Friday, October 26, 2007

35 Mistakes, continued to conclusion

Mosquitoes "climbing to higher altitudes"
Gore says that, because of “global warming”, mosquitoes are climbing to higher altitudes. They are not. Most recent outbreaks have been at lower levels than those of a century and more ago. He says that Nairobi was founded 1000 m above sea level so as to be above the mosquito line. It was not. In the period before anthropogenic warming could have had any significant effect, there were ten malaria outbreaks in Nairobi, one of which reached as far up as Eldoret, almost 3000 m above sea level. Malaria is not a tropical disease. Mosquitoes do not need tropical temperatures: they need no more than 15 degrees Celsius to breed. The largest malaria outbreak of modern times was in Siberia in the 1920s and 1930s, when 13 million were infected, 600,000 died and 30,000 died as far north as Arkhangelsk, on the Arctic Circle. There is no reason to suppose that malaria will spread even if the climate continues to become warmer.

Many tropical diseases "spread through
'global warming'"
Gore says that, as well as malaria, “global warming” is spreading dengue fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, arena virus, avian flu, Ebola virus, E. Coli 0157:H7, Hanta virus, legionella, leptospirosis, multi-drug-resistant TB, Nipah virus, SARS and Vibrio Cholerae 0139. It is doing no such thing. Only the first four diseases are insect-borne, but none is tropical. Of the other diseases named by Gore either in his film or in the accompanying book, not one is sensitive to increasing temperature. They are spread not by warmer weather but by rats, chickens, primates, pigs, poor hygiene, ill-maintained air conditioning, or cold weather.

West Nile virus in the US "spread through
'global warming'"
Gore says that West Nile virus spread throughout the US in just two years, implicitly because of “global warming.” It did not. The climate in the US ranges from some of the world’s hottest deserts to some of its iciest tundra. West Nile virus flourishes in any climate. Warming of the climate, however caused, does not affect its incidence or prevalence.

Carbon dioxide is "pollution"
Gore describes carbon dioxide as “global warming pollution.” It is not. It is food for plants and trees. Tests have shown that even at concentrations 30 times those of the present day even the most delicate plants flourish. Well-managed forests, such as those of the United States, are growing at record rates because the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is feeding the trees. Carbon dioxide, in geological timescale, is at a very low concentration at present. Half a billion years ago it was at 7000 parts per million by volume, about 18 times today’s concentration.

The European heat wave of 2003 "killed 35,000"

Gore says, “A couple of years ago in Europe they had that heat wave that killed 35,000.” Though some scientists agree with Gore, the scientific consensus is that extreme warm anomalies more unusual than the 2003 heat wave occur regularly; extreme cold anomalies also occur regularly; El Niño and volcanism appear to be of much greater importance than any general warming trend; and there is little evidence that regional heat or cold waves are significantly increasing or decreasing with time. In general, warm is better than cold, which is why the largest number of life-forms are in the tropics and the least number are at the poles. A cold snap in the winter following the European heat wave killed 20,000 in the UK alone. Though the IPCC says 150,000 people a year are being killed worldwide by “global warming,” it reaches this figure only by deliberately excluding the number of people who are not being killed because there is less cold weather. In the US alone, it has been estimated that 174,000 fewer people are being killed each year because there are fewer episodes of extreme cold.

Pied flycatchers "cannot feed their young"
Gore says “The peak arrival date for migratory birds 25 years ago was April 25. Their chicks hatched on June 3, just at the time when the caterpillars were coming out: Nature’s plan. But 20 years of warming later the caterpillars peaked two weeks earlier. The chicks tried to catch up with it, but they couldn’t. So they are in trouble.” Yet adaptation is easy for the flycatchers: they merely fly a few tens of kilometers further north and they will find caterpillars hatching at the appropriate time. Besides, though Gore does not say so, what is bad news for the pied flycatchers is good news for the caterpillars, and for the butterflies they will become.

Gore's bogus pictures and film foota
In the book accompanying Gore’s film, the story of the pied flycatchers and the caterpillars is accompanied by a picture of a bird feeding her hungry chicks. However, closer inspection shows that the bird is not a pied flycatcher but a black tern; and that she is not carrying a caterpillar in her beak, but a small fish. Gore similarly misuses spectacular footage of a glacier apparently calving off enormous slabs of ice into the sea – footage that is often shown on television to accompany stories about “global warming.” However, the glacier in question is one that is known to be advancing – and to be doing so more rapidly and more often than previously. It is in southern Argentina, where its snout crosses – and eventually dams, Lake Argentino. Water builds up behind the ice dam and eventually bursts it, causing the spectacular collapse of ice into the lake that is so misleadingly used as the iconic image of the effect of “global warming” on glaciers. The breaking of the ice dam used to occur every eight years or so: now, however, it occurs every five years, not because of “global warming” because of the regional cooling of the southern Atlantic.

The Thames Barrier "closing more frequently"
Gore says that rising sea levels are compelling the operators of the Thames Barrier to close it more frequently than when it was first built. They are not. The barrier is indeed closed more frequently than when it was built, but the reason has nothing to do with “global warming” or rising sea levels. The reason is a change of policy by which the barrier is closed during exceptionally low tides, so as to retain water in the tidal Thames rather than keeping it out. Yet even the present leader of the official Opposition in the UK Parliament recently used a major speech as the opportunity to mention today’s more frequent closing of the Thames Barrier as though it were a matter of grave concern.

"No dispute by anybody."
Gore says that his prediction that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide will rise to more than 600 parts per million by volume as soon as 2050 is “not controversial in any way or in dispute by anybody.” However, not one of the half-dozen official projections of growth in CO2 concentration made by the IPCC shows as much as 600 parts per million by 2050.

35 serious scientific errors
As many as 35 serious scientific errors or exaggerations, all pointing towards invention of a threat that does not exist at all, or exaggerations of phenomena that do exist, do not reflect credit on the presenter of the movie or on those who advised him. The movie is unsuitable for showing to children, and provides no basis for taking policy decisions. Schools that have shown the movie to children are urged to ensure that the errors listed in this memorandum are drawn to the children’s attention.

[1] For a detailed discussion, see ( and also (

[1] See (

[1] See: (

[1] See discussion at: (

[1] For a serioius examination of this issue, see (

[1] Are Coral Reefs Endangered by Global Warming? (

[1] For a discussion of future hurricane trends for Florida, see: (

[1] For an in depth look at these issues, see (

[1] For a discussion of the sun’s role in climate, see (

[1] See: (

[1] For fuller discussion of Polar regions and Greenland, see: (

[1] Discussion by world-class expert and IPCC reviewer: (

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