Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' was the subject of a recent court case in the UK, which tried to prevent the film's distribution to secondary schools throughout England and Wales, on the grounds that the film was politically biased and contained a number of significant errors of fact.
The full legal account of the case can be found here
The best overview of the case and the significant points it raised is Convenient Untruths on the Real Climate site. [Posted 15th October 2007]
It begins: '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).'
Who brought the case against the film?
Revealed: The Man Behind Court Attack on Gore Film
[Observer Oct 14th 2007]
Stewart Dimmock, who brought the case against 'An Inconvenient Truth' admitted he had recieved support from the Scottish-based New Party of which he is a member. The party has been funded to the tune of £1m by Robert Durward, a 'quarry magnate' who has also established a controversial lobbying group, The Scientific Alliance with political consultant Mark Adams of the public relations firm, Foresight Communications to promote biotechnology, genetically modified food, and climate change skepticism. [Wikipedia]
Three articles from 2003 in The Scotsman about the New Party and Durward:
New Party's paymaster: I'm no fascist : THE man bankrolling the launch of a new political party branded as fascist by the Scottish Tories yesterday broke his silence to reassure potential supporters: "I'm not a dictator - I just sound off a bit about things that annoy me."
Doubts grow over validity of new party: THE future of what was proclaimed to be Britain's newest political party appeared to be in serious doubt last night, with its plans to contest the Scottish parliamentary elections in May in disarray.
The rich recluse masterminding Britain's new party: WEALTHY, opinionated and with an axe to grind, the man bankrolling the launch of what is billed as Britain's newest political party is hardly the sort of person to keep his views to himself.
Similar efforts and groups are common in North America. The film and Al Gore have been the subject of sustained lobbying and disinformation campaigns by people who wish to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming. This extract from an article on a Canadian website and its accompanying sensitive graphic, is a prime example of the genre, in which the writer proceeds to riddle himself with errors.
Canada Free Press website on October 17th 2007
'The dust is settling and much cynicism about the Nobel Peace awards has appeared throughout the media. A majority are not very complimentary, particularly about Al Gore who won the prize along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In taking this action, the Nobel committee have set at least two new precedents.
'Al Gore’s Prize is probably the first in history where the recipient’s work was found seriously deficient and misleading in a courtroom a week before the award. [Ed: Emphasis added: This is patently untrue]
'Some media articles made reference to this coincidence, but missed the more important point. It’s likely the committee had already made their decision when the court decision was made, but the deficiencies and problems were already well documented.
'This suggests either very poor research by the committee, lack of knowledge of climate science, or a purely political purpose to the award. Ironically, this underlines the problems of climate science. Most people don’t understand the science. It is so politicized that the proper scientific method of disproving the hypothesis is thwarted. Gore’s levels of appeal to emotionalism and fear have successfully overcome the facts. The Nobel committee has endorsed this approach.'
The author is Dr. Tim Ball who is Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project.
His bio reads: 'Dr. Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Ball’s extensive science background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition, make him the ideal head of NRSP as we move into our first campaign, Understanding Climate Change.'
Copy on the NRSP website reads in part: 'Impractical and exorbitantly expensive policies directed towards ‘global climate control’, unrealistic emission standards and so-called ‘green energy’, promoted by ideologically-driven ‘environmentalists’, are being widely accepted and vigorously promoted by mass media and politicians at all levels of government. Rational debate on these issues is virtually non-existent and alternative points of view are not given a proper hearing. Many Canadians have never heard ‘the other side’ of issues such as climate change and alternative energy and they have been conditioned to believe the other side is always suspect.'
Meanwhile, the success of 'An Inconvenient Truth' has turned Gore into a media player of substance whose major connections are itemised below.
San Francisco Chronicle (13th Oct 2007)
'From the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel room where he was persuaded to make his slide show into the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" to the Palo Alto environmental think tank [Alliance for Climate Protection (ACP)], that will receive his Nobel Prize cash award, part-time San Francisco resident Al Gore has become a major presence in the Bay Area.
'And that's not even mentioning Current TV, the Emmy Award-winning TV network he co-founded that's across the street from AT&T Park; his senior advisory role at Google; or the seat on the board of directors he has held at Apple Corp. since 2003. Or the stock options from both tech companies that have made him wealthy.'
Gore is Chairman of the Board of the ACP and 'has contributed some $5 million in residuals and profits from 'An Inconvenient Truth' to the organisation. He says he will contribute his Nobel share - $750,000 - to them also.
2006 posting on News Hounds
whose slogan is 'We Watch Fox So You Don't Have To':
John Gibson had Susan Estrich on Big Story today (19th May 2006):
'Gibson brought up Gore's "huge fortune" from his early investment in Google, speculating that he could write a check to pay for the campaign and woudn't need to raise funds. He prodded Estrich for some estimates of Gore's wealth and she at first said "10's of millions" and then speculated that it could be 100 million adding that he has some strong ties in