NZ Think Tank: Withdraw Gore film’s Oscar


Well done Muriel Newman!

Citing court ruling, compares situation to sports stars found to be ‘cheats’
Posted: October 12, 2007
11:21 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Al Gore stars in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’
On the eve of Al Gore’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize, a think tank wrote the president of the Academy Awards asking that the Oscar given to his film “An Inconvenient Truth” be taken back in response to a British High Court ruling that found 11 serious inaccuracies in the documentary.

Muriel Newman, director of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, told Academy President Sid Ganis and Executive Director Bruce Davis “the situation is not unlike that confronting sports bodies when their sports stars are found to be drug cheats.”

“In such cases, the sportsmen and women are stripped of their medals and titles, with the next place-getter elevated,” she said, according the Australian Associated Press. “While this is an extremely unpleasant duty, it is necessary if the integrity of competitive sport is to be protected.

British High Court judge Michael Burton ruled Wednesday Gore’s documentary should be shown in British schools only with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. The decision followed a lawsuit by a father, Stewart Dimmock, who claimed the film contained “serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush.”

The Nobel panel announced today Gore won the peace prize along with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for their efforts to spread awareness of “man-made climate change” and to lay the foundations for fighting it.

But Newman, the AAP reported, pointed to the British ruling, which requires teachers to tell students of 11 inaccuracies in Gore’s film.

Al Gore

“The truth, as inconvenient as it is to Al Gore, is that his so-called documentary contained critical distortions that are quite contrary to the principles of good documentary journalism,” Newman said. “Good documentaries should be factually correct. Clearly this documentary is not.”

“An Inconvenient Truth” won Oscars in 2006 for best documentary and best original song.

Dimmock took the British government to court after then-Environment Secretary David Miliband launched a plan to send “An Inconvenient Truth” to all British schools, announcing the scientific debate over man-made global warming “is over.”

The judge, however, sided with Dimmock, who alleged the documentary breached the Education Act of 1996 by portraying “partisan political views.”

The court ruled the Guidance Notes to Teachers must make clear that:

* The film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument.

* If teachers present the film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination.

* Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.

The inaccuracies, according to the court, are:

1. The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

2. The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The court found that the film was misleading: Over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

3. The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.

4. The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.

5. The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr. Gore had misread the study: In fact four polar bears drowned, and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

6. The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream, throwing Europe into an ice age: The Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

7. The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

8. The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt, causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

9. The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting; the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

10. The film suggests that sea levels could rise by seven meters, causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact, the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40 centimeters over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

11. The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

At a news conference today, Gore said he would accept the Nobel Prize on behalf of all global warming activists and donate 100 percent of the cash award to the non-profit Alliance for Climate Protection, “focusing on changing the way people think about the urgency of the climate crisis.”

“This is a chance to elevate global consciousness about the challenges that we face now,” he said.

Gore pointed to a report two weeks ago that claimed melting of the polar ice cap is accelerating.

“It truly is a planetary emergency, and we have to respond urgently,” he said.

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Clare Swinney

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