updated 10/11/2007 11:16:07 PM ET 2007-10-12T03:16:07

Al Gore's Oscar-winning climate documentary contains nine scientific errors or omissions, a British judge said in explaining a ruling last month on a challenge from a school official who did not want the film shown to students.

In an opinion released Wednesday, High Court Judge Michael Burton said he had no doubt that the points raised in "An Inconvenient Truth" were broadly accurate, but added that they were made in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration."

Gore's film "is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact," Burton said. "Albeit that the science is used, in the hands of a talented politician and communicator, to make a political statement and to support a political program."

Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for the former U.S. vice president, said the judge's decision backed key elements of the documentary.

"The ruling upheld fundamental pieces of the film and the scientific consensus that global warming is real and caused by human activities," she said. "Of the thousands of facts in the film, the judge only took issue with just a handful. And of that handful, we have the studies to back those pieces up."

Burton outlined nine problems — including Gore's claim that sea level rises of 23 feet might occur in the immediate future — something the judge characterized as "distinctly alarmist."

He also cited claims that Hurricane Katrina, the evaporation of most of Lake Chad and the melting of the snow on Mount Kilimanjaro were all caused by global warming. Burton said there was insufficient evidence to back those claims.

The government's plan to show the film in English secondary schools violated laws banning the promotion of partisan political views in the classroom, Burton said. But he said the screenings could go ahead if they were bundled with written guidance to teachers designed to prevent Gore's views from being promoted uncritically to children.

Burton's ruling follows a challenge from a part-time school official who complained that Gore's film was inaccurate, biased and should not be shown to pupils.

Stewart Dimmock, who works part-time on a school governing board, said he was fighting to have his children educated in an environment "free from bias and political spin."

While "An Inconvenient Truth" will still be shown in English schools, the judge said teachers will have to be careful not to endorse Gore's political views when they present it to pupils.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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