Al Gore Should Lose His 'Oscar' Due To ClimateGate

As the ClimateGate scandal continues to grow and impact global warming alarmists around the world, two members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have called upon Nobel Laureate Al Gore's Oscar to be rescinded.

For those that have blocked the painful memory out of their minds, Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" won for best documentary in 2007.

In reality, it was the film's director Davis Guggenheim along with producers Lawrence Bender and Laurie David that won the statuettes, but as the idea was all Gore's, the honor was largely his.

Now, as a result of ClimateGate, the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm reports a small movement to take these Oscars back:

Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, both Academy members, are among a small, meandering pack of known political conservatives still believed to be on the loose in the liberal bastion of movie-making.

In 2007, Hollywood's Academy sanctified Gore's cinematic message of global warming with its famous statue, enriched his earnings by $100,000 per 85-minute appearance and helped elevate the Tennesseean's profile to win the Nobel Peace Prize despite losing the election battle of 2000 to a Texan and living in a large house with lots of energy-driven appliances.

Chetwynd and Simon were prompted to make their hopeless demand this week by the....

 ...leak two weeks ago of a blizzard of British academic e-mails purporting to show that scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit systematically falsified data to document the appearance of global warming in recent years.

In reality, this film should never have won in the first place, for as NewsBusters reported in February 2007, it violated the Academy's rule 12:

According to the "rule 12" standard for documentary films established by the Academy, while it is permissible to employ storytelling devices such as re-enactments, stock footage, stills and animations, the emphasis must be on fact and not fiction. [...]

One point of contention in Gore's movie is animated footage of a polar bear struggling to find stable sea ice. Gore has argued that human-induced global warming is directly impacting polar bears' habitat and sea ice in particular. Consequently, he suggests, polar bears are forced to swim longer distances and sometimes drown in the process.

"A new scientific study shows that for the first time they're finding polar bears that have actually drowned swimming long distances - up to sixty miles - to find the ice," Gore says in the movie.

John Berlau, author of a new book on the environmental movement entitled "Eco-Freaks," claims the polar bear scene alone should disqualify Gore's film from consideration for best documentary, because it departs from reality.

Berlau noted that while the movie's companion book says the bears were drowning in "significant numbers," the study Gore is most likely referring to only found four polar bear carcasses in the sea off Alaska.

That episode took place after a severe storm, he noted, but Gore makes no reference to a storm during the film's animated polar bear sequence. [...]

Gore also never cites a source for his polar bear claim, Berlau points out, but scientists on both sides of the polar bear debate told Cybercast News Service he was probably referring to a recent report filed by the U.S. Minerals Management Service.

Researchers with the service in 2004 found four dead polar bears floating in the sea off Alaska but said in a report that the bears "are believed to have drowned as a result of the storm."

Berlau, an analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) - an organization known for global warming skepticism - who has also written about the entertainment industry, said the polar bear sequence does not square with a large body of scientific evidence.

"The polar bear cartoon was the emotional linchpin of this movie for a lot of people, but the science behind it was not rooted in truth and is a violation of rule 12 on many levels," Berlau told Cybercast News Service.

The following year, it was revealed that "An Inconvenient Truth" used a computer-generated image from a 2004 film.

As NewsBusters reported in April 2008:

On Friday, it was revealed by ABC News that one of the famous shots of supposed Antarctic ice shelves in the film was actually a computer-generated image from the 2004 science fiction blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow." [audio available here]

Adding delicious insult to injury, this was presented by one of ABC's foremost global warming alarmists Sam Champion during Friday's "20/20":

SAM CHAMPION (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Al Gore's 2006 documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth," makes the same point with actual video of ice shelves calving. Which shots have more impact?

AL GORE (FORMER UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT)

And if you were flying over it in a helicopter, you'd see it's 700 feet tall. They are so majestic.

SAM CHAMPION (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Wait a minute, that shot looks just like the one in the opening credits of "The Day After Tomorrow."

KAREN GOULEKAS (VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR)

Yeah, that's, that's our shot. That's a fully computer generated shot. There's nothing real in there.

SAM CHAMPION (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) Audiences expect Hollywood to twist fact into fiction. But Gore's documentary does the opposite, using a fake shot to make a real point, that ice shelves are disappearing, and vanishing ice means global warming. [...]

SAM CHAMPION (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) And it raises another question for you to consider. Is it wrong for a documentary to use a fabricated Hollywood shot to make a point, even if there's science behind it? Well, we tried to ask Al Gore and the movie studio, but neither responded to our calls.

Ummm...yes, it is.

In fact, the 1958 Disney film "White Wilderness," which coincidentally won an Oscar for best documentary, was later discredited for manipulating the facts.

According to Snopes:

Disney's White Wilderness was filmed in Alberta, Canada, which is not a native habitat for lemmings and has no outlet to the sea. Lemmings were imported for use in the film, purchased from Inuit children by the filmmakers. The Arctic rodents were placed on a snow-covered turntable and filmed from various angles to produce a "migration" sequence; afterwards, the helpless creatures were transported to a cliff overlooking a river and herded into the water. White Wilderness does not depict an actual lemming migration - at no time are more than a few dozen lemmings ever shown on the screen at once. The entire sequence was faked using a handful of lemmings deceptively photographed to create the illusion of a large herd of migrating creatures.

Sadly, by the time "White Wilderness" was discredited, the damage had already been done, and the belief that lemmings actually commit mass suicide was ingrained in the culture.

Hopefully Gore's "Truth" will be fully exposed as a hoax before his global warming claims become so universally accepted, and the Academy stripping this schlockumentary of its Oscar would go a long way towards achieving that. 

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.