CEI Congressional Briefing Paper: Al Gore’s Science Fiction
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
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.
• AIT 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
It never acknowledges the environmental, health, and economic benefits of climatic warmth and
the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.
It neglects to mention that aggregate mortality an