The AP claimed to “have contacted more than 100 top climate researchers” in the course of its investigation. But of 100 scientists contacted, only 19 had actually found the time to see the film “An Inconvenient Truth” or to read Gore’s book.
Additionally, the AP claimed that some of those contacted “were vocal skeptics of climate change theory,” but that was the last readers heard of any global warming skepticism.
The article, which ran in The Washington Post, USA Today, ABCnews.com and other publications, features quotes from several researchers with close ties to Gore.
William Schlesinger, a proponent of higher gasoline and energy prices who has appeared in a previous report by the Business & Media Institute, was quoted in the article. Since 1999 Schlesinger has given approximately $3,500 to Democratic campaigns, including a $1,000 contribution to Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1999. The AP failed to acknowledge any previous links between Schlesinger and Gore.
“The tiny errors scientists found weren't a big deal,” wrote AP science writer Seth Borenstein.
Michael MacCracken, a contributor to Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign, agreed that the errors were “far, far fewer and less significant than the shortcoming in speeches by the typical politician explaining an issue.” The AP did link MacCracken to the Climate Institute in Washington, D.C., but failed to establish that the organization is pro-regulation and pro-Gore (Gore is quoted in several places on its Web site).
After glossing over the movie’s inaccuracies, the article quoted researcher TomWigley, who felt the film was “too optimistic.” It was not mentioned that Wigley is pro-Kyoto Protocol even though he believes that its standards will have a minimal effect on global warming. He last made the news in 2003 when he disputed Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) quotation of his work on the Senate floor. Though Wigley did not dispute the accuracy of Inhofe’s words, he did seem upset that his findings could be used as a supporting argument for the opposition.
Also quoted in the article was Robert Corell. A June 27 majority press release from the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee revealed that Corell has a personal relationship with Gore. The statement also says, “Corell’s reported links as an ‘affiliate’ of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides ‘expert testimony’ in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP.” More of Corell’s background can be found at JunkScience.com.
The article concluded with a quote from Jeff Severinghaus, a professor at the Scripps Institution. In a 1992 article, the Cato Institute labeled the Scripps Institution home to one of “the earliest protagonists of global warming.” Additionally, “An Inconvenient Truth” received promotion on its Web site.