.

What a class guy.

Posted by: Michael Dobbs Needs to Find the WMD's | October 12, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore's apologists are out in force again. If you begin the crap he peddled, you almost must believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy! Gore's credibility is hardly enhanced by a Nobel Prize considering Yasser Arafat, a terrorist, and Jimmy Carter, a failed president, also received Nobel awards. Gore's message is bogus and many of you have been suckered by his medicine man show. Shame on you all for dissing dissent on this topic!

Posted by: Willig | October 12, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that British High Court Law Judge knows more about science than a former vice President of the U.S.?
I've never seen the movie and couldn't care less whether somebody wins the Nobel Prize by exaggeration. The real question is whether Global Warming is a serious problem or not. And I would defer to a reknowned scientist such as James Lovelock. Why would anyone ask a court judge to verify scientific facts? Shame on you for being so crass.
Why would I ask an idiot to verify a story in the first place? Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: Dennis Lough | October 12, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same rag that exposed Tricky Dick's dirty tricks and ran the wretch out of office? Now the post is doing penance as hench men and women of the neo-cons who are still trying to install Nixon as a statesman. And while they are at it, will trash all Democrats to appease the right wing. Ha! Journalism at its best when the rag is turned over to fascist hacks whose only interest is self interest - the credo of the right wing of the GOP.

Posted by: chhabili | October 12, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This decision by a British magistrate may cite lack of sufficient evidence to prove nine items in an otherwise overwhelming case in favor of a human cause for global warming. The items mentioned by the judge are mostly a chalenge to an opinion based on available data and not a denial that what is claimed can and will eventually happen. So what is the issue? Should we continue doing the same thing until the evidence and the irreversibility of the damage is such that even the stupidest of the stupids can not deny the facts. I do not believe that Imhofe and the oil companies are going to accept this facts even if the water is reaching their penthouse offices.

Posted by: Antonio R. Villamil,M.D. | October 12, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break - the Michael Dobbs is now a scientific expert that is critiquing the winners of a Nobel Prize! I think a congratulation is due Gore and the critical thinking should is best left to the experts in this field. Citing the courts to back up your view is laughable.
I think your column is much better when it sticks to the realm of politics. Michael try asking Mister Science next time, he is smarter than you are. ;-)

Posted by: Mister Science | October 12, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse


Lazy Fact Checker!!!

The judge got it wrong on many of these items. Why don't you stop being so f'ing LAZY and do your job of checking the judge's "facts".

Posted by: foo | October 12, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker????
OMG!!
Relying on a civil tort for scientific 'facts' has got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world.

And in case the truly clueless need another clue: Pssssst... the judge is not a scientist.

Posted by: Frank D | October 12, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

is calling oneself a "fact-checker" all it takes for one to be considered a fact-checker?

then have i got a "fair and balanced" cable "news" channel for you!

what a ridiculously absurd column -- since when does the opinion of a judge trained in the law (assuming this part at least is legit), outweigh the study, life's work and opinion of the ENTIRE COMMUNITY OF BONA FIDE SCIENTISTS WORLDWIDE?

Posted by: jeannie | October 12, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Mr. Gore. A highly deserved honor. Let's hope next time the Post has the character to actually do some journalism.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

This tripe is considered reporting? The media's so-called interest in balanced "views" is in itself distortion of the truth. Further, it is conveniently used as a cover to claim a lack of consensus. The media lacks the intelligence and the capacity to understand this and most other issues of complexity greater than a sex scandal.

Posted by: Sean | October 12, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

From Durban, South Africa. Congratulations, Al Gore. If there are indeed a few alarmist contentions in Al Gore's superb presentation, perhaps they will help to startle careless and thoughtless human beings into taking notice and behaving with greater concern for the planet and all its creatures. Why is it that remarkable achievers always have to be cut down to size by the more mundane? More power to you, Al Gore. Opposition merely proves that you're getting to people!

Posted by: Shirley Bell | October 12, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

United States do-nothing environmental policy is being laughed at by the other countries, including close allies, and that's a fact. Check it out if you like.

Posted by: Virginia1 | October 12, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

It's hilarious how the kooks come out of the woodwork screeching how Global Warming doesn't exist and that it's a commie plot, etc.

Obviously their tin foil helmets are on waaaaaaaaaaay too tight.

Posted by: Frank D | October 12, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse


Somehow the following part of the British judge's ruling has been left out of the WP coverage and by bloggers from the right. From the London Times, http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/corporate_law/article2633838.ece

"Despite finding nine significant errors the judge said many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified "four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC".

In particular, he agreed with the main thrust of Mr Gore's arguments: "That climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide ('greenhouse gases')."

The other three main points accepted by the judge were that global temperatures are rising and are likely to continue to rise, that climate change will cause serious damage if left unchecked, and that it is entirely possible for governments and individuals to reduce its impacts. "

I would also advise those quoting scientific evidence to also check out the funding source for the investigator who is responsible for the research. Results of "scientific" global warming research carried out with funding provided by a major oil company is unlikely to be an unbiased, reliable source of information.

Posted by: dt | October 12, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Nine errors, maybe, but are they significant? Do they call into question his whole argument? If not (I think not) then your column is bad faith. By publishing this weak argument, you offer fodder for those on the right who try to deny global warming exists and provide excuses for fence sitters to do nothing about the problem.

Posted by: lms19 | October 12, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

This British judge is not the least bit qualified to second guess Al Gore on this topic. As for Michael Dobbs, the analytical skills of the mainstream media are so atrophied that they are ill equipped to report anything more complicated than the he said she said back and forth of a political campaign. To pretend otherwise is beyond pretentious.

Posted by: Spike3905 | October 12, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

My mom taught environmental sciences for twenty years. She thought "Earth in the Balance" was good enough to be used as a textbook, but she wasn't impressed by "An Inconvenient Truth" because it didn't say anything new and understated the seriousness of the issue.

Posted by: lart from above | October 12, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Like most news items I have seen on the judgement a subtle point has been missed(too subtle even for BBC so don't feel too bad Post!.)

Our court system i nthe UK works on Legal Precedent, BIG THANKS to the Truck Driver for bringing this case, because we mow have a legal precende that:

-Human acitivity releases greenhouse gases that cause climate change
- Climate change will cause damage to property and to health (though maybe not to the extent Al claims)

So if you are an oil company, a motor manufacturer, or power station or any major emitter of greenhouses gases....Be Afraid. A case precedent has been set and it is not in your favour.

Posted by: Sarah | October 12, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by Willig 5:54:

"Gore's message is bogus and many of you have been suckered by his medicine man show."

You are just kidding right?

Posted by: Btt | October 12, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

This "Fact Checker" (a term I use loosely in this case) is simply another act of irresponsible journalism. Not because of what it presents but because of what is omitted. By only pointing out the items that Dobbs believes are inaccurate he ignores the many items that are in fact correct. The intent is to cast disparagement on the movie, Gore, and the legitimacy of any valid science whatsoever.

Shame on you for putting together such a poor unblanced piece of work that presents not only exagerations, but uses misquotes to justify them. I can't imagine this would have qualified for a passing grade in any journalism course, not that you will be held accountable in any way of course. If by some chance things go sour here I'm sure Fox news is just waiting to send you a job offer.

Posted by: Steve | October 12, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

...We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level. Al Gore October 12, 2007

Why does fact checker focus on 9 errors, and not the threat to humanity?

Posted by: olena15 | October 12, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's my take:

First, what does global warming have to do with peace?

Now, on the merits of Gore's views: Gore is on fairly strong ground when he argues that the earth is warming and showing what the effects of that might be. However, I think he is on much weaker ground with the argument that humans are the sole/primary cause for global warming, and thus that we have the power to stop/reverse it. Weather/climate is such a complex phenomenon that such intricate questions of causation are impossibly difficult to answer right now, especially when we have very limited data from direct observation (the last 200-300 years at best). I generally agree with the precautionary principle that we should nonetheless be working towards ways to minimize our contribution to global warming, but Mr. Gore's false sense of certainty on the crucial question (for policy) of causation precludes useful debate on the cost-benefit of alternative policies and undermines his credibility as an "expert" on the matter. He thus comes off as an alarmist, zealot "true believer" rather than a rational, balanced advocate.

Posted by: Joe | October 12, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Saucer of milk for the "Fact checker". Balanced journalism?- Wash Post gives itself too much credit.

Posted by: LC | October 12, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I clicked into this nasty blog is to tell Michael Dobbs shut up and be quiet. I have no intention to give due courtesy and respect to this kind of nasty attack against Al Gore by citing a British judge whose character and integrity have instantly become questionable with his judgment against Gore's efforts to fight against the global warming. And by saying this, I am not responding to a serious journalist whose opinion deserves due respect even when I disagree. With this blog article, Michael Dobbs is spitting his mucus from his throat at the face of one of American's few remaining statesmen.

Posted by: PMTY | October 12, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs I assume is no relative of Lou Dobbs the anti immigrant, anti everything firebrand on cable network who suddenly became "redder" than a red-neck.

But he's suddenly becoming just as despicable and over-bearing.

However I hope someone can tell us about how many times he has written his "fact checker" about the iraq wmd story, niger yellowcake story, and powell's message in a bottle litany of lies at the un.

Posted by: Bangalee Babu | October 12, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Michael Dobbs's name reminds me of the bruhaha between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series Game 3. The Red Sox ace pitcher Pedro Martinez and Yankee outfielder Karim Garcia were two of the central figures in this brawl but during the post-game interview, Pedro Martinez asked reporters, "Who is Karim Garcia?" Likewise, who is Michael Dobbs?

Posted by: PMTY | October 12, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Why are people like Mr. Dobbs trying to dispute these findings? I don't get it.

Do you think it is a good idea to use up all our natural resources? "Global warming is not real, burn all you want, it won't matter."

You need to wake up and realize we are destroying our earth and global warming is only one of the many problems we are facing in this wanton rape of our planet.

Posted by: Btt | October 12, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone even read the 300-and-some post on a site like this?

It's absurd that a court judge would rule on scientific findings in such a detailed way. Maybe that's why this happened in Britain and not the U.S.

Posted by: DJ Monet | October 12, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The 'CONS just can't help themselves. If heaven is like a RepuliCON convention, I'd say hell sounds pretty good. Their party is in such disaray thanks to dubbyah, darth, coultergeist, li'l shawney, billo, that addict comedian, the punk known as hammer and god only knows how many "minions" and mental midgets to do their scare tacticts.
Shame on you all.

Posted by: Dan | October 12, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what some British judge thinks?Here's what the "Real Climate: Climate Science by Climate Scientists" blog (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/al-gores-movie/) says about "An Inconvenient Truth":

"How well does the film handle the science? Admirably, I thought. It is remarkably up to date, with reference to some of the very latest research...
...For the most part, I think Gore gets the science right, just as he did in Earth in the Balance. The small errors don't detract from Gore's main point, which is that we in the United States have the technological and institutional ability to have a significant impact on the future trajectory of climate change. This is not entirely a scientific issue -- indeed, Gore repeatedly makes the point that it is a moral issue -- but Gore draws heavily on Pacala and Socolow's recent work to show that the technology is there...I'll admit that I have been a bit of a skeptic about our ability to take any substantive action, especially here in the U.S.
Gore's aim is to change that viewpoint, and the colleagues I saw the movie with all seem to agree that he is successful.
In short: this film is worth seeing."

Posted by: Patrick J. Kiger | October 12, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm astonished at the careless attitude of this "Fact Check". A judge's opinion posted under the heading of Fact, a heavily weighted initial presentation implying the global warming people are alarmist, then a denial that the Fact Checker took sides (after the first 300 posts?), the false evenhandedness of listing reputable scientific links alongside propagandist distractants: I had thought the Fact Checker was an honest spotlight, but this piece shows it too is just fishwrapping. You do us a disservice by trying to make theater out of a serious looming disaster. We may have to hope today's "alarmists" are right - my perception is that every piece of real information that has emerged in recent times has in fact implied a pace of global change far in excess of what the "alarmists" of only five years ago were claiming. The sky really is falling, and we need to notice so we may do something about it.

Posted by: Kevin Burns | October 12, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought piece. We can only hope that our fate will be as kind:

"A churchyard. Here, then, the wretched man whose name he had now to learn, lay underneath the ground. It was a worthy place. Walled in by houses; overrun by grass and weeds, the growth of vegetation's death, not life; choked up with too much burying; fat with repleted appetite. A worthy place!
The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.
'Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,' said Scrooge, 'answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?'
Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.
'Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,' said Scrooge. 'But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!'
The Spirit was immovable as ever.
Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, Ebenezer Scrooge.
'Am I that man who lay upon the bed?' he cried, upon his knees.
The finger pointed from the grave to him, and back again.
'No, Spirit! Oh no, no!'
The finger still was there.
'Spirit!' he cried, tight clutching at its robe, 'hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?'
For the first time the hand appeared to shake.
'Good Spirit,' he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it: 'Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life?'
The kind hand trembled.
'I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!'

Posted by: Kevin Burns | October 12, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

FACT: The last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago due to global warming.

OPINION: HUMAN CREATED global warming is a major problem.

Just remember that small numbers make for BAD statistics, and even a couple hundred years still is small numbers when the Earth is nearly 5 Billion years old.

HUMOR WARNING: Can't we just balance any human induced global warming by setting off a few nuclear weapons and create a little "nuclear winter?" !!! Wow, destroy some old nukes and offset global warming--that's a two-fer.

Seriously, at the end of the day, I'd believe Gore and his ilk if they weren't driving all around in large SUVs, flying around on their private jets and Gore didn't control all that Oxy Petrol stock (that Al Gore Sr bought while voting AGAINST the Civil Rights Act).

Deeds--not words--speak volumes. Guess the Nobel Committee didn't read about Al's electric bills, either.

Posted by: Nuclear Winter? | October 12, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Sour grapes...or rasberries? I agree that the lazy factchecker relies on an english judge to do his work. Get a real job.

Posted by: lwps | October 12, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I do not think, as the Fact Checker attempts to suggest, that Al Gore won the Nobel Prize for his film "An Inconvenient Truth". This is more the role of the Academy, which awarded his film an Oscar.

Rather, Mr. Gore won the Nobel for raising global awareness of climate change - on which scientific consensus HAS been reached.

Whether Mr. Gore's film is entirely accurate (or for that matter, the opinion of a British judge and non-scientist) is irrelevant. What is more significant is the current global awareness and consensus relating to the problem, on which Mr. Gore has been on the forefront since at least his days in Congress.

Posted by: Ray | October 12, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Joe (7:27):

"I think he is on much weaker ground with the argument that humans are the sole/primary cause for global warming, and thus that we have the power to stop/reverse it."

Well, thanks for weighing in with your sober and authoritative opinion, but your opinion is in direct opposition to the vast majority of the climatology community, as represented by the consensus agreement of every major national (US) and international climate-related scientific body. Which is, that "most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

Posted by: Mark | October 12, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Somebody let me know when this horrific hurricane season that was written in stone has ended, okay???

Seeing as to how the last two hurricane seasons were so accurately predicted, no doubt Gore can foretell the next century or so. This is Gore's mid-life-crisis at our expense and nothing more.

Posted by: JackESpratt | October 12, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse


This attempt at "fact checking" is utterly bizarre. A number of premier scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society, have all issued position papers stating that almost without a doubt global warming is real and man made. So why is this British judge being held up by the Washington Post as an arbiter of scientific matters? It's almost as if the Post made a marketing decision in posting this fact-checking piece--as if the people who run this newspaper felt that it had to appease those who deny global warming by offering equal time to an obscure British judge who had some complaints about Gore's film.

Posted by: Bill | October 12, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

So if I tell you quantum mechanical selection rules allow carbon dioxide, a triatomic, to absorb infrared, but homonuclear diatomics like nitrogen and oxygen must be transparent, can you check that fact with a judge? This article is pathetic; try talking to people with a knowledge of science. There is real money to be made being a global warming skeptic from corporations and foundations. Yet scientists leave the money on the table and point out the truth, Gore is right, just not technical.

Posted by: JWmSuggs | October 12, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Most roll the question of global warming or climate change up with whether humans are causing climate change. These are two independent questions. No doubt most agree that climate change is occuring - always has and always will. However, there is no consensus that humans are causing such change. One of the latest polls involving 530 scientists worldwide indicated that 9.4% strongly felt that climate change is due to anthropogenic causes, 9.7% strongly disagreed, and an additional 19.3% were in general disagreement. Hardly consensus but certainly worth mentioning in an objective discussion.

A more important question than the existence of consensus is whether it plays a role in science and the scientific method. The bottom line is that it does not - no ifs, ands, or buts. In fact, throughout history science has rebutted consensus, replacing belief systems and speculations with objective realities. In today's vernacular, if Galileo, Copernicus, and Columbus had not been "deniers" we would be living on a flat earth that was the center of the universe. Fast forwarding, the danger with using a consensus-based approach is that political decisions are then made on the basis of belief and speculation, rather than objectively. This is not a satisfactory endpoint, resulting in poor governmental decisions. In the words of Prof. Paul Reiter, Institut Pasteur, "consensus is the stuff of politics, not science." The public and the media would do well to take these words to heart.

Posted by: Bill | October 12, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Bill, it's pretty amazing how content the Post is with watching its reputation on scientific reporting (and commentary) go merrily down the drain. I am honestly wondering the same thing - whether they really don't realize how infantile and unprofessional they are coming off, or whether it's a deliberate attempt to draw in the FauxNews/rightwing radio crowd, to counter their apparently dying readership? There's certainly no journalistic justification for the kind of garbage we've seen on their pages in recent weeks on this issue.

Get a staff scientist, WaPo, or at least a vaguely qualified scientific writer. Hell, where is Joel Achenbach (sp?) these days? Even he knew (much) better, and I don't believe he has a PhD in anything. He does seem to stay abreast of the actual peer reviewed literature. This is just pathetic to watch.

Posted by: Mark | October 12, 2007 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker has invited comment on Mr Gore's assertions in an "inconvenient Truth."

Your article lists 9 findings broadly characterized as "significant errors" in the article. In fact, a cursory study of these findings reveals that the bulk of these are merely assertions that the judge found can't be easily proven. It is factually incorrect to regard these assertions as anything more than what they are -- assertions lacking complete and probative support.

To characterize them as "significant errors" betrays the justice's own bias in this matter. What I find to be the most damning example of the justice's lack of understang of both the issues and the facts in this case, is the justice's characterization of Gore's assertion regarding the Greenland Ice mass as "alarmist."

Of course it is alarmist, facts often are alarming. Mr Gore's intent was to raise an alarm about the seriousness and the immediacy of the issue. In point of fact, the mechanisims of polar ice melting are only now beginning to be understood and the alarming truth is that previous estimates of the rate of change have been exceedingly conservative due to simple ignorance of the mechanisms involved.

The judge whose bias leads him to believe that the Greenland ice cap melting must necessarily take millenia is guilty of the same ignorance and hubris of Passenger Pigeon sportsmen who scoffingly held that there were so many of the birds it would be impossible to ever hunt them to extinction.

Posted by: Speaker to Republicans | October 12, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Gore was a mediocre liberal arts student and should stick closer to home instead of wandering into areas in which he has no expertise. When VP he and Clinton could not even get Kyoto ratified because over 17,000 scientists said nope. Only the naive get sucked in by his spin which was clearly demonstrated at childish performance at the Senate hearing.

Posted by: RogerT | October 12, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I've never posted an online comment on anything...but the Post's treatment of this--the wording and placement of the headline and the ominous question mark after "...inconvenient truth for Gore?"--is almost as outrageous as the total lack of inquisitiveness by the post on so many issues. Why have you done this? Are you competing with the Washington Times for some segment of readers? Good luck.

The Washington Post should make a formal apology for the placement and wording of the headline. It is highly misleading and unfortunate.

Posted by: Douglas | October 12, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Gore definitely deserved the Nobel. Now he can hold his head high along with Arafat and Carter.

Posted by: Mike | October 12, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Douglas, the post should issue a front page apology for this "Fact Checking"

Posted by: J.J. | October 12, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

These comments are hilarious. Al Gore has propagated climate change for his own personal agenda (building the brand Al Gore), not for any real purpose of "saving the world." And now the leftist rag that is the Post is getting savaged by wannabe Gus Hall comrades for doing a hit job on him? Remarkable how ignorant and gullible the leftists in America are today.

Posted by: Arlington | October 12, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dobbs: The Northwest passage called; it wants its ice back. K thnx bi.

Posted by: Fred X. Quimby | October 13, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

It's funny, Liberals are screaming about how the sky is falling and how we're all gonna drown and die, yet somehow it is right thinking conservatives who are crazy, tin foil hat wearers? Just checking.


I swear, a Liberal never met a lie he didn't love, so long as that lie would help him install socialism.

Posted by: Steve | October 13, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

JWmSuggs---so there's no money to be made if you support the theory of man made global warming? Last time I checked there was BILLIONS to be made off of doing that very research. A paltry sum compared to what the oil industry contributes to a few think tanks.


It is not a coincidence that the strongest and loudest and most obnoxious voices on the global warming front come from the Hard Left. Global Warming is just the latest ploy they're using to raise taxes and control people's lives through governmental intrusion.

Posted by: Steve | October 13, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Global warming is real, even though Gore's movie has gross inaccruacies. Scientists will sort it all out.
Let Al enjoy his Nobel; it's a nice consolation prize, for him and his fans, for having lost the 2000 election.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Scientist: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hit Danger Mark Sooner Then Expected

By Michael Perry"

"The IPCC predicted an ice-free Arctic by the end of the century; some scientists now predict it for 2020.

So much for the vaunted challenges to Mr. Gore's movie. I'm sorry that they didn't turn out to be exaggerations rather than understatements.

Posted by: dkm | October 13, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I was impressed that there were only a few rightdingbats posting, but even though the rightwing has never been into factual argument as opposed to emotional argument, I will attempt to correct the things they said because someone else may think that they are telling the truth.

Dan-
Greenland got its name because its discoverer, Erik the Red from Iceland, wanted to encourage migration, not because it was green. There was enough grass along the coast to support human habitation for a generation or two, but that was fleeting This is recorded in the viking sagas.

Sun energy fluctuations have been shown to presently be going in the opposite direction from global warming. Even so, they have been shown to have less effect than the greenhouse effect on global temperatures.

One of the causes of prior warming, especially the one that got us out of the "iceball" earth, have been massive volcanic eruptions spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Claiming that because 0.3% is a small number means that it has no effect shows amazing ignorance. 0.01 micrograms is a small number, but that is all the plutonium necessary to kill you from cancer. The oceans are NOT a source of global warming. Your statement is false. Until recently they were a major sink for CO2 and were responsible for absorbing CO2. Now evidence from the southern oceans suggest that their capacity to absorb CO2 is reaching its limit and that the pH of the oceans is beginning to fall (with deleterious effects on shell forming organisms).

Eric-
High altitude sulfer as was released by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption resulted in world wide decrease in rainfall.

Steve-
Mr. Gore flies on commercial flights. He does not go in limosines and he has modified his home to make it much more energy efficient.

Look up a representative list of GW skeptics and then check the % who are in the pockets of industries with an interest in continuing present policies. And then look at the party registration records of scientists who believe GW exists. They range from libertarian to socialist with no particular emphasis.

Roger-
Temperatures in the Arctic are higher today than ever before in recorded history. There is less ice, the permafrost melts earlier and freezes later than ever before, ice breakup on rivers occurs almost a month earlier than normal and the freeze later, bird migrations are out of synch with plant growth because of the mismatch between day length and historic temperatures.

Polar bear populations are falling and denning, which used to occur on the ice, is now more and more occuring on land.

Data showing rise in sea levels does exist and it shows that the annual sea level rise is accelerating.

Ice cores from the Antarctic have shown that we now have by far the highest levels of greenhouse gases in the last 600,000 years.

Posted by: dkm | October 13, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Nobcentral, you want to stop other people from communicating? But, you just couldn't help your egotistical self and had to throw in your far more worthy two cents, could you?

Posted by: HLC | October 13, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Suggested reading: "COOL IT, The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming" by Bjorn Lomborg. No hype, no hysteria, common sense approach to our real problems including GW.

Posted by: HLC | October 13, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

HLC, Lomborg was cited for academic dishonest in his native Denmark. He's also an economist, not a climatologist. You wouldn't go to a lawyer to get medical advice, I trust.

As a counter I would offer the website realclimate.org. Run by real climate scientists. They address about every nagle of this subject. Their comment sections continue the discussions and are remarkably sober, calm, courteous and informative. It's a great place to find the reality behind so many of the red herrings the kneejerk denial crowd regularly throw out in hit and run posts on blogs like this (I noted a few of them above, though they are thankfully getting less frequent).

Posted by: Mark | October 13, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse


Michael Dobbs you should hang your head in shame. A normally brilliant and truthful reporter, you've been borged by the rest of the lame and GOP-approved writers on this crap paper.

Posted by: Tab Khan | October 13, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame you for not taking sides. If your not going to do your homework (actually, for you, work) and actually fact check, I wouldn't want to take sides either. Wait a minute, why did you print this in the 'Fact Checker' column again???

And as for the 'errors' (exactly as the judge referred to them), the judge was responding to the claim made in the complaint. That's why he put 'error' in single quotes like that (you did READ the ruling right? I did).

Oh, and by the way, the judge also did not issue any order in the case. The defendant agreed to the judge's modifications in the guidance sent to teachers before he ruled and WITHOUT acknowledging that there were any actual errors.

Posted by: John Klaus | October 13, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Your update is pathetic. If you want to fact check a legal scholar do you find a biologist? You don't - you find a legal expert. So, why haven't you fact checked the judge by (and this should be obvious) talking to some scientific experts about each of the judges points.

You really seem to be out to get Al Gore. You need to find some balance in your reporting.

Posted by: You can do better! | October 13, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Your update is pathetic. If you want to fact check a legal scholar do you find a biologist? You don't - you find a legal expert. So, why haven't you fact checked the judge by (and this should be obvious) talking to some scientific experts about each of the judges points.

You really seem to be out to get Al Gore. You need to find some balance in your reporting. Seriously, your writing on this topic is pathetic.

Posted by: You can do better! | October 13, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Another very good site for a scientific understanding of climate change is Spencer Weart's wonderful online book hosted at The American Institute of Physics at http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

The Post is NOT a good place to get unbiased scientific information.

Posted by: James Vijay | October 13, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Gore was defeated by the intellectually superior candidate in 2000, and rightly so.

If Gore had somehow become the President in 2000, we would have abandoned our efforts to kill Osama Bin Laden and would have sent our troops to some other Muslim country in the Middle East which had nothing to do with 9/11, thereby creating more terrorists and inserting our military in a quagmire.

Thank God Gore was not the President on 9/11.

Posted by: gregor | October 14, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

That dog don't hunt...can be applied to the whole article by Mr. Dobbs. We fell for the "he exagerates" once, and that got us G.W. Bush. What the steemed judge does to to replace a series of unclear points with another set of speculative points. Sorry, Mr. Dobbs, I want my science to come from scientist, not a guy wearing a powdered wig sitting in London.

Posted by: Robert | October 14, 2007 4:38 AM | Report abuse

Way to wimp out with the Pinochio test, Fact Checker. Why did you even bother with this post?

Posted by: William Teach | October 14, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I must say that your FactChecker column on the English court decision regarding An Inconvenient Truth was disappointing, irresponsible, and intellectually lazy.

By elevating a single British judge's uncertainty as to whether certain statements could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you have created an impression of overall uncertainty regarding the climate change crisis that is simply not supported by broad scientific consensus. How can you grant the opinions of a single jurist who may or may not have a firm grasp of science equal weight with the considered opinions of premier scientific organizations such as the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society?

Even that jurist knew enough to put quotations around the word "error" in his findings to reflect the fact that Gore could just as easily be correct as mistaken in his assertions. It was just not possible for him to make a determination based on the information that WAS PRESENTED TO HIM. Do you honestly think that he reviewed all the scientific data on each of these points? It is obvious that you have not. Have you even read the IPCC reports? If not, I would suggest that doing so is a necessary step in any future "fact-checking" you do on this issue.

I think perhaps you should limit your fact-checking to political ads and save complex scientific issues that have been politicized by vested interests to your science writers (if you have any).

Finally, characterizing the movie as "alarmist" reveals a bias. The very nature of this piece belies your statement that "you are not taking sides". Unfortunately, the inaccurate and amateurish manner in which you handle the global scientific consensus regarding climate change means that, in fact, you have taken sides. You and your bosses have chosen to join the ranks of the climate change deniers. Shame on you.

Posted by: Arturo | October 14, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Where is all the water coming from? Ice displaces it's volumn in water. For you liberals, that means an ice cube makes a hole in the water the exact same size as the water it contains. You can test this by putting ice in a clear glass adding water until the ice floats, marking the level, then letting the ice melt. The level of the water in the glass WILL NOT change. So the only Ice formations that can raise sea level are those on land. Only two worth considering, Antarctica and Greenland. Combined they have about 32.6 *10E6 cubic KM's of ice. That is a generous estimate, since not all of the glaciers are on land.
The formula for area of a sphere is;
4 * Pi * rE2
Where r (radius) is 6,378.137 Km's.

Do the math. Or google it;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth

361,126,400 km² water
Divide that by the 32.6 * 10E6 and you get .11, which since Kilometers is our scale, works out to about 100 meters.
But wait. The tree humppers stopped right there, since it suited their political purpose to do so.

When you start including all the little ( some not so little) places that are below sea level, but isolated from the sea so they remain dry, the picture changes. Depending on whose calculations you use, by quite a bit. Down to less then a meter at one end to 60 meters on the other.

All of this sidesteps the real problem. The tree humppers refuse to say where the energy required to melt 32.6 * 10E6 Cubic Kilometers of Ice is coming from. It takes 2.8Kjoules to melt 8.5 grams of ice;
http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:PFEiSX68Sj0J:sun.menloschool.org/~cfat/powerpoint/chemistry/water_states.ppt+energy+requirements+to+melt+ice&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=16&gl=us&client=firefox-a

So figure out how may grams of ice there is in of 32.6 MILLION cubic Kilometers, then divide by 8.5 and multiply by 2,800.
Here is a hint. It's really big number.

The Swampies don't want to talk about this little set of facts, since the entire sunject of global warming is a wedge issue designed to use fear as a political tool to restore Socialism to power.
Nothing more, nothing less.
This planet has been getting warmer and colder in cycles since it's creation 4.5 BILLION yerars ago. Humans can only measure back about 1.2 million years. There has been thousands of warming and cooling spells in that 1.2 million years. Hundreds of major ones that cause radical changes in sea level. ALl of those changes took place over thousands of years, and happened long before humans walked out of Africa.
Remember, humans followed the retreating glaciers cause by the last period of global warming.

Posted by: John Samford | October 14, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait until Michael Dobbs fact checks the whole "World is Round" argument. He could link to a few websites that argue that the world is flat and perhaps find some ruling vaguely related to geography ("The judge ruled that while the general argument [that the world was round was correct], the globe maker did make an 'error' in the length of border between Angolia and Zambia."

Then Mr. Dobbs would then claim not to take sides in the argument but was merely highlighting the proof that some globe makers exaggerated the border length between Angolia and Zambia (calling into question whether globe makers are serial liars) and pointed out that not all experts (as seen in the flat earth society webpage) believe in the "round earth" theory.

And that is how you be write like Mr. Dobbs.

Posted by: Bob Dobbs Hates Michael Dobbs | October 14, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

John Samford: I guess you suppose that Svante Arrhenius was trying to promote socialism when he wrote his landmark paper back in *1896* predicting global warming from CO2 increases due to industrial activity? And all the scientists since then...? Why would just about every climate scientist want to promote socialism, isn't that a rather idiotic motivational conspiracy for a bunch of researchers all over the world, of so many nationalities, religions, cultures, individual personalities, economic levels, living under various governments etc, to be rather consistently a part of? That's an idiotic way to think, period.

As for the Earth's previous cycles of hot and cold: Yes, there are other influences on Earth climate too, like precession of poles, orbital changes, maybe variations in interstellar dust etc. That doesn't mean that CO2 can't be a stimulus as well, and be responsible for what has happened recently. By the time some other influence like axis tilt brought the temperature back down, the damage would have been done.

Posted by: Neil Bates | October 14, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is real, people are very likely contributing to it happening at an increased rate. Alarmism is also real (a fitting reference to the "limits to growth" and "population bomb" should be inserted here). A more rational discussion would be helpful for both sides.

Posted by: Mike | October 14, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

You are all a bunch of loons. Twenty years from now so boogie man will be will be screaming of the dangers of the coming ice age. Whoops, I forgot. Newsweek did that one about twenty years ago already. Whatever.

Posted by: Reda | October 15, 2007 3:18 AM | Report abuse

The inconvenient truth of "An Inconvenient Truth": it is a very convenient political lie.

Posted by: EuroAm | October 15, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Beyond a doubt this is the most entertaining comments section I've seen. My personal favorite is the fellow above who questions why his liberal acquaintances still drive evil SUVs. He's suggesting that those who are not the precise embodiment of their political beliefs derserve no voice in the discourse. It's a typical kooky-con tactic, used over and over to distract people from the issue by forcing them to defend themselves. I'd ask the aforementioned why conservatives who believed in invading Iraq didn't enlist in the Army. If we must all perfectly embody our beliefs then surely you are not exempt. Luckily, thanks to Bush's stubborness, there's still time for all of you to run down to the recruitment office. I can speak for at least a percentage of people here when I say you won't be missed.

On another note, for those who don't already know the site, an actual impartial factchecker is here:
http://factcheck.org/
It's where the Post stole the idea from, anyway.

Posted by: egan | October 15, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Out of the hundreds of facts presented in Gore's movie a handful can be considered debatable. Whoopee! Compare this to a typical statement by a typical politician and the question you should be asking is: can you give out NEGATIVE Pinocchios?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | October 15, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It's been painfully obvious for quite some time now that the Post is in dire need of scientifically literate staff. This installment of "opinion checker" is yet another such veiled cry for help.

Posted by: Oh my. | October 15, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone being so hard on the Post today? The Post refused to come down on Al Gore, and they had no reason to. I commend their refusal to pass judgement on this case.

The issue is whether or not "Inconvenient Truth" should be required student viewing. The fact that the film will be shown with only minor corrections, is great news for those of us who believe in Al Gore's project of communicating the scientific facts surrounding global warming to ordinary citizens. And it's only proper that we be cautious in so doing.

Part of Al Gore's purpose in making the film was to show how global warming could potentially impact the planet and it's people. In doing this he said a few things that are not yet fully verfied by the scientific community. It's important that those things which are not yet fully established by the scientific community be pointed out so as not to discredit the overall thesis that global warming is real, anthropogenic and must be dealt with.

Posted by: Brian Johnson | October 15, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker would do well to borrow some smarts and backbone from New York University students:

http://media.www.nyunews.com/media/storage/paper869/news/2007/10/16/Opinion/Inconvenient.Propagandist.How.Al.Gore.Distorts.Facts-3034968.shtml

Posted by: Willy | October 17, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

If the scientific evidence for Gore's theory is as bad as what many posts in this thread rely on for their conclusions, he certainly does not deserve the nobel prize.
An amazing lack of understanding pervades much of what people have been saying in this thread.

1.) The court is certainly not a place for
scientific judgements to be made.
The court was adressing a
legal matter: A law suit was brought
to prevent Gore's film from being
shown in schools based on the idea
that Gore's claims were mistaken at
best. Thus the outcome of the case
was based precisely on that question.
The judge made no pretence to being
a scientist or to the idea that his
opinion ought to be accepted as
scientifically valid. His task was to
hear and weigh evidence brought before
him. Claims that evidence was not
provided or was not sufficient to
support Gore's assertions, does not
require a PHD.
In assessing Gore's claims,the judge
did what any lay person should. He
examined the question based on
information provided by, among others,
the co-winner of the nobel prize,
the IPCC.
The difference between the
Ocean Conveyor being shut down and
slowed is significant. Likewise, the
question of whether there will be a sea-
level rise of up to 20 feet "in the
near future." or "after, and over,
millenia." is even more significant.
The fact that the two parties
sharing the nobel prize differ in their
conclusions about such issues undermines
the idea that there is scientific
certainty, much less consensus on the
matter. One does not need to belong to
some special caste to understand this.
2.) A few years ago when the nobel prize
was given out, it was announced by the
committee (or was it just one of the
judges?) that it was a "kick in the
leg" to the Bush administration; the
importance of this remark is
highlighted by the fact that it was
announced that the selection of Gore
for the prize this year was not
a "kick in the leg" to anyone. That
the question of whether selecting
someone based on whether or not they
are a kick in the leg, demonstrates
the politicization of the Nobel prize.
The fact that exagerrations and
factual errors have no impact on the
selection process demonstrates that
favorable conclusions weigh more in
the committees mind than scientific
merit.
3.) It's amazing that so many who have
posted in this thread can't tell
the difference between innuendo and
evidence. All scientists are paid.
It's irresponsible to conclude
that there opinons are valid based
on who signs their paycheck. The
question is whether their opinion
has changed with their employment.
and then only if the evidence
they martial, does not
support their new conclusions:
Institutions funding studies
showing human activity accounts for
global warming do not fund people
who are sceptical of it and vice
versa. The question is not who is
signing the paycheck or what is
someones ideology, but whether their
evidence substantiates their
conclusions: The world learned at
Hiroshima that Einstein's opinions
about physics were no just opinions
and I doubt they were dependent at all
on who he voted for.
It's just as much my responsibility
as a laymen to do the leg work and
have an informed, carefully considered
opinion as it is for a scientist
performing a study. If people can not
understand they should be as
responsible for opinions they advocate
as they expect others to be, then they
do not deserve to be taken seriously.

Posted by: spiker | October 17, 2007 4:27 AM | Report abuse

What the British Court has nothing better to do?try looking into why we are in Iraq.Oh that right.BP might have stake in the oil there and we don't want to upset them.Hey Judge Burton shut up and worry bout something important like who killed Princess Diana...

Posted by: Bob | October 17, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

ddfdfd

Posted by: Anonymous | October 18, 2007 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Whoever stated that "there are no facts in science" didn't really get their, ahem, facts right. It's true that science is built upon theories, and theories (outside of pure mathematics, where they're often called theorems) can't be absolutely proven. Theories can only be falsified, and the scientific method is built upon the notion of testing theories by devising experiments to attempt to falsify an existing theory.

Having said all that, it is most certainly not true that "there are no facts in science"! After all, every measurement taken is a fact. If I set up a thermometer to measure the temperature of a beaker of some liquid, the temperature measurement is a fact. It's a data point. Now, the interpretation of that data point might not be a fact; we have hypotheses, and those are attempts to fit data (observations, e.g. facts) to ideas that might seek to explain those observations -- and to make predictions that can then be tested by acquiring more data (more facts).

Some theories have so much weight of evidence behind them that no scientist would consider them anything but facts, unless faced with some very compelling evidence. Universal Gravitation is a theory, but nobody is seriously going to propose that Newton and Einstein got gravity wrong; ergo, for the purposes of dealing with the real world, we consider gravity to be a fact, and we consider its "theoretical" properties (e.g., that gravity's influence extends throughout space, and that the attractive force varies as the inverse square of distance) to be facts as well.

There's going to be disagreement even between scientists who generally agree that humans are the dominant cause of global climate change; after all, every scientist has a pet theory to explain the mechanism for some phenomenon, and there are enough topics in climate science that some will be hotly debated for years to come. The fact that science continuously generates new, competing theories to explain a wide variety of phenomena demonstrates how science differs from most other human institutions, such as religion. All I can say is, if science were as rigidly orthodox as some global warming deniers would seem to wish, there would be no more science worth doing; science would be about as mentally engaging and challenging as collecting butterflies or pocket lint. Some deniers would have you believe that disagreement over a single point between two scientists somehow invalidates the entire body of science that those two scientists might have in common.

I personally took exception to some of the 9 points raised by the British judge. In particular, the issue of the Greenland or Antarctic ice sheets melting; either of them melting entirely would raise sea levels up to 20 feet. The judge merely cited cherry-picked experts who claimed that "this process would take millennia." Yet current evidence shows that the rate of glacier break-up and melting is accelerating at a rate beyond even the least conservative models, which is something of a mystery. Therefore, can we really say with certainty that either of these ice sheets won't melt in less than a millennium? I'm willing to bet money that Greenland's ice sheet will be gone in less than 1000 years without some kind of action now. (Pity I won't be around to collect... not that I am sure I'd like to be around to collect on such a bet.)

Posted by: Rob Poole | October 18, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Bob

Once again, the britsh court was considering a suit brought by a british citezen to prevent Gore's film from being shown in Britsh class rooms,based on the idea that Gore's film was, at best mistaken in its conclusions.

Mr. Poole: You accuse the judge of cherry
picking experts and went on to say " Yet current evidence shows that the rate of glacier break-up and melting is accelerating at a rate beyond even the least conservative models, which is something of a mystery" What is that evidence?
Also you ask "Therefore, can we really say with certainty that either of these ice sheets won't melt in less than a millennium?" Yet the thrust of your post suggests science cannot deal in certainties, but deals instead with the weight of evidence. Here is where a crucial
issue gets obscured in this debate. Global warming or an increase in the planet's temerature is one thing the idea that humans contribute to it is another
yet oftentimes the phrase global warming
is used to express both This accounts for much of the opposition to "Global warming"
It is really a disagreement about causation rather than increasing temperature. Many people who accept the idea that people contribute to global warming will tell you that X or Y is melting or warming at such and such
a rate, as if evidence ofan increase in temperature is evidence of human involvement.
I do find it intereating that in making your wager you opt for "that Greenland's ice sheet will be gone in less than 1000 years" why not the 90 years Gore posits? Why come down closer to the "cherry picked experts" ?

Posted by: spiker | October 19, 2007 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's an actual "factual" check to this stupid and lazy column by the Washington Post. Hopefully it will be the last word.

*Gore takes the prize; British judge less impressed*
Category: climate
Posted on: October 12, 2007 7:02 AM, by James Hrynyshyn

Instead of celebrating the news that my man Al Gore is sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the thousands of scientists who supplied the raw material for the slide show that made him "the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding" of climate change, I am compelled to address a list of alleged errors in said slide show. Thank you High Court Justice Michael Burton. No really. Thanks.

As a member of Gore's Climate Project, the team our new Nobel laureate has entrusted to present his slide show, I could take umbrage at the mere notion of inaccuracies therein. But I won't, because the problems identified by the British judge are worth examining. They actually shed a good deal of light on the science of climate change and the scientific process.

So what are the errors? The anti-Gore blogosphere has kindly made the list readily available.

1. The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government's expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
Good point. Several months ago, I removed any reference to Kilimanjaro from my version of the slide show precisely because of the lack of evidence tying the mountain's melting ice to global climate change. But good evidence that unrelated natural cycles in the Indian Ocean and East Africa may be to blame only came out earlier this year. Prior to that, it was fair to assume that Kilimanjaro was suffering from the same problems afflicting countless other glaciers and mountain ice caps around the world. Gore's presentation contains so many examples of glacial retreat, in fact, that many Climate Project members are forced to edit out most of them for time.

2. The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
Now, that's not fair. Gore only associates CO2 levels and temperatures. The fact that CO2 sometimes lags behind temperature is irrelevant. As any competent climatologist will tell you, the fact that they are intimately linked is the problem -- change one and the other will follow, possibly setting off rapid feedbacks. Looks like the judge didn't bother to consult the RealClimate post titled "The lag between temperature and CO2. (Gore's got it right.)"


3. The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that it was "not possible" to attribute one-off events to global warming.
Wrong. Gore actually makes it clear that isolated cases prove nothing, and only long-term, widespread trends are scientifically relevant.

4. The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government's expert had to accept that this was not the case.
Wrong again. Gore doesn't claim Lake Chad's fate is solely because of climate change. The consensus is perhaps half can be traced to climate change. And in any case, Lake Chad is used to illustrate the potential human consequences of increased demand for dwindling fresh water supplies, not as evidence for climate change.

5. The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
Fair point. But since the film was released, we have had several solid reports painting a grim picture of the future for the species, so I keep the polar bears in my presentation.


6. The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant's evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
Well, it could. And two years ago, when the film was made, many scientists were worried about the possibility, although most did not think that scenario was probable in the near future. Since then, however, those fears have been relegated to the margins, and again, I have removed that sequence from my presentations. Another example of how science evolves.


7. The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
Then they should have looked harder. Many marine biologists are worried about the fate of corals in a warming, and lower pH ocean.


8. The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
Wrong again. Yes, the film does suggest that -- but makes no time-frame prediction. Using outdated studies, the IPCC says that will happen, in more than a 1000 years. But since then, data on melting Greenland and West Antarctic ice packs have shortened the time involved. Jim Hansen says several meters within a century is a real possibility.


9. The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.
Wrong yet again. The film does not claim that evacuations are already underway, only that they are being planned, and possibly imminent.

So when we eliminate the issues on which the judge was simply wrong, we are left with three issues in which either Gore's claims were not entirely supported by the science at the time, but subsequently have proven warranted, or Gore's claims were right at the time, but later proven unwarranted. More or less.

When you think about it, that's just about what you would expect from a science-based presentation about a rapidly evolving subject like climate change, delivered by a well-informed non-scientist. I'd have been surprised if everything Gore had said were still valid, and I'd be even more surpised if none of the science had changed since Laurie David and David Guggenheim filmed his presentations almost two years ago.

Apparently, the Nobel committee agrees with me. So I remain proud to be zero degree of separation from at least one of the recipients of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. (I have also interviewed more than one member of the IPCC, but then, who hasn't?)

Also, in case you were wondering, Gore writes that

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Posted by: Egilsson | October 19, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

That the major global media uses sensationalist and misleading titles like: "Gore climate film's nine errors" and "An Inconvenient Truth for Al Gore" highlights the ongoing, dangerous ignorance about the subject's seriousness.

A critical debate can be valuable if it leads to a better solution or conclusion. But worldwide, the leading experts have already agreed beyond any reasonable doubt on the issue and its urgency. This debate is now about solutions and actions and no longer about finding proof!

The Irreversible Collapse of our natural life support system is the danger that we accelerate towards and there is only one way to deal with it, to avoid it, otherwise it will be irreversible.

The easiest and crucial first step everyone can contribute is to communicate this clearly and consistently to any self appointed sceptic.

Posted by: Michael Felber | October 19, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Egilsson for the interesting POST. If only other proponents of Global warming would write like this instead of instead
of assuming anyone with a doubtis some lacky for the oil companies.
In your post you say "Gore only associates CO2 levels and temperatures. The fact that CO2 sometimes lags behind temperature is irrelevant. As any competent climatologist will tell you, the fact that they are intimately linked is the problem"
Of course, if CO2 does not precede the rise in temperature, it can not be considered a cause of said increase.
If increased CO2 levels are caused by an increase in temperature,it is hard to see how humans play a role in this, whether causal or preventive-
Advocates of Global warming as caused by humans will spend all day talking about
ice melting in greenland or seas rising
almost as if this is supposed to demonstrate human involvement. Further,the
phrase Global warming is often used to mean
an increase in planetary temperature caused by humans. And this is what the debate is really about.

Posted by: spiker | October 20, 2007 4:40 AM | Report abuse

After reading this entire thread of posts, I have yet to see a coherent argument against the essential points made by "An Inconvenient Truth". The response by Spiker to Egillson's posting is just the latest example of the illogical nonsense pushed by deniers.

NO serious scientist who believes in Global Warming says that human activity is the only cause of warming. Many do not even say it is the PRIMARY cause.

Instead, the consensus is that human activity is a "force multiplier" for a natural warming and cooling cycle.

Our added contribution of CO2 turns this cycle from something gradual, to which we may be able to gradually adapt, into an accelerated event, which most of humanity may not survive.

The uncertainty about short-term events and trends, that Gore and others readily acknowlege is far more honest and responsible than the false certainty, based on denial and distortion of evidence, pushed by the denialist mind.

Posted by: JerseyCurmudgeon | October 20, 2007 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Where was this "fact checker" during the 2000 election? Oh, that's right. That is an "Inconvenient Truth" for the Bush administration. Truth seems to be generally inconvenient for W and Dick Cheney.
How's this for a fact? Mr. Gore has done so much to make everyone aware of how much jeopardy this planet is in. Yes, it is alarming and it should be.
So, there are Nine points, the Fact Checker is concerned about. PICKY. There are far more reasons to appreciate the validity of Mr. Gore's work.

Posted by: Linda | October 20, 2007 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Illogical?

After reading this entire thread of posts, I have yet to see a coherent argument against the essential points made by "An Inconvenient Truth". The response by Spiker to Egillson's posting is just the latest example of the illogical nonsense pushed by deniers.
I must confess, I have not yet seen the film, but my "illogical" response to Egilson's post was a response to something
Egilson had stated " The fact that CO2 sometimes lags behind temperature is irrelevant. As any competent climatologist will tell you, the fact that they are intimately linked is the problem" Never the less I am glad to see thathumans have been promoted to the role of a "force multiplier" for a natural warming and cooling cycle.
While Jerseycurmudgeon complains about the "false certainty, based on denial and distortion of evidence, pushed by the denialist mind", He says nothing of the mind set of his "scientific consensus" on this list. Even Egilson could not refrain from the uber scientific use of stupid and lazy. And the post's raising questions about why the judge did not look into the
Iraq or the 2000 election of course are the epitome of scientific reasoning.
Our friend from Jersey so busy pretending to be Menckenesque, that he misses the point of my post entirely.
The question was simple show some evidence of human involvement in the rise of the planet's temperature. Not one word in my post goes to deny that there is an increase in planetary temperature or
the acceleration of said increase.
It is interesting to note; however, that Jerseycurmudgeon wishes us to believe that
"Our added contribution of CO2"
is somehow more dangerous than nat
urally occurring CO2. What exactly is it about "Our added contribution of CO2" that
makes it an accelerant?
No doubt I will once again be told
I am being illogical or some other ad hominem while not one ounce of empirical evidence will be given.
Interestingly, while advocates of global warming will tell you scientists have some degree of uncertainty about this or that statement, the laymen is entitled to none.
If the laymen posesses any uncertainty or
doubt, he is a "denialist" lackey for big oil or other pernicious creature inhabiting the frightened minds"
Ofcourse name calling is the epitome of science for such people.
Where else in history has name calling been substituted for rational debate?

Posted by: spiker | October 20, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

For those who insist on worrying about how efforts to prevent global warming will effect the economy, don't worry. If we let global warming run its course, there may no longer be an economy to worry about.

Posted by: kang0372 | October 23, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I am absolutely convinced global warming due to human activity is underway. I'm just as certain the culprit is not Exxon Mobile, or BP, or the even bigger Citgo, but the 6.5 billion humans who live here. I'm embarrassed that Al Gore is the spokesperson for environmental sciences, since he has a divinity degree and an ignoble motive (self promotion). I challenge Al to show us his grade from any math course above highschool algebra. And shame on the Noble Foundation for being so political. Did they notice he sells all this stuff for profit? What retards.

Posted by: tigz | October 23, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Bhaaaaa bhaaaaaaa....

The sheeple have spoken. Let's all buy into Al Bores rehetoric without actually reviewing past historical climate changes.

Bhhhaaaaaa bhaaaaaa....

Posted by: raider | October 23, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

It will always be hard for humans to admitt they have erred. We all just want to use up every bit of the earth and all that is in it like spoiled children always wanting more. Fact is until we get honest with ourselves and admit that the earth was created perfectly. Nature was in balance, plants and land animals flourished and the waters were pure and full of fish and animals of the sea were not polluted. It was only when humans came on the scene that the destruction was started and has continued until today. Can't we admit to the damage and work together to repair what we can and learn from what we can't. If each of us will just clean up our own place on this planet we will see results so get busy, quit complaining and running like scared children and get the job done.

Posted by: Karen | October 23, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that even the general public wont pay attention to these pathetic attempts to claim we are not affecting this planet and its climate.Obviously Americans know enough now to completely refute a stupid article like this.The comments from the public make more sense and are more accurate than the musings of a professional writer.People are stupid but not that stupid.

Posted by: david | October 23, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone citing The Great Global Warming Swindle with regard to climate change is exhibiting a near-total lack of knowledge of the issue. When we go so far toward being "PC" that we will include proven propaganda to show "balance", we are in deep trouble.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled/

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=13

http://inthegreen.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/deconstructing_.html

Posted by: Killian O'Brien | October 23, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a biased post. From a geologist/glaciologist this Washington Post "fact checker" is a load of BS.

And I agree with other respondants: What does the legal system, and even more so the legal system in Britian, have to do with rigorous scientific review?

Posted by: hemlock | October 23, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Katherine Graham is turning over in her grave....its just a matter of time before the post and the times will be indistinguishable...oops too late!

Posted by: Bill Young | October 23, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Global Warming caused by humans 'pooie'. Here we are again thinking like we are the center of the universe just like 300 years ago. The fact of the matter is the sun earth connection is making the weather go hay wire. All weather phenomenon from hurricanes, storms, rain, jet stream, to earth quakes and volcanoes are directly affected by energy coming from the sun. Start to research the massive increase of energy from the sun in the last couple of decades and take a look at the rise in 'weather patters etc' during the same time.
Scientists don't want to elude to the coming challenges. WHY? If they upset the applecart too much people will stop producing. It's going to get chaotic.
It just amazes me to watch history repeat itself again due to the fact that the people in power don't want to lose it.
Welcome Galilao (SP).
Before it was the ruling oligarchy in the church that didn't want to upset the apple cart when it was discovered that the universe didn't revolve around the earth. Now its the governments who will spin everything and not let the truth shine as to the real challenges associated with weather and natural disasters. Time for most of you to get your heads out of the sand and start to educate yourselves about what is truly going on in the world.

Just a side note: Yes we are all #####'s for treating and wasting as we have, that is part of our greedy selfish nature. I am as much as to blame as the person who lives beside me.

Art

Posted by: Art Williams | October 23, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Funny how some people have an elephant (representing the republican party)sticker with a trunk shaped like a gas hose plastered on the bumper of their gas guzzling automobiles.
Only in IDIOTVILLE(Portland,Oregon)

Posted by: Me | October 23, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nitwits. You are all blogging using electricity driven computers in your air conditioned offices before driving your SUV's out into the wilderness to go hiking in your fancy $300 boots that were made in China. Don't forget your trail mix stored in your plastic zip lock bags. What temperture is the earth supposed to be today? Check it on your plastic Timex watch.

Posted by: blogthis | October 23, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Listen, you right wing dumbasses:

That whole British court case farce was a setup. The legal case "against" Gore's film was engineered by an oil baron. You can read the facts here:



http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2190770,00.html

Posted by: jgmurphy | October 23, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse


The "British court case" against Gore's film was a trumped-up farce financed by an oil baron:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2190770,00.html

Read THAT, right wing nincompoops.

Posted by: JGM | October 23, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Science concerns two matters: data extracted from a process and the theories developed to explain that data.

Science works well when one can alter a process directly and apply deductive logic to data obtained from various different types of manipulation as in, say, drug testing on animals. This allows one to check and revise theory.

Science is less powerful when direct manipulation of data is impossible but where similar naturally occuring "experiments" can be studied and compared to one another (as in epidemiology).

Science is weak when there can only be one experiment without a control. Essentially this is the problem with global warming. Were we able to run experiments on carbon dioxide levels on many different planets, we could arrive at some clarity as to how much climate change various levels induce. All we have now are a few thousand years of weather data, the fact of massive human industrial activity and a group of intelligent theories to correlate them.

It's getting hotter...slightly. Is this the first sign of impending catastrophe or just a random and irrelevant fluke?

THAT is the question.

Posted by: Mark H | October 23, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee... the same Al Gore that couldn't find his "lost" files on his computer, and flunked out of graduate school, is now a scientific expert. Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Lindzen, atmospheric professor at MIT, calls Gore's argument a fraud.

Maybe warming is caused by cow flatulence from all of Hilary's cattle futures trading?

Posted by: Jim | October 23, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Cal Tech, Harvard Smithsonian, MIT, have all noted such facts as global warming occuring on Pluto, Mars, Neptune and one of Saturns moons. No word from Gore if extraterrestrial SUVs will take out Uranus next. The climactic optimum of 1,000 years ago was anywhere from 3 to 5 degree C warmer, and examination of marine sediment from the Sargasso Sea shows that we are currently BELOW the 3,000 year average that was looked at. Has it warmed since 1800? Yes. Is it anthropogenic? No. It is related to solar influence. BTW, if you really want to ban global warming gases, get rid of water vapour, a much worse culprit.... and while at it tell Gore to get off his private jet, turn off the A/C in his massive mansion (we know all about those carbon off-set credits he's essentially paying to himself). Shoot, his schlockumentary even makes Mikey Moore look like a straight shooter.

Posted by: JR | October 23, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

When do we get the Fact Checker to look at Sen. Imhofe's comments? Or any other right-wing nut? Besides what are the judges scientific qualifications?

Posted by: Mike Tischauser | October 23, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

FOLKS stop arguing. Why not assume the worst case scenario, stop fossil fuel emmisions as soon as possible via passive energy development, improve our economy and reduce foreign trade deficit, reduce dependence on foreign oil, stabilize the dollar, protect our economy through sound energy policy, reduce unemployment and by create new jobs in the process.
If there is no global warming we'll know in 25 or 30 years and either way we will be better off. THINK! Who benefits from the current system i.e.dependence on fossil fuels! BEWARE of AFFLUENCE AND INFLUENCE (wealth and politics). Our scientific community already has the solutions. Please use your own senses and intellect. Change is necessary in society. Adaptation is the key to survival and unless we change our current path Rush Limbaugh might be proven wrong (once and for all) if global warming is indeed a reality. I'm not ready to bet the lives of my children and children's children on this issue. Are You?

Posted by: tom walsh | October 23, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey this guy is right! Time for change is now. Why gamble on our lives and planet.

Posted by: Bob | October 23, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Who cares who's right or wrong. We still have to live on the planet. Lets keep it a nice place....not a swill hole!

Posted by: Gman | October 23, 2007 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post. What a joke. Still at it, conflicted between the need to sell advertising space, on a paper medium, which will, ironically, exacerbate the very environmental and societal problems troubling the rain forest. The need for balanced, honest reportage is evidently no longer an issue at the WP. Pandering is still popular at the WP that is obvious. Then again, there is a synonym for pandering which comes to mind, in the legal sense, which more closely describes this sort of 'hit article'...guess it just depends on who is paying and who is receiving...hmmmmm.

Mr. Dobbs, you are not to blame for your blather so much as the egregious drivers of your Editor/Minders who have again demonstrated their failure/inadequacies. Whence judgement and intellectual honesty. No wonder some of the comments here by those who appear to be foreign readers. They must truly be appalled at the shallow, superficial nature of our 'main stream media'.

Mr. Dobbs I suggest you not submit this article for any serious peer review by either the scientific community or experts in jurisprudence. You would have it handed back, without any grade whatsoever.

Posted by: Jef | October 23, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr Gore may not at all have exaggerated the truth, we have yet to see the really large significant turn for the worse in global warming. The severety of the droughts worldwide we are currently seeing is an early warning, as are the severity of the big storms we are now having, but we are not seeing the more normal more consistant lower grade storms we need to keep the United States deep south from turning to a dust bowl. And now the honey bees are missing in the Northeast! that is a very ominous sign....
What kind of picture must be painted for al the morons that simply cannot look outside the window and see the proof! It's staring us right in the face.

Posted by: Kymberlie | October 23, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Look at the films of Earth from space beginning in 1963 when the space program took flight. The Earth was a big blue marble, and if the actual pictures of Earth today were shown without editing, large obious gray spaces appear over many of the formerly blue and green areas, VAST areas of loss and pollution.HOW can this NOT affect the entire population of the world.

Posted by: Kymberlie | October 24, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

...an after thought. Mr. Dobbs, I expect that at $90 a barrel for oil, there are plenty of slots available for 'journalists' of this ilk in the advertising departments of major oil and gas companies. Trust me, you will be welcomed with open arms.

Posted by: Jef | October 24, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

That's no fun. I want to ignore the problems of the world and argue over ideology. By the way: Have you ever noticed that the middle class is always split on moral issues? Prayer in schools, right to life/abortion, gays rights... What if the middle class were to get their own party. A party that could actually administrate, balance the budget... A Party that represented Middle Class values. What makes this country great is it's MIDDLE CLASS! But just like the Polar Ice caps the Middle Class is shrinking. In fact, I'll bet you that the next president of the United States will be elected by the candidate that gets the most middle class votes.

Posted by: phil-o-sophie | October 24, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Humans are destroying the planet. But at least Al Gore is wrong!!! Republicans win again!!!!!

Posted by: George Bush | October 24, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore, as the documents the Bush Administration bury and censure from the earlier committe reports in Washington on green house effects and Global Warming,keep resurfacing, we may yet know the truth about Mr Bush's agenda. How can fossil fuel be blamed for the damages done to the environment when he has WRITERS, not SCIENTISTS censure the scientific findings material??Because it doesn't agree with George's oil man attitude and heaven forbid anyone finds out.

Posted by: Kymberlie | October 24, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Change is inevitable. I see that you are adapting to the drop in newspaper sales. Good Job! Trees will be gone soon and so too the paper to print with.
Do you read all the comments about your article Michael? Are you related to Lou?
I know that controversy sells, "if it bleeds it reads", but on this issue of global warming we need concensus and action fast. Please try to unify all Americans to correct our ENERGY POLICY NOW!
Thanks for your efforts. Signed..our collective social conscience.

Posted by: dear washington post and Michael Dobbs | October 24, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Dear Kymberlie: You are correct! Being correct doesn't help though. George will be gone soon. There are two quick ways to help. Use your dollar and your vote. They both address the affluence and influence. Spend your money on "green" products and vote for the "green" candidate or become the "green" candidate. Support all initiatives that encourage passive energy policies. Reach out to all Americans. People! We must stop the fighting about Conservatives and Liberals. We are Americans First. Candidates that "throw dirt"...lose ground.

Posted by: tom walsh | October 24, 2007 12:33 AM | Report abuse

FOLKS stop arguing. Why not assume the worst case scenario, stop fossil fuel emmisions as soon as possible via passive energy development, improve our economy and reduce foreign trade deficit, reduce dependence on foreign oil, stabilize the dollar, protect our economy through sound energy policy, reduce unemployment and by create new jobs in the process.
If there is no global warming we'll know in 25 or 30 years and either way we will be better off. THINK! Who benefits from the current system i.e.dependence on fossil fuels! BEWARE of AFFLUENCE AND INFLUENCE (wealth and politics). Our scientific community already has the solutions. Please use your own senses and intellect. Change is necessary in society. Adaptation is the key to survival and unless we change our current path Rush Limbaugh might be proven wrong (once and for all) if global warming is indeed a reality. I'm not ready to bet the lives of my children and children's children on this issue. Are You?

Posted by: tom walsh | October 24, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I never even saw the movie but I'm not dumb enough to think global warming is made up. Than I read this joke of an article that while trying to change my mind basically assures me that besides a few assertions that there just isn't enough evidence to prove definitively in court the movie is absolutley correct. Maybe the author was going for a subtle mocking of those who still have their heads in the sands and won't face global warming?

Posted by: Sean B | October 24, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Global warming is scary stuff. Thanks for the warning, Al...
http://southpark.comedycentral.com/videos.jhtml?c=vc&videoId=103844&episodeId=103807

Posted by: Garth | October 24, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Now some say Al spat out nine lies
And believ'n world warm'n ain't wise
And ol' Dick rants and rants,
Calling Al ninniepants,
While outting all peacenicky spies!

A Peace Prize ain't worth nuthin' no how
Dick and his boys never took no vow
Not to get fat on war
Gettin' more, more, and more!
Like the U.S ain't nothin' but no cow.

But Al won the peace prize, a Nobel
While George started his war by no tell
If Al Gore did lie
Not a person did die,
But poor George will for surely know hell!

Posted by: Hu | October 24, 2007 2:39 AM | Report abuse

The judge isn't a scientist and doesn't offer scientific facts to back up his rulings, so his ruling and comments have no validity because they are simply opinion. He probably doesn't have the scientific information, and he appears to be as myopic as the Bush administration.

Posted by: Marsha Walker | October 24, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Where many of the chest pounding pro - global warming folks lose their voice is when they compare and versus their arguments against President Bush and the Congresses decisions to go to war in Iraq. One has nothing to do with the other and you know it. I hope some of you wake up and thank God everyday that you were not born a Kurd...only a t..d.

Seriously, stop driving your SUV's (not diversionary tactic) STOP IT, you're wasting precious resources you are contributing to the global warming you detest. Stop purchasing and building 5000 square foot houses (DO you really NEED that much space...or are you just needy).

Ban all new housing developments in California----NOW! Anaheim Hills and other developments in CA that weren't there 25+ years ago weren't there for a reason... Malibu was over built as was Ventura, as is now Huntington Beach. Precious habitat is being lost and disasters also contribute to global warming.

Sending a "feel good" check to reduce your so called "footprint" is just that, it's a feel good check, it does nothing to decrease your impact. If everyone sends, say 10% of their income to these enviromental groups, why not just tithe to a church instead at least they will truly help someone other than themselves.

In other words if your REALLY serious about stopping global warming, get off your couches and out of your SUV's and do something about it, instead of your whinning.

Anyone who thinks Al Gore's getting the peace prize isn't political, probably thinks Jimmy Carter's getting the peace prize wasn't political. In which case they really aren't thinking.

Posted by: truthbetold | October 24, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps there are some studies about the effect of changing solar output on global temperature that would be enlightening to this subject.

Posted by: Randall | October 24, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

please ,just have a look at this document.tq!eso-news.blogspot.com/2007/07/rchauffement-plantaire.html.

Posted by: goldenleaf_elephant@yahoo.com | October 24, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

look a t this docummentary .The great global warming swindle ...on google!to have a great opinion i think that that a wise man has to listen and be open mind at any point of view.(on the name of what we call democracy!)

Posted by: goldenleaf_elephant@yahoo.com | October 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I find it amusing and yet sad how the liberals line up behind comrade Gore just freaks out whenever someone disputes the blatant lies suppoting "global warming". Comrade Gore is neither a scientist or a resercher! He is simply a dried up polictcal loser who, like the rest of leftist
Democrats that want to ruin the United States of America. You leftist can call me and others "naysayers" because we don't believe one word of lies being placed on an gulliable plublic. When are you sheep going to wake up and seek out the real truth for yourselves. I refuse to follow you bunch communist comrades down a path of lies.

Posted by: C. Beach | October 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My goodness the Lefties get riled when their leaders are attacked. Science and history has shown us that global warming does occur periodically and plenty of non-Bush funded scientists are willing to argue that side. However, their points of view wouldn't sell many papers or tickets to movies, would they? Do we have too much pollution? Yes. Do we need to do something about it? Yes. Does drama sell and get attention for our cause? Yes. It's all politics of some sort in the end? Don't fool yourselves into thinking it is anything but politics for both sides. Want to solve the problem? Sell your cars, better yet scrap them so no one is able to drive them and pollute the atmosphere. While you are at it, don't purchase anything that isn't manufactured by you as the pollution created by all the cheap junk we buy at Wal-Mart is filling the skies with smog as well.

Stop being a pawn for either party and start using your own good senses! If it smells like a pile of dung, it is, whether it's republican dung or democrat dung. It's all the same.

Posted by: Jack in Ohio | October 24, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Gore is a huckster, always had been, always will be. According to his wild speculations the coast 150 miles from here should be 20 feet under by now. It isn't. Make the man prove what he says out of his own pocket and see how fast he shuts up.

Posted by: Jay K | October 24, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing and yet sad how the conservatives line up behind Herr Bush just freaks out whenever someone supports the blatant lies disputing "global warming". Herr Bush is neither a scientist or a researcher! He is simply a dried up political loser who, like the rest of rightist Republicans that want to ruin the United States of America. You rightest can call me and others "naysayers" because we don't believe one word of lies being placed on an gullible public. When are you sheep going to wake up and seek out the real truth for yourselves. I refuse to follow you bunch of facists down a path of lies.

Posted by: Harry P. | October 24, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

There have been periods of warming and cooling over the millenia. It is not a question of whether the earth is warming, but rather is the warming caused by human activity. As for "super-storms" like Katrina being caused by global warming, there is no scientific basis for that claim. In fact, the Atlantic has been relatively calm since then. If global warming causes massive storms, why have there been fewer sorms the past two seasons?

Posted by: Walchung | October 24, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is real. Climate change is real just as it has been real hundreds of times over the last 100 million years.

What isn't real is how the global warming bandwagon has become the uniting social ideology of our time trumping good science and logic.

Let's get the politicins out of this debate and let the scientists do their job and find out how significant human involvement really is! Their is not, despite claims to the contrary, any real consensus on the causes of global warming.

Maybe Gore and all of the other alarmist types can find a way to cap all of the 6000 active volcanoes in the pacific and pipe the CO2 underground. Maybe they can eradicate the CO2 producing plant life from the oceans. Maybe they can even rid the African Sahara, the American Midwest and the Russian steppes of all CO2 and methane producing creatures to stave off the climate change.....

Save the world guys!

Posted by: Bobby Trinket | October 24, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Global warming is a natural occurrence. The oceans, decaying plant/tree material account for the majority of the gases that create global warming. While I agree we should look for more eco-friendly avenues, man has very little to do with what we are and will be experiencing in the years to come with the warming of our planet. Man made "global warming" is a myth that is being used by the left wing liberals as a political tool. Do the research and find out for yourself, or don't, and just believe what Al Gore and all the other alarmists are feeding you. It just isn't true.

Posted by: SDM | October 24, 2007 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Want to check some facts about global warming? How about the fact that during one of this planet's many violent swings from warming to cooling, almost the entirety of what is now the continental US was covered by an ocean, and much of what wasn't covered by that ocean was swampland. Where do you think all that water came from? The only source possible was the polar ice caps, and there could have been very little ice remaining. I wonder how the polar bears survived. If they're already drowning due to the small decrease in ice currently, how could they possibly have survived when there was almost no ice? Hmmm. Maybe God re-created them?
During another of the extremes in earth's climate history, the Atlantic coast of what is now the US was about 62 miles to the east of where it is today. For those of you liberals who believe in your bones that everything Europe is better than any thing America, that's about 100 kilometers. How many thousands of feet did the ocean have to rise to reach its current level? I guarantee you that the people who had ocean-front condos back then really appreciated the Al Gore of their day. He really deserved the Nobel Prize for warning them about the global warming they were facing. Of course, if any of them were alive today, they would scoff at our Al's nearly hysterical warning. "The ocean's going to rise 2 inches in the next hundred years! Are you kidding me? Let me tell you about some real global warming!" I know. "The science proves the earth is warming faster than it ever has before." I believe in the ability of scientists to determine what to the rest of us would seem to be impossible to determine. That is, I believe that when the scientists are able to account for all possible variables. Is that true when it comes to global warming? I don't think so. The very people who espouse global warming and that humans are responsible for it admit that in all their computer models they can not account for one of the most important variables. They have not, and admittedly don't even know how to, account for cloud cover. Will clouds exacerbate or will they mitigate? Nobody knows. And more, they have no idea how to account for this supremely vital variable. And yet, the same people who admit this at the same time claim that the science is settled. Not a very scientific stance.

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Posted by: robertcrow | October 25, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

We should thank Nobel for putting Al Gore on the same page with great past winners like Yasser Arafat. The award is hardly a recognition as much as a rubber stamp on those who would lie and deceive the most for personal gain.
Also I find it odd that for all the hammering here of the Post as right-leaning the majority of respondents (and dare I guess readers) are clearly lefties.

Posted by: rjg | October 25, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the connection between the Fact Checker's imaginary coverage of the "run-up" to the Iraq War, and current discussion of whether Gore's work is biased and alarmist. That, my friends, is the model of "ad hominem" arguments, and is no different from arguing that because Mr. Gore travels in private jets that everything he says is without merit. Focus on the work at hand if you want to be taken seriously by serious people.

Gore's work is biased and alarmist - the scenes that take on the assertion that the 2000 election was "stolen" clearly demonstrate the movie's inherent political bias. His assertions regarding the rising ocean levels and the snows of Kilimanjaro are alarmist. Natural systems are complex feedback loops with nearly infinite inputs; you can't deforest along the slopes of Kilimanjaro and expect the same levels of moisture (read snow) at the summit, for example. What discussion of alternative fuels can ignore or dismiss nuclear energy out of hand?

Did Gore add value to the discussion by making the movie? Certainly - I have friends who were moved to action by the movie. That's powerful. Is it good science? That's an entirely different standard. Accept it for what it was, "edutainment". That it is not hard science, that Gore is not a scientist and that there are clearly factual errors don't detract from its value. Use it as a starting point to learn more about the subject; read some books, make some effort to meet some engineers and paleantologists, be open to viable alternative models and energy sources above and beyond biofuels or hydrogen cracks. Attempt to be cool; make an honest effort to stop breaking everybody's balls if they don't agree with you 100%.

Posted by: Mark from BruisedOrange.com | October 25, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

It is remarkable. Some comments by readers regarding Al Gore's win of the Noble Peace Prize are an embarrassment, not only to the writers, but to the American people as well. Not only have they not thought of their positions in the debate, they don't give a damn either. To actually write, that there is no evidence of global warming and any such evidence is pseudoscience leads this observer to conclude that their view is more related to their contrived and tortured politics rather, than rational thinking.

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Gore and those of the U.N. panel. Others who've disgraced themselves should stand in the corner for an hour or two to think about what they've done.

Posted by: Jason Abdon | October 25, 2007 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, all this and no one gets it yet? No FACTS in science, go back to school becuase science is full of facts. Temperatures were higher when the Vikings made their villages in North America then they are now, I suggest reading History for facts about the Ice Free North Atlantic back then. Global Warming is a fact but at the same time the Global Temperatures have been changing for as long as the Earth has existed so it is very hard to prove most Theories about it. Al Gore blatantly lied in his movie about many "facts" he dreamed up so just because a Judge listed nine of them does not mean that is all of them. His movie style reminds me of Michael Moore, tons of "facts" in the wrong order and distorted to make his ideals seem more right. Mr. Gore's Nobel Peace Prize was for raising attention to Global Warming and no work of any actual Scientific merit. He certainly is not a genuis as some of you seem to think or he wouldn't be a failed politician. Every Scientist at one time thought the entire Universe rotated around the Earth so just because they all claim to believe something doesn't make it true. Comparing Mr Gore's enviromental policies to Mr Bush's is impossible since Mr Gore failed to have a position to compete and certainly did nothing during Mr Clinton's terms in office when he was Vice President. Unfortunately most people who read this have already been indoctrinated into the very lies of politics (Democrat Party in this case) that blind you to what really happens and who does what. It will be a sad in America when the politically brainwashed become the majority and it was very wise of this British Judge to order education to be included to counteract that same brainwashing in his homeland.

Posted by: John | October 25, 2007 5:47 AM | Report abuse

By the way everyone posting about the war in Iraq as the cause of death for 3,800 service members has also been brainwashed. Go to Iraq as a member of the military and learn the truth instead of the propaganda. The military loses people everywhere in the world to accidents which also claim many lives in Iraq. 3,800 is an avergae of 633 troops per year out of 160,000 troops per year to serve there over the last 6 years. Thats better odds then most people living in major cities and far better odds then people living in some countries. Wether or not the war was important is not your decision to make (both parties voted for it). Saying Gore won an election he lost in multiple recounts is absurd and if Bush wasn't voted for how did he win twice? I will be hoping for a president as good as a former mayor of NYC who actually improved his city while in office (glad one like that is running) compared to having another Clinton fiasco or a senator who not only refuses to wear an American Flag Pin but also manages to not be there for any important votes. Now I've pissed off all the Clinton supporters who conviently forget everything he did in office (interns, more troop deployments then Bush, selling classified military materials to China, increasing polution allowed by government facilities, lies on top of more lies while under oath, leaving us in debt to the UN financially well sending our troops on their missions, and the list can go on for a long time)

Posted by: John | October 25, 2007 6:55 AM | Report abuse

all this thing happening around that movie and all this comments posted here just show that we are still wasting our time and brain cycles on wrong things ... only thing one can see is intelectual "i know more than you" and "i am right and youre wrong" bs ... and funny thing is that all that will come on us in the future will be direct product of centuries that passed with same wrong approach to things as its happening now = seems like its much easier to debate than act and do what is obviously needed ... my conclusion is that we as humans HAD our chance(s) here on Earth but we blow them all away, many times, and that it will take action from someone outside to fix what we did wrong (or fix us, that would be better deal i guess :o)

Posted by: Damir Kutuzovich | October 25, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore was a divinity major in college. He was reported to have received a D in earth science. Although many years have passed, he still seems to be focused on religion and challenged with facts. The religion is environmentalism. He is clearly wrong on several points, and exagerated on many others. When people lie to make a point, or because they do not know what they are talking about, they are not credible. Why are people paying attention to this guy? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but it is not prudent to pay attention to it.

Posted by: Vuk | October 27, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Whats kinda sad is all you supporters of Gores Enviromentalist Doctrine are complaining because you dont like the links the Post offers. Personally, I dont need link's I have done a little research myself and have come to this decision. If the world is warming it has very little to do with what we do here, it is a natural cycle God built into this earth.

Please read Michael Chrictons, "State of Fear" It is a fictional book so its an enjoyable read, but it uses real works cited and bibliography from scientific journals and papers to back what he's saying. The book explains why mountians lose their snow peaks(Deforestation at the base) supposed temp change(Urban Heating Bias) and the fallacy that our ozone is choked w/ Carbon(less than 1/2 of 1%) and many other Gl.W. arguments are challenged.

Its an eye opening read. His theory about the P.L.M. being the new way to gain and hold power is a fact in my mind.

Posted by: DezzNutz | October 27, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

After reading more comments...I dont understand leftists. What does Goerge Bush or the 2000 election have to do whether this film should be shown to school aged children as factual? What does name calling have to do with the truth?
Point:
Al Gore is a loser, he is still upset about losing the election and he missed the public eye. So he made this movie, which is half about him and half about alarmism. And he states it all as "truth" that is what we are talking about here. He basically states in the movie that there is no discussion, that he is right. WTF???

You are fooling yourself if you think everything he said is truth, its not and there are plenty of scientists out there who have challenged it by use of science. Unfortunaety, many of you are party hacks who have been brainwashed by this blatant attempt by Al Gore to get his face back in the news and on TV.
Global Warming is a platform for Dems. used to make headlines. See what Herry Reid and Nanvy Pelosi are saying about the wildfires in Cali! (which happens every other year I swear!) Blaming it on Bush or GW....

With Global Warming the PLM power struggle rides again!!!

PLM - Politicians, Lawyers, Media.

I.E. If you want something legalized, outlawed, or whatnot, go to the media to state your case. If persauding public opinion fails, go to your politician and try and persuade him to offer a bill in Congress. If that fails, get a lawyer and sue.


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Posted by: shena | October 27, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

This "Fact Checker" is about as accurate as Fox News is "Fair and Balanced".

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Posted by: finya | October 29, 2007 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Global warming as a man made problem is a lie. There might be global warming, but, we arent the cause. you people are stupid.

Posted by: Danny | October 31, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I will completely agree the world is warming up. Last time I checked a good part of the area I live in was covered by ice ten's of thousands of years ago. The way I see it, mother nature has decided to warm it up a bit and there is nothing we can do about it other than adapt. And when she cools it down we better be ready for that to. By no means should we neglect our environment!!!!! I totally agree with taking care of our plant...I have replaced my light bulbs and insulated my home. Replaced my furnace with a high efficiency model. I recycle and reuse when possible. I refuse to get caught up in the crap. Politics over common sense is becoming a way of life. I'm not falling for it.

Posted by: Ryan | November 1, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash to those who just don't get it... The Global Warming Boogeyman: Al Gore, is not a climate expert, he is a lawyer and a politician. Put things in their proper perspective and you will realize that what Al Gore is is a trained professional liar who is now making millions upon millions of dollars jetting himself and his entourage around the country and the world to tell soccer moms that they shouldn't waste our resources driving their children around in an SUV.

In fact if you look at how most every one of the global warming scare-mongers live their lives, you'll see that they could care less about the earths resources as they hop one limousine after another to usher them to awaiting private jets that sweep them across the country and the world to the next affair, shin-dig or gala. Be it a party at George Looney's new place, a global warming seminar, or one of the hundreds of hollywood award ceremonies, it matters not, so long as there is opulence, media attention focused on them, and people that are simply better than you are.

Posted by: i-live-2-ride | November 1, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The nature and the world for that matter are too big to be destroyed or damaged beyond natural fixing by simple human causes. Mother nature as we call it, has been around alot longer with its own recorded highs and lows even before there were cars and capitalism to polute. Nature works in cycles; how is the climate exempt from this. Lastly, scientists realize that the Sun, go figure the sun, has a great direct impact on our climate. It is also known to vary in strength over the years, concidentially insync with our own recorded climate changes. Anywho, just some food for thought...

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Posted by: duloxetine | November 7, 2007 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Where I can find good quality films?
Can anyone help me?

Posted by: Numnamassevom | November 10, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Attributing climate heating or cooling to CO2 is drawing a very long bow on a theory that was originally put forth decades ago when global cooling was the scare. It is bunk, but helps promote the goal of global governance and the control of energy.

Posted by: algorithm | November 10, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The main problem I see with Inconvenient Truth is that it takes so many of those truths out of context. Gore's editors twisted snippets of quotes from published sources without regard to what the sources were or what the original intent of the article was. If you look at the "sources" listed on the official website the citations are TERRIBLE! It is bad science to quote a source like WHO without citing the exact document. WHO has millions of documents online and not a single one of them say the million of people are dead due to global warming, yet Inconvenient Truth listed this as a fact attributed to WHO. Bad citations mean sketchy science at best and that kind of science is wide open to interpretation and skepticism.

On the other hand, with a little more work by the research department, the same movie could have been produced with irrefutable sources and actually could have "proved" the idea of global warming. Pure laziness have left this film to die in discredited obscurity rather than being the shining beacon it should have been.

Posted by: VicinSea | November 10, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

CAN YOU FIND ONE SCIENTIST WHO STILL PROCLAIMS GLOBAL WARMING, WHO ISN'T FUNDED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THE GOVERNMENT(s)?

PERHAPS THIS IS (DOUBLE-UNDERLINE) WHY THESE SO-CALLED 'FACTS' ARE BEING CHECKED.


JUST FYI. ;-)


Posted by: CLKF | November 10, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the planet is getting warmer - that's generally what happens at the end of both a major and a minor ice age! Otherwise, the ice age would not have ended!! Duh!
It is still 3-5 degrees cooler than during the optimum and a little warmer than during the 'little ice age'
Climate has NEVER been stable! That is a fact! All of the models predictions have failed. None of the 'models' can develope a past climate - how can you expect them to forcast a future climate?
It's all about money. Gore spends more per month on electric than I do in two years. I leave my suburban parked and ride my motorcycle unless I need the larger carrying capacity of the weather is too bad. I wonder how much fuel Gore uses in his jets, limos, etc. Sure, Gore buys carbon credits - though his company, and from himself. Go Figure.
If carbon emissions are controlled by the UN, so is our economy. There is less than 0.04% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - 95% of which is naturally produced with no assistance from mankind.
Why is it that anyone who refutes the Global Warming lies is branded as a fool or in the pay of Big Oil. Free Speech allows and science demands that the lies be debunked.
If we are finding farmsteads under the ice on Greenland as the ice melts - doesn't it stand to reason that there was no ice when the farmstead was built and the land being farmed? If you find mammoths under the ice in the arctic there could not have been ice there when the mammoths were grazing. Central Missouri used to be under more than a mile of ice. It did not melt last week! The ice on Greenland has been melting for tens of thousands of years.
One of the first things I learned in the study of geology was to question! Don't accept anything as fact - prove it. This has not been done with the global warming lies.

Posted by: Concerned Geologist | November 10, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

To "Numnamassevom" who is looking for good films... try "Mine Your Own Business" by Irish Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. It is brand new and excellent.

It is basically a collection of environmentalists interviewed. Great, great stuff.

If you go to the website, the address is dot ORG.


Posted by: Simon | November 10, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The world will not be destoried by humans it will only be changed, Though the changes may be so extreme that human civilization collapses and humanity is threatend with extinction.
Climate change happends that issue can not be denied.
But it happneds slowly, very slow. Speed and climate change are two things that did not go together until humans hit the industrial age.

Lets look at this, If the "gobal alarmists" are wrong and we follow there path we can always go back to the old ways.

If the "humans make no impact" group is wrong and we follow there path we may cause your own extinction.


I think the "Fact Checker" and his supporters should actually bother to read his OWN article. Because obviously they didn't.

The judge desagreed with 9 facts out of seveal thousand? I'd say 991 out of 1000 is rather good.

The big naysayer argument is that the earth already puts out more CO2 then humans alot more, now that is true but that in no way means the increased CO2 humans put into the atmosphere does not have an impact.

It is made worse by the cutting down of trees which get rid of CO2 so we not only cause increased CO2 in the atmosphere but we get rid of less of it. The world doesn't just exist in cycles it exists in balance. And humans have the power to tip the scales

Posted by: Bill | November 10, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Why ,if we are so intelligent a species, do we choose to ignore certain possibilties,and perhaps jeopardize more of our grand childrens future, so that we may not be bothered to alter our own selfish lifestyles.Global warming is occurring. Our presence on Earth affects the balance we are all a part of.We are all responsible. Why is this issue being reduced to a political power struggle? We are fiddling while Rome is burning...

Posted by: Charles Fleury Mn. | November 10, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line is this. No matter what the country or affiliation, some people will NEVER acknowledge that our impact on this earth has been polution, overpopulation, degregation of wildlife habitats and damage to the enviroment. Global warming is affected by naturally occuring changes but is most definitely effected by our presents on this earth.

Maybe Vice President Gore's "Inconvient Truth" is alarmist to this judge but it should serve as a wake up call to the rest of us.

Posted by: Stacy Private Citizen | November 10, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

50 plus billion dollars invested into this crap reserach so far. Seems to me Climate Change is making al lots of money and there is a lesson to be learned here. Al is getting rich on this lie. Anyone remeber Woody Harrelson's Oxygen Bar? This is the same simple minded idiocy. Yeah woody, you are a complete moron! Kick my ass I dare ya to try!

Most of what al claims is plain fiction, and the nobel PEACE prize is not warranted on this. Then again, they have bestowed this award on rather dubious charcater in the past, so I have no real shock that gore got his oscar and nobel due entirely to the chicken little idiots you all are. I havent had any regard for the Nobel in YEARS though. Who the hell are the nobel's to tell anyone how to live after all the blood on their hands? Like they know anything at all about Peace or how to broker it.

A little scientific background on earths climate is useful, and informative, as are volumetric tests using a 5 gallon bucket, and the exact makeup of gases in similar conditions ie...a closed or open loop. Use a golf ball a BB, and a grain of sand for correct proportions. This is called propotional analysis if my eight grade science doesnt evade me. You can come to quick and easy conclusions with these demos. Basic science folks. My eighth graders ran a number of tests using her computer and some small masses of correct size to approximate the exact changes of gas amounts in the test. She came up with the same solution most of you will. the amount of GHG ( Greenhouse gases) are miniscule in relation to all other earth gases. The amount in total, manmade, earth generated etdc is less than a golf ball in displacement in the bucket. The amount of CO2 is less than a BB. That BB cut into .06 ( this is where the sand is useful) of it's orignal mass would represent the amnount of MANMADE GHG in the bucket. If all thinking were a little more robust we would not be in the mess we are in now.

I cannot believe how each and very media piece blames "global warming" for every little perceived threat whether proven or not. Science is getting a huge black eye here too. They cannot get ANY of these models to be accurate for a period of 24 hours of predicitive weather, much less a year, so how in hell they can make these claims that the "world is coming to an end soon....at a theater near you". They cannot. I hear on National Geographgic Channel one of the most ridiculous claims I have ever heard-it claimed that the water distribution systems inside the great sequoia tress is so compromised by a .6 degree change in the last 100 years- that it is a perilous threat to the very existence of the species if we dont do something NOW. What a freaking crock. These stands of tress have surviced fire, drought, several ice sheet advances and retreats, and are as old as 2 to 3 thousand years. Call me stupid but I could have sworn they survived that long because they were HARDY.

James Hansen of NASA? A loon who cannot figure out if we are going to freeze over or die of heat. Sorry, but if they cannot predict the hurricane season with any regularity or accuracy how am I to believe ANYTHING they claim? Anyone remember his other claims 30 years ago to the day of his report in Newswek about the Great Global Warming Crisis...they accepted as fact that we were going to have a great new ice age....they had "consensus" then too. That word always makes me look much deeper.They taught us this in 7th grade science and made me sure we were all doomed. I laugh in their faces now. Make up your stupid lunatic minds would ya? Which way is the world going to end chicken little? Hmm?

As for all you Gore disciples...the much hailed, very error laden IPCC report being distilled now by the UN? A policitial document broadly denounced and many of it's core tenets disproven in scietnific method by the very folks they quote to prop up their half baked THEORIES. About HALF of the scientists who contributed claim the science does not support the claims made by the movie, or the alarmists.

Sorry folks, you can pay for all the carbon offfsets you want. Me? i am going to make as much carbon as i can. I have not one but TWO GTO's and drive em like crazy. I drive my 67 with a 600 hp 455 once in a while, but now will start to pound the pavement daily just to twaek you all you little prius pantywaists. My 06 GTO gets 26 MPG on the hiway so shut the hell up already. My wifes new Pontiac Vibe-a "green vehicle" only gets 32 so how much have I given up to drive what the hell I want? Nothing at all. Camry's dont get as good mileage as I do. You ever think about how much toxic scrap that car is going to leave behind? Or how dangerous it is to the rescue workers when an accident occurs? Have another bottle of water and remember to recyle the junk mail...and buy your drooling kids some led laden or GHB loaded chinese toys. All while claiming global warming is the problem. Legislate China first, then come to me and tell me I can help. Then I MIGHT.

Don't believe me on the atmosphereic data? Ask Professor Don Easterbrook of the U of Washington's climatology dept, or better yet, watch the BBC's expose on this crock of crap. The Great Global Warmig Swindle. There are nearly daily rebuttals of this load of scare me out of my wits taxation scheming being promoted, but this complete lack of questioning by the american people astounds me. Sheeple. ANYONE who buys into this load of baloney lacks basic critical thinking. 6 tenths of a degree of observable overall global temp in 100 years, and it has been MUCH HOTTER BEFORE WHILE MAN WALKED THE EARTH!!! Egads people! A number of the temp monitoring stations are not accurate...they have other sources of heat temperature in the such as a running 100 watt incandescent light bulb inside the room-can raise the temp of a room by as much as 2.4 degrees. room or on a jet runway etc. For god's freaking sake. Morons and idiots. Sniff, sniff... Smell that? I smell MONEY!!!!

Posted by: Tim Taylor | November 10, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Balance is needed. So we have liberals accusing conservatives of "alarmism" over terrorism and conservatives accusing liberals of "alarmism" over global warming. Both sides need to take a deep breath. As for global warming, it is a fact that average annual temperatures are rising and ice and snow packs are melting. What is not a fact is why temperatures are rising. Some is probably due to natural global variations and some is possibly due to human factors. We cannot scientifically prove either. There is no lab experiment we can perform and no control subject available. Should we "clean up our act"? Absolutly. But whether human factors are more or less a factor should not be an argument against it. And neither should we be using alarmist propaganda to promote it (but if it gets the world off of it's collective butt maybe its not a bad thing). What perhaps worries me more is the lack of planning for if and when global warming catastophy strikes. It seems the bigger issue should be not "how" or "why" but what to do "when" as there is probably nothing humanly possibly to eliminate global warming and it's effects. It is also a big crime over global warming alarmists that this distracts from adequate planning for the "when".

Posted by: Rob | November 10, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Global warming = self flagellation

Anyone think self flagellation is healthy? See how many people insert "and it is caused by humans" or "how can people not see that the cause of all this is human beings". I never knew how easy mind control really was! How does a dork like Al Gore take over the minds of normal people? (Oooops, I think I just answered my own question, lol...)

Posted by: All Gore | November 10, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt that some of Gore's statements are inexact. It's a feature film, not a PhD thesis, and it's designed for a general audience with the intent of waking them up to the problem of global warming. But the court's criticisms are far dumber than anything Gore said. Here's an example. "Gore suggested an "exact fit" between the rise in carbon dioxide levels and the rise in temperatures over a period of 650,000 years. According to the judge, scientists generally agree that there is "a connection," between the two phenomena, but claims of an "exact fit" cannot be established." I don't know what it means if Gore "suggests" an exact fit and the court claims that there is a "connexion" but no evidence of an exact fit. Science doesn't recognize exact fits anyway because everything is a matter of probabilities and probability never achieves unity. The court could as easily have challenged a statement like "the sun will rise tomorrow," since nobody can be sure it will. Gore got the prize for successfully trying to bring attention to the matter. He's not running for anything. The act was relatively selfless.

Posted by: Robert Maxwell | November 10, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Taking care of the enviroment is a good thing and is the responsibility of all people. However, the most basic and fundamental of questions is whether the action taken to do so violate the dignity of persons and nations. This, however, is often the effect of "Alarmists" because they raise the issue above every other concern. Thus, I agree with the Judges statement.

Posted by: Kurtis | November 12, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Clay | November 12, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Oh, and besides that observation, the most intent folks on this thread can not spell. It is scary how the neo-conservationists are now the new cloth less Evangelists. Shall we get back to business making a fortune in trading carbon credits or what?

Posted by: Chicken Little | November 12, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

My how the left hate it when the "facts" are subjected to scrutiny. Character assassination and ignoring the inconvenient facts are their only response.Suppression and intimidation is how they question the numerous scientists who dare question the tenets of the religion of global warming. Some of these posts are pathetic demonstration of how they fear honest research.

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Posted by: atodds | November 13, 2007 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore is a pathological lier!! he would'nt know the truth if it bit him tha ass! his global warming rant only proves he's on the far side of being a moron!!

He needs help. after serving in the Clinton admestration, where lies were a staple for all of them, i.e Bill Clinton, Hillery Clinton, the attorny general and all the rest of the socilist in there cabnet could not recognize a lie because they told so many of them. their rule was simplE: Tell a lie often enough and stupid people will beleve IT.

GORE IS MENTALY DERANGEd!! and no kined of rasahanel by you Idiots is going to chang that. John William

Posted by: john williams | November 13, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why would the big bad OIL companies care to fund climate change "deniers". Will they lose profit if there's a tax on CO2?
Of course not. They'll raise the price at the pump and not lose a cent. The consumers will pay with their hard earned paychecks.
Blaming oil companys and the the US Pres. is a tactic used by enviromental lobbyist.
Besides, if climate science was certain of dangerous man-made climate change then it wouldn't be necessary to have so many blogs and media blitzes trying to convince us their is.
We certainly wouldn't need the United Nations to get involved. They're the political body that brought us the Oil for Food , Sex for Food, and Cash for Chin scandals. Not the people we should looking towards for rational, honest answers.

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Posted by: John | November 18, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing reading these posts and getting the same impression. There are countless references to "Al Gore exaggerated/ lied about several points but that is ok because .....". As any good liberal will tell you, judge me on my intentions, not on my actions since the result of my actions are seldom what I intended (i.e. Poverty, health care, family values....).

The British Judge has simply stated that inaccurate statements in the movie must be rectified. This is being subjected to children in the classroom. It is unlikely that there is a disclaimer indicating the over-dramatazation of the situation, hence the ruling should be applauded. Do you want your kids to be mindless drones, unable to make decisions for themselves. Oh, wait, if you are liberal, that is exactly what you want (you are only lying to yourself otherwise).

Its true, Global warming is occuring, as did global cooling between the years of 1940 & 1970 (i.e. the scientist in 1960 finding no melting of the ice caps). Do some of your own research, it is quite enjoyable really.

How about a different approach be taken instead of all this the world will end non-sence. Lets face facts, as some one stated in an earlier post, the world wont end, only perhaps our existance (for those in favor of that like enviro-extremists you should be all about global warming to exterminate man-kind). Conserve for the sake of conserving and creating a better place for our kids and grand-kids.

Oh, and before you bash me for my "Right Wing" anti-global warming rant, I'll bet I have done more to stop Global Warming than most of you. I drive a Hybrid vehicle, I have the "Mercury" filled compact flourecent lights in my house. For crying out loud, I even have an ECO-drive wrist watch (Solar powered from Citizen) and only one computer (not one for each of my children).

Conserve simply to conserve, be a leader, not a follower. Tell your elected officials the more they try to control the worse things will become (i.e. public housing, public schools, welfare, the list goes no.....)

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Posted by: finya | November 26, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

When the residents of coastal Florida and Venice start to sell their waterfront homes and move, I will believe there is a problem. How can some island have waters rising when no other similar area of the world is seeing it? If the ice caps are melting, wouldn't these people notice it and MOVE to drier land? Try reading the letters to the editor in the MIAMI HERALD when articles come out on global warming and rising ocean levels. Those Floridans who would be most affected by rising waters think the rest of us are nuts for believing this tripe. Remebmer, Al Gore also said he invented the Internet.

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