A Skeptic’s Guide to An Inconvenient Truth

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An Inconvenient Truth (AIT), Vice President Al Gore’s book on “The planetary emergency of global warming and what can be done about it,” purports to be a non-partisan, non-ideological exposition of climate science and moral common-sense. In reality, AIT is a colorfully illustrated lawyer’s brief for global warming alarmism and energy rationing. It is a j’accuse hurled at fossil-energy-based civilization, especially the USA, and above all the Bush Administration and its allies in the U.S. oil and auto industries.

We do not expect lawyers to argue both for and against their clients, nor do we expect balance from party men. However, although Gore reminds us (in the film version of AIT) that he “used to be the next President of the United States,” and concludes the book and film with a call for “political action,” he presents AIT as the work of a long-time student of climate science—and a product of meditation on “what matters.” He thus asks us to expect more from him than the mere cleverness that can sway juries or win elections.

This reasonable expectation is unmet. In AIT, the only facts and studies considered are those convenient to Gore’s scare-them-green agenda. And in many instances, Gore distorts the evidence he cites.

The present paper, a running commentary on AIT, finds that most of Gore’s claims regarding climate science and climate policy are either one sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or wrong. An extensive summary of AIT’s distortions is provided in Appendix A. Below is a list of 25 of egregious examples.

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