An Inconvenient Truth: Inconvenient…and true

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In another small victory for reality over fantasy, the AP called 100 climate scientists and asked how they rated the science in Al Gore’s global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The 19 who’d seen the film, which is in limited release, gave the doc a pretty unequivocal thumbs-up.

… Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

“Excellent,” said William Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. “He got all the important material and got it right.” …

The tiny errors scientists found weren’t a big deal, “far, far fewer and less significant than the shortcoming in speeches by the typical politician explaining an issue,” said Michael MacCracken, who used to be in charge of the nation’s global warming effects program and is now chief scientist at the Climate Institute in Washington. …

And yet, and yet…

While more than 1 million people have seen the movie since it opened in May, that does not include Washington’s top science decision makers. President Bush said he won’t see it. The heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA haven’t seen it, and the president’s science adviser said the movie is on his to-see list. [Italics mine.]

“They are quite literally afraid to know the truth,” Gore said. “Because if you accept the truth of what the scientific community is saying, it gives you a moral imperative to start to rein in the 70 million tons of global warming pollution that human civilization is putting into the atmosphere every day.”

UPDATE: (Via ThinkProgress) Even Frank Luntz (he of the famed there-is-no-consensus-on-global-warming memo), has come around.

UPDATE II: (Via Grist) The natural order reasserts itself as Sen. James Inhofe raises “serious [sic!] questions about AP’s bias and methodology.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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