Al Gore doctored a video that’s supposed to prove his global warming theories

Anthony Watts Meteorologist and Climate Blogger
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Watts’s complete and detailed analysis of Gore’s “Climate 101” video is available here.

It has been over a week now since the Gore-a-thon, a.k.a. “24 hours of climate reality,” where Al Gore sent his latest message of global warming doom to the world. The front page of the Climate Reality Project has changed from “live mode” to offering clips of videos shown during the 24-hour presentation.

One of the video clips there, “Climate 101,” tells the story of how to do a “simple experiment” at home to prove carbon dioxide causes global warming. But if you watch closely, you’ll see an “inconvenient truth” of the worst kind. Watch the portion of the video that begins at 1:00 and ends at 1:20.

You see, he faked not only the experiment but also the results with video editing tricks. Video analysis proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The experiment is deceptively simple. Actually, the idea is that it’s nothing more than a high school physics experiment. As Gore put it in an interview about his Climate Reality Project earlier this month: “The deniers claim that [global warming is] some kind of hoax and that the global scientific community is lying to people,” he said. “It’s not a hoax, it’s high school physics.”

One thing that caught my eye was the split-screen scene with two thermometers side by side, with one showing the temperature rising faster than the other. The scene lasts from 1:10 to 1:17 and is the longest “continuous” scene in the video’s experiment section.

Another thing that struck me was how clearly you can see the two thermometers in the video. At one point (1:02), you can actually read one of the thermometer’s scales.

Notice that the glass jar that contains the thermometer distorts the thermometer’s appearance. That’s to be expected.

Compare that to the crystal clear split-screen view of the two thermometers starting at 1:10. No distortions, no fuzziness.

When I first saw the video, I suspected the split-screen scene was faked. My theory was that the thermometers weren’t actually in the jar when they were photographed for the split screen. I had to prove it by doing my own photography to see if I could get equally clear images. Since Al’s “high school physics” experiment didn’t come with a bill of materials and list of suppliers, I started looking for the jars, the thermometers and the globes so that I could recreate the experiment scene.

I found them all, thanks to Google visual image search and eBay.

I recreated the scene using the exact same props and tried to get clear images of thermometers through the glass. Unable to do so, I brought in a professional photographer with a top-of-the-line Canon D1 camera and Macro lens. He was also unable to get clear shots resembling the ones of the thermometers in the split-screen scene. My conclusion: The thermometers were not actually in the jars during the scene.

But it gets worse.

The experiment supposedly employed two separate thermometers. But after analyzing the split-screen scene, I realized that the only difference between the thermometer on the left and the thermometer on the right is their fluid levels. In fact, I found nine uncanny similarities between the “two” thermometers.

I then used Photoshop to overlay the two split-screen images, subtracting one from the other. Any differences between the two images should have appeared as non-black shapes against a black background.

Guess what? The only differences were in the thermometer fluid, proving that the split-screen scene is simply two identical scenes from the same camera, edited to show the rise of the fluid.

The only conclusion one can make is that Gore’s video of the “simple experiment” to make his case on CO2 and global warming is a complete fabrication done in post-production.

Even if Mr. Gore and his team wanted to claim “artistic license” for editing the video for the experiment, why would they fake it if it is so easy to replicate and do yourself? The narrator, Bill Nye the Science Guy, actually invites people to do so at about 0:46 in the video. Why not simply do the experiment and record the results for all to see? Was it “artistic license”? Perhaps they couldn’t get the experiment to work properly using the materials chosen?

Adding the word “dramatization” to the bottom of the video would have clarified to viewers that what they were seeing wasn’t a real experiment but a fabricated one — but Mr. Gore didn’t do that.

Just as he did in “An Inconvenient Truth,” Mr. Gore continues to use stagecraft rather than science to make his case. This is no better than the stagecraft done by Senator Tim Wirth, who turned off the air conditioning (to make it hot in the room) during Dr. James Hansen’s June 1988 congressional testimony about the dangers of CO2.

The public, and especially young scientific minds, deserve better than stagecraft.

Anthony Watts operates the most visited blog on climate science in the world, www.wattsupwiththat.com.