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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/25/2007

Pinocchio Time for Al Gore

By Michael Dobbs

VERDICT IN THE CASE OF ALBERT ARNOLD GORE Jr. vs JUDGE MICHAEL BURTON

Nobel peace prize laureate Al Gore

KALEE KREIDER, Environmental adviser to Al Gore:

"The judge himself never used the term "errors." That was an allegation made by the plaintiff--whose motives are quite suspect. Stewart Dimmock, who brought this case, appears to have been funded by the very same fossil fuel interests who have sought to undermine the scientific consensus behind global warming in the past."

--Response to The Fact Checker, October 18, 2007.

MR JUSTICE BURTON, British High Court judge:

"There are errors and omissions in the film [An Inconvenient Truth], to which I shall refer, and respects in which the film, while purporting to set out the mainstream view (and to belittle opposing views), does in fact itself depart from that mainstream."

--Legal decision permitting the Gore movie to be shown in British schools, together with teacher guidance pointing out alleged "errors." October 10, 2007.

The Facts

Earlier this month, on the day former Vice President Gore won the Nobel peace prize, we ran an item reporting that a British judge had found various "errors" in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. We invited readers to debate the question whether Gore may have exaggerated some points in the movie to draw attention to global warming. Readers responded with more than 700 comments, many of them vituperative. The Fact Checker was accused of everything from "Nobel Prize envy" to being part of a right-wing "propaganda machine" worthy of Joseph Goebbels.

At the time, I (it's probably time to abandon the royal "we") did not take a position on the accuracy or inaccuracy of either the Gore movie or the judge's critique. Now that the smoke has cleared away a bit, I feel more confident about reaching some conclusions. I do so with no pretense of scientific expertise, merely as a detached and hopefully fair-minded non-expert who has listened to both sides make their case.

The first point to make is that I am unimpressed by ad hominem attacks of the kind that Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider engaged in above. So what if the plaintiff in the British case was "funded by...fossil fuel interests" or Gore has "ties" to the environmental lobby? What has that got to do with a factual debate about the accuracy of specific statements in a movie? In this case, it is doubly irrelevant--unless you believe that the judge is also the tool of "fossil fuel interests."

Our mission statement (the plural is appropriate here because it was endorsed by Washington Post muckety-mucks) included the following promise to readers: "We will stick to the facts of the issue under examination and pay no attention to ad hominem attacks. The identity or political ties of the person or organization making a charge is irrelevant: all that matters is whether their facts are accurate or inaccurate." If I ever break that vow, I hope that readers will call me on it.

Onto the matter at hand. Contrary to Kreider's assertion, the judge did talk about "errors" in the Gore movie, and did not always put quotation marks around the word error, as some readers maintained. See points 18 and 19 in his judgment available in full here. In deciding that the movie could be shown in British schools, he agreed that Gore's presentation was "broadly accurate." At the same time, he insisted on new teacher guidance, including the following points:

  • [The movie] promotes partisan political views (that is to say, one-sided views about political issues);
  • Teaching staff must be careful to ensure that they do not themselves promote those views;
  • In order to make sure of that, they should take care to help pupils examine the scientific evidence critically (rather than simply accepting what is said at face value) and to point out where Gore's view may be inaccurate or departs from that of mainstream scientific opinion;
  • For full teacher guidance on the movie, see here.

    There is little to be gained re-examining each and every disputed point in An Inconvenient Truth. By the Gore camp's own admission, some scenes in the movie have been over-simplified. As Kreider points out, science does not transfer easily to the big screen. Scientists sympathetic to Gore have effectively conceded several errors or omissions in the movie:

  • The "evacuation" of Pacific atolls. Kreider acknowledges that the wording of the movie, implying the wholesale evacuation of some communities to New Zealand, was "unfortunate." As supporting evidence, she cited a 2005 report by the United Nations Environment Program of a "small community" on the Pacific island of Vanuatu. The only report that we have been able to find from this date states that the islanders were relocated "higher into the interior" after their coastal homes were repeatedly swamped by storm surges and aggressive waves linked with climate change." A later news report spoke of some Tuvalans moving to New Zealand "for many reasons - better jobs, college, overcrowding on the islands - and to escape what many see as a threat of sea level rise, caused by global warming."
  • The melting of snow on Kilimanjaro and the drying up of Lake Chad. Gore supporters concede that neither of these phenomena have been conclusively linked to global warming. Jonathan Foley, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin who has studied Lake Chad extensively and admires Gore's work on climate change, said the primary explanation for the disappearance of the lake appeared to be regional climate cycles exacerbated by local irrigation practices. He said that the cycles of drought and heavy rain had been going on for "hundreds of years," and appeared unrelated to global warming. See his 2001 report here.
  • Drowning polar bears. Gore cited a scientific study showing that polar bears had drowned by "swimming long distances--up to 60 miles--to find the ice." According to Andrew Derocher, chair of the polar bear group at the World Conservation Union, studies show that there is a good chance that the polar bears died by drowning but no definitive proof. Storms and hypothermia are other major concerns.
  • UPDATE: Since Kalee Kreider mentioned that Gore had relied on the research of Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University for his Kilimanjaro/global warming conclusions, I asked the professor to weigh in on the debate. His argument seems to revolve around the phrases "attributed to" and "consistent with." Here is his e-mailed reply, received this morning:

    One would have to ask what in the world a judge in England would know about Climate Change or the ice fields of Kilimanjaro. It is like saying the California fires can not be attributed to human-induced climate change, while certainly they are consistent with human-induced climate change...What is clear is glaciers are being loss on Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, the Ruwenzori's all in Africa, the tropical glaciers throughout the Andes of South America, the Himalayas and even the one remaining glacier in New Guinea. [A balance of evidence] points to human-induced climate change. What is certain on Kilimanjaro as of last week is those ice fields continue to retreat and will in fact disappear going forward. The problem with climate change research is every Tom, Dick and Harry and now apparently a judge in England has an opinion, while most have never lifted a finger toward doing the hard work to get the necessary data nor studying the science to even warrant an opinion.

    The Pinocchio Test

    The question was never whether Al Gore deserved the Nobel Peace Prize or whether global warming has been scientifically proven or not. I have no reason to dispute Martin Parry of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or Professor Foley of the University of Wisconsin, both of whom say that An Inconvenient Truth is based on solid science.

    "The bottom line is that it is 90 percent accurate," says Foley. "Compare that to the garbage put out by the global warming skeptics, which is ninety nine percent inaccurate." Parry described An Inconvenient Truth as "pretty accurate." He added a slight qualification. "For the American movie industry."

    In their zeal to draw attention to the cause, even Nobel peace prize laureates can make mistakes or shade the truth a little. I award Al Gore one Pinocchio.

    (About our rating scale.)

    By Michael Dobbs  | October 25, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
    Categories:  1 Pinocchio, Environment, Video Watch  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 'Hillary Care' and 'Socialized Medicine'
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    Comments


    Will you revoke the pinocchio rating when those "errors" turn out to be true (if they aren't already? i.e., when pacific islands are evacuated, when snowmelt on Kiliminjaro is linked to global warming, and when polar bears drown due to increased swimming distances at sea?

    The latter two items are very questionable... already.

    Both the UK court case and this tangent seems much ado about very very little... especially as global warming is ongoing... with demonstrable impacts on the poles, per US drought & heatwaves, etc.

    http://www.newscientist.com/blog/environment/2007/08/el-nio-not-responsible-for-us-heatwave.html

    Posted by: waverunner | October 25, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

    Pretty lame to use the politically charged term pinochio (sp?) with Gore because of all the attacks/baggage about his prior supposed "fibs." Stick to facts, which are interesting.

    Posted by: TW | October 25, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

    Sounds like a na na na na na moment. Were you sticking your tongue out when you wrote this?

    Posted by: pmorlan | October 25, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

    Thank you for pointing out the nature of so many political arguments - the ad hominem attack - attacking the speaker and not the speaker's argument.

    So much of what we see these days is that: "Don't believe him, he's just an SUV-driving tree-hugging democrat"; "Don't believe her, she's just a ignorant money-grubbing republican";

    It would be nice if people actually stuck to debating facts.

    Posted by: Mr. Hominem | October 25, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

    I award "The Fact Checker" 5 Pinnochios for its reasoning of giving Al Gore 1 Pinnochio.

    Posted by: Inti Raymi | October 25, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

    You make me laugh. The Post has engaged in Ad Hominem attacks on Al Gore for the past 10 years. That is a very well documented assertion, as the Daily Howler has attested. Your 'fact-checking' reminds me more of nit-picking, of compulsively obsessing about the speck of sawdust in Al Gore's eye while persisting in your blindness to the plank in your own.

    Posted by: c4logic | October 25, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

    Having read this series it still seems to me that Fact Checker got its clock cleaned in rebuttal and cannot accept being hoisted by its own petard.

    Posted by: upperdeck4 | October 25, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

    I agree with Mr. Hominem. Reading these entries, I am amazed by how many people want to slam the messenger, instead of debating intelligently based on facts.

    Dobbs never supported one side or another, and he is right to bring this up. He is right to bring this up because there are MANY people out there - thoughtful, intelligent people - who do not trust Gore and don't subscribe to his views. I am not one of them. I believe we must do something about the desacration of this planet. But just because you want Gore to be right, or global warming to be real, you cannot accept anything that even suggests the facts might be otherwise. That kind of attitude makes Hitler look like a paradigm of tolerance.

    Posted by: hilda | October 25, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse


    Great job fact checker. I love this debate, and agree with hilda. I can't believe how much we accept without checking facts.
    Now, can we please start looking into healthcare and the war?

    Posted by: lak | October 25, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

    The melting of the snows on Kiliminjaro have been scientifically shown to be caused by clear cutting of the trees around the mountain, which allowed warmer air to flow up and melt the snows and glaciers.

    Yes, this does in fact mean Man is at fault. This is also what is called a micro-climatic change, something that is also occurring in metropolitan areas. It is not global warming.

    Posted by: William Teach | October 25, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

    Did anyone see John Stossel's "Give Me a Break" report on 20/20 this week? The very impressive timeline Gore showed with CO2 emissions and global temperature was misinterpreted. Actually, CO2 emissions have risen AFTER temperature increases, not the other way around. That's worth at least 3 Pinocchios. I'm sure most people have good intentions here. If you believe man is wreaking havoc on the environment, you might buy in to Gore's thesis without question. WE SHOULD ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. DO NOT JUST ACCEPT ALLEGED FACTS. Where politics and money are involved, you'd best be a skeptic. Please.

    Posted by: hello? | October 25, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

    So British judges without any scientific training are now accepted as scientific authorities by the Post? I suspect this is a special arrangement for Mr. Gore.

    Posted by: DannyK | October 25, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

    PS: Michael, you say that there would not be ad hominum attacks, yet, you end your article with one. How about a quote from one of the "skeptics" in rebuttal to Prof Foley for balance? Or was that simply some red meat to keep the liberals from assualting you for daring to take on their icon, who he himself refuses to debate anyone who doesn't believe mankind is all at fault (while refusing to change his lifestyle to match his rhetoric?)

    Posted by: William Teach | October 25, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

    Please do not debate Global Scamming, I mean Global Warming, with it's adherents. It is arguing with zealots and that is never productive. When they make their juvenile arguments and ludicrous conclusions, just nod knowingly, pry their suckers off your shoulder with the blunt edge of a spoon, leave them there arguing as well for the aliens among us and just continue on with business as usual.

    Posted by: Stick | October 25, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

    It's frankly absurd to pretend that the political views of the plaintiff are irrelevant. He and his backers are not on a quest for scientific accuracy.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

    You do yourself no favors by referring to the quote from Kalee Kreider an "ad hominem" attack.
    It would be one thing if she simply referred to Dimmock as an "anti-environmentalist," or a "stupid fool" or averred that he was "part of a vast CO2-emitting conspiracy."
    But she did not, and in the snippet you cite, she did not engage in an ad hominem attack. She referred to the plaintiff as funded by, and presumably acting at the behest of, parties interested in barring Gore's film from public exhibition. She is not simply attacking the messenger, but rather as noted above, raising questions about the motives underlying the debate.

    Such reckless use of language does not help you when you seek to portray the article as neutral, objective and non-partisan (and I'm willing to presume that your motives are as honorable as you claim).


    Posted by: Jim | October 25, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

    I think your "fact checking" is suspect, in that you say things are false that are not proven false; rather they are subject to interpretation about the specified origin of the item, not the basic fact that the climate changes can be attributed to actions by man. Take the polar bear example: you are giving weight to alternative theories that are not proved to disproving a theory that is equally plausible. The underlying fact is that an increasing number of polar bears are dying and the cause is attributable to climate change.

    Up to this point I've assumed your facts are correct when you fact-check. I will no longer assume that your biases haven't seeped into the text.

    Posted by: Catae | October 25, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

    Stick, I mostly agree, however, despite it being mostly a waste of time, it is like debating the Truthers: you cannot give them free reign to put their crazy theories out there without rebuttal.

    Posted by: William Teach | October 25, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

    it would seem obvious as to whether or not there is global warming: simply ask justice burton or matthew perry.
    i live in manitoba, a part of canada noted for its very cold winters. i HAVE noticed it has gotten much (that is, very noticeably) warmer over the past 20 yrs. and it is true the further north you travel the warmer the winters have become.
    if you had spent as much time and effort to discredit president bush's assertions re; weapons of mass destruction, you wouldn't be embroiled up to your necks in a never ending war.

    Posted by: gnorrigh | October 25, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

    It amazes me that so many people confuse facts with truth. In most cases a documentary does no more than show in the best light those opinions and facts to which the author subscribes and, if they are shown at all, contrary views in poor light by linking them with non-mainstream people or ideas. That is not to say that what is shown in An Inconvenient Truth is not accurate, but it is very definitely slanted in a partisan manner. It portrayed a rather complex issue in simplified terms using a significant number of anecdotes and tugged heart strings. It purports to conclude that there is no credible debate on the overall causes of global warming and raises apocalyptic visions as a goad to support a political agenda. This is not to say that it is necessarily incorrect, but it is disingenuous to call it "truth."

    Posted by: whurley | October 25, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

    I noticed the Fact Checker does not address his introduction of the term "significant" in characterizing the alleged errors in Mr Gore's film in the original column. I believe his slip was showing and he hopes no one will notice. I did. I don't think I'm alone.

    Posted by: david | October 25, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

    "This is not to say that it is necessarily incorrect, but it is disingenuous to call it 'truth.'"

    Is it also disingenuous to call it "inconvenient?"

    By your standard and that of the Fact Checker we can pick any documentary at all and tear it to pieces by demonstrating a lack of omnipotence. I'm quite happy to predict that the future will look back on this debate as fiddling while Rome burned.

    Posted by: judgeccrater | October 25, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

    I wish you'd subject everything Bush and Cheney say about Iran and Iraq to your "fact checking." They'd have to hire extra personnel to lug around their noses!

    Posted by: Donna Saggia | October 25, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

    It's important to look at what climatologists have to say about this issue: see www.realclimate.com. Hello?: the issue of how temperature preceded CO2 increase in interglacial periods versus the reverse today was discussed some time ago at realclimate. As for the current issue of Gore's accuracy, here is a recent post by Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann(apologies for quoting at length):

    Convenient Untruths
    10/18/07: We are very disappointed that the Washington Post has declined to run an op-ed placing the alleged 9 'errors' in a proper scientific context, despite having run an extremely misleading news article last week entitled "UK Judge Rules Gore's Climate Film Has 9 Errors".

    Last week, a UK High Court judge rejected a call to restrict the showing of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) in British schools. The judge, Justice Burton found that "Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate" (which accords with our original assessment). There has been a lot of comment and controversy over this decision because of the judges commentary on 9 alleged "errors" (note the quotation marks!) in the movie's description of the science. The judge referred to these as 'errors' in quotations precisely to emphasize that, while these were points that could be contested, it was not clear that they were actually errors (see Deltoid for more on that).


    There are a number of points to be brought out here. First of all, "An Inconvenient Truth" was a movie and people expecting the same depth from a movie as from a scientific paper are setting an impossible standard. Secondly, the judge's characterisation of the 9 points is substantially flawed. He appears to have put words in Gore's mouth that would indeed have been wrong had they been said (but they weren't). Finally, the judge was really ruling on how "Guidance Notes" for teachers should be provided to allow for more in depth discussion of these points in the classroom. This is something we wholehearted support - AIT is probably best used as a jumping off point for informed discussion, but it is not the final word. Indeed, the fourth IPCC report has come out in the meantime, and that has much more up-to-date and comprehensive discussions on all these points.

    A number of discussions of the 9 points have already been posted (particularly at New Scientist and Michael Tobis's wiki), and it is clear that the purported 'errors' are nothing of the sort. The (unofficial) transcript of the movie should be referred to if you have any doubts about this. It is however unsurprising that the usual climate change contrarians and critics would want to exploit this confusion for perhaps non-scientific reasons.

    In the spirit of pushing forward the discussion, we have a brief set of guidance notes of our own for each of the 9 issues raised. These are not complete, and if additional pointers are noted in the comments, we'll add them in here as we go along.

    Ice-sheet driven sea level rise Gore correctly asserted that melting of Greenland or the West Antarctic ice sheet would raise sea levels 20ft (6 meters). In the movie, no timescale for that was specified, but lest you think that the 20 ft number is simply plucked out of thin air, you should note that this is about how much higher sea level was around 125,000 years ago during the last inter-glacial period. Then, global temperatures were only a degree or two warmer than today - and given that this is close to the minimum temperature rise we can expect in the future, that 20 ft is particularly relevant. The rate at which this is likely to happen is however highly uncertain as we have discussed previously.

    Pacific island nations needing to evacuate Much of Tuvalu is only a few feet above sea level, and any sea level rise is going to impact them strongly. The impacts are felt in seemingly disconnected ways - increasing brine in groundwater, increasing damage and coastal erosion from tides and storm surges, but they are no less real for that. The government of Tuvalu has asked New Zealand to be ready to evacuate islanders if needed, and while currently only 75 people per year can potentially be resettled, this could change if the situation worsened.
    In the movie there is only one line that referred to this: "That's why the citizens of these pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand", which is out of context in the passage it's in, but could be said to only be a little ahead of it's time.

    Climate impacts on the ocean conveyor The movie references the Younger Dryas event that occurred 11,000 years ago when, it is thought, a large discharge of fresh water into the North Atlantic disrupted the currents, causing significant regional cooling. That exact scenario can't happen again, but similar processes are likely to occur. The primary unresolved scientific issue regards how quickly the circulation is likely to change as we move forward. The model simulations in the latest IPCC report show a slowdown in the circulation - by about 30% by 2100 - but there is much we don't understand about modeling that circulation and future inputs of freshwater from the ice sheets, so few are willing to completely rule out the possibility of a more substantial change in the future. Further discussion on what this really means and doesn't mean is available here and here.

    CO2 and Temperature connections in the ice core record Gore stated that the greenhouse gas levels and temperature changes over ice age signals had a complex relationship but that they 'fit'. Again, both of these statements are true. The complexity though is actually quite fascinating and warrants being further discussed by those interested in how the carbon cycle will react in the future. We've discussed the lead/lag issue previously. A full understanding of why CO2 changes in precisely the pattern that it does during ice ages is elusive, but among the most plausible explanations is that increased received solar radiation in the southern hemisphere due to changes in Earth's orbital geometry warms the southern ocean, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, which then leads to further warming through an enhanced greenhouse effect. Gore's terse explanation of course does not mention such complexities, but the crux of his point-that the observed long-term relationship between CO2 and temperature in Antarctica supports our understanding of the warming impact of increased CO2 concentrations-is correct. Moreover, our knowledge of why CO2 is changing now (fossil fuel burning) is solid. We also know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and that the carbon cycle feedback is positive (increasing temperatures lead to increasing CO2 and CH4), implying that future changes in CO2 will be larger than we might anticipate.

    Kilimanjaro Gore is on even more solid ground with Kilimanjaro. In the movie, the retreat of Kilimanjaro is not claimed to be purely due to global warming , but it is a legitimate example of the sort of thing one expects in a warmer world, and is consistent with what almost all other tropical mountain glaciers are doing. There is indeed some ongoing discussion in the literature as to whether or not the retreat of ice on Kilimanjaro is related to the direct effects (warming atmospheric temperatures) or indirect effects (altered patterns of humidity, cloud cover, and precipitation influencing Kilimanjaro's ice mass) of climate change, and that argument isn't yet over. But these arguments would be of more relevance if (a) we were not witnessing the imminent demise of an ice field that we know has existed for at least the past 12,000 years and (b) most of the other glaciers weren't disappearing as well.

    Drying up of Lake Chad It is undisputed that Lake Chad has indeed shrunk rapidly in recent decades. While irrigation and upstream water use are probably contributing factors, the dominant cause is the reduction of rainfall across the entire Sahel from the 1950s to the 1980s and with rainfall today still substantially below the high point 50 years ago. There is substantial evidence that at least a portion of this drying out is human-caused. A few recent papers (Held et al, PNAS; Chung and Ramanathan and Biasutti and Giannini) have addressed causes ranging from Indian Ocean changes in sea surface temperature to the increase in atmospheric aerosols in the Northern hemisphere. Gore uses this example to illustrate that there are droughts in some regions even while other areas are flooding. Unfortunately this is exactly what the models suggest will happen.

    Hurricane Katrina and global warming Katrina is used in the film as a legitimate illustration of the destructive power of hurricanes, our inability to cope with natural disaster, and the kind of thing that could well get worse in a warmer world. Nowhere does Gore state that Katrina was caused by global warming. We discussed this attribution issue back in 2005, and what we said then still holds. Individual hurricanes cannot be attributed to global warming, but the statistics of hurricanes, in particular the maximum intensities attained by storms, may indeed be.

    Impact of sea ice retreat on Polar bears As we presaged in August, summer Arctic sea ice shattered all records this year for the minimum extent. This was partially related to wind patterns favorable to ice export in the spring, but the long term trends are almost certainly related to the ongoing and dramatic warming in the Arctic. Polar bears do indeed depend on the sea ice to hunt for seals in the spring and summer, and so a disappearance of this ice is likely to impact them severely. The specific anecdote referred to in the movie came from observations of anomalous drownings of bears in 2004 and so was accurate. However, studying the regional populations of polar bears is not easy and assessing their prospects is tough. In the best observed populations such as in western Hudson Bay (Stirling and Parkinson, 2006), female polar bear weight is going down as the sea ice retreats over the last 25 years, and the FWS is considering an endangered species listing. However, it should be stated that in most of the discussions about polar bears, they are used as a representative species. Arctic ecosystems are changing on many different levels, but it is unsurprising that charismatic mega-fauna get more press than bivalves. In the end, it may be the smaller and less photogenic elements that have the biggest impact.

    Impact of ocean warming on coral reefs Corals are under stress from a multitude of factors; overfishing, deliberate destruction, water pollution, sea level rise, ocean acidification and, finally, warming oceans. The comment in the movie that rising temperatures and other factors cause coral bleaching is undoubtedly true. Bleaching episodes happen when the coral is under stress, and many examples have been linked to anomalously warm ocean temperatures (Australia in 1998 and 2002, all over the Indian Ocean in recent years). Corals are a sobering example of how climate change exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in eco-systems, potentially playing the role of the straw that breaks the camel's back in many instances.
    Overall, our verdict is that the 9 points are not "errors" at all (with possibly one unwise choice of tense on the island evacuation point). But behind each of these issues lies some fascinating, and in some cases worrying, scientific findings and we can only applaud the prospect that more classroom discussions of these subjects may occur because of this court case.

    Posted by: CG | October 25, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

    How about turning your zeal for accuracy and lies on George W. Bush and various members of his administration, who have engaged in wholesale lying on the most important matters of state, including most notably Iraq and the demonstrably bogus reasons for going to war?

    Posted by: Doofus | October 25, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

    The problem with the judge requiring absolute proof of these claims is that there isn't even absolute proof that tobacco causes cancer or what gravity really is. So it is easy to discount Gore because we don't have absolute proof of some of the things he says. We will never get absolute proof that Greenland will melt and raise sea levels until it really happens, but that does not mean Gore is lying. That means that scientific certainty is never complete. That means that there is disagreement over specific details. I bet, even on many of the so-called errors that the judge ruled on, that Gore will turn out to be right, unfortunately. It is silly to do an article like this, making Gore out to be a liar. The judge himself did not have absolute proof that his ruling was correct. The evidence is unclear and will be until the global warming is past repair. All the scientific community and Gore can do is point the way. Why doesn't this reporter fact check what the global warming deniers are saying and show how they have no proof that they are right.

    Posted by: renee | October 25, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

    The argument that man is causing global warming is still under debate, remember all of these green house gases were going to cause an ice age (or so we thought 30 years ago). Yes the climate is changing, but it has always changed, which is why we have had inter-glacial periods in our history. The idea that there is a baseline climate on the planet is absurd and not based in fact. Good job fact checker about reviewing the comments of the judge and the response by the Gore team, I would have given them a 2 but all-in-all a fair representation of the argument and areas of question.

    Posted by: Bill | October 25, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

    It would be swell if you could focus on some of Bush's big lies instead of these hair splits of the Dems that seem to have caught your fancy in this new era of truthiness now that the neocons are on the defensive.

    Posted by: Sara BB | October 25, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

    This must make you feel like a big, big man.

    Good for you!

    A poke in the eye for Gore!

    So, I assume you'll run "fact checker" against that global warming apologist from Europe? I think he's Dutch or something. (No irony intended!)

    What? You will not run "fact checker" against a global warming apologist, but will devote all your resources to finding less-than-a-handful of "fudge" from a 90-minute documentary?

    Honest to God, how many points of fact were presented in Gore's movie? And how many are "fudge"? Care to give us a percentage?

    Maybe you're not such a big, big man after all.

    Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | October 25, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

    Your analysis seems to miss the forest for the trees. So what if a few of the details are inaccurate. If this film can raise awareness on an issue that has serious earth altering consequences, then so be it. Let's just hope the policy-makers in DC agree that the film is "braodly accurate" and actually get to work on solving the issue.

    Posted by: Al Bronsen | October 25, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

    The no-fact-checker has already trashed Gore twice on this - the last time he was handed his head in his own basket because of his sloppy thinking and inability to tell a "fact" from "spin". He was reamed a new one, well-deservedly.
    Well it seems the ole no-fact-checker couldn't stand not having the last word, so he now gives Gore one pinochio. The same ONE p. he gave a day or two ago for a person who actually had ZERO facts in their argument.

    Another GD media elite concern troll with a hatchet job for Gore. Man, I wonder where the post gets 'em all? As far as I can tell you have to have Gore Derangement Syndome (thanks to P.Krugman) to get hired by the old gray prostitute... errrr...I mean Lady.

    Posted by: JD | October 25, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

    If the Fact Checker had only awarded no Pinocchios, I bet he'd have gotten loads of talk radio mentions.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

    Am I the only person who thinks that this is just the latest example in a history of repeated incompetence on the part of the Fact Checker and feel like the whole thing just ought to be cancelled?

    I mean really -- we're about to head into the election season, and a Fact Checker who seems so unable to dispassionately discharge their job just has no place here.

    Posted by: Cancellation Request | October 25, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

    Rene said "The evidence is unclear and will be until the global warming is past repair." How do you repair something that isn't broken? The earth is operating as it has for millions of years, the climate is changing as it always has, the tectonic plates are moving as they always have, the ocean currents are changing as they always have, islands are being created as they always have, islands are disappearing as they always have, species are evolving and going extinct as they always have. It is pure arrogance to believe that human beings are above nature. We are part of the complex eco-system that is this planet, not separate from it.

    Posted by: Bill | October 25, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

    I'm just glad you've rebounded from the embarrassment of your "General Betrayus" take-down. That was a pretty sad beginning.

    But this piece was actual fair-and-balanced in a non- brain-dead sense, and actually stuck to the core rules you established for this feature. Keep up the good work.

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

    Mr. Teach you yourself blame the melting snow on man.I am not one the subscribes to the idea that Global Warming is entirely the fault of man.Man alone isn't causing it.Man also isn't doing anything to help reverse it.
    You call it micro climatic change.Wouldn't it stand to reason that enough micro climatic change would have an effect on Global Warming as a whole?

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

    You are obviously splitting hairs on this issue. Why don't you read some articles about this? Polar bears are swimming great distances because of the melting of the ice shelf. The floes they feed from are gone. Someone better Pinocchio your Pinocchio finder.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article767459.ece

    Posted by: Bryce Milner | October 25, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

    "# [The movie] promotes partisan political views (that is to say, one-sided views about political issues);

    # Teaching staff must be careful to ensure that they do not themselves promote those views;

    # In order to make sure of that, they should take care to help pupils examine the scientific evidence critically (rather than simply accepting what is said at face value) and to point out where Gore's view may be inaccurate or departs from that of mainstream scientific opinion;"

    Well, if its politcally partisan that gravity exists should we not teach it? Just because an issue about our global wellbeing has been politicized because of industrial and energy interests doesn't mean we shouldn't teach things supported by data. When will we see a documentary disproving Gore point by point with the scientific method? Thats what I thought.

    Posted by: Mark | October 25, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

    What I find shocking about the whole global warming "debate" (there is none among scientists) is the spectacular arrogance required for a non-scientist, like myself, to assert that his/her judgment is more valid than a broad consensus in the scientific community. It's equality run amok. This fact-checker article is an example. Even a lay person like myself can understand the scientific process; it relies in this case upon the gradual accretion of evidence, some of which may ultimately turn out to not support the hypothesis, but which, in its totality, is incontrovertible.

    Posted by: Humble Humanist | October 25, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

    I award you One Graham-Rolling-In-Her-Grave for having the worst online feature of any major newspaper in the United States.

    Posted by: ethan salto | October 25, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

    "The Population Bomb" - 1972

    "The Coming Ice Age" - 1973

    "The Crash of '79" - 1977

    "Y2K" - 1999

    Gore is just on emore in a line of self-promoting hucksters selling sky is falling snake oil to the rubes.

    Posted by: John | October 25, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

    The sum of these disputed 'facts' amount nothing when compared to the overwhelming evidents presented. It's little different than sending a person to prison for lying under oath for stating that he's 6' tall when in 'fact' he's 6 foot and one eight of an inch tall.
    But, such is the republican way - if you can't beat the sum of the impact, then change the subject to the ignorant fringe.

    Posted by: Steve | October 25, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

    The sum of these disputed 'facts' amount nothing when compared to the overwhelming evidents presented. It's little different than sending a person to prison for lying under oath for stating that he's 6' tall when in 'fact' he's 6 foot and one eight of an inch tall.
    But, such is the republican way - if you can't beat the sum of the impact, then change the subject to the ignorant fringe.

    The fact checker get 6 pointy noses for promoting ignorance by trivializing the overall statement.

    Posted by: Steve | October 25, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

    So let me get this straight: In the month or so Fact Checker has been in existence, you have awarded the same number of Pinocchios to Al Gore as to George Bush ("Boots on the Ground" 10/9). Oh, that's rich.

    Posted by: Mike | October 25, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

    When are you going to do a fact check on Bush or Cheney? Those that deny the signs of global warning are in denial so they won't have to give of their gas guzzlers, or stop polluting the landscape. They can't see past their noses how this will affect their children and grandchildren. They are also probably in that 25% that approve of the was Bush is doing his job.

    Posted by: sharon43 | October 25, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

    I thought this was a fair analysis. The single Pinnochio represents that Gore's argument is essentially right. The handful of questionable claims are virtually inevitable when a layperson makes a movie for laypeople about science, and the Fact Checker's rating reflected the fact that the general thrust of the movie represents mainstream scientific thought.

    My main quibble is that the headline and prominent placement of this article on the Post's site both contribute to the suggestion that Gore is not to be trusted when, frankly, his account of climate change is more scientifically accurate and informed than any other prominent political figure in America.

    Posted by: Fair | October 25, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

    The "Fact Checker" should rename himself the "Nit Picker", and then go ahead and award Al Gore one Nit, for getting ahead of himself on the evacuation of Tuvalu.

    Posted by: Jim Stahl | October 25, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

    A quick internet search of less than 5 minutes, while eating lunch, produced the following: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tv.html#Issues- this is the CIA website, which states, in part, "Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary"

    See also,HTTP://WWW.TUVALUISLANDS.COM/NEWS/ARCHIVED/2001/2001-07-28.HTM, which inlcudes the following- "TUVALU'S SOS AND THE PACIFIC SUCCESSES IN BONN

    Saturday: July 28, 2001


    by Kalinga Seneviratne

    Singapore (IPS/PINA Nius Online, 28 July 2001)

    While 180 governments were locked in intense negotiations on the climate change pact in Germany, the small South Pacific country of Tuvalu sent out an international SOS signal.

    Officials of Tuvalu, which has a population of 11,000, asked Australia and New Zealand if they would be willing to allow the Pacific island nation's citizens to migrate there if the islands continue to sink due to rising sea levels, and become uninhabitable.

    Tuvalu is made up of nine atolls of about 26 sq km, and several of the islands are fast shrinking. In the last decade, rising sea levels have claimed one percent of the land and some claims are that Tuvalu will be wiped off the map within the next 50 years.

    The plea from tiny Tuvalu made it clear that the effects of climate change are already being felt....."

    If I can find that sort of stuff (along with plenty more) in a few minutes while eating lunch at my desk, why can't the Fact Checker be bothered to do it for pay? Let's see- the government of a nation initiates talks with other governments in order to address the perceived need to find a home for their population, because of rising sea levels. The CIA lists sea level rise as an issue for the country. Might that not at least be mentioned in your discussion? No, the nation has not yet been totally abandoned, but then again, the flick never said that it had been.

    I believe there are some overstatements in the movie- but the failure of The fact Checker to bother to investigate some of these items does not bode well for this columns independence and integrity.

    Posted by: skeptic | October 25, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

    "The debate is over..."

    When exactly WAS there a debate? Gore's been saying that since 1989. It's the same propaganda technique used by all con men..."EVERYBODY knows that (fill in the blank)is true (so are you an idiot?)." It's just a crude intimidation technique, nothing more.

    "All the experts agree..."

    Translated: Just shut up.

    Another scam technique. All the experts agreed that the earth was flat 500 years ago. All the experts agreed that Isaac Newton had figured out the laws of Physics...until Einstein.

    Gore: "The only people who question Global Warming are controlled by BIG OIL (cue Dracula music)."

    In other words, I don't want to debate the facts. I'll just try to intimidate you with word bombs and public humiliation from the mob I've drummed up.

    "The majority of climate scientists agree that Global Warming is real and man-made."

    Sure. Scientists are people. Even if oyu disagree, it's human nature not to want to subject yourself to public ridicule and have your career threatened by going against the politically correct dogma.

    Just ask Galilleo.


    Posted by: John | October 25, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

    I second the post above. Why hasn't Fact Checker fact checked the latest newspaper claims by the Danish political scientist, Bjorn Lomberg? Is it because he presented those claims on the front page of the WaPo Outlook section?

    Posted by: Jim | October 25, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

    Of all the things to fact check at this moment in history, you're focusing on this?

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

    This "fact check" is a classic example of a false controversy. It uses the same technique that tobacco companies used to argue that "It has not been proved that smoking causes cancer". This same method of argumentation has been used by creationists to try to impose the teaching of their religious beliefs about creation in the public schools.

    Anyone who has a scientific education can find areas in "An Inconvenient Truth" where scientific simplifications were made. Those simplifications inevitably are slightly inaccurate. Those inaccuracies can then be "exposed" and a false debate created.

    However, this false debate is fundamentally dishonest. The larger truth is that global warming is happening and that human activity is causing most of it. Thousands of scientific papers support Al Gore's basic point. The "debate" is bogus.

    The author should go back to reporting on politics. She may think that this is an ad hominem attack, but I conclude she is incompetent to pass judgment on matters of science. (S)he clearly doesn't have a basic understanding of how science works.

    Posted by: FishOutofWater | October 25, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

    "I award "The Fact Checker" 5 Pinnochios for its reasoning of giving Al Gore 1 Pinnochio."

    I concur!

    Posted by: Al-Ozarka | October 25, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

    " I do so with no pretense of scientific expertise"
    This admission by the "Fact Checker" tells us really all we need to know. Well, I do have some expertise. I have co-authored three books on environmental issues and have been studying the issue for 30 years. There is no debate in the scientific community over the reality of climate change. The only debate is among persons who "do so with no pretense of scientific expertise."
    And I also agree with those who say they wish you and your newspaper would apply one tenth the effort to exposing the lies and incompetence of the Bush regime that you have applied to nitpicking Gore's film.

    Posted by: robert mcconnell | October 25, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

    I'd like to amplify Jim's note above. Your use of the phrase "ad hominem" is not only incorrect, it's misleading. Your statement "So what if the plaintiff in the British case was "funded by...fossil fuel interests" " is absurd. A fairly brief study of the issue of climate change would show that there is almost no dispute among scientists over the key issue of major human impacts on climate change, and that the only reason there is a "debate" on the issue is because of money spent by fossil fuel interests.

    That's not ad hominem, that's the story. If the Washington Post was covering a local city councilperson who supported a zoning change from which he would profit, the story would be pretty clear. But when major corporate interests are involved, the Post plays it differently.

    For that matter, to compare the Post to Soviet-era Pravda is not an ad hominem attack, but an observation that both newspapers, though staffed by well meaning journalists, in certain cases always bow to the powers that be. (Impending attacks on oil-rich countries come to mind...)

    An ad hominem attack would be calling the "Fact Checker" stupid or a coward. Recognizing the reality of corporate power over your professional life is just realism. We all have limits and prejudices, and we all tend to deal with the system around us in a way that promotes our survival. Exxon Mobil trumps Al Gore, and the Post's pages reflect that.

    Posted by: Larry Yates | October 25, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

    Fact Checker,

    It seems you lack the maturity, vision and intellectual honesty for this particular task. You're focusing more on those mean people who pointed out the problems with your original swipe at Gore than on the larger issues. If you're going to set yourself up as a "fact checker," then you need to train yourself to be rigorously objective and fair, and learn to keep your own biases and ego out of the mix. You are continuing to spin the story, selectively choosing what and who is worthy of taking seriously, in a rather sad effort to support the conclusions about Gore and yourself that you would like to be true. A stronger education in scientific method would have done you a lot of good.

    Sorry to join the chorus of mean, vituperative people out to hurt your feelings, but you really need to grow up.

    Posted by: Jess77 | October 25, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

    The timing of this article -- finding very minor flaws in a powerful and successful film -- would be highly suspect, except that WaPo has been on this insane drive to destroy Gore and Clinton for years, so its not a debatable point at all: by prominently displaying this pipsqueak Judge's decision on the morning of Gore's complete triumph and vindication, the intent of this article was to distract from the obvious fact of global warming and Gore's success in delivering the message. Mission accomplished.
    And since you don't pay attention to ad hominum attacks, this is a good opportunity to observe that you're a worthless tool.

    Posted by: J DAlessandro | October 25, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

    And yes, THAT (my comment above) was an ad hominem attack. Very different from pointing out who is financially supporting a course of action and how they might be profiting from it.

    Posted by: Jess77 | October 25, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

    Scientists sympathetic to Gore have effectively conceded several errors or omissions in the movie:

    Your inclusion of the drowning polar bears point in this section is simply wrong. Gore isn't making an error or an omission here. He's citing scientific studies to back up the claim and while the conclusion may not be definitive, it's very strong and certainly not disproven.

    Posted by: Jinchi | October 25, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

    tony the pitiful copywriter: good name. your remark was pitiful

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

    JD: You are repeating yourself. Didn't you say the same basic thing a blog or two ago? You seem to have only one song and that is to slam fact checker. Here's a thought: if you READ and then THINK about these matters, and about what is being said here, you might actually be able to contribute in an intelligent manner.

    Posted by: jane | October 25, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

    Complete waste of time to go after some minor things here--anyone who watches weather patterns knows how much damage global warming has done already and how much more will be done in the future. Instead of going after Gore, the fact checker should look at the Cheney/Bush regime and the look-alike line-up of guys who want to follow in the footsteps of Bush and Cheney. This is particularly true for Giuliani with respect to presidential power overreach and warmongering. See also,
    http://www.reflectivepundit.com/reflectivepundit/2007/10/abuse-of-presid.html

    Posted by: B.N. | October 25, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

    Hey Fact Checker:

    How about fact checking anything that the President states in his speeches or the White House "fact" sheets that are periodically issues, instead of attacking Al Gore, who currently runs nothing of importance in this country.

    Please. Thank you.

    Posted by: John Gibson | October 25, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

    The award of one - or any pinocchios - is so blatantly ridiculous on its face that I can now say with certainty this is the last time I will click on a link to the Fact Checker series or anything written by Michael Dobbs. Meanwhile, the Washington Post will certainly be my last choice of online news sources. If ignorance is bliss Michael Dobbs must be in a constant state of ecstasy.

    Posted by: David H | October 25, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

    There is a reason that the Gore squad won the Nobel for Peace, not the Nobel for Science. Its is a generous and obvious cause that they champion, but certainly one that when used as the basis for policy, needs to be weighed with factual evidences, or the lack thereof.

    Posted by: Jim Rose | October 25, 2007 12:36 PM | Report abuse

    what does a film on global warming have to do with world peace?

    Posted by: Bill | October 25, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

    What office is Al Gore running for, exactly? Have the actual candidates stopped saying things? How is this useful in a political campaign?

    Posted by: Tom | October 25, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

    So Al Gore receives the same one pinnochio (for making mistakes/slightly shading the truth) as Rudy Giuliani did the other day for pulling facts out of thin air (???)- Rudy should have had at least 3!

    Please reevaluate your definition for one pinnochio!!

    Posted by: Phil from NY | October 25, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

    Fact-Checker:
    Harry Reid suggested that that "global warming" is partly responsible for the California forest fires. Others say global warming causes a cold winter. And of course "everyone" says its man's fault i.e America's, and that we are all going to drown, die and/or starve, if we don't listen to Al Gore, even though a small percentage of the CO2 comes from man. With all this laughable paranoia surrounding this issue, do you really think you'll get "reasoned, civilized debate" on this film? You seemed a little surprised at the amount of anger generated against you from the true-blue. Remember, some religious followers get a little excited when you question any part of the their dogma, which apparently includes questioning any aspect of a film by a former VP which is described by his own supporters as "pretty accurate for the American movie industry." With friends offering praise like that, guess you don't need enemies.

    Posted by: Mike | October 25, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

    "I award Al Gore one Pinocchio." After scientists say that 'Inconvenient Truth' is 90% accurate who the hell are you to award Gore a Pinocchio!

    You say "Now that the smoke has cleared away a bit, I feel more confident about reaching some conclusions.

    I do so with no pretense of scientific expertise, merely as a detached and hopefully fair-minded non-expert who has listened to both sides make their case."

    To hell with your "... detached and hopefully fair-minded non-expert...". After 1200 UN Panel scientist say with 99% accuracy the humans are responsible for global warming I DO NOT want a "...detached and hopefully fair-minded non-expert..." to say anything or award Gore a Pinocchio!

    From here on I will never click the Fact Checker again!

    Posted by: Ajay Jain, Dallas, USA | October 25, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

    I believe associating an icon which connotes a lie, Pinocchio, to scientific evidence that may be somewhat gray around the edges is more misleading than the evidence they are claiming to be non-quantifiable with all certainty.
    California is on fire and of course one would be a Pinocchio if one alluded to this being a result of global warming. Instead, these fires started by a downed power line, arson, and embers that blew wildly in 50 MPH Santa Ana winds.
    If we held the Bible to such scrutiny we would have a cult based upon uncountable Pinocchio's - and this would reduce its followers to cult statis, which is much more accurate given their propensity to support senseless wars of aggression and the unfettered buggering young boys.
    With the right witnesses the truth can be slayed beyond reason. Take for example a jury that didn't convict OJ Simpson of murder with so much DNA evidence and circumstantial evidence - after all the victims blood on his shoes, in his car, tracked into his home, you know, it could have been, after all, planted. If you believe that, I've got a planet to sell you - slightly used, greatest species die off in 100,000,000 years, but its still got lots of good rotations left on it.

    Posted by: Stan | October 25, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

    Man you can really get a reaction if you dare question he Gospel of Global Warming As Told to God by Al Gore. That Sunni-Shi'a divide in Iraq is nothing compared to the verbal car bombing that ensues if one commits the apostasy of not accepting everything that the Man Made Global Warming cult as the True And Final Word. Well sorry folks butthose scientists are only riding a grant funding gravy train shilling their expertise for the ducats of the anti-West, anti-globalization, anti-indutrialization Luddites. BTW it's not named Greenland because it's always been covered with ice. I remain gloriously committed to CO2 production through the profligate use of hydrocarbon fuel. I am SUV, watch me spew. Surf's up, dudes.

    Posted by: Stick | October 25, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

    The Post should be embarassed at this contribution to the debate about global warming, which amounts to a tengental and irrelevant conversation about Al Gore's preceived 'truthiness.'

    The bottom line is that you are speaking of 'facts,' which do not exist as such in any scientific debate. Scientific discussions rely on probabilities, weight of evidence, and consensus, not 'facts.' the closest thing you will get to 'fact' is consensus by a group of technically comepetent and trained scientists. This condition has been satisfied.

    You are rearranging deck chairs on the titanic, and shouldn't be proud of that.

    Posted by: JR Flanders | October 25, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

    As much as I wanted this column to work out, because it IS a very interesting idea, the Fact Checker has gone VERY far afield of fact checking here....

    Oh, and since when has pointing out that someone is surreptitiously using the court system to further a political agenda an ad-hominem attack...? How many Pinocchios does that assertion win the Fact Checker?

    Posted by: Yeah... | October 25, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

    Al Gore has created a dark number of years for Science and for Schools. Almost none of what he or the IPCC says is based on basic research of fitting real data to a theoretical framework and verifying based on experimentation.

    It is based on computer models which are constantly "readjusted" as new data comes in that violates the pre-conceived ideas they hope to prove.

    Posted by: John A. Bailo | October 25, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

    Where you guys when that zealous fratboy coward of a president lied us into war ? Or gave way the treasury to enrich his buddies? Or......i could go on but whats the use. The Washington Post has become a tool of the neocons and they will continue to print this crap to keep their buddies in power and enrich themselves with cocktail weinies and large bundles of stolen cash.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

    Pointing out a conflict of interest is not the same thing as an ad hominem attack. There might be some cases which could be described as both, but they remain fundamentally different acts. It's also not an ad hominem attack to once again say that this column is shameful in its embrace of a facile contrarian attitude and lack of understanding of context. Why not submit Gore's critics (most of whom are wildly off base) to something like the same analysis?

    Posted by: mcg | October 25, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

    This article is just weird -

    "Pinnocchio" indicates an intentional lie.
    When 99% of the scientific community agrees with the problem of Global warming and over 90% of the facts Gore presented have not been disputed (in my opinion, that seems like a good batting average for anyone)it seems intentionally inflammatory to repeatedly use 'fact checker' to create a controversy where this none. Why? because and energy industry funded lawsuit got one judge to attach a disclaimer to the showing of his film in British Schools? I can't imagine what kind of life Gore would have to live to survive the kind of obsessive perfection the fact checker expects. Particularly in comparison to the real Pinocchios among us. The Pinocchios that trick an entire country in to this war without end, the Pinocchios that have destroyed our justice department, The Pinocchios that have driven our country to the brink of financial ruin and left us beholden to China to bail us out.

    Posted by: Anne | October 25, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

    "John A. Bailo:" Science evolves. Faith is what you want if you wish to stagnate under one, immutable point of view.

    Posted by: Mobedda | October 25, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

    It's "fair" crap like this that caused me to cancel my Sunday Washington Post and subscribe to a different newspaper.

    I suggest anyone wishing to investigate the "fair" treatment of Al Gore from 1999-on check out The Daily Howler (http://www.dailyhowler.com/). The evidence of media bias against Gore is overwhelming.

    Posted by: Oy | October 25, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

    What the ???? Showing graphs of Florida underwater, using sea level rises of 1000% greater than your co-Nobel Prize winning panel predicts, gets 1 Pinocchio?

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

    I think this verdict is very reasonable.

    However, I don't like the blurring of any distinction between "errors" and "omissions". There is a significant difference between the two, and any judge ought to appreciate that significance (and it was negligent of the judge in this case to make this mistake), and any fact checker ought to as well (how can you check "facts" without doing so?).

    I do think Gore deserves the one point for his misstatement on the evacuations. Though governments of several nations have lobbied New Zealand and Australia to accept refugees as part of evacuation plans, Gore's statement in this case was clearly an "error".

    I really don't see any "errors" with regard to the science. I believe it is worth considering here the significant "omissions" however. Some of these omissions may have given wrong impressions, although the statements themselves weren't factually incorrect. I think that by omitting a time line on sea level rise, for example, many viewers may have gotten the wrong impression of the likely time line. And he should have mentioned, when discussing the "ocean conveyor", that scientists believe that even a dramatic change there would not likely lead to an ice age this time, though it could have other serious environmental consequences.

    I'm less in agreement on the examples used of the polar bears, Kilimanjaro, and the Chad lake. There is plenty of scientific evidence in support of Gore's actual statements on all three. Any documentary film will come with a point of view. The fact that some of these points can be debated doesn't make them "errors". And spending time on these side debates would not have added to the film, and would have distracted from its purpose.

    On Kilimanjaro, here is a good explanation of why global warming likely is an important factor. On the polar bears, the very study cited concluded that drowning was "likely" related to climate change effects. See news reports here and here. Do the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal also get Pinocchios for these news reports? It is an unreasonable standard to suggest that every opinion expressed by Gore must have a scientific consensus behind it. There is certainly no consensus that Gore's positions on these issues was incorrect. Both you and the judge should have made it clear that there were no "errors" at all here on the science.

    That said, I have no problem with awarding Gore one or even two Pinocchios for the evacuation comment and for the significant omissions. But I'd also award at least one to the judge who repeatedly refers to errors and "errors" when he means omissions, and whose decision is so consistently misleading about what Gore actually said. And I would award one to the Fact Checker for getting so many of the facts wrong from the initial piece, especially the misquote on the top of the first one which falsely puts the words "in the near future" into Gore's mouth, and into the film, where the phrase simply does not exist.

    Do you not understand that this requires a correction under normal journalistic standards? Do you not understand that this is as plainly in error as anything in Gore's film?

    This is what you wrote in that first piece:

    '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."'

    It's just flat out false. Again, I find this verdict reasonable. But, for the sake of your own credibility as an arbiter of facts, I would think that you can't consider this matter resolved until you've taken some responsibility for your own factual errors made while addressing this difficult topic.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 25, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

    Michael Dobbs is even more of a little man than I thought.

    Posted by: Andrew | October 25, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

    This fact-checking process needs to be curtailed. When the environmental crazies, we-hate-humans-global warming radicals, and the 2000-election-was-rigged zombies spew out their venomous message, facts only get in their way. Personally,I agree that you should not have awarded Gore 1 Pinocchio;How about changing to a picture of a large Brahma Bull
    defecating in a pasture? That would more aptly describe the Gore Hysteria. Nobel Peace Prize?...wasn't that once awarded to the great humanist Yassir Arafat? After the 1972 Munich slaughter, I believe.

    Posted by: jay byrd | October 25, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

    US Lakes drying up - California burning - Artic ice disappearing - New Orleans drowned - Increased tornadic activity - 11 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1990 - And Gore is given a pinocchio.

    I'm sure his life is complete.

    Posted by: AllHatNoCattle | October 25, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

    Fact Checker's performance to date:

    "1+1 = 2"
    -Al Gore
    1 Pinocchio from the Fact Checker

    "1+1 = 273"
    -Rudy Guiliani
    1 Pinocchio from the Fact Checker

    Posted by: judgeccrater | October 25, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

    It seems the media in all its forms these days spends more time trying to discredit the people who are acting in earnest for the betterment of our country and the world. Nearly every journalist, whether video, audio, or print, considers themself an expert, learned critic. If they took
    a good look and championed some of the
    works others are doing to improve our lot, they might find there are people,even some politicians, who have a handle on things they are talking about. In other words, research before you ridicule.

    Posted by: a reader | October 25, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse


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    FACT-CHECK?

    So I've generally been into the idea behind the Fact Checker column over at the Washington Post. Until today, when they decided to take Al Gore's winning the Nobel Prize as an opportunity to do a "fact check" on An Inconvenient Truth, and ... not actually check any facts. Instead, they publish 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.

    --Kate Sheppard

    Posted by: howareyoumikey??? | October 25, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

    Two pinnochios to you, too, on your discussion of the judge's use of "error" in the opinion. It is technically true and misleading. I copied the opinion and tried to search for error. I don't claim to be foolproof, but here is what I found:
    1. The bulk of the time the Judge used "errors" [in quotes].
    2. 4 times he did not but clarified that in that context he meant "deviation from mainstream" which he concludes that Gore implied he never did (Is that accurate - did Gore suggest that nothing in his film was not mainstream approved by the IPCC?)
    3. Twice he was merely summarizing the contention of the counsel challenging the film.
    4. Twice he said errors or "may be errors", leaving errors outside quotes.

    From all this, it is clear to me that the judge was indeed using error in a special sense (as implied by putting quotes around it).

    Normally, I would just give this one pinnochio, but since you decided to specially engage and criticize your readers on this point for being wrong, when in any sensible view they were right, it deserves 2.

    Posted by: Wayne | October 25, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

    the Posts' Michael Dobbs, actually does no fact-checking...

    he placing opinion as fact...


    where are your scientific credentials that allow you to be a reliable interpreter of information ??


    had any statistics ? environmental science ? geology ? thermodynamics ?


    and why do the regular neo conartists have such an impetus to attack a Nobel Prize winner ????


    could it be the Petroleum Institute named as a perpatrator in the MOVIE, "An Incovenient Truth!"


    could it be big OIL in DC, otherwise known as EXXON-MOBIL....

    could it be the GRAND OIL THEFT und DRUG RUNNING SCHEME operating out of IRAQ y Afghanistan ????

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........


    of course not, this is all about liberals and conservatives....


    F.O. punter....get your facts straight.

    .

    Posted by: how areyah mikey... | October 25, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

    UK court says Gore is a fraud. August 2007 Update: Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming Not True. Further, flawed NASA Global Warming data paid for by George Soros. Hansen is a political hack of George Soros. In order to be an intelligent reader you must have a basic knowledge. Please do your own homework; a starting point http://www.InteliOrg.com/

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

    PS - The judge in his opinion makes clear that his test for "mainstream" is in accord with IPCC findings. Nothing wrong with that standard, except that most of these findings were effectively made several years ago given the process of review, quibbling and acceptance, so they cannot in any sense reflect the latest research.
    It takes a lot of hubris to assess pinnochio without a lot of general scientific background and without going and reading the relevant underlying articles

    Posted by: Wayne | October 25, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

    What a pleasant surprise to find my impression that your paper should be called the "Washington Pest" is exaggerated. Thank you for giving me reason to appologize for that misconception.

    I do take issue with the author's assertion that certain affiliations are "irrelevant." Certain "ad-hominem" attacks are justified, as for example when a person is of such disreputable character that relying on his assertions is foolish.

    I would merely assert that ad-hominem attacks ALONE are insufficient, unless the individual is known to be unreliable. Otherwise, it may still be purdent to listen to them, though with caution advised. If there's truth to them, they may very well be relevant, if not in themselves sufficient.

    In Gore's case, I don't think it is at all "irrelevant" that his carbon offset scam stands to make billions if he can get legislation pushed through requiring people to purchase said snake-oil.
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2007/03/inconvenient-offset-quick-recap-records.html

    That points to a pretty glaring conflict of interrest which is very "relevant" to the discussion.

    Still, do Gore's assertions have any merit?

    No. Everything I've learned about "global warming" suggest that humans are no more able to add to it than they are to make a hurricane worse by spitting into it. And we are no more able to stop g.w. than we are to stop a hurricane by blowing against it, even with Al Gore's hot air helping us.

    Anyway, thanks again for a well done critical evaluation of such an important topic, and for showing me that there's still hope for W.P.

    Also, if anyone wants to see what the experts who Gore wants you to believe don't exist are saying, try this.
    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=c47c1209-233b-412c-b6d1-5c755457a8af

    How inconvenient! . . . and be sure to read the REST of the series.

    (NOTE: Gore's nose should be a whole LOT longer than drawn.)


    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

    « PRIZES AND PLANS. HE'LL JUST HAVE TO SETTLE FOR BEING THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN IRAQ. »

    FACT-CHECK?

    So I've generally been into the idea behind the Fact Checker column over at the Washington Post. Until today, when they decided to take Al Gore's winning the Nobel Prize as an opportunity to do a "fact check" on An Inconvenient Truth, and ... not actually check any facts. Instead, they publish 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.

    --Kate Sheppard

    Posted by: how are you paid ???? | October 25, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

    What could possibly be more ad hominem than to award Gore a Pinocchio -- accusing Gore of lying? And all of this talk about vituperation is also ad hominem -- people's tone and emotional state doesn't invalidate their claims.

    The fact is that, for all 9 of the judge's points, he put the word "error" in quotes. And the fact is that none of these points, with the possible exception of the evacuation, are considered to be errors by climate scientists.

    Just consider the polar bears: a study estimated that 40 bears were in the water during a storm and that most perished; 4 carcasses were found. The judge somehow concluded that only 4 polar bears have ever drowned. And why were the bears in the water? The study indicated that the long distances they have to swim to find pack ice is a major factor. Duh. Those who accuse Gore of an error here are grossly in error themselves -- as all the evidence indicates, polar bears /are/ dying because of the breakup of the ice.

    Posted by: truth machine | October 25, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

    "I do so with no pretense of scientific expertise, merely as a detached and hopefully fair-minded non-expert who has listened to both sides make their case."

    Your lack of scientific expertise is relevant here -- this simply isn't how science operates. One does not "listen to both sides", one examines the evidence and makes the best inference from it. Particularly, when the vast majority of climate scientists and scientific organizations say one thing, and a handful of people with a strong political agenda and vested financial interest say another, simply listening to both sides is sure to lead one astray, and is not "fair minded" in any real sense.

    Posted by: Jim | October 25, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

    A quick internet search of less than 5 minutes, while eating lunch, produced the following: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tv.html#Issues- this is the CIA website, which states, in part, "Tuvalu is concerned about global increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on rising sea levels, which threaten the country's underground water table; in 2000, the government appealed to Australia and New Zealand to take in Tuvaluans if rising sea levels should make evacuation necessary"

    ============

    Ah, but "fact-checkers" (the quotes count) don't do research, they just "listen" to "both sides". Well, that leads them to "shading the truth" A LOT -- which is what Michael "long nosed hypocrite" Dobbs has done here.

    Posted by: a scientist | October 25, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

    Challenging Gore on Global Warming is like focusing on Johnny Carson's well structured TV "test bed" when Uri Geller was the on who claimed the ability to bend spoons.

    Gore's advocacy relies on studies, surveys and peer-reviewed scientific articles published in refereed scientific journals. His naysayers provide no such data and rely on their peculiar brand of "common sense" to dismiss arguments rather than provide their own independent scientific analysis.

    The next time Bjorn Lomborg spouts off, put his statements under the microscope. Do the same when Dick Cheney opens his mouth. In fact, aren't fact checkers supposed to be used on ALL of your printed stories. What ever happened to "journalism?"

    Posted by: Mark Gutting-Kilzer | October 25, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

    If you give Al Gore one Pinocchio for a film that is almost completely accurate, then how many Pinocchios would Bush deserve for his assertions about global warming (or virtually any other subject, for that matter)? You wouldn't be able to fit all of them on this page. Let's have a little sense of fairness and proportionality here.

    Posted by: Patrick J Kiger | October 25, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

    Different presentations have different audiences and different purposes. A statement that is correct and accurate in high school science class might not sufficiently precise for a risk assessment in a major engineering project. An engineer, planning public infrastructure, may have a view that is absolutely correct from a engineering perspective, but which might be disputed by a climatologist at a university. (Who does not have to sign drawings and post performance bonds.) While a public planner might have a view that understands both the engineering perspective and the scientific perspective.

    An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) balances these different viewpoints. In general, it is consistent with the IPCC, however in some places it uses more current data, or more specialized data. On some points, AIT generalizes for teaching purposes. (After all, the IPCC certainly glossed some key points in its Summaries for Policy Makers!) In some places the AIT uses the engineer's and planner's perspective in looking forward. That is not consistent with the IPCC's view of the data , but it is not wrong! After all very few of the IPCC panel are registered professional engineers that can sign designs on which people's lives depend. IPCC data informs engineering, but it is engineering and planning that makes modern society possible. Gore would have been remiss if he had ignored that view.

    We are remiss if we ignore that view.

    Posted by: Aaron Lewis | October 25, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

    It is truly frightening to consider what it will take to convince Gore's most emphatic detractors that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real. And that they consider being right worth the risk of being wrong.

    For now, I can only hope they enjoy this huge boon, that they are able to find nine inconsistencies in an argument they have utterly lost.

    Posted by: Jon Myers | October 25, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

    The fellow calling himself "a scientist" thinks that in 5 minutes he can find a definitive answer to the problem. He needs to be informed that his Tuvalunacy could easily be debunked with a little more research.

    the " . . . satellite record show[s] that the sea level has actually fallen four inches around Tuvalu since 1993 when the hundred-million dollar international TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite project record began."
    http://www.pacificmagazine.net/issue/2002/02/01/is-tuvalu-really-sinking

    Read the rest of the article to find out the rest of the story.

    Just because someone is frightened doesn't mean his fears are justified.

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

    I give this propaganda piece 4 Pinocchios for building another mountain about nothing out of a mole hill. It is blatantly dishonest in its attempt to smear Al Gore and his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."

    WaPoo, we are wise to all the stupid little tricks you play to distort reality and smear the people who are doing the most good in this world.

    This is yet another perfect example of why your circulation is going down the drain, which is where it belongs.

    You owe Al Gore an apology.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

    CON MEN AND THEIR SHELL GAMES

    Keep the rube's attention focused away from what is really going on.

    1. (GW conmen assert): "There will be more heat deaths if global temperatures rise."
    (THE WHOLE PICTURE): "It's estimated that by 2050, global warming will cause almost 400,000 more heat-related deaths each year. But at the same time, 1.8 million fewer people will die from cold."
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/05/AR2007100501676.html

    2. (GW conmen assert): "The Arctic is melting because of global warming."
    (ACTUALLY): "The Arctic is almost as warm now as it was seventy years ago. Unsurprisingly, Arctic ice has diminished. But, as Polyakov et al.show, the long-term changes are 'generally statistically insignificant' But there's more ice in Antarctica now. It seems that points more to a natural, cyclical variation on a global scale when one pole diminishes while another gains.
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/nh-sea-ice-loss-its-the-wind-says-nasa/

    And that is just the tip of the, eh, ice-berg, as it were.

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

    the sea level has actually fallen four inches around Tuvalu since 1993 when the hundred-million dollar international TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite project record began."
    http://www.pacificmagazine.net/issue/2002/02/01/is-tuvalu-really-sinking

    Read the rest of the article to find out the rest of the story.

    Just because someone is frightened doesn't mean his fears are justified.

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 06:14 PM


    I give your comment four Pinocchio's too.

    Your comment implys ocean levels are falling instead of rising. That is patently false. All coastal cities around the world are in danger of being flooded out within the next 100 years. That is the scientific truth.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 06:22 PM

    Please stop posting lies that have been scientifically disproved. Your last comment is off the Pinocchio scale.

    Global warming is real. The ice caps are melting. The oceans are rising. There will be more deaths caused by global warming than by the cold.

    This is the irrefutable truth if we do not stop using fossil fuels immediately.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

    CON MEN AND THEIR SHELL GAMES II

    Keep the rube's attention focused away from what is really going on.

    3. (GW conmen assert): "Global warming caused the Arctic to melt."
    (THE REALITY): NASA says that "The Arctic did not melt fast because of warmer weather, but wind:"
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/wind_not_warn_behind_arctic_melt/

    4. GW conmen only tell part of the story, while some Canadian scientists reveal how they hide the data they don't want people to see, because it completely invalidates their claims.
    http://newsbusters.org/node/11955

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

    RE: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 06:39 PM

    Notice how the GW fanatics don't rebut with reason, but accuse one of "lies" and, in effect, just tell one to "shut up."

    That isn't science, it's an inquisition. And the reason they behave like that is because GW ISN'T science, it's a cult. As MIT's Richard Lindzen describes, here . . .
    http://www.cdfe.org/global_warming_religion.htm

    Oh, and though not a "climate scientist" I am a scientist, and DO know how to critically evaluate scientific data. And I am able to tell when someone is trying to pull the wool over my eyes.

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

    what did Clinton do wrong, he made them "look bad," but they already were "bad."


    the President of Chile' was assassinated in Washington D.C. while George H.W. Bush was head of the CIA....after the CIA received 3 warnings that said it would happen in Washington...


    killing someone, defaming someone's character, propagating lies as the truth is what bushCO and CRONYs do...


    they are ORGANIZED CRIME.


    not white collar crime, these boys couldn't make money unless they commit crimes.


    we're not talking "a part of," their activities, we're talking, _IT'S_WHAT_THEY_DO_

    what are bushCO and CRONYies ????

    ORGANIZED CRIMINALS...

    organized crime,

    ORGANIZED CRIME.

    ORGANIZED CRIMINALS...

    organized crime,

    ORGANIZED CRIME.


    Posted by: a little slice or real reality... unfettered with needing to butter republican a**es . | October 25, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

    what is your field of expertise ???


    yonason.


    what is your affiliation with Shell OIL ? do you know who Condoleeza Rice is ?

    Posted by: oh really ? | October 25, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

    The White House censors the truth about Global Warming, again.

    For years the fossil fuel friendly White House has been fighting a war on Global Warming science:

    http://www.buzzflash.net/story.php?id=29087

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

    It's no surprise that Bush, on February 26, chose to unveil his vision of a new Middle Eastern order at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a right-wing Washington think tank. The PNAC's office is nowhere else than on the 5th floor of the AEI building on 17th St, in downtown Washington. The AEI is the key node of a collection of neoconservative foreign policy experts and scholars, the most influential of whom are members of the PNAC.

    The AEI is intimately connected to the Likud Party in Israel--which for all practical purposes has a deep impact on American foreign policy in the Middle East, thanks to the AEI's influence. In this mutually-beneficial environment, AEI stalwarts are known as Likudniks. It's no surprise, then, how unparalleled is the AEI's intellectual Islamophobia. Loathing and contempt for Islam as a religion and as a way of life leads to members of the AEI routinely bashing Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They also oppose any negotiations with North Korea--another policy wholly adopted by the Bush administration. For the AEI, China is the ultimate enemy: not a peer competitor, but a monster strategic threat. The AEI is viscerally anti-State Department (read Colin Powell). Recently, it has also displayed its innate Francophobia. And to try to dispel the idea that it is just another bunch of grumpy dull men, the AEI has been deploying to the BBC and CNN talk shows its own female weapon of mass regurgitation, one Danielle Pletka. Lynn Cheney, vice president Dick's wife, a historian and essayist, is also an AEI senior fellow.

    The AEI's former executive vice president is John Bolton, one of the Bush administration's key operatives as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Largely thanks to Bolton, the US unilaterally withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. Bolton has also opposed the establishment of the new International Criminal Court (ICC), recently inaugurated in The Hague. The AEI only treasures raw power as established under the terms of neoliberal globalization: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. Its nemesis is everything really multilateral: the ABM treaty, the ICC,

    the Kyoto protocol,

    the treaty on anti-personal mines,

    the protocol on biological weapons,

    the treaty on the total ban of nuclear weapons, and most spectacularly, in these past few days, the UN Security Council.

    The AEI's foreign policy agenda is presided over by none other than Richard Perle. As Perle is a longtime friend and advisor to Rumsfeld, he was rewarded with the post of chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board: its 30-odd very influential members include former national security advisers, secretaries of defense and heads of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Perle is also a very close friend of Pentagon number two Wolfowitz, since they were students at the University of Chicago in the late 1960s. Perle now reports to Wolfowitz.

    Posted by: howdy ! | October 25, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

    John: Added a few more "end of the world as we know it" scenarios:

    "Global Warming" - 1890's - 1930's

    "Oil will run out by 2000" - 1970's

    "Mass starvation/disease from over population (population over 3 billion)" - 1970's

    "The Population Bomb" - 1972
    "The Coming Ice Age" - 1973
    "The Crash of '79" - 1977
    "Coming Ice Age" - 1950's - 1970's

    "Nuclear Armageddon" - 1950's-1980's

    "Lake Erie is Dead" - 1970's

    "Aids epidemic" - 1980's

    "Ozone (DuPont made a killing on this one)" - 1980's - 1990's

    "Y2K" - 1999
    "Bird Flu" - 2000's

    Problem John is people have bought all of this crap while news outlets sold a lot of papers and snake oil sellers (example: green credit suppliers) racked in the dough. In 1999, a group of people were making 25,000 a day selling fake conversations with Elvis on 900 lines. Seems every culture - especially this one - is filled with gullible suckers waiting for someone to take their money.

    I am a scientist with 25 years of experience in measurement and statistics. I have researched the data. It is extremely obvious that the addition of one hundredth of one percent of CO2 into the atmosphere has had a negligible effect on the climate.

    Posted by: ThePlanetIsDoomed | October 25, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

    Blah! Blah! Blah!
    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 07:05 PM

    Actually, I did respond with reason. You are the one responding with discredited pseudoscience and lies.

    Please provide the evidence that proves global warming is not real.

    Please provide the evidence that proves every credible scientist on the planet is wrong about global warming.

    Also, please stop dishonestly mischaracterizing my comments. You can't pull the wool over anyone's eyes with your illogical and ridiculous comments.

    Meanwhile, here is further proof that the ice caps are warmer and are indeed melting:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071025/ap_on_sc/coast_guard_arctic;_ylt=AnuNDVFSm4BVs62CKqA4wHOs0NUE

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

    'I am a scientist with 25 years of experience in measurement and statistics. I have researched the data. It is extremely obvious that the addition of one hundredth of one percent of CO2 into the atmosphere has had a negligible effect on the climate.'

    Posted by: ThePlanetIsDoomed | October 25, 2007 07:21 PM


    I give you four Pinocchios too.
    Your argument is illogical. The number of false alarms concerning possible catastrophic events is irrelevant to the subject of Global Warming.

    Plus the statement, "it is extremely obvious" is also illogical because you use is as a proof.

    Credible scientists have an understanding of logic and informal logic, but not you. I think you and yawnason should get your money back for your obvious lack of an adequate college education.

    Perhaps you should see a shrink too. Denial of reality is a denial of sanity.

    Every single credible scientist on Earth agrees that Global Warming is real and is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of rain forests.

    The evidence is irrefutable concerning the existence and causes of Global Warming. There is no scientific dispute, debate or controversy on this matter.

    However, there is still a debate involving the disbelievers of Global Warming and the various theories concerning the real reason for their profound stupidity.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

    changing the environment?

    how about improving the environment???

    what is so hard about raising awareness?


    how about planting trees in city environments?


    how about having walking zones?


    how about telecommuting?


    how about cities set up like Portland Oregon, with metro lines, street car lines, bus only streets, and walking zones and bike lanes and limits on suburban development?


    there is a river that has SALMON in it that runs through the center of town...


    telecommuting, excellent URBAN LIVING CONDITIONS... cafes, etc.


    why all the doom and gloom?


    the people most scared of Global Warming are the liars spammnig the comments sections everytime something comes out that might require them to act responsibly...

    what is so hard about thinking ahead? greed must be an inhibition for the brain cells in certain subgroups of human_looking bipeds.

    .ANY INTELLIGENT ENGINEER, designs to be cost efficient, flexible, and ergonomically pleasing...

    D.A. rich kids that couldn't plan a birthday party correctly because they have never had to limit themselves

    need no boundaries in order to succeed. that is why they have to bribe their ways through life not being responsible

    for the mayhem they cause.


    HOW MUCH INFRASTRUCTURE WOULD $640 BILLION DOLLARs buy if we weren't wasting it on trying to

    land that OIL DEAL FOR GEORGE AND HIS CRONIES ????

    why are we using the MILITARY IN A BUSINESS DEAL ???


    cause without threatening a country with and executing that destruction,

    george couldn't work the deal out.

    plain and simple, incompetence...and there is a lot of it in CONGRESS...

    COMPLICIT CONGRESS, nuke 'em.

    .

    Posted by: aggressive action on your behalf...punters... | October 25, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

    The Final Proof: Global Warming is a Man-Made Disaster
    by Steve Connor

    Scientists have found the first unequivocal link between man-made greenhouse gases and a dramatic heating of the Earth's oceans. The researchers - many funded by the US government - have seen what they describe as a "stunning" correlation between a rise in ocean temperature over the past 40 years and pollution of the atmosphere.

    The study destroys a central argument of global warming skeptics within the Bush administration - that climate change could be a natural phenomenon. It should convince George Bush to drop his objections to the Kyoto treaty on climate change, the scientists say.

    Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and a leading member of the team, said: "We've got a serious problem. The debate is no longer: 'Is there a global warming signal?' The debate now is what are we going to do about it?"

    The findings are crucial because much of the evidence of a warmer world has until now been from air temperatures, but it is the oceans that are the driving force behind the Earth's climate. Dr Barnett said: "Over the past 40 years there has been considerable warming of the planetary system and approximately 90 per cent of that warming has gone directly into the oceans."

    He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington: "We defined a 'fingerprint' of ocean warming. Each of the oceans warmed differently at different depths and constitutes a fingerprint which you can look for. We had several computer simulations, for instance one for natural variability: could the climate system just do this on its own? The answer was no.

    "We looked at the possibility that solar changes or volcanic effects could have caused the warming - not a chance. What just absolutely nailed it was greenhouse warming."

    America produces a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases, yet under President Bush it is one of the few developed nations not to have signed the Kyoto treaty to limit emissions. The President's advisers have argued that the science of global warming is full of uncertainties and change might be a natural phenomenon.

    Dr Barnett said that position was untenable because it was now clear from the latest study, which is yet to be published, that man-made greenhouse gases had caused vast amounts of heat to be soaked up by the oceans. "It's a good time for nations that are not part of Kyoto to re-evaluate their positions and see if it would be to their advantage to join," he said.

    The study involved scientists from the US Department of Energy, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Met Office's Hadley Center.

    They analyzed more than 7 million recordings of ocean temperature from around the world, along with about 2 million readings of sea salinity, and compared the rise in temperatures at different depths to predictions made by two computer simulations of global warming.

    "Two models, one from here and one from England, got the observed warming almost exactly. In fact we were stunned by the degree of similarity," Dr Barnett said. "The models are right. So when a politician stands up and says 'the uncertainty in all these simulations start to question whether we can believe in these models', that argument is no longer tenable." Typical ocean temperatures have increased since 1960 by between 0.5C and 1C, depending largely on depth. DR Barnett said: "The real key is the amount of energy that has gone into the oceans. If we could mine the energy that has gone in over the past 40 years we could run the state of California for 200,000 years... It's come from greenhouse warming."

    Because the global climate is largely driven by the heat locked up in the oceans, a rise in sea temperatures could have devastating effects for many parts of the world.

    Ruth Curry, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said that warming could alter important warm-water currents such as the Gulf Stream, as melting glaciers poured massive volumes of fresh water into the North Atlantic. "These changes are happening and they are expected to amplify. It's a certainty that these changes will put serious strains on the ecosystems of the planet," DR Curry said.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0219-01.htm

    Posted by: kevinschmidt | October 25, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

    the point...


    we as citizens need to wake up and smell the coffee...


    children respond to each crisis. that is the level that they are at.


    adults, those that are not money addicted, need to set rules and boundaries for


    preserving scarce resources:

    1. arible land

    2. usable environment

    3. natural resources that are not recyleable and are of a finite amount. OIL

    4. managing population, and the effects of population increases in the area.... ARIZONA probably can't keep having people move in, because most of the water comes from the Aquifer...

    5. managing the effects of lack of control of ecological damaging... insurance, reclaimation...


    and intermediate measures that cost nothing and make life more fun.

    1. safe urban living as an answer to long commute times.

    2. telecommuting where possible as a mandated/suggested alternative to commuting, especially where easily "ordered," like as something for federal, military, GSA or other large groups of people that have a daily 1.5 to 2 hour commute one_way to Washington D.C.

    3. initiate pilot programs to discover ways of conserving arible land, making urban living more attractive.

    4. increasing the effectiveness of mass transport systems, both for people but for goods as well.

    5. start looking at local sources for food products as a norm for grocers...

    6. invest in urban parks....tree lined streets, green areas around shopping centers...cut down on light pollution

    and so on...

    life can be a lot more fun when there is a positive interaction with the environment

    rather than letting drunken rich kids run everything....shut them down

    and send them to rehab...

    let them earn a place in line,


    instead of stealing yours....


    wanna a nice place to live? make sure that _they_ own their responsibility to the country that they live in.

    .


    .

    Posted by: vinn diesel walking through time boneheads... | October 25, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

    it seems kind of obvious to me.

    we can address Global Warming immediately by addressing the things that should be done anyway.

    1. enforce mpg ratings on cars...

    2. invest in alternatives

    3. mandate telecommuting as a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE

    4. OIL and COAL are non renewable resources, and should be conserved and used for centuries into the future...petroleum is the basis for a number of products besides gasoline.

    5. adjust inner city transport systems to be cost effective and offer incentives for urban living....like safe, beautiful, green, walking areas, outdoor cafes, and investing in school systems to create a future for those trapped in poverty...

    6. bring back overseas manufacturing to give people a way out of poverty....retail work as a sole source of income is _poverty_....

    7. look at European models of cities that work well...

    8. work on population growth, educate

    .

    Posted by: educate yourselves make smart choices.... | October 25, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

    you keep repeating the same things.

    why do we have air conditioning, refrigerators, furnaces?

    because we like having things in the same temperature range.


    why is that? it's called livable. We monitor and we control the environment for our personal comfort... we don't let it fluctuate wildly...


    all of your arguments ignore a couple of things:

    1. the world has a greater human population than at any other time in history.

    2. we affect the world strongly with our interactions

    EXAMPLE: we have started affecting the sea, which most thought was unassailable because of it's vastness... yet some fish crops have been placed in danger and yellowfin tuna and swordfish have dangerously high amounts of MERCURY in them from pollution...such that there have been warnings issued about eating too much of them.

    3. SINCE THE POPULATION IS GROWING, there is less land to absorb stupid mistakes, and less plantlife to counteract imbalances.... the more plantlife there is the more capacity for handling pollution, except heavy metals: cadmium, mercury and others...

    4. with a diminished capacity to absorb mistakes comes a need not to make any.

    5. CO2 has never been as high as it has become. It is transparent to sunlight but traps heat. Like putting the lid on a pressure cooker, with a weight...the temperature rises above what it would be without the lid and the weight...the earth heats up....from an UNNATURAL CYCLE...

    6. IN ORDER TO HAVE GOOD LIVES, WE CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE IN OUR HOMES. IN ORDER TO HAVE PREDICTABLE LIVES, NOT BANKRUPT INSURANCE COMPANIES, NOT DESTROY OUR ABILITY TO RAISE FOODS, AND NOT DESTROY WATER SOURCES FOR 40% of the WORLD's POPULATIONS THAT DEPEND UPON GLACIER MELT FOR WATER... WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION.


    the spoiled riche kids don't want you to.

    move them out of the way, and sue them into the ground...let engineers run WASHINGTON....

    it's what they get paid to do in the real world...the pantywaists in CONGRESS COULDN'T find their a**es if they weren't attached...

    they have degrees in PORK, GRAFT, INSIDER TRADING, EARMARKS, CONFLICT OF INTERESTs, and INFLUENCE PEDDLING....

    other than that they have no real clue....it is what their parents trained them to do...the inherited wealthy

    COLLUSION, corporate collusion w/COMPLICIT CONGRESS is their life support....cut it.

    .destroy lobbying. end it.

    .

    Posted by: aggressive interesting individual making your lives easier by thinking.... | October 25, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

    No one is saying that we are not experiencing global warming. That is the con. Most scientists do believe we are in a period of global warming; however, very few scientists believe humans are responsible for significantly contributing to it.

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927B9303-802A-23AD-494B-DCCB00B51A12

    56% of climatologists do not believe that man is responsible for global warming. Out of the remaining 44%, most conclude that there is not enough evidence to make a conclusion.

    Hurricanes are more intense? extract NOAA data below into a spreadsheet. Get the latest data for 2005-1007 add it to the spreadsheet and display the graph. It is obvious there is no increase in hurricanes with the increase in CO2 See for yourself. Don't believe me. Look it up.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml

    Get out your geology book and read how the great lakes were formed - from glaciers that have since receeded. You might be able see some cool pictures that show glaciers over the northern portion of the US!

    IPCC summary - fourth assessment report: a large number of scientists submitted data. A small number came up with the conclusions. That being said, on page 7 data shows that sea levels rose (during the surge of CO2 emissions) on average 0.17 meters - that's about 7 inches over the last century... it's a long long way from 7 inches to 20 feet. I would not asvise selling any beach front property yet.

    I could go on.

    So pictures showing ice melting or temperatures warming is not relevant. Show me that man is responsible for the heating. That is the real question and no one can show that man is responsible.

    "But the models show it" Are these the models that have never accurately modeled A hurricane season - changing the hurricane estimate about ever two months during the season? Are these the models that can't model historical climate change? But miraculously they model the future?

    Posted by: ThePlanetIsDoomed | October 25, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

    REAL SCIENCE

    "'Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,' declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned 'in one fell swoop' the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. The study entitled 'Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth's Climate System,' was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=84e9e44a-802a-23ad-493a-b35d0842fed8

    I give references to real science. They give regurgitated Goreisms and insults.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

    50 MPG, Soybean FUEL BIO CAR... 0 to 60 in 4 Seconds...

    ps. diesels were originally created so farmers could be self sufficent. off the grid, burning vegetable oils.

    Kids Build Soybean-Fueled Sports Car

    High school kids (including drop-outs) design car that can go from zero to 60 in four seconds and get more than 50 miles to the gallon on soy bean oil biodiesel fuel.


    West Philadelphia High School

    Feb. 30, 2006

    I spoke this morning by phone with Simon Hauger who is the director of the West Philadelphia High School auto program.

    He said that his students have been working on this car for a couple of years, and that they ran it in the Tour de Sol and won their division in May 2005. The 50 mpg mileage was well documented there.

    They were then able to enter the car into the Philadelphia Car Show, where the car was the star of the show.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a feature, which CBS News then noticed and came to the school to run the feature which they aired a week ago.

    Hauger said that the camera crews were there for an entire day and took four hours of footage.

    "You never know what they will select to include in their three minutes of air time," he said.

    The coverage had generated a lot of favorable media interest.

    The question that gets asked over and over, he said, was "Why aren't the major automobile manufacturers doing this?"

    "It kind of begs the question," he said. "This is all off-the-shelf stuff. These kids are not geniuses, and look at what they have been able to come up with on a shoestring budget."

    What's under the hood is a VW turbo diesel in the back, and an AC propulsion electric motor in the front.

    They're still working out some issues with the hybrid aspect of the car, and did not use that in winning the Tour de Sol.

    In other words, the technology exists in presently-manufactured automobiles to achieve these kinds of efficiencies and power. Why aren't the major automobile companies doing this as a matter of course?

    Maybe they should take Hauger's course.

    Posted by: a little aggressive deep thinking for punters.... | October 25, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

    what's your expertise ???

    what is your science background ??


    Petroleum Institute Policy Manager ???

    let's have it...

    Posted by: so | October 25, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

    dissenting opinion?

    is that what you call lying and obfuscation?

    is that what big tobacco did, or did they knowingly disinform?

    I have a forked stick,

    and I am coming for your type...

    gonna be rattlesnake stew time... budday

    I got no problem with honest dissent, the problemo is that you and your ilk

    lie, create strawmen that don't exist in the real world and say "this is the real world!", disparage dishonestly...link attributes that are not linkable/B.S., link dishonestly as a tactic [EXAMPLE: soundbite campaign to link IRAQ/TERRORISM/WTC/911....though there was NO_LINK]

    your very purpose is to inhibit honesty.

    your saying what you do is dissent is direct spin/dishonesty...you r attempt to link it to Nazi_istic behavior is a direct refutation of your self...

    we have laws against fraud. is that nazism? we have laws against false representation of product. we have laws against defamation of character if that defamation is meant to discredit through falsehoods...

    why is that ?

    because what you are doing is dishonest. you have full knowledge of your lies, just as BIG TOBACCO DID...

    .

    .

    Posted by: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh the truth... | October 25, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

    for example:

    what is the largest natural source of CO2 removal from the environment ???


    plants.


    increase the AMOUNT OF PLANT LIFE ON EARTH... and reduce the deforestation...

    start using bio plastics, generate a need for more plant life...

    geeeee that was hard wasn't it ???

    and I also notice a certain lack of crediting to alternative fuels design...

    there is an article on page 2 of the comments that clearly suggests and alternative to oil...

    a soybean driven sports car that gets 50 MILES TO THE GALLON ON Soybean based diesel fuel, goes 0 to 60 in 4 Seconds [which beats even a Chevy El Camino with 396 and 400 H.P., or for that matter any AMERICAN CAR BUILT] and it was designed and created by 5 high schoolers in Philadelphia from off the shelf components...

    a 1.9 Litre V.W. diesel engine and an A.C. motor...

    this was designed and built in 2005, at a trade school in Philadelphia...

    tested for mileage by a certified company and shown at an Auto Show in 2006.

    why hasn't anyone acted on it?

    why hasn't anyone invested in it?

    BIG OIL interfering? COMPLICIT CONGRESS OBFUSCATING ????

    ...

    ...

    .

    Posted by: tooobvious...eh. | October 25, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

    "Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics

    Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research"
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12

    THAT is why Gore and friends are in such a panic to get laws passed that can't easily be reversed, because when people realize they've been conned, it will be impossible. We are almost to that point, but since many of the gullible have been suckered into believing the scam, it may take longer to make the public aware of Gore's bullspit.

    Posted by: yonason | October 25, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

    'Most scientists do believe we are in a period of global warming; however, very few scientists believe humans are responsible for significantly contributing to it.'
    Posted by: ThePlanetIsDoomed | October 25, 2007 08:22 PM

    Your comment gets four Pinocchios, again.

    Your statements can be easily refuted and proven to be false.

    I posted irrefutable evidence that proves Global Warming is real and is cause primarily by the burning of fossil fuel and the destruction of the rain forests. How convenient of your to ignore it.

    Here it is again:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0219-01.htm

    Posted by: kevinschmidt | October 25, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

    Yonason, please stop posting links to information that has already been discredited.

    No credible scientist in the world believes for a minute the BS you are posting in this thread.

    Why don't you address the irrefutable evidence I posted twice?

    I think it is because you can't refute the truth without looking like a fool.

    Oops! It's too late for that!

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

    they IGNORE THE TRUTH AND PUT UP STRAWMEN

    FABRICATIONS THAT THEY HAVE CREATED AND TALK TO AS_IF THAT WERE THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTION

    when in fact the problem is their unwillingness to actually talk to the situation as it exists...

    you see them handling other problems the same way, fabricating about candidates, the OIL GRAB...known as IRAQ...

    for the same reasons

    these are their investments...they NEED TO PRESERVE THE ILLUSION OF NO CHOICE...

    their very existence is an insult to AMERICA.

    .yankee ingenuity, is non existent with these obfuscationary forces in charge of our pocket books.

    take them down.

    .

    Posted by: hey budday | October 25, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

    The deniers of Global Warming have straw for brains too!

    Again, the only controversy about Global Warming is what causes the deniers to be so profoundly stupid.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

    Thank you for this article. Al Gore needs to be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize Award. Saying Global Warming is man made! WRONG!!! There is GLOBAL WARMING, but it is NOT! man made. Look at the facts. Go watch a counter documentary entitled " The Global Warming Swindle" Thanks.

    Posted by: Chris Farrar | October 25, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

    Chris Farrar | October 25, 2007 09:35 PM

    You too get four Pinocchios for posting ridiculous lies.

    Care to comment on my link that proves you and your stupid propaganda movie wrong?

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

    I understand the purpose of this message board is to promote enlightened discussion or reactions amongst the article's readers.

    However, the large number of of scathing comments only reflects a fundamental aspect of human nature: the ignorance of facts or credible arguments when such ideas goes against one's existing beliefs.

    It is my belief that global warming exists and I admire Al Gore's efforts in bringing awareness to this issue. Nevertheless, Fact Checker's efforts in verifying the accuracy of Gore's statements are valiant, especially as it goes against apparent popular sentiment.

    It is very rare to find journalists who aspire to seek the truth and attempt to convey their perspectives in the most objective manner.

    Posted by: James | October 25, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

    t is very rare to find journalists who aspire to seek the truth and attempt to convey their perspectives in the most objective manner.

    Posted by: James | October 25, 2007 09:52 PM

    Michael Dobbs is certainly not one of them! The objective of his article is to smear Al Gore, not to seek the truth.

    Your search for a very rare journalist goes on...

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

    All who deny Global Warming are supporting a culture of death.

    Put aside the fact that Global Warming is real and caused by humans, consider how much damage is being done by the burning of fossil fuels.

    Bottom line cost accounting is a fraud. Once you take into account the pollution fossil fuels and nuclear power plants create, the damage to the planet's ecosystems, the lowering of our quality of life and the reduction of our life expectancies, the cost of using any fossil fuel or nuclear power becomes prohibitively expensive.

    The only rational and sane choice is to take away all of the corporate welfare and support for the fossil fuel industries and give it to proven, renewable, clean, safe alternative energy.

    We don't have to wait ten years, the technology exists today!

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 25, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

    "'Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,' declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research."

    This is entertaining. The best they can do is an astronomer (not a climatoligist) to make this declaration about a paper which merely finds a lesser degree of anthropogenic climate change than many other peer-reviewed studies have suggested.

    Seriously, this is the conclusion, from the very last sentence of the paper:

    'The estimated increase in GMST by well mixed gasses from pre-industrial times to the present, 0.7 +- 0.3 K; the upper end of this range approaches the threshold for "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" which is considered to be in the range of 1 to 2 K."

    Yup. So this is their smoking gun. One method of calculating which suggests that we may have not yet caused "dangerous interference," we may have only almost gotten to that point. So lets just keep on doing what we're doing then right?

    http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapacity.pdf

    And by the way, this study is funded by the Bush Administrations Department of Energy.

    Funny thing about the "scientists" on the deniers side, they seem to lack the skills to even understand a scientific paper, much less produce a peer-reviewed study.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 25, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

    A number of comments indicated a belief that at least one of Gore's exagerations, Kilamanjaro's glacier retreat, would in the end be found valid. Many of the others, such as 20 foot sea level rise over the next century or so which would be quite rapid compared to the 400 foot rise since the height of the glacier period. However, Gore supporters will have to be content with one less hope as the Kilamanjaro fable is put to rest in a recent Geophysical Research Letters article that is discussed below on World Climate Report:

    October 9, 2006
    Kilimanjaro Glaciers Exit the Debate
    Filed under: Climate Changes, Glaciers/Sea Ice --
    Snow cover and sea ice extent have long been thought of as monitors of climate change, and so it is no surprise that the global warming crusade has promoted any signal of glacial decline as clear evidence of global warming. The simplicity of the concept that "warming means less ice" makes a decline in snow and ice an appealing piece of ammunition for their cause. However, wielding this with a narrow view of the issue makes it dangerous ammunition, or useless, as appears to be the case for one set of tropical glaciers that are widely referenced in the global warming debate.

    In a recent article in Geophysical Research Letters entitled "Kilimanjaro glaciers: recent areal extent from satellite data and new interpretation of observed 20th century retreat rates," the glaciers of Africa's highest mountain are in effect removed from the debate of climate change in the 20th century. The work of a team led by Nicolas Cullen of the Tropical Glaciology Group at the University of Innsbruck is significant because drastic retreats in tropical glaciers during the mid- to late-20th century have attracted broad attention among global warming alarmists.


    What many climate change arguments tend to omit is the fact that periods of glacial advance and retreat are not merely a reflection of air temperature trends, as a change in precipitation, for example, is equally important. In the tropics, glaciers are particularly sensitive to humidity and cloudiness, which control the amount of incident solar radiation. Furthermore, Cullen et al. point out that the glaciers of Kilimanjaro are above the mean freezing level, meaning that it is "difficult to suggest that air temperature changes alone are responsible for glacier recession on Kilimanjaro." To re-evaluate possible causes of glacier retreat on Kilimanjaro, Cullen et al. employed recent high spatial resolution satellite images of the mountain to construct a new detailed map of the of the ice bodies. They compared the new data to long-term variations in ice extent to assess its retreat in the context of 20th century changes in air temperature, atmospheric moisture, and precipitation in East Africa.

    The group of researchers found that glacial retreat during the 20th century was profound, as their work shows that only 21% of the 1912 ice cover on Kilimanjaro existed in 2003 when the satellite images were taken. However, the highest recession rates occurred in the first part of the 20th century, while the recession rate over the last 15-year interval (1989-2003) was smaller than in any of the other defined intervals in the study period of 1912-2003. Obviously, this is counterintuitive to the idea that dramatic warming within Earth's climate has occurred over the past several decades. Given this curious finding, Cullen et al. set out to interpret the findings in the context of 20th century climate change.

    The ice bodies of Kilimanjaro were stratified into two types of glaciers - plateau (elevation ≥ 5700 m) and slope (

    Unlike with plateau glaciers, Cullen et al. believe that slope glaciers have a much shorter adjustment time to changes in climate - on the order of a few years. The research group believes that the rapid recession in the early part of the 20th century (1912-1953) indicates that the glaciers were wildly out of equilibrium in responding to a prior shift in climate during the 19th century. Cullen et al. contend that the momentum of the shift has left the slope glaciers of Kilimanjaro out of equilibrium still today. Their most significant point here is that there is no evidence of any atmospheric warming in the 20th century at the altitude of the glaciers that might be responsible for trends toward the demise of this brand of glaciers on Kilimanjaro. Joining plateau glaciers, the slope glaciers of Kilimanjaro are excused from the global warming debate.

    Cullen et al. conclude that "Rather than changes in 20th century climate being responsible for their demise, glaciers on Kilimanjaro appear to be remnants of a past climate that was once able to sustain them." Should a debate on a mysterious climate shift of the late 19th century break-out, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro might be useful. As for debate over 20th century climate change, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro appear to be on ice.

    Reference

    Cullen, N. J., T. Mölg, G. Kaser, K. Hussein, K. Steffen, and D. R. Hardy (2006), Kilimanjaro Glaciers: Recent areal extent from satellite data and new interpretation of observed 20th century retreat rates, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L16502, doi:10.1029/2006GL027084.

    Posted by: For Believers | October 25, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

    For Believers:

    Kilimanjaro has survived for 11,000 years though far greater climate stresses than occurred at the end of the 19th century. It is well known that the current retreat began with precipitation changes at that time. But that alone does not explain the full extent of the retreat since then. You really can't account for it without taking into account possible effects of climate change. I find it strange to talk of a "mysterious climate shift of the late 19th century." All that is is positing some mysterious unknown cause.

    It certainly doesn't discredit the following scenario:

    An unusually wet decade around 1880 put the glacier into strongly positive mass balance, bulking up its mass. Early 20th century explorers found the glacier recovering towards equilibrium from this anomalous state. However, rather than finding a new equilibrium in the 20th century, the glacier has continued to retreat, and is now on the brink of disappearing. Though air temperature has so far remained below freezing, melting has begun to occur, and the glacier is suffering net ablation over its entire surface. Air temperature increases similar to those observed aloft since 1960, amplified by associated increases in humidity, account for a significant portion of the enhanced ablation leading to this strongly negative mass balance, but the exact proportion is highly uncertain because of the short span of energy and mass balance observations. However, changes in the distribution of snowfall through the year, conceivably linked to increases in sea surface temperature, may have reduced the reflectivity of the glacier and played an even bigger role in forcing the retreat than changes in air temperature alone.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=157

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 25, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

    What the ???? Showing graphs of Florida underwater, using sea level rises of 1000% greater than your co-Nobel Prize winning panel predicts, gets 1 Pinocchio?

    More distortions from the deniers.

    The IPCC panel predicts the exact same amount of sea rise Gore's film suggests. This is what the film actually says about Florida:

    "If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida. This is what would happen in the San Francisco Bay."

    And this is what the IPCC says (section 10.2 of the FAQ; last two paragraphs):

    "Moreover, results suggest that there is a critical temperature threshold beyond which the Greenland Ice Sheet would be committed to disappearing completely, and that threshold could be crossed in this century. However, the total melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which would raise global sea level by about seven metres, is a slow process that would take many hundreds of years to complete.

    Recent satellite and in situ observations of ice streams behind disintegrating ice shelves highlight some rapid reactions of ice sheet systems. This raises new concern about the overall stability of the West Antartic Ice Sheet, the collapse of which would trigger another five to six metres of sea level rise."

    So there you have it, if both go, a minimum of about 12 metres (which equals 39.35 feet) of sea level rise. Half of which is pretty near to 20 feet, the level of rise depicted in that portion of the film.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 26, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

    does anyone have a complete list of the "facts" "investigated" here so far?. Seems like a lot of folks thought the Iraq war was most important issue recently. Lets have the facts about this. Guts? We are waiting Mr. Dobbs

    Posted by: george | October 26, 2007 1:23 AM | Report abuse

    Some people here forget that global warming is a hugely complex issue that requires enormous amounts of data and years of study to be fully understood.
    It involves everything from natural alterations in the earth's axis of rotation to surface reflectivity and deep oceanic heat sink factors, not to mention atmospheric gases. I doubt there is a scientist out there who can claim they have a 100% accurate model of how manmade factors affect climate. It is quite possible that Gore made some errors in his movie and further that such errors have significant impact on what conclusions can be drawn from it. The scientist quoted above said Gore's film was "pretty accurate...for the American movie industry." Given that the American movie industry is based almost entirely on selling fantasy, that doesn't say much for the accuracy of Gore's film. Having said all that, I'd nonetheless say Gore should be congratulated for his effort to bring the matter to the public's attention. That is the most important factor for mobilizing the public to address the POSSIBLE influence of manmade factors. In the end, he doesn't really deserve a "Pinocchio" because he's not trying to deliberately trick the public...he's trying to call our attention to possible effects, their possible causes, and the risks they present. He is saying we can't wait until the evidence is 100% conclusive before taking preventative action against a phenomenom that could be potentially disastrous.

    Posted by: ttj1 | October 26, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

    "I am a scientist with 25 years of experience in measurement and statistics. I have researched the data. It is extremely obvious that the addition of one hundredth of one percent of CO2 into the atmosphere has had a negligible effect on the climate."

    This statement, by the way, is literally off by 40,000%.

    Human sources of CO2 account for about 6 billion tonnes a year, which is about 4% (not .01%) of the 150 billion tonnes released by natural sources.

    But those natural sources also absorb more than they release. The oceans release 90 billion tonnes but absorb 92 billion. Land based natural sources release about 60 billion tonnes (much of it through plan decay), but absorb 61 billion (much through plant growth and photosynthesis).

    The net result is that we have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations from about 280ppm to over 380ppm in the last 150 years, an increase of 36%. Increases of similar magnitude in the last 650 million years have only occurred at the end of ice ages, over time spans of 5000 years or more, in conjunction with global average temperature increases of around 5 degrees C.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 26, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

    I love those that fall for the RealClimate blog spin and base their comments on this page using RealClimate as their touchstone. Let's all recall that RealClimate was established to defend the now debunked Mann's hockeystick theory. When that did not work it transformed into a vehicle for global warming activists who now spin their wheels attacking global warming skeptics or deniers in the political terms of Washington. Check it out. LOL.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

    Earth to Washington Post: Al Gore isn't running.

    Posted by: zoya | October 26, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

    The comments regarding Kilimanjaro are laced with both fact and fiction. The facts are:

    1. Kilimanjaro's glacier is always below freezing.
    2. The glacier retreat began a century ago (no SUVs around then).
    3. Kilimanjaro was a "smooth" as a baby's rear and free of ice about 11,000 years ago.

    All of this is consistent with the fact that farming replaced the forests around Kilimanjaro which in turn produced less moisture in the atmosphere, resulting in less precipitation on the glacier and less cloud cover. Under these conditions, the glacier was exposed to increased solar radiation which together with the decreased precipitation results in increased evaporation (sublimation). The whole process is accelerated to some extent by the presence of "old" ice and snow that are darker (dirtier) than fresh deposits and, therefore, absorb more solar energy.

    So, there is the Kilimanjaro story in a nutshell. A simple, totally consistent picture that hangs together without SUVs, man-made climate change, etc. Even Gore has backed down from his wishful "inconvenient truth" about Kilimanjaro which suggests that maybe he is trainable. Although political animal that he is that is unlikely.

    Posted by: Frank Figliaro | October 26, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

    "Funny thing about the "scientists" on the deniers side, they seem to lack the skills to even understand a scientific paper, much less produce a peer-reviewed study." -Posted by: Brian Blake | October 25, 2007 10:15 PM

    Sorry, Brian, but it is you who don't know how to interpret what you read.

    The author of that paper, Steven Schwartz, has a website,

    and on it he is very critical of anthropogenic global warming.

    He rips the IPCC apart for their probably deliberate carelessness, and says . . .

    " In view of ... [the] ... uncertainties [which he says the IPCC ignore], which are due largely to uncertainty in aerosol forcing, it cannot be stated with certainty that the warming influences of CO2 and other GHGs exceeds the cooling influences due largely to aerosols, although this is likely to be the case."

    In other words, humans are probably causing as much if not more cooling as warming, and what he calls the "so-called global warming" is NOT at all settled science, but hoopla and over reaction.

    Stop pretending you are an expert. You are obviously not.

    Furthermore, a survey of the scientific literature reveals that, THERE IN NO CONSENSUS.
    http://dreadnaught.wordpress.com/2007/08/30/global-warming-a-fully-endorsed-theory-anwser-no/

    Also, regarding Gore's honesty, chairman, and high (on what?) priest of GW, Al Gore, is a documented dissembler.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_9_52/ai_61892073

    But, they believe him anyway. Why?

    It's not because he's telling the truth, because he MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT!

    Posted by: yonason | October 26, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

    Posted by: yonason | October 26, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

    Correction

    Schwartz does seem to think that CO2 warming is greater than the aerosol cooling. But he is still critical of the IPCC. Also, one man doesn't make a consensus. Just because he expresses cautious concern (NOT panic) is no reason for the GW "believers" to insist the science is "settled". It is NOT.

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

    "STEVEN E. SCHWARTZ . . .

    . . . , of Brookhaven National Labs . . [authored a paper cited above by someone who hasn't a clue what it means] . . Entitled, "Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth's Climate System", the paper is based on more accurate estimates of feedback processes in the Earth's atmosphere. It concludes the IPCC estimate of 2 - 4.5C degrees warming (from the anticipated 1900-2100 doubling of CO2 levels) is much too high, and the actual figure should be closer to 1.1 degree.

    The conclusion is very significant as we've already experienced some 0.7 degrees of that warming. That means over the next century, only an additional 0.4 degrees warming is expected. And after that, the warming effect will nearly vanish."
    http://www.dailytech.com/Latest+Research+Erodes+CO2s+Role+in+Global+Warming/article8588.htm

    The first paragraph cited Belgian Scientists as finding the role of CO2 was "vastly overstated" by the IPCC.

    And, a whole lot of neet stuff here that Al Gore and his sycophants don't want you to know about.
    http://notpermanent.stumbleupon.com/tag/co2/

    The critics here wouldn't know a scientist if they tripped over one, yet they are telling those of us who disagree how "unscientific" we are. It would be laughable if it didn't show just how so many people today are incapable of rational debate.

    Posted by: yonason | October 26, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

    The REAL reason the planet is warming, LOL
    http://www.blackfive.net/photos/uncategorized/gore_dragon_wordz.jpg

    (NOTE: That photo was "doctored." Gore was added to make the flames seem more threatening)

    Posted by: yonason | October 26, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

    Not one of the climate models used in the IPCC study took into account the effect that clouds have on the temperature. Clouds act as both a blanket and a shield, and there are no credible papers available that deal with their effects. If you are trying to build a climate model but leave out a major contributor to the climate, how can your model be accurate. It would be like trying to build a house but not putting in a foundation. I stand by my last post, it is arrogant to believe that humans are above nature, as opposed to part of nature.

    Posted by: Bill | October 26, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

    I fail to see why Professor Lonnie Thompson's assertion that "every Tom, Dick and Harry and now apparently a judge in England has an opinion, while most have never lifted a finger toward doing the hard work to get the necessary data nor studying the science to even warrant an opinion" is not applicable to the Goracle himself.

    Also: Good job, fact checker, for having the stones to stick with it.

    Posted by: William | October 26, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

    "I am a scientist with 25 years of experience in measurement and statistics. I have researched the data. It is extremely obvious that the addition of one hundredth of one percent of CO2 into the atmosphere has had a negligible effect on the climate."

    Apparently I was not clear above and I did not want to go into detail; however, I will explain. Currently, the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is approximately 0.04%. To calculate the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere 150 years ago we will use Blake's values (280 ppm and 380 ppm).

    x% = 280/380*0.04 = 0.03%

    The calculation shows that 150 years ago the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere was was approximately 0.03%.

    Therefore, the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere has only changed about 0.01% over the last 150 years.

    As Professor Reid A. Bryson once said, "You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide."

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

    The cowardly scientist who refuses to post his name must be ashamed of his post.

    I don't blame him for hiding his name in shame. I would too if I had posted such illogical pseudoscience nonsense about the amount of CO2.

    Global warming is real, scientifically that cannot be denied. But the deniers' sanity is unreal and their rationality is nonexistent.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 26, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

    It would be laughable if it didn't show just how so many people today are incapable of rational debate.

    Posted by: yonason | October 26, 2007 02:15 PM

    Yes, that would be YOU!

    I am still waiting for any credible scientific evidence to disprove Global Warming from you irrational pseudo scientists.

    Posted by: Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA | October 26, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

    Al Gore is a joke. I don't believe on thing he has said is an original thought. He is coached and proded by his handlers. A shrewd politician who recognized the global warming could be his mantra.

    Posted by: Mark | October 27, 2007 12:06 AM | Report abuse

    Wow. How old is this blogger? He sounds like a teenager who's been let loose with a keyboard to finish pulverizing the Post's already fragile reputation on climate change discussion. Completely embarrassing for him, and for them, that this reaching, stretching, distortion-filled personal vendetta goes on.

    If anyone is curious what real peer-reviewed climatologists thought about the film, they covered it quite well at realclimate.org. (Mr. Dobbs, the Post Ombudswoman, and the prehistoric creatures on its editorial board are excused from the room so that they may stand outside with their fingers in their ears.)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/convenient-untruths

    (basically, only one of the "errors" was a real error, and it's pretty clear that it will be true soon)

    Posted by: Disgusted with this anti-science tabloid | October 27, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

    Disgusted, RealClimate is just a blog for global warming types to beat up on global warming "deniers." There are at least as many blogs with peer-reviewed authors that completely disagree with RealClimate. So, as an objective person which is correct and why? If you don't know them, just say so and I'll give you quite a few and the rest you can Google.

    Posted by: Disgusted with global warming alarmists | October 27, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

    This is so, so sad. I remember when the Post was a respected newspaper. That it's been reduced to this is a great loss for the nation.

    Posted by: Mark | October 27, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

    "So, as an objective person which is correct and why?"

    Um, I think I'm going to go with the consistent consensus statement of every climatology-related scientific organization on the planet. You can cling to your handful of oil-industry funded shills (Baliunas, Singer, Lindzen, Ball etc.). Suit yourself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion on climate change, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the IPCC position that "An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".

    Posted by: Disgusted with this tabloid | October 27, 2007 1:30 AM | Report abuse

    "Al Gore is a joke. I don't believe on thing he has said is an original thought."

    Well, you're half right at least. Much as the angry denial shouters want to think so, Gore didn't do the science himself (though he does understand it startlingly well for a politician). The thousands of scientists who comprise the global concensus on human-driven climate change are responsible for the "originial thought" part.

    Posted by: They're catching on... | October 27, 2007 1:38 AM | Report abuse

    "There are at least as many blogs with peer-reviewed authors that completely disagree with RealClimate."

    Oh yeah? Name one.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

    "x% = 280/380*0.04 = 0.03%"

    This is just too funny.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 27, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

    'He rips the IPCC apart for their probably deliberate carelessness, and says . . .

    " In view of ... [the] ... uncertainties [which he says the IPCC ignore], which are due largely to uncertainty in aerosol forcing, it cannot be stated with certainty that the warming influences of CO2 and other GHGs exceeds the cooling influences due largely to aerosols, although this is likely to be the case."

    In other words, humans are probably causing as much if not more cooling as warming'

    Yonason:

    Obviously, you completely misstated that, as what he said was that net global warming likely was the case. I see you corrected that afterwards, but, please slow down a bit and read more critically. You obviously got the idea that he was denying global warming from Senator Inhofe's website, which is where you initially linked to a reference to his study.

    You have also previously referred to a 15 year old study which appears to show a roughly even division amongst climatologists, linked to from the same suspect source, apparently without recognizing the advances that have occurred since then.

    I'm not certain that survey was accurate even then, but it's clearly not accurate now. There is clearly a "consensus" at the moment on the following points at least:

    • Global Warming is now occuring
    • The most significant cause of warming observed in recent decades is likely greenhouse gases, primarily CO2
    • This warming will likely continue through the next century

    Now there are certainly scientists who will disagree on one or more points. But even the most skeptical scientists seem to agree that this represents the current majority view.

    I would not say that that means the science is "settled." Certainly, as part of the scientific process, these consensus views should continue to be challenged, especially in light of the fact that, although parts of global warming theory are over a century old, much of this current consensus is fairly recent.

    And I would say that "consensus" is itself not a scientific concept, as much as a political one. Challenges to current theories and understandings will continue to go on whether there is "consensus" or not.

    Where consensus is truly needed is in addressing the question of what, if anything, we ought to change about our current behavior in light of our current understanding of this danger, balanced against the social and economic costs of likely changes. There it is difficult to proceed without consensus.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 27, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

    "Not one of the climate models used in the IPCC study took into account the effect that clouds have on the temperature."
    Bill:
    That is also incorrect. All of the models include modeling the effect of clouds.

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/271.htm


    Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

    "It concludes the IPCC estimate of 2 - 4.5C degrees warming (from the anticipated 1900-2100 doubling of CO2 levels) is much too high, and the actual figure should be closer to 1.1 degree."

    Yonason:
    Again you are relying on someone else's political spin rather than looking at what the report actually says.

    It nowhere suggests that the IPCC estimate is too high, or that his model's estimate is correct. What he actually says about his own estimate is:

    "This value is well below current best estimates of this quantitiy, summarized in the Fourth Assesment Report of the IPCC...This situation invites a scrutiny of each of these findings for possible sources of error of interpretation in the present study."

    Following this he lists several possible flaws in his, model, not the least of which is that it is a single compartment energy balance model, like this, which treats the earth as though it were a single point, with a single uniform heat capacity, a single temperature, and a single time constant in response to any perturbation.

    I'm not sure what use his model is frankly, other than as a good introduction to the topic of modeling.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 27, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

    "And I would say that "consensus" is itself not a scientific concept, as much as a political one. Challenges to current theories and understandings will continue to go on whether there is "consensus" or not.

    Where consensus is truly needed is in addressing the question of what, if anything, we ought to change about our current behavior in light of our current understanding of this danger, balanced against the social and economic costs of likely changes. There it is difficult to proceed without consensus."

    While it is true that consensus is not a part of science it is at the core of the political process (assuming we are not dealing with a dictatorship). However, issues that are scientific in nature require that the electorate be informed by the science before establishing a consensus. If this does not occur, there is a good chance that poor decisions will be made.

    The key question, therefore, is whether or not climate science is sufficiently settled that it can reliably inform the electorate. Unfortunately, the bottom line answer is no. Certainly, major supportive theories of anthropogenic forcing of climate (e.g., hockey stick) have fallen by the wayside, although IPCC, NRC, and other learned societies have been remarkably silent (notwithstanding dated, incomplete, non-critical references by Wikipedia articles provided by unknown persons) on the subject while at the same time simply reducing estimates of "end of the world" scenarios. On the other hand, natural forcing theories (e.g., solar activity, cosmic ray affect on cloud formation, etc.) are gaining traction.

    Putting it all together, I sense that Gore's Nobel prize is probably the peak of the global warming hysteria and we'll gradually settle down into a more rational state - not unlike our recovery from the global cooling hysteria of the seventies.

    Posted by: Julian Huggins | October 28, 2007 12:27 AM | Report abuse

    "I am still waiting for any credible scientific evidence to disprove Global Warming from you irrational pseudo scientists." Kevin Schmidt

    That's funny, Kevin. We're still waiting for credible scientific evidence of ANTHROPOGENIC global warming (We aren't denying global warming of earth any more than on the other planets on which it is simultaneously occuring).

    I've given references to dozens of the best climate scientists who say humans aren't responsible, we can have no significant impact on it no matter what we do, and it isn't a serious problem, yet you keep attacking me and ignoring what they have to say. Obviously, you don't know what you are talking about.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 28, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

    Certainly is a lot of hand waving around here.

    I notice that nobody mentioned the fairly recent finding that carbon dioxide levels lag temperature. Does anyone think that confirms Gore's position?

    I also notice that much stock is placed on consensus. To the best of my knowledge, the latest unbiased survey of climate scientists (no, IPCC is not an unbiased population) indicated no consensus. Specifically, about 3 years ago von Storch and Stehr, both climate scientists, asked 530 climatologists worldwide if they thought that climate change was due to man. In rough figures, 10% strongly disagreed and 10% strongly agreed. Hardly a consensus for either side, as though consensus really matters or can change reality.

    Posted by: BobC | October 28, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

    oh NO!

    The glaciers ARE melting . . .
    http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/ice_ages/images/loopglac.gif

    . . . and have been for THOUSANDS of years!

    from...
    http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/ice_ages/

    Posted by: yonason | October 28, 2007 3:08 AM | Report abuse

    Unfortunately, the bottom line answer is no. Certainly, major supportive theories of anthropogenic forcing of climate (e.g., hockey stick) have fallen by the wayside,"

    Jullian:
    By my understanding, "hockey stick" refers to the temperature pattern of the last 500-1000 years, specifically a long gradual cooling trend through the little ice age, followed by a less gradual upward trend in the 20th century. In what way do you believe this has "fallen by the wayside"?

    "I notice that nobody mentioned the fairly recent finding that carbon dioxide levels lag temperature. Does anyone think that confirms Gore's position?"

    Bob:
    I don't think it changes his position at all. This scenario has long been anticipated. For example, from Loruis et al., 1990:

    "The discovery of significant changes in climate forcing linked with the composition of the atmosphere has led to the idea that changes in the CO2 and CH4 content have played a significant part in the glacial-interglacial climate changes by amplifying, together with the growth and decay of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, the relatively weak orbital forcing..." (p141)

    "Using the data on the direct radiative forcing associated with changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases, we derive information about the role of fast feedback processes. This does not require a solution of the 'chicken and egg' problem, that is, we do not have to address fully the question of causes of the glacial-interglacial cycles and of the sequence of possible forcing factors. For example, whether the temperature changes lead or lag the changes in CO2 or CH4 concentrations is not relevant for the study of fast feedbacks." (p142)

    In other words, it was well understood that the initial causes of warming when emerging from ice ages were likely orbital, and that CO2 concentrations might therefore have lagged temperature increases. I don't know that Gore had ever even taken a position on the "chicken and egg" question.

    To the best of my knowledge, the latest unbiased survey of climate scientists (no, IPCC is not an unbiased population) indicated no consensus. Specifically, about 3 years ago von Storch and Stehr, both climate scientists, asked 530 climatologists worldwide if they thought that climate change was due to man

    That survey also uses a 7 point scale between agree and disagree, and the source you are referencing is only quoting the 1s and 7s.

    Overall it was

    • 81-12% in favor of "We can say for certain that Global Warming is a process already underway"
    • 53-29% in favor of "Climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes"
    • 78-13% in favor of "We can say for certain that, without change in human behavior, global warming will definitely occur some time in the future"
    • 68-18% in favor of "The IPCC reports accurately reflect the consensus of thought within the scientific community"
    • 80-15% opposed to "There is enough uncertainty about the phenomenon of global warming that there is no need for immediate policy decisions."

    Actual survey here.

    Posted by: Brian Blake | October 28, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

    Brian, I suspect that nobody is really following this thread anymore so I'll throw in a few pesos for the authors.
    ======================================
    "By my understanding, "hockey stick" refers to the temperature pattern of the last 500-1000 years, specifically a long gradual cooling trend through the little ice age, followed by a less gradual upward trend in the 20th century. In what way do you believe this has "fallen by the wayside"?"

    As one that has attempted to dominate this blog with your "expertise" you are certainly way behind the times. Hockey stick refers to Mann's hockey stick theory which was the cornerstone of global warming alarmists claim that humans are the main cause of global warming. The IPCC highlighted it in the previous report and did not even mention it or give a reason for not doing so in the latest report. The model was debunked in 2004 by two Canadian statisticians who showed that Mann (UofMass) used the wrong statistical procedure in his analysis. A year or two ago the NAS/NRC scolded the IPCC for using the hockey stick model without proper evaluation and giving it the "definitive" final word crown. A bit naive on the NAS/NRC's part considering the composition of the IPCC members and well documented number under governmental "thumbs."

    A spectacular demonstration of the problem was made by feeding random data into Mann's program and out popped a hockey stick. The details of the error have been well documented and you will not see any more about the hockey stick. Just a little inconvenient truth that Gore overlooked and used as a main "leg" of his argument. Maybe the IPCC would have uncovered this error if they had access to verified climate models and data sources free of errors associated with siting, computer computations, etc.
    =======================================
    "In other words, it was well understood that the initial causes of warming when emerging from ice ages were likely orbital, and that CO2 concentrations might therefore have lagged temperature increases. I don't know that Gore had ever even taken a position on the "chicken and egg" question."

    Gore claimed a tight correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration and never suggested the lag. The lag was present during the eons covered by his chart and is still in effect until proven otherwise. Just another inconvenient truth.
    ==========================================
    "That survey also uses a 7 point scale between agree and disagree, and the source you are referencing is only quoting the 1s and 7s."

    Let's stay focused. The key question is whether climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes. Clearly, as Figure 30 shows, there is no consensus about whether or not humans are the main factor in the global warming equation - another inconvenient truth that the church of global warming will have to learn to live with. Note that this is a distinctly different question from whether or not global warming is upon us which in my experience is denied by nobody whether scientist or not. Those familiar with the data point out that the past 8 years have been relatively flat and since 1900 there have been decades of up and down change. Why down if CO2 was increasing? Only Gore knows. Climate has always changed and always will.
    ================================

    I have already written much more than I intended since we all know that blog discussions of this nature have minimal effect and one should have better things to do with one's time. Shame on me. Keep up the good work.

    Posted by: Merle More | October 29, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

    "VERDICT IN THE CASE OF ALBERT ARNOLD GORE Jr. vs JUDGE MICHAEL BURTON"

    I understand that this headline is an attempt at humor. If you do not understand that even a little levity undercuts your position as someone attempting to serve as an arbiter in a highly contentious political environment, then you have not thought carefully about what you are doing.

    Posted by: Anonymous | October 29, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

    Seems the Post is doing its own version of Wag the Dog here.Lets post crap about a guy that isn't running for office.This way we can avoid the real issues at hand.Last time I checked Gore wasn't the one that said Global Warming was man made.He is just the face that has managed to get it out there to the general population.Keep denying global warming .Just like the the glossing over of the fact that no WMD were ever found in Iraq.

    Posted by: BobnKnoxville | October 29, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

    "To the best of my knowledge, the latest unbiased survey of climate scientists (no, IPCC is not an unbiased population) indicated no consensus."

    Well, I'm glad you added that qualifier, "to the best of my knowledge", because your knowledge is sorely outdated (by roughly a decade). Every national and international climatology related scientific body is in agreement on this one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion on climate change, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the IPCC position that "An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".[1]

    Posted by: Last word? | October 30, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse


    And I thought the "Fact Checker" couldn't perform worse....

    This column is a total disgrace, for a variety of reasons.

    It's a dumb "gotcha" article, riddled with double-standards, inconsistent standards and flat-out stupid analysis.

    I've already posted why this is so on the other Gore smear jobs Dobbs wrote, so go there. Dobbs's work is not worth the effort anymore.

    Posted by: Egilsson | November 1, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

    Since the organization I work for is mentioned regarding the fate of polar bears, I wish to add some information to this debate. According to the Polar Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), it should be noted that the information regarding the claim made in "An inconvenient truth" about drowning polar bears is not coming directly from IUCN. Nevertheless, we are aware and concerned that polar bears are likely to be forced into water more often and forced to cover greater distances to reach a refuge (land or sea ice). When in open water far from land or sea ice, the bears are vulnerable to wind events precisely because the ice has changed at a remarkable rate, which can be attributed in part to climate change. Increased open water due to sea ice retraction results in larger waves due to increased fetch (a greater area for waves to develop). Polar bears are not at risk from high winds if they are on solid sea ice. They are at increased risk from such storms because their habitat is being severely altered. Without getting into the details of the judgement, from a scientific point of view, we feel that the link between the impact of climate change on the polar bears' habitat and recorded drowning is reasonable. The main risk factor identified for the long-term conservation of polar bears is climate warming.

    Mario Lague
    Head of Global Communications
    World Conservation Union (IUCN)
    Gland, Switzerland

    Posted by: Mario Lague | November 2, 2007 6:20 AM | Report abuse

    Hockey stick refers to Mann's hockey stick theory which was the cornerstone of global warming alarmists claim that humans are the main cause of global warming. The IPCC highlighted it in the previous report and did not even mention it or give a reason for not doing so in the latest report. The model was debunked in 2004 by two Canadian statisticians who showed that Mann (UofMass) used the wrong statistical procedure in his analysis.
    Someone forgot to mention that when the statistical analysis recommended by Wegman was applied to the data ...

    THE HOCKEY STICK REMAINED.

    Someone also forgot to mention that the NAS report claimed to "scold" Mann and the IPCC pointed out that the temperature reconstructions for the last 400 years are almost certainly correct, and back 1000 years PROBABLY correct (more likely than not).

    And the "hockey stick" has never been the cornerstone of the argument that humans are causing global warming. This argument is based on simple physics - CO2's role in warming has been known for over 100 years.

    Posted by: dhogaza | November 2, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

    I can't believe anyone is dumb enough to believe anything Gore says any more. He's been repeatedly exposed as a liar and he even openly admits he believes it's appropriate to lie to people to motivate them to jump on his bandwagon. The central thesis of Gore's film, that man is driving climate change, is a lie. The thesis that carbon dioxide is causing warming is also a lie - it's backwards! Increasing temperature is driving an increase in CO2 - you can even see that in Gore's own graphics if you bother to try.

    Posted by: Greg | November 3, 2007 2:51 AM | Report abuse

    I looked at the judge's decision with the link provided and noticed that point 18 doesn't contain either "error" or error. In fact it has nothing to do with the film at all. A real fact checker could not make this sort of mistake (because they would have procedures in place to insure a mistake like this can't happen). I'm afraid I can't take Micheal Dobbs seriously as a fact checker. Perhaps he is a "fact checker".

    Posted by: PS | November 3, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

    I thought it funny that the guy from OSU would make another outrageous statement while answering you. The California fires were arson. California has always had the spread of fires due to the Santa Ana winds.

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