attacks nine errors in Al Gore's 'alarmist' climate change film
controversial documentary on climate change which has been sent to thousands of
schools has been criticised by a High Court judge for being 'alarmist' and
Mr Justice Burton said former US vice-president Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, was 'one-sided' and would breach education rules unless accompanied by a warning.
winning lavish praise from the environmental lobby and an Oscar from the film
industry, Mr Gore's documentary was found to contain 'nine scientific errors' by
These inconvenient untruths included the claim that the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro were disapearing and solely due to the global warming and that sea levels will rise up to 20 feet in the near future.
Impressed by the film's slick message on climate change, the Government sent copies of the documentary to all secondary schools in England earlier this year, along with two short films and an animation about the carbon cycle produced by Defra.
Ruling that the film could be shown in schools as part of the climate change resource pack, Mr Justice Burton warned it must be accompanied by new guidance notes to balance Mr Gore's partisan views.
The High Court action was brought by a father-of-two who accused Labour of 'brainwashing' children with propaganda.
Kent school governor Stewart Dimmock claimed the film was unfit for schools as it was politically partisan, containing serious scientific inaccuracies and 'sentimental mush'.
Lorry driver and member of the political group, the New Party, Mr Dimmock had sought a court order to ban the documentary after the Government decided to distribute the documentary and four short films to 3,500 schools in February.
Yesterday he said he was delighted with the outcome: "The film contains blatant inaccuracies. It's a political shockumentary, it's not a scientific documentary."
Describing the documentary as 'a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film', Mr Justice Burton said it was built round the 'charismatic presence' of the ex vice president 'whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming'.
But he said it might be necessary for the Government to make clear to teaching staff that some of Mr Gore's views were not supported or promoted by the Government, and there was 'a view to the contrary'.
Agreeing that Mr Gore's film was 'broadly accurate' on the subject of climate change, he found that errors had arisen in 'the context of alarmism and exaggeration'.
The judge then set out nine errors in the film which went against current mainstream scientific consensus:
When the judge indicated last week what his findings were likely to be, the Government updated the accompanying guidance to schools.
A Government spokesperson said it was not proposing to make any further comment on the case.