Not getting it
There appears to be a confusion about in the land that An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) was the long awaited prequel to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), and as such should contain nothing that is not nailed down and written in stone. This opinion, held by some whose opinion Eli values has loosed a plague of dyspepsia, the results of which can be observed on the floor around here.
It is a film folks and it has a purpose, to bring the issue of climate change into public discourse and provide information about climate change to those without much previous information, or whose information has come from media owned by Rupert Murdoch. Anyone want to debate that AIT has not been successful in meeting that goal? Brian Schmidt can hold your bet for a nanosecond before he sends the money to Eli. Wonder why the film and Al Gore have been so heavily attacked. Hint: It ain't because a couple of scenes are technically imperfect, or because in some things Gore goes beyond the AR4 (which, as has been pointed out by several is the most penurious reading of the evidence) or even, horrors, exaggerate beyond what the particular sufferer from bad tummy believes.
The film was didactic and anyone who has taught beginners knows that you have to highlight, simplify, omit and stretch things to get the basic principles across. You go back later and fill in the details, but again, several of the illuminorati think that you provide the details up front, which accounts for the snoring.
Now what to say to those predicting the backlash driven by whatever errors there are in the film? Well, as Enrico Fermi said about ETs, where is it? As time passes, the increasingly accepted POV is that the film gets the big things right, has played a vital role in bringing the issue of climate change to the fore, and is bringing large numbers of people to the realization that action on climate change is needed asap. Public discussion of many of the issues has become more detailed and nuanced, but could only become so when a large number of people got the basic things which the film talked about. These are major accomplishments for which Gore deserves serious praise and for which he won the unprecedented Oscar/Nobel Peace Prize double. AIT combines art and policy.
So what is a perfectionist to do. Perhaps say things like, the film got the broad things right, but there is more depth that one needs for detailed understanding and here are some places where, if you have the time there is more to discuss. . .cue Kilimanjaro, Chad, Tonga, etc. . . . . Order matters. Start the discussion by pointing out that glaciers pretty much everywhere are retreating at rapid levels not previously seen. Then point out that local conditions can have an effect, but the general trend is driven by warmer temperatures and use Kilimanjaro as an example where a combination of things any one of which would not have been sufficient, INCLUDING global warming, has contributed to an extremely rapid decline
In closing, the response from Gore's group pretty much nails what a bunch of folks are too stubborn to acknowledge
The process of creating a 90-minute documentary from the original peer-reviewed science for an audience of moviegoers in the U.S. and around the world is complex. Vice President Gore has studied this issue for over 30 years. He regularly seeks the advice and feedback of scientists to understand the latest research. It's not easy, even for Ph.D.'s, to explain the concept of the "non-linearity" of the climate system even after decades in their respective fields. Imagine trying to translate that complicated scientific evidence into a clear and compelling message with only a single slide and 20 seconds to make your case. It isn't simple. In many cases, particular points had to be truncated and shortened from the original research. A movie inherently cannot reflect the depth of the science as the 3 volumes of the IPCC and other sources from which it draws. The original science cannot speak to moviegoers. And, as is not made clear by the Fact Checker, the judge stated clearly that he was not attempting to perform "an analysis of the scientific questions" in his ruling.