Compet it ive Enterprise Inst itute
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Advancing Liberty – From the Economy to Ecology
March 15, 2007 No. 110
A Skeptic’s Primer on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth
One-Sided, Misleading, Exaggerated, Speculative, Wrong
By Marlo Lewis, Jr.*
Former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) and
its companion book purport to be a non-partisan, non-ideological exposition of climate
science. In reality, the film is a computer-enhanced lawyer’s brief for global warming
alarmism and energy rationing. The only facts and studies Gore considers are those
convenient to his scare-them-green agenda. And in numerous instances, he distorts the
evidence he cites.
This On Point is organized as follows. Section I highlights some of the many distortions
in AIT. Sections II, III, and IV examine Gore’s scariest claims. He blames the devastation
of Hurricane Katrina on global warming and warns of a warming-triggered mini-Ice Age
in Europe and of catastrophic sea-level rise. Section V challenges the moral bona fides of
carbon-suppression schemes like the Kyoto Protocol. Sections II through V are
referenced to the book version of AIT.
I. Distortions. Some distortion is inevitable in any popular presentation of technical
scientific and economic issues. But in AIT we find example after example—and all serve
to promote alarm and regulatory activism. AIT is not a balanced assessment of the issues.
Following is a partial list of AIT’s many distortions grouped by category.
• Never acknowledges the indispensable role of fossil fuels in alleviating hunger
and poverty, extending human life spans, and democratizing consumer goods,
literacy, leisure, and personal mobility.1
• Never acknowledges the environmental, health, and economic benefits of climatic