Revisiting Al Gore’s Convenient Untruths

By Dr. John Happs

“I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”

Quote by Al Gore, former U.S. vice president, and promoter of climate alarm:

After a period of 14 years, it’s worth reflecting on Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) to see if Gore’s collection of predicted climate catastrophes have borne any fruit. After all, AIT was lauded by the media and politicians around the world and taxpayers have paid a hefty price as I noted in my article posted in Quadrant:

Politicians, environmentalists and elements of the media quickly embraced the global warming creed’s doomsday message to promote agendas such as taxing carbon dioxide, slowing economic growth, de-industrialisation and so-called green energy.”

The media promoted Gore’s climate alarmism but, predictably, never checked his emotive claims and all but ignored the fact that An Inconvenient Truth was challenged in the London High Court. School governor and father of two school-aged children, Stewart Dimmock objected to Gore’s blatant propaganda.

In October 2007 Chief Justice Sir Michael Burton sought advice about Gore’s claims from expert scientific adviser, the late Dr. Robert Carter, who provided evidence on behalf of Stewart Dimmock. Dr. Robert Carter

Chief Justice Burton examined the claims made by Al Gore and compared those to the facts provided by Bob Carter and concluded that Gore’s movie did not represent a factual analysis of the science of climate change, rather it was “politically partisan” and promoted an “apocalyptic vision” that was not supported by any empirical evidence. Sir Michael Burton

Chief Justice Burton found no evidence for the following claims made by Gore:

1. Gore claimed that we can expect a sea level rise of up to 6 metres by the melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland ice sheets. He implied that this would be in the near future and would displace large numbers of people from locations such as Manhattan, the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

2. Gore claimed that low-lying Pacific Islands are being inundated as a result of anthropogenic global warming with island populations being evacuated to New Zealand.

3. Gore claimed that anthropogenic global warming could shut down the thermohaline circulation and move Europe into a new ice age.

4. Gore displayed graphs showing rising levels of carbon dioxide and increases in global temperature, with the implication that carbon dioxide levels drive global temperature.

5. Gore claimed that anthropogenic global warming is responsible for snowmelt on Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.

6. Gore claimed that Africa’s lake Chad had dried up as a result of global warming.

7. Gore claimed that Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005 resulted from global warming.

8. Gore claimed that polar bears were dying because they had to swim long distances to find ice, which was said to be disappearing due to global warming.

9. Gore claimed that coral reefs are being bleached because of global warming.

I showed Al Gore’s movie to a group of my first year university students and asked them to check the above claims made by Gore along with some of Gore’s other claims, including:

Global warming is producing stronger hurricanes and severe tornadoes are becoming more frequent.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is becoming unstable.

Himalayan glacial meltwater is declining.

Glaciers are disappearing around the world.

The West Antarctic ice sheet is becoming unstable.

Many insect-borne diseases are increasing.

Carbon dioxide is pollution.

Flooding in Mumbai is increasing.

They found no empirical evidence to support any of the above alarmist claims and neither did former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, Christopher Monckton. After further analysis, Monckton concluded that Gore’s movie represented blatant scaremongering and pseudoscience. Monckton identified 35 errors in An Inconvenient Truth:

In London’s High Court Chief Justice Burton ruled that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth could be shown in schools throughout the UK as long as it was accompanied by a statement, to be read out by teachers, about the political/ideological nature of the movie. Chief Justice Burton emphasised that, should this not be done, the screening of the movie would contravene an Act of Parliament (section 406 of the Education Act 1996) designed to prohibit the political indoctrination of school children.

Although the claims in Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth were easily exposed as untruths, so many professional scientists readily applauded Gore’s nonsense.

One notable embarrassing example came from a group of Australia’s “best and brightest” when, in September, 2006, Liz Minchin from The Age invited a number of Australian CSIRO scientists to preview Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and “rate its scientific merit out of five.”

Dr. Penny Whetton, CSIRO’s Climate Change Impact and Risk leader, was fulsome in her praise of Gore’s movie. She said:

I was really quite moved, and given that this film was about a topic I deal with every day, this says something about how powerfully it communicates its message. Its scientific basis is very sound.”

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Liz Minchin then asked Dr. Kevin Hennessy, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Climate Impacts and Risk group who said:

The only minor quibble I had was that Gore implies that most of the climate trends and recent extreme events are due to human activities. It’s not quite that simple … But easily the best documentary about global warming I’ve seen.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The next reviewer was Dr. Kathy McInnes, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Climate Impacts and Risk group who said:

There were bits and pieces that were glossed over … But I was surprised by how accurate the science was overall.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Then came Dr. Graeme Pearman, former CSIRO Director of Atmospheric Research. He said:

By and large, I didn’t feel that the presentation overstated what we can say based on current scientific knowledge.”
 Rating: 4 out of 5

When Minchin asked Dr. Barrie Pittock, former CSIRO Climate Impact group leader, for his opinion and rating, he appeared to be entirely satisfied with Gore’s presentation:

It is technically brilliant, remarkably accurate and up to date, and should be palatable to a wide audience.

Rating: 5 out of 5

So here we have CSIRO scientists saying that: Gore’s movie is scientifically sound; it is the best documentary on global warming; it offers accurate science and is remarkably accurate when even undergraduate students can demonstrate that An Inconvenient Truth represented little more than alarmist nonsense.

The question has to be asked: Why would CSIRO scientists applaud a movie so obviously based on junk science?

Perhaps the answer has something to do with Kevin Hennessey, Penny Whetton and Barrie Pittock being contributors to reports released by the discredited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Perhaps the answer is connected with the statement I have so often heard: “Never stand between a scientist and a pot of research money.”

Perhaps the answer has something to do with the following statement from former CSIRO principal research scientist and officer at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Dr. David Packham.

Packham says:

I find that I am uncomfortable with the quality of the science being applied to the global warming question … The lack of critical thought and total acceptance of the global warming models as conclusive evidence; The lack of transparency and obscuration of the critical weaknesses in the GCMs.”

Packham added:

Research funding for environmental research in Australia, in my case mercury and wildfires, is almost impossible unless it is part of yet more greenhouse data gathering.”


There is also an atmosphere of intimidation if one expresses dissenting views or evidence. It is as if one is doing one’s colleagues a great disservice in dissenting and perhaps derailing the gravy train. The global warming monopoly is seriously bad for science.”

Atmospheric physicist Dr. Garth Paltridge was also a chief scientist with the CSIRO. He supported Packham’s view:

They (CSIRO) have been so successful with their message of greenhouse doom that, should one of them prove tomorrow that it is nonsense, the discovery would have to be suppressed for the sake of the overall reputation of science.”

Paltridge added:

The bottom line is that virtually all climate research in Australia is funded from one source – namely, the government department which has the specific task of selling to the public the idea that something drastic and expensive has to be done.”

But surely scientists at the CSIRO wouldn’t be influenced by research funding would they?

Another former CSIRO Chief Scientist Dr. Art Raiche pointed to the pressure applied for compliance:

We were given very strict, VERY strict guidelines on not publishing anything or publicly discussing any research that could be seen as critical to Government policy. If we did not do it, we would be subject to dismissal.”

Subject to dismissal – surely not!

A senior CSIRO environmental economist, Dr. Clive Spash, resigned after saying his criticism of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) was censored. Spash had been in a dispute over the publication of his paper which criticised carbon trading schemes.

Spash submitted his paper to the UK journal New Political Economy in 2009 but the CSIRO contacted the editors, telling them the paper was being withdrawn because it had not been approved through internal CSIRO processes. Dr. Spash said that CSIRO managers maintained they had the right to ban the paper.

Spash resigned after saying his criticism of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) had been censored.

Former CSIRO Chief Scientist Dr. Art Raiche added:

Now CSIRO, we can understand them very easily you see, because their climate researchers live in a state of altered reality; the second life; the state of computer models. In this world it doesn’t seem to matter when measured data contradict their model results.”

A 2006 ABC Four Corners interview between former CSIRO scientist Dr. Graeme Pearman and reporter Janine Cohen revealed some interesting insights into CSIRO culture. Here is an extract:

Q. The Federal Government provides the majority of the funding to CSIRO; has that compromised the organisation in recent years?

A. There are times when it does.

Q. How were you pressured not to talk about climate change?

A. Well I was actually told that I couldn’t engage in the group but at that stage it was pretty late and in fact publications had already been prepared and so I was told what I could and couldn’t say publicly.

Q. And what were you told?

A. I was told that I couldn’t ah say anything that indicated that I disagreed with current government policy and I presume that meant Federal Government policy and as I say, I tried to reiterate that in fact the document that we had prepared, any public statement that I made, was a partisan statement and that it did not refer to any particular government.

Q. Did you feel compromised?

A. I was definitely compromised and it was probably only because I was in the latter stages of my career that I could handle, I could see that a young scientist placed in this position in the earlier stage of their career would probably have to roll over.

Q. Were you restricted from talking publicly about emission reductions in general?

A. Yes I was. I think it’s an organisation, it’s a CSIRO that is very afraid um that there may be consequences to their bottom line if they in fact are seen to be interfering with um government policy.

Q. Is there pressure to have only scientific results that deliver economic results?

A. Yes, lots.

Scientists from the CSIRO are involved in the production of IPCC reports as contributors and reviewers. The CSIRO is quick to offer support for the IPCC process and its findings, despite ample evidence showing how both are seriously flawed and that there is no empirical evidence to show that atmospheric carbon dioxide drives global temperature.

Senator Malcolm Roberts tested this possibility by writing to the CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Larry Marshall requesting a presentation on the empirical evidence that proves carbon dioxide from human activity drives climate change. After some prevarication, the CSIRO’s Dr. Steve Rintoul represented the CSIRO and made its case that led Roberts and his assembled scientific team to conclude:

  • CSIRO has no empirical evidence proving human carbon dioxide affects global climate;
  • CSIRO relies on unscientific Australian and overseas manipulations of data that have fabricated warming temperatures and that the CSIRO has failed to do its due diligence on the data upon 
which it relies;
  • CSIRO contradicts the multiple lines of empirical evidence that prove carbon dioxide from human 
activity does not and cannot, affect climate variability.  CSIRO’s approach  has serious deficiencies.

    As Jo Nova opines:

    CSIRO is supposed to be a scientific agency. It has thoroughly compromised itself with releases of highly biased, politicized reports such as State of the Nation, which provide advice that is worse than useless because they are loaded with half-truths, hiding model failures, adjustments, and uncertainty from the paying public. There are good scientists at the CSIRO, but most have stood by and said nothing as the standards collapsed.”

    In his book: “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” Larry Bell explains why Al Gore has been so intent on promoting climate alarmism, including his 2006 launch of an initial three-year, $300 million “Alliance for Climate Protection” media campaign to promote greenhouse gas reductions. Gore said:

    We can’t wait for someone else to solve the climate crisis. We need to act, and we need to do it now. Join us. Together we can solve the climate crisis”.

    Gore promoted cap and trade legislation saying:

    As soon as carbon has a price, you’re going to see a wave of investment in it… there will be unchained investment”.

    Bell points out:

    Al Gore has been busy on both battle fronts, and has made a lot of money in the process. In 2004 he co-founded Generation Investment Management LLP (GIM) with three partners; former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chief David Blood and two others from that firm. GIM is a London-based firm that invests money from institutions and wealthy investors that are “going green”.


    Gore joined the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Buyers in November 2007, whose key partner, John Doerr, has been pushing hard for biofuel subsidies.”


    Gore has accumulated an estimated net worth well in excess of $100 million. In addition to his six-figure speaking gigs, he signed on as a Google advisor in 2001-before it went public-and received stock options reportedly valued at more than $30 million.”

    According to Bloomberg News, Gore had less than $2 million when he left the vice presidency in 2001. Today his fortune is more than $100 million (Fast Company, July 2007) and the prospects are that he will grow even richer mounting his crusade against global warming.

    It is widely known that Al Gore asks others to make travel and energy sacrifices whilst he flies all over the world to give climate alarm talks before returning to his 9 million dollar Montecito mansion set in 1.5 acres on the California coast. This house (Al has 4) has 23 bathrooms, and a lawn that requires lots of watering. It has a wine cellar, terraces, six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

    Al’s mansion consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES). Al Gore’s mansion

    Bruce Nussbaum reported:

    The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh-more than 20 times the national average.

    Here is another classic example of how Al Gore operates:

    On September 11th, 2012 Chris Tangey, working for Alice Springs Film and Television, shot footage of a natural fire tornado described by National Geographic as “rarely documented.”

    On the 25th September, 2012 Al Gore’s office forwarded the following request to Chris Tangey:

    Hi Chris,

    I work for former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Mr. Gore recently saw the amazing footage of the fire tornado taken on September 11th, and is interested in showing it during some of the presentations he gives on environmental topics.

    Could you give me an idea of what you might charge to license that footage to us? Here are some details about how it would be used:

    Usage: in live, PowerPoint-type presentations to live audiences Where: worldwide Term: for up to five years Context: Mr. Gore often shows photos and video of wildfires in his presentations. This video would augment that section.

    Thank you very much,

    Jill Martin | Office of the Honorable Al Gore. Fire tornado in Australia

    Here are extracts from Chris Tangey’s response:

    Having now had time in the last couple of days to research Mr. Gore and his usage of third party material previously I have to say I am a little concerned about the context in which my footage might be used.

    In terms of a global warming/climate change presentation it is difficult for me to imagine a fire event less relevant. This was, by all accounts and as reported, a highly localized event. The fire occurred in a patch of highly flammable spinifex grass, renowned for its intense heat, which had remained unburnt for a period of over 50 years … On top of that it has been reported that the 10 day-old fire it emerged from was deliberately lit, not a natural event.

    Having taken all of the above into account I have had to make a decision not based on monetary reward but on what is the right thing to do. For me, if I were to allow this footage to be used in an out of context scenario, even by insinuation, I just wouldn’t feel right.

    In fact if I were to use it myself in any climate change framework I would feel like I were being deliberately deceptive, so please thank the Vice President for your offer, but I must respectfully decline.

    Kind regards

    Chris Tangey

    More recently, Al Gore released An Inconvenient Sequel. It was a box office flop and it looks as if the public and an increasing number of politicians have lost interest in Al Gore and catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

    Apparently Al hasn’t noticed yet.

    Dr. John Happs M.Sc.1st Class; D.Phil. John has an academic background in the geosciences with special interests in climate, and paleoclimate. He has been a science educator at several universities in Australia and overseas and was President of the Western Australian Skeptics for 25 years.

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