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Friday, October 12, 2007
Sheppard Peddles More Misleading Gore Claims
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard just can't stop peddling misleading claims about Al Gore.

In an Oct. 9 NewsBusters post, Sheppard claimed that "a British court has determined that Al Gore's schlockumentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' contains at least eleven material falsehoods." Sheppard, as he frequently does, credits Marc Morano for this information. But at least one of those purported "material falsehoods" is misleading.

Sheppard regurgitated: "The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration." In fact, Sheppard is trying to conflate two different calculations: Gore predicted a 20-foot (7m) rise in sea levels if the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets were to melt completely or collapse at an indefinite point in the future. The 40 cm (23 inches) figure comes from a February 2007 United Nations IPCC report, which projected a maximum 23-inch sea-level rise before 2100 as a result of rising temperatures.

But two days later, Sheppard posted a "correction": apparently, the judge "listed only nine key scientific errors" in the movie. Sheppard doesn't explain who is to blame for the error -- the right-wing think tanks for whom Sheppard serves as a stenographer or Sheppard himself pulling false claims out of a certain bodily orifice. Sheppard tried to cover up his faulty reporting by hurling insults, calling the movie "this piece of detritus that should never have been allowed by the Motion Picture Association of America or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be marketed as a documentary."

Funny thing, though: Sheppard doesn't report what else the judge ruled about "An Inconvenient Truth." As reported by the London Times (via Fox News, so it must be true):

Despite finding nine significant errors the judge said many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science. He identified “four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC.”

In particular, he agreed with the main thrust of Gore’s arguments: “That climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (‘greenhouse gases’).”

The other three main points accepted by the judge were 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.

Oops! And especially oopsie after Sheppard lectures the press to tell the full story lest they are "abdicting their solemn responsibility to the public in order to advance an agenda." For Sheppard, though, telling his readers the full truth about this case was too, um, inconvenient.

Sheppard keeps up his fictitious slant in an Oct. 11 post on a conservative group asking that the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences revoke the Oscars "An Inconvenient Truth" won, he noted that "only Investor's Business Daily and the Washington Times reported the errors in Gore's film to American print readers." But Sheppard again failed to report to his readers that the film's four main hypotheses are "very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC.”

Color us unsurprised. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT

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