Al Gore shown in a scene from "An Inconvenient Truth".
High Court ruling says film contains key scientific errors; breaches education law

Al Gore's controversial documentary on climate change, which earlier this year had been distributed to all secondary schools in England, has been judged unfit for viewing by students.  The United Kingdom High Court ruling found the film as "representing partisan political views," a conclusion which means it can legally only be shown if accompanied by a warning about political indoctrination.

The case was brought by Kent school governor Stewart Dimmock, who claimed the film was politically partisan, and contained serious scientific inaccuracies.  Dimmock's lawyers argued that showing the film was an attempt at "political brainwashing" of pupils and is in breach of the 2002 Education Act.

After hearing testimony from both sides, the High Court agreed, calling the film "alarmist and exaggerated".  The ruling labelled nine specific points as factual errors in the documentary:

  1. Sea levels may rise "up to 20 feet" in the near future.
  2. Low-lying Pacific Atolls have already been evacuated.
  3. There is an exact fit between CO2 rises and past increases in the Earth's temperature.
  4.  The Gulf Stream will shut down due to global warming.
  5. Climate Change is causing Lake Chad to dry up.
  6. The snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro is disappearing due to Global Warming.
  7. Climate change is causing widespread bleaching of coral reefs.
  8. Hurricane Katrina blamed on Global Warming.
  9. Polar bears are drowning due to inability to find arctic ice.

James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, said the errors identified in the ruling are just the tip of the iceberg. "The British High Court properly recognized that Al Gore's movie is nine parts political propaganda and one part science. Virtually every assertion that Gore makes in the movie has been strongly contradicted by sound science," Taylor added.

A spokesman for the UK Government declined comment.  However, prior to the ruling, Education Secretary Alan Johnson said that influencing the opinions of children was "crucial" to developing a long-term public view on the environment.

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