Apple’s on-again, off-again relationship with an online smartphone application that challenges global warming alarmism is back on.
The app, Inconvenient Facts, is available again in Apple’s App Store, much to the delight of the geologist who inspired it.
“I thought that it was entirely political,” Gregory Wrightstone, author of the book “Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn’t Want You to Know,” said of Apple’s original ban of the app in March. “I still don’t know, but we are back up and available.”
The book by Wrightstone, who has more than three decades of experience as a geologist, serves as the source of information on the app.
As The Daily Signal previously reported on Apple’s decision to backpedal on offering the app, Wrightstone points out that the board of the California-based tech giant includes former Vice President Al Gore, a leading proponent of the view that mankind’s activities propel dangerous climate change.
Apple initially approved the Inconvenient Facts app for sale on its iPhones on Feb. 3, then reversed itself and pulled the app March 4.
“In their rejection, Apple blamed several factors,” Wrightstone said in an email to The Daily Signal. “One was lack of compelling content. Another was limited functionality and use of the iPhone features.”
“The limited functionality meant that it was an app that could be web-based,” he said. “So, we added the phone component so that you can take a picture using the app and your camera, and we added an I LOVE CO2 banner at the bottom of the photo. My app developer and partner thought that might do the trick.”
The Daily Signal sought comment from Apple’s media relations office by phone and email, but the company had not responded by publication time.
For more than two months, the app remained available to Android users through the Google Play Store, where it has been downloaded about 16,000 times.
Apple reinserted the Inconvenient Facts app into its App Store on May 17, making a total of 60 facts about the climate change debate from Wrightstone’s book available to Apple users as well as Android users.
Complete with data, charts, and videos, the facts challenge the premise of alarmist theories linking man-made carbon dioxide emissions to dangerous levels of global warming or climate change.
Gore’s campaign to convince the public that rising levels of carbon dioxide could trigger catastrophic global warming was the subject of the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and the 2017 follow-up “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”
The Daily Signal also sought comment from Gore via Delaware-based Carthage Group LLC, with which he is associated, and from the Climate Reality Project, which he founded. Neither organization had responded by publication time.
Karl G. Kowalski, Wrightstone’s app developer, told The Daily Signal that he isn’t clear on why Apple decided to readmit the Inconvenient Facts app.
“They generally only tell you why they reject something, not why they approve of it,” Kowalski said in an email, adding:
There’s a lot of posts about the inscrutableness of Apple’s approval/rejection process.
I’m glad we’re alive at Apple again. Of course, the work is never done! So, I’ll be thinking about other ways to increase features in the app, so we can dodge the next Apple review.
One addition to the app is what Kowalski and Wrightstone call a Model of Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change.
“This MAGICC is an important concept of just how tiny any reduction in warming would be for any given reduction in CO2,” Wrightstone said.
The feature models how much various reductions of carbon dioxide in the U.S. would curtail increases in temperature.
Wrightstone’s online commentary demonstrates the utility of the MAGICC feature in critiquing a “Climate Action Plan” rolled out in April by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.
Wrightstone found that Wolf’s proposed 80 percent reduction in CO2 for Pennsylvania would avert only 0.0023 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 and 0.0061 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
“This extremely small effect should be a very important component in the discussions on whether to impose the significant burdens of the Climate Action Plan on the state and its citizens,” Wrightstone writes. “The justifications for imposing this plan are flawed, the costs and regulations are economically crippling, and the result is a temperature reduction so low that it is indistinguishable from zero.”
Users of the app simply tap on it to activate the features, including these “inconvenient facts”:
—“First and foremost, CO2 is plant food.”
—“140-million-year trend of dangerously decreasing CO2.”
—“Recent inconvenient pause of 18 years in warming, despite rise in CO2.”
—“The current warming trend is neither unusual nor unprecedented.”
—“Cold kills far more people than heat every year.”
—“There are more polar bears now than we’ve had for 50 years.”