In a Huff Post this week about Al Gore and a possible Nobel Prize, several conservatives who monitor these insights decided to participate in the comments section. What fun!
Regarding Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, some of these commenters stated flatly that, as one put it, "England....just debunked ELEVEN lies in Gore's propaganda....Have you even checked out any of the headlines today? It is on just about every news site out there." Another wrote, "This is what the British government just ruled regarding the showing of AIT in schools."
Websites that peddle right-wing propaganda are positively crowing.
One of the most over-the-top spins came from the far right Heartland Institute, funded by tobacco and Big Oil, which issued a widely copied press release this week saying that "the British High Court properly recognized that Al Gore's movie is nine parts political propaganda and one part science."
There's just one problem: Those remarks are the real lies, and the ruling said no such thing. In truth, the judge agreed with Gore and the film's thesis, and it is inconvenient for the Right to admit it. A review of what the judge actually wrote in his ruling proves it.
Here are the facts. A global warming denier, a British truckdriving father of two teens, sued to ban the showing of the film in public schools. In a blow to dear old dad, a High Court judge decided the film can be shown, but that teachers must emphasize to students that it's political, with a point of view.
As the judge put it, "It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film - although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion - but that it is a political film."
That's not exactly "nine parts political propaganda and one part science," is it?
The judge found that while the film was "broadly accurate" in its presentation of the cause and effect of climate change, there were some representations with which he took issue.
For example, in the film Gore suggests that the drying of Lake Chad, the loss of Mount Kilimanjaro's snows and Hurricane Katrina may well have been caused by climate change. The judge concluded the scientific community has yet to prove a direct link.
He also accepted the government's offer to rewrite some aspects of the teacher's study guide to reflect that some of the statements in the film are not 100% universally accepted.
This is not a big deal. Plenty of scientifically sound views are not yet 100% accepted by all scientists, as the process of scientific inquiry is always ongoing. And there are still some scientists who don't accept Darwinian evolution, for God's sake, 80 years after the Scopes trial.
We shouldn't be surprised. After all, there are dimwitted lawyers, doctors, architects, etc. out there, too, despite credentials.
Fox News is, of course, doing its part to confuse. Their website touts an anti-Gore headline, naturally, but those intrepid enough to read the story will learn that the judge ruled the film was accurate in "four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals."
Specifically, he agreed "that climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide ('greenhouse gases')."
The other three hypotheses he found credible: "that global temperatures are rising and are likely to continue to rise, that climate change will cause serious damage if left unchecked, and that it is entirely possible for governments and individuals to reduce its impacts."
In essence, then, the former vice president hit a British High Court home run. His film has a gazillion facts in it, and the judge took issue with merely a handful while validating the core Gore message. You'll never hear this from the cadre of rightwing bloggers and conservative talk show hosts.
Are these people dishonest or confused?
At the very least, this saga is a prime example of how those on the Right twist reality to fit their dogma, whether the issue is global warming or Saddam's WMD. Cut 'N Paste this to your refrigerator as a constant reminder.
End of film.