I Was Wrong

It is important to admit when one has made a mistake.  The great thing about blogging is that it is a real-time media and allows for corrections and update.  So here is mine.

In my book, and numerous times on this blog, I wrote:

Something like 80-85% of the world’s ice is in Antarctica.  And no one really thinks it is melting or going to melt.  In fact, if you look at the marks on the IPCC chart above for the contribution of Antarctic ice to ocean levels, it has a net negative impact, which means the IPCC actually expects the Antarctic ice sheet to grow, not melt.

Whoa, that can’t be right!  Mr. Gore showed those videos of ice retreating in Antarctica.  Well, yes, sort of.  Scientists expect that global warming will make the sea currents that circle Antarctica a bit warmer, leading to more precipitation and more snowfall on the continent.  Besides, Antarctica is so damn cold that raising temperatures a few degrees is not going to melt anything. 

The one exception is the Antarctic Peninsula, which sticks out into the warmer oceans.  This land area, representing about 2% of the Antarctic land mass and even less of its total ice sheet, is expected to warm and lose ice while the other 98% gains ice.

Guess what?  Mr. Gore chose that little 2% to illustrate his movie.  Was he ignorant of the choice he was making, or did he know exactly what he was doing, telling the literal truth (that the peninsula is melting) but leading viewers to the wrong conclusion overall about Antarctic ice?

As shown in bold, for years I have (incorrectly) been saying that Al Gore used footage from ice melting in the Antarctic Penninsula (the only part of Antarctica that is warming rather than cooling) to misleadingly imply that Antarctica was melting.  Well, I was wrong.  In fact, Gore did not use footage from the Antarctic Penninsula, but rather special effects footage from a science fiction movie.

I am sorry that I said Al Gore was guilty of cherry-picking his filming spots to leave the wrong impresion about Antarctic warming.  I should have instead said that Al Gore was guilty of using entirely made-up and fabricated CGI footage to leave the wrong impression about Antarctic warming.

Thank you for the opportunity to come clean and correct this error.

  • I’ll forgive you, if it makes you feel any better.

  • Scientist

    the Antarctic Penninsula (the only part of Antarctica that is warming rather than cooling) – no, as I’ve now told you at least three times, this claim is bullshit. You are obviously too fucking stupid to get any facts into your tiny brain. You have no capacity to learn. You are a fraud and a liar. You disgust me.

  • Kit

    But was the Styrofoam recycled? We need to know!

  • morganovich

    no matter how many times you claim it scientist, it still isn’t true. repeating something over and over again does not make it so, no matter what al gore told you.

    you have lost every argument about this and never showed any compelling data.

    you get the persistence award, but being persistently wrong doesn’t seem like much of a consolation.

    and what a potty mouth on you…

  • Captain Obviousness

    None of the AGW alarmists, including mainstream media and Hollywood, care the least bit if Inconvenient Truth is full of lies, so this won’t make any news at all.

  • Ross Nixon

    How many errors/frauds in Gore’s movie now? Is anyone keeping count? Last I heard there were 35, so now it’s 36 (or more).

  • “How many errors/frauds in Gore’s movie now? Is anyone keeping count? Last I heard there were 35, so now it’s 36 (or more).”

    The only error worth tracking is the one that alleges there is anything of value in it.

    There is more credible science in any one Road Runner cartoon.

    And better art work.

  • Alan D. McIntire

    Here’s a paper verifying Antarctica has been cooling:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=antarctic+cooling&hl=en&lr=&btnG=Search

    Even the fanatics at “Realclimate” acknowledge the cooling, although they
    rationalize it:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/02/antarctica-is-cold/

    So “scientist”, why not respond to the “Realclimate” article, and call Spencer Weart a “bullshitter”?

  • “scientist” is a troll. The only hope of getting rid of a troll is to stop feeding it.

    It is validated by the fact that it can get a response everytime it farts.

    Quiety open a window, if necessary, but do not acknowledge the attack.

  • Yeti

    Scientist, Never let the facts get in the way of a really good opinion.

  • Scientist

    Yeti – indeed.
    morganovich – yes, no matter how many times our lying blogger here claims that only the peninsula is warming, that won’t change reality
    Alan D. McIntire – you didn’t link to a paper, you linked to a google search, and realclimate don’t say what you think they say.

  • morganovich

    nice try with the straw man, but that’s not his argument. his argument is that alarmists are using a small portion of Antarctica that is not representative of the continent as a whole and using it to claim antarctic melting.

    it’s a continent. are some parts going to warm and some cool? very likely. but on balance, the continent is cooling.

    the piece you reference shows that clearly. doran’s 2002 study showed 66% of the antarctic is cooling cooling. on balance, it is gaining ice. could some ice be lost in some places, sure. but it is being added back and then some in others.

    that is what the blogger is saying despite your repeated attempts to mis-characterize him. he (correctly) takes issue with using a small, unrepresentative part of the antarctic to attempt to shape opinion about the whole.

    do you dispute that, taken as a whole, the antarctic is cooling, particularly the non-peninsular area?

  • BillBodell

    Actually, the best thing for the skeptical position is for “Scientist” to continue posting here.

  • mvr

    I fail to see how using the particular shot from “the day after tomorrow” is deceptive. Irregardless of the particular facts you cite, I’ve no idea. Though my take is that something like that video can be used for illustrative purposes. Its no different from using say hand drawn sketches to communicate a point. If people are dumb enough to take that shot as proof of overall melting, they deserve to be misled as the sheeps they are (NB., not saying Gore is misleading or not, just saying that for the sake of argument).

    Citing this ILLUSTRATION as a justification for denying Gore’s claim seems incredibly inane. Moreover, I noticed Gore prefaced that particular shot by saying something like: “If one were to fly in a helicopter.” Using the “IF” statement, imho, takes away any possible hope of debunking his work based on this his particular clip. The whole context of his statement is clearly meant to describe, on a micro level, what is happening along the coast of ice shelf.

    -MVR

  • Alan’s link provided several papers that clearly state that the Antarctice continent has cooled. Maybe Alan should have done some of the weeding, but then he would have been accused of cherry picking. Thanks Alan, there were a few papers in there that I had not seen.

  • Gore is indeed fiendishly clever, a master of deception. In other words, he is a true politician.

    Warren, your trolls (Scientist etc.) do not sound bright enough to be real people. Do you think they are computer generated spam? Perhaps you should look into getting a better spam blocker?

    Some blog owners create their own sock puppet trolls, to keep the comments lively. I’d never believe that of you, however.

  • I understand the aversion to moderating comments, but Scienist long passed the point of being amuzing and is far into the realm of being tedious.

    Lubos once did an interesting, quasi ban. Rather than banning some moron, he limiting his ability to comment to once a week or some such.

    It wouldn’t stiffle his opinion, and hopefully would motivate him to put something thoughtful into a comment once in a while.

  • Chris Schoneveld

    MVR: With all due respect, the double negative in your “irregardless” leaves me wondering whether you know what you are talking about. More to the point, Gore didn’t present that video as an illustration only, he genuinely mislead the public by pretending it was real footage.