I am writing to report a response from Kalee Kreider (VP Al Gore's communications director and environmental advisor) to a pair of Washington Post articles on British High Court judge Michael Burton's ruling concerning Gore's movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.
Please find the response here: An Inconvenient Truth: Team Gore responds, which links to the preceding posts at the Post which Kalee was responding to.
Kalee starts by noting that the Judge ruled that the movie is suitable for being shown in UK schools, subject to minor caveats:
With a column titled "Fact Checker," it is difficult not to lose the forest for the trees. First and foremost, An Inconvenient Truth presented thousands and thousands of facts. We stand by our initial statement. We were gratified that a UK High Court judge, a layperson with a full docket, found the film worthy enough to be shown in British schools. A generation of schoolchildren will become more educated about global warming and what can be done to solve the climate crisis.
She then addresses two broad points; the first:
A movie inherently cannot reflect the depth of the science as the 3 volumes of the IPCC and other sources from which it draws. The original science cannot speak to moviegoers. And, as is not made clear by the Fact Checker, the judge stated clearly that he was not attempting to perform "an analysis of the scientific questions" in his ruling.
and the second:
Former Vice President Gore does not solely rely upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ...
Some scientists predict more extreme consequences and some predict more conservative effects, but Vice President Gore tried to convey in good faith those threats that he views as the most serious. Although we commend the Fact Checker for looking to the IPCC, Mr. Gore relies upon other highly credible sources as well.
Based on this exposé (reported by CBS News here) by UK's The Observer (a Guardian New paper), Kalee points to the promoters and sponsors behind plaintiff Dimmock's case, shedding light on his obvious motives:
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.
The Guardian article reveals that, Dimmock, the plaintiff, was funded by mining interests and various other forces interested in undermining Gore's and others' efforts to raise the awareness and the political will to address global warming. The article unearths detailed linkage between Dimmock and his funders that winds through the global warming denialist industry, all the way down to Exxon Mobil.
Revealed: the man behind court attack on Gore film
Jamie Doward, home affairs editor. Sunday October 14, 2007
Fuel and mining magnate backed UK challenge to An Inconvenient Truth
The school governor who challenged the screening of Al Gore's climate change documentary in secondary schools was funded by a Scottish quarrying magnate who established a controversial lobbying group to attack environmentalists' claims about global warming.
The Observer has established that Dimmock's case was supported by a powerful network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies. He was also supported by a Conservative councillor in Hampshire, Derek Tipp.
Dimmock credited the little-known New Party with supporting him in the test case but did not elaborate on its involvement.
the New Party has received nearly all of its money - almost £1m between 2004 and 2006 - from Cloburn Quarry Limited, based in Lanarkshire.
The company's owner and chairman of the New Party, Robert Durward, is a long-time critic of environmentalists. With Mark Adams, a former private secretary to Tony Blair, he set up the Scientific Alliance, a not-for-profit body comprising scientists and non-scientists, which aims to challenge many of the claims about global warming.
The alliance issued a press release welcoming last week's court ruling and helped publicise Dimmock's case on its website. It also advised Channel 4 on the Great Global Warming Swindle ((from NL: please see (4) in the science and information links section below for a full blown debunking of denialist video production, which has been shown there to have employed fraudulent tricks and gimmicks)) , a controversial documentary screened earlier this year that attempted to challenge claims made about climate change.
In 2004 the alliance co-authored a report with the George C Marshall Institute, a US body funded by Exxon Mobil, that attacked climate change claims.
Dimmock also received support from a new organisation, Straightteaching.com, which calls for politics to be left out of the classroom. The organisation, which established an online payment system for people to make contributions to Dimmock's campaign, was set up by Tipp and several others. Its website was registered last month to an anonymous Arizona-based internet company.
The denialist industry has clearly been rather busy here. One may guess based on the timing of the case and even that of the ruling that the whole case may have been engineered to diminish Gore's chances of winning the Nobel peace prize and/or to undermine the impact following a win.
I wish that the expose by Guardian came out a few days before the verdict or the Nobel peace prize announcement.
For the rest of kalee's response which addresses Judge Burton's nine points of concern, I would like to suggest the readers to go over it at the source here and then visit this RealClimate.org article which provides the scientific basis and related material with links.
Linkronology: Dimmock vs Gore's Movie
- An Inconvenient Truth (movie site)
- Unofficial AIT transcript (another version)
- Justice Burton's ruling, UK. 10/10/2007
- Washington post's print hit piece: U.K. Judge Rules Gore's Climate Film Has 9 Errors. By Mary Jordan, Washington Post Foreign Service, Friday, October 12, 2007; Page A12 (online edition seems to have appeared on the evening of 10/11/2007)
- An 'error' is not the same thing as an error. October 11, 2007 11:39 PM, by Tim Lambert, Deltoid blog.
- IPCC and Al Gore chosen as the winners of the Nobel peace prize for 2007!
- Washington Post "The Fact Checker" hit piece: An Inconvenient Truth for Al Gore. (succinct and appropriate first response to the hit piece in the comments section: Sour grapes. Posted by: Malafry | October 12, 2007 11:10 AM)
- Meteor Blades' post reporting on Tim Lambert's article: Could the Judge Require Guidance Notes for Media Reports? by Meteor Blades, Fri Oct 12, 2007.
- Revealed: the man behind court attack on Gore film. Jamie Doward, home affairs editor. Sunday October 14, 2007
- Report: Mining Exec Funded Gore Film Trial, CBS News, Oct. 14, 2007.
- Convenient Untruths. by Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann, RealClimate.org, 15 October 2007 (they give a comprehensive treatment of the 9 points raised by Judge Burton. They also note in a 10/18 update that: "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" ((4) above)"
- "The Fact Checker" followup: An Inconvenient Truth, Part II mentioning that they have invited Gore and Kreider to respond to their 10/12/07 post.
- Kalee Kreider's online response: An Inconvenient Truth: Team Gore responds, October 18, 2007.
In the interests of balanced coverage for their readership, Washington post is certainly obligated to publish RC.org scientists' response in the same spot as where Jordan's post appeared in the print edition. A couple of action items that I'd like to suggest in this regard:
- please visit this post where Kalee's response appears, and post a polite comment requesting the above
- contact Deborah Howell, the Post's ombudsperson, for the same purpose. The ombudsperson page for the Post is here, and this is the contact info: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 202-334-7582 (again, please be polite and courteous)
Global Warming Science and Information Links:
To follow is a compilation of articles, videos and blogs, which provide:
- a good set of basics on the science of global warming/climate change (would Rapid Global Climate Destabilization be a more accurate term to describe the phenomenon? please see here)
- rebuttal arguments for various skepticisms and denialisms
- blogs as means for communication and interaction
The first three are strongly recommended background materials for all audiences.
- How It All Ends: Mechanics of GCC: Video parts 1, 2, 3. How It All Ends: Index. By Science teacher wonderingmind42
- The CO2 problem in 6 easy steps, 6 August 2007. RealClimate.org
- Graphic Evidence, September 5th, 2007. Open Mind
- Global Warming Swindle Debate. Video parts: 1, 2, 0, 3, other 5 parts
- Climate change: A guide for the perplexed. Michael Le Page, NewScientist.com news service. 16 May 2007
- How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic, Girstmill
- Nature Journal's Climate Feedback
- Climate 411 Articles: How We Know Humans Cause Global Warming by Dr. Bill Chameides, July 2007 | Swindles in the "The Great Global Warming Swindle", by Dr. Lisa Moore, July 11, 2007
- Daily Kos diaries tagged as: Global Warming | Climate Change
- Energize America
- RealClimate.org's Start Here Page
- Al Gore's: Climate Project | Alliance for Climate Protection
- The Discovery of Global Warming, A free online book by Dr. Spencer Weart (also available as a paperback @ Amazon).
- Principles of Planetary Climate (pdf file 6.9MB), Freely downloadable early draft of a book in progress on climate science by Prof. Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, U. of Chicago.
Update [2007-10-19 11:21:31 by NeuvoLiberal]: Diary overhauled to improve readability, added a new link (to DeSmogBlog.com), and changed the ordering of the first three science/info links.
Update [2007-10-19 11:54:38 by NeuvoLiberal]:
Embedding Science teacher's first video below.
Update [2007-10-19 22:21:29 by NeuvoLiberal]: Embedding all three of Science teacher wonderingmind42's Mechanics of GCC videos, followed by his "How it all ends: Index" video. Added links to Energy America 2020 and to another transcription of Gore's movie. (Update 4) Added more links, including links to Dr. Spencer Weart's free online book and a very readable presentation posted at Climate 411 by Dr. Bill Chameides.
How It All Ends: Index (URL)
It is my hope that the readers will spend some time, perhaps over a weekend or two, to go over as many of the Science and Information links given above as possible and bookmark the ones found useful. Please do not hesitate to ask questions at any of the interactive sites listed in the collection or to post them in this or in other environmental/global warming diaries (if you'd like me to respond, please alert me.)
Here is an easy to remember tinyurl for this article: tinyurl.com/2vojen. If you find the information here helpful, please jot down the tiny URL, bookmark the diary page, and share it with others.
Thanks for reading, spreading the word, and helping debunk the ongoing disinformation campaign by the denialist industry. And thanks for the diary recommendations!