The Problem with an Oscar for Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’

Washington, D.C., February 23, 2007—Former Vice President Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is one of five films nominated for an Oscar Award in the “Best Documentary Feature” category. Given Hollywood’s enthusiasm for environmental activism, Gore’s stature as a political icon, and the film’s success at the box office (the third top grossing documentary ever), it will be astonishing if An Inconvenient Truth does not win the Oscar for best documentary.

“There’s just one small problem,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis. “Gore’s film isn’t really a documentary, it’s a Scare-You-Mentary.” As Lewis documents in a detailed commentary available on CEI’s Web site, nearly every statement the Vice President makes in AIT about climate science and climate policy is either one-sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or just plain wrong.

“Gore’s warning that sea levels might rise 20 feet in our lifetimes or those of our children unless we follow him down the Kyoto road, is science fiction,” said Lewis. “Too bad there’s no Oscar category for best Sci-Fi film in the guise of a documentary.”

Gore declares global warming to be a moral issue, but his film never considers the likely effects of energy-rationing schemes like the Kyoto Protocol on working families and the poor. Kyoto-type policies reduce CO2 emissions by making carbon-based energy—oil, natural gas, and coal—more expensive. Europeans pay $6.00 a gallon for gasoline, due to high motor fuel taxes, yet Europe’s transport sector carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 26% since 1990, the Kyoto baseline year.

“How much higher than European-level gas prices does Mr. Gore think Americans should have to pay?” Lewis asks.