"The general consensus was that most people were upset for even questioning the issue of climate change as a serious scientific issue," said Chris Carrel, whose daughter's seventh-grade class was planning to see the film. "The superintendent did his review and reported back to the school board that most of the film was scientifically well-supported, but in areas of controversy, in terms of the proper policy response, the teachers needed to present different viewpoints."
Climate change skeptics wish that such a debate would take place. In addition to challenging Gore to a debate with Chris Horner, the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism" and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, some critics have offered $125,000 to anyone who can prove global warming.
"We've received lots of inquiries but no serious entries so far," said Steven J. Milloy, who runs the Web site junkscience.com and started a mutual fund that seeks to counterbalance the work of so-called ethical investment funds.
Gore has not responded to calls for a debate.
"Our strong feeling is that the debate about whether global warming is real is over," said Kreider. "Even the president of the U.S. agrees the debate is over. ... It's very 1980s to debate whether global warming is real. Should we be debating whether smoking causes cancer?"
The Alleged Errors Highlighted by High Court Judge Michael Burton:
1.) The sea level will rise up to 20 feet because of the melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland in the near future. (This "Armageddon scenario" would only take place over thousands of years, the judge wrote.)
2.) Some low-lying Pacific islands have been so inundated with water that their citizens have all had to evacuate to New Zealand. ("There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.")
3.) Global warming will shut down the "ocean conveyor," by which the Gulf Stream moves across the North Atlantic to Western Europe. (According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "it is very unlikely that the Ocean Conveyor will shut down in the future…")
4.) There is a direct coincidence between the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the rise in temperature over the last 650,000 years. ("Although there is general scientific agreement that there is a connection, the two graphs do not establish what Mr. Gore asserts.")
5.) The disappearance of the snows on Mount Kilimanjaro is expressly attributable to global warming. ("However, it is common ground that, the scientific consensus is that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mount. Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.")
6.) The drying up of Lake Chad is a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming. ("It is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution" and may be more likely the effect of population increase, overgrazing and regional climate variability.)
7.) Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is because of global warming. ("It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that.")
8.) Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim long distances to find ice. ("The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one, which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm.")
9.) Coral reefs all over the world are bleaching because of global warming and other factors. ("Separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as overfishing and pollution, was difficult.")