Published November 22, 2009
Al Gore's award-winning global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth," socked two years ago by a British court ruling that found several errors, is facing additional scrutiny with the release of a new documentary that seeks to rebut many of Gore's claims.
Buoyed by the ruling, two Irish journalists -- Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney -- released a documentary in which they gather evidence outlining the damage of global warming hysteria. In "Not Evil Just Wrong," they challenge the claims made in Gore's film and conclude that the film is not worth screening in schools because it is shown there as "an article of science, not faith."
"I wouldn't like our documentary to have nine significant errors and if it did, I certainly wouldn't be showing it to school children across America, and that's the important thing," McAleer told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Friday.
In Gore's film, directed by Davis Guggenheim and released in 2006, the former vice president argues that humans are causing climate change, a problem he says is the biggest moral challenge facing the globe.
If humans don't act to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, Gore contends, the deaths caused by climate change will double in 25 years to 300,000 people a year, and more than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction in half a century.
The film went on to win Academy Awards for Gore and Guggenheim and to re-energize the environmental movement.
But in 2007, a British High Court judge ruled that Gore's film contained nine significant errors and should no longer be screened in schools unless accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore's "one-sided" views.
The film's "apocalyptic vision" was not an impartial analysis of climate change, High Court Judge Michael Burton said, adding that the film is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact" but that the errors were made in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration."
Just last month, McAleer publicly confronted Gore in an contentious exchange at an environmental journalist conference, where Gore was the keynote speaker and took questions from the audience.
When asked by McAleer whether he would do anything to correct the errors found by the British court, Gore said he wouldn't go through each of the errors but added that the ruling was in favor of screening the film in schools.
"There's been such a long discussion of each one of those specific things," he said. "One of them for example was that polar bears really aren't endangered. Well polar bears didn't get that word." The audience laughed.
Phelim countered that the number of polar bears has increased and is increasing.
"You don't think they're endangered?" Gore asked.
"The number has increased," McAleer repeated, prompting the same question from Gore. "If the number of polar bears has increased, surely they're not in danger."
Before McAleer could say anything else, he was interrupted by environmental journalists who said it wasn't a debate and shut off his microphone.
McAleer, who has reported in the past for the Financial Times and the Economist, among other outlets, said he believes the incident shows that the members of the Society of Environmental Journalists are simply environmentalists, not journalists.
"They see it's their duty to protect the multi-millionaire politician/businessman, rather than support the journalist asking difficult questions," he said.
McElhinney, McAleer's filmmaking partner, said Gore, while doing research for his newly released book, "Our Choice," asked a scientist to dial back the science to fit his narrative.
"So much for the inconvenient truth," McElhinney said. "He just doesn't like the truth."
McElhinney said it's a flawed argument by environmentalists that there's a consensus that everyone agrees about the causes and consequences of global warming.
"That's not how science works," she said. "It doesn't matter if 99,000 people all agree about something and one person is right. Politics works like that -- a certain number of people vote for something and then it becomes true. But with science, it's the one person who tells the truth."