Timothy Ball

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Timothy Francis Ball
Born (1938-11-05)November 5, 1938
England[1]
Residence Victoria, British Columbia[1]
Citizenship Canadian
Fields Geography, historical climatology
Institutions University of Winnipeg
Alma mater University of Manitoba, Queen Mary University of London
Thesis Climatic change in central Canada : a preliminary analysis of weather information from the Hudson's Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850. (1983)
Notable awards Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service[2]
Spouse Marty Ball[3]

Timothy Francis "Tim" Ball (born November 5, 1938) is a Canadian public speaker in opposition to the scientific consensus in the global warming controversy. A retired professor, he taught in the department of geography at the University of Winnipeg from 1971 until 1996.[4] Ball has worked with the Friends of Science and the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, and is a research fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.[5][6][7]

Education and professional career[edit]

Ball received a bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Manitoba in 1970, followed by an M.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1971 and a PhD from Queen Mary University of London in England in 1983.[4] Ball became an instructor at the University of Winnipeg in 1971, and a lecturer the following year. He then served in the latter capacity for 10 years. In 1982 he became an assistant professor there, and was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and full professor in 1988.[4]

Research and books[edit]

Ball founded the Rupert's Land Research Centre, a historical society dedicated to promoting the history of the area formerly known as Rupert's Land, in 1984.[8] He also served as its director from then until 1996.[4] The society placed a particular emphasis on the use of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives.[9] Ball has published a number of peer-reviewed papers in the field of historical climatology, most of which pertain to reconstructing temperatures in Canada during the past several centuries.[10] In 2003, Ball co-authored a book entitled "Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay," which was reviewed in the American Indian Quarterly by Theodore Binnema of the University of Northern British Columbia in 2005,[11] as well as by Fred Cooke in the Auk in 2004.[12]

In 2007, Ball, along with Willie Soon, David Legates, and Sallie Baliunas, co-authored a commentary arguing that "spring air temperatures around the Hudson Bay basin for the past 70 years (1932–2002) show no significant warming trend," and that, as a result, "the extrapolation of polar bear disappearance is highly premature."[13] The paper, funded by ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute, was a "Viewpoint" article and was not peer-reviewed.[14][15] While the paper was cited by Sarah Palin to justify opposition to listing polar bears on the endangered-species list,[5] its findings were contradicted by reports from the U.S. Geological Survey[16] and other independent researchers, who concluded that man-made climate change was likely to devastate polar-bear populations by 2050.[15] The paper was also criticized by an expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, who wrote that it "doesn't measure up scientifically."[5]

Ball was one of several authors of Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.[17][18] Most recently, Ball wrote a book entitled The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, published by Stairway Press.

Television[edit]

Ball appeared on The Great Global Warming Swindle, an hour and a quarter-long British documentary that aired 8 March 2007 on Channel 4. Also in 2007, he participated in Exposed: The Climate of Fear, a special presentation of the Glenn Beck Program, with Patrick Michaels, John Christy, and other climate sceptics.[19][20] In 2010, he appeared on the Michael Coren Show.[21]

Beginning of climate-change-related activism (1990s-2011)[edit]

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Canadian think tank, states that Ball has disputed anthropogenic global warming since the mid 1990s, instead asserting that global warming is due to natural variations.[22] He has spoken twice at The Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change, where he was presented as a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg.[23][24][25] However, critics have observed that, in fact, Ball was a professor of geography there, has been retired since 1996, and that, in fact, the University of Winnipeg does not have, nor has it ever had, a climatology department.[26][6]

Ball has also claimed, in an article written for the Calgary Herald, to be the first person to receive a PhD in climatology in Canada, and that he had been a professor for 28 years,[27] claims he also made in a letter to the then-prime minister of Canada, Paul Martin.[28] However, on April 23, 2006, Dan Johnson, a professor of environmental science at the University of Lethbridge, wrote a letter to the Herald in which he stated that at the time Ball received his PhD in 1983, "Canada already had PhDs in climatology," and that Ball had only been a professor for eight years, rather than 28 as he had claimed.[29] In the letter, Johnson also wrote that Ball “did not show any evidence of research regarding climate and atmosphere.”[30]

In response, Ball filed a lawsuit against Johnson. Ball's representation in the case was provided by Fraser Milner Casgrain.[31] Johnson's statement of defense was provided by the Calgary Herald, which stated that Ball "...never had a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming," and that he "...is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist."[28] In the ensuing court case, Ball acknowledged that he had only been a professor for eight years, and that his doctorate was not in climatology but rather in geography,[30] and subsequently withdrew the lawsuit on June 8, 2007.[32][28]

More recent writings (2011-present)[edit]

From 2002 to 2012, Ball gave over 600 public talks about global warming and various environmental issues, and from 2002 to 2007, he wrote 39 opinion pieces and 32 letters to the editor in 24 different Canadian newspapers.[30] He has been called "perhaps the most prominent climate change denier in Canada."[33]

In February 2011, it was reported that climate scientist Andrew J. Weaver had sued Ball over an article Ball wrote for the Canada Free Press, an article which was later retracted. In the article, Ball described Weaver as lacking a basic understanding of climate science and stated, incorrectly, that Weaver would not be involved in the production of the IPCC's next report because he had concerns about its credibility.[34][35] Ball contended that the lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt to silence him because of his skeptical position on global warming, despite Ball having used the same law to sue an environmental scientist.[36]

Ball found himself at the center of controversy again later that year, when he told an anonymous interviewer that Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, "should be in the State Pen, not Penn State," due to Mann's role in the Climatic Research Unit email controversy.[37][38] Mann then sued Ball for libel, and stated that he was seeking punitive damages and for the article to be removed from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy's website, on which it was originally published.[39] James M. Taylor, senior fellow of the Heartland Institute, defended Ball, arguing that what he had said about Mann was merely a "humorous insult."[40] Fred Singer made a similar argument in a 2012 article, saying that what Ball had written was written as a joke and that Mann was "improvidently" suing him.[41] After Mann instigated this lawsuit, Andrew A. Skolnick filed two affidavits in which he showed that one of Ball's associates, John O'Sullivan (who co-authored "Slaying the Sky Dragon" with him), had himself engaged in misrepresentation of his credentials. Skolnick also claimed that Ball knew this "almost from the start", and had long been trying to distance himself from O'Sullivan.[42]

Views on climate change[edit]

Ball has said he opposes the consensus scientific opinion on climate change and has stated that he believes global warming is occurring but he believes that human production of carbon dioxide is not the cause.[43][44][45]

He claimed to National Geographic that carbon dioxide causing warming was just a hypothesis, but had been treated as fact "because it fit a political agenda and the views of the environmentalists."[46] He reiterated the view that man-made global warming was fabricated by the environmental movement, particularly Environment Canada, in a presentation he gave in June 2006 to the Comox Valley Probus Club.[47]

He has also been a frequent guest on conspiracy-theorist radio show Coast to Coast AM. When he appeared on one show on July 21, 2011, he said that "To suggest that CO2's a pollutant when it's an extremely important gas in the atmosphere for all plant life and therefore for the oxygen that's produced, is just nonsense."[48] He is also one of the signatories of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change.[49] Ball has also, along with Tom Harris, argued that the National Climatic Data Center misleads the public by announcing premature results from their temperature datasets based on incomplete data, and then quietly updating the data when they gain access to all of it, usually diminishing the warming trend in doing so.[50] He has also written about ocean acidification from a similarly skeptical point of view, arguing that "Even if CO2 increases to 560 ppm by 2050, as the IPCC predict, this would only result in a 0.2 unit reduction of pH. This is still within the error of the estimate of global average [which is 0.3 units]."[51] Ball has also said that since he became a vocal opponent of the consensus position on global warming, he has received five death threats.[52][53]

Funding sources[edit]

Some of Ball's critics have claimed that he has received funding from the fossil fuel industry,[47][6][54] especially through the organization Friends of Science, which Ball co-founded[26] and whose scientific advisory board he sits upon.[3] For example, Peter Gorrie said in the Toronto Star that Friends of Science received a third of its funding from the oil industry. [55] Ball himself has publicly denied these claims,[20][56] as has his wife, Marty Ball,[3] and The Toronto Sun's Michael Coren, who has written that Ball, "unlike so many global warming advocates, is not in the pay of anybody".[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dr. Tim Ball". Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 15 November 2004. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Mittelstaedt, Martin (17 November 2009). "Ad campaign takes aim at climate change". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Curriculum Vitae". Drtimball.com. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Pilkington, Ed (30 September 2008). "Palin fought safeguards for polar bears with studies by climate change sceptics". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Monbiot, George (21 July 2008). "Why does Channel 4 seem to be waging a war against the greens?". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Tim Ball, Research Fellow." Frontier Centre for Public Policy. No date. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  8. ^ Ruggles, Richard I. (1991). A Country So Interesting: The Hudson's Bay Company and Two Centuries of Mapping, 1670-1870. McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. xiii. 
  9. ^ "Churchill Provides Ideal Meeting Place for Rupert's Land Colloquium". (In)edition 5 (16): 1–2. April 1988. 
  10. ^ These papers include:
    • Ball, T. F.; Kingsley, R. A. (1984). "Instrumental temperature records at two sites in Central Canada: 1768 to 1910". Climatic Change 6: 39. doi:10.1007/BF00141667.  edit
    • Ball, T. F. (1986). "Historical evidence and climatic implications of a shift in the boreal forest tundra transition in central Canada". Climatic Change 8 (2): 121–134. doi:10.1007/BF00139750.  edit
    • Ball, T. (1990). "The migration of geese as an indicator of climate change in the southern Hudson Bay region between 1715 and 1851". Climatic Change 5: 85–93. doi:10.1007/BF00144682.  edit
    • Ball, T. (1994). "Climate of two locations on the Southwestern corner of Hudson Bay: AD 1720–1729". International Journal of Climatology 14 (10): 1151–1168. doi:10.1002/joc.3370141006.  edit
  11. ^ Binnema, Theodore (Summer–Fall 2005). "Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay (review)". American Indian Quarterly 29 (3 & 4): 732–733. doi:10.1353/aiq.2005.0078. 
  12. ^ Cooke, Fred (2004). "Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay Review". The Auk 121 (4): 1301. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[1301:ENOHB]2.0.CO;2. 
  13. ^ Dyck, M. G.; Soon, W.; Baydack, R. K.; Legates, D. R.; Baliunas, S.; Ball, T. F.; Hancock, L. O. (2007). "Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the "ultimate" survival control factor?". Ecological Complexity 4 (3): 73. doi:10.1016/j.ecocom.2007.03.002.  edit
  14. ^ "Exxon's funding of polar bear research questioned". New Scientist. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Rood, Justin (23 October 2007). "Polar Bear Brawl: Dem Blasts Exxon Over Research". ABC News. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Forecasting the Future Status of Polar Bears," USGS: Alaska Science Center, updated August 19, 2014. Retrieved 7 Sept. 2014.
  17. ^ Ball, Tim. "Excerpt from Slaying the Sky Dragon." Accessed from Ball's website, 2 Feb. 2014.
  18. ^ O'Sullivan, John, et al. Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory. Mt. Vernon, WA: Stairway Press, 2011.
  19. ^ Gertz, Matt and Julie Millican. Beck's global warming special dominated by industry-funded experts,' serial misinformers." Media Matters for America. May 3, 2007. Accessed 15 Feb. 2014.
  20. ^ a b Durkin, Martin (12 December 2010). The Great Global Warming Swindle (Film). 00:14: YouTube. 
  21. ^ Coren, Michael.Climatology expert threatened for climate change views." The Toronto Sun. 13 Feb. 2010. Accessed 15 Feb. 2014.
  22. ^ "Expert says global warming all "bunk"". Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 28 March 2004. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Timothy Ball". Heartland Institute website. Retrieved 27 January 2014. "Dr. Timothy Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada." 
  24. ^ "Tim Ball". International Conference on Climate Change. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  25. ^ Broder, John M. (30 June 2011). "Senator Inhofe Sends His Regrets". New York Times. Retrieved 5 February 2014. "Scheduled speakers [at the Heartland Institute's sixth conference] include some of the nation’s best-known global warming skeptics, including Anthony Watts, a television weatherman; Timothy Ball, a former University of Winnipeg professor who has been sued for libel by Michael Mann...." 
  26. ^ a b "Complaint to Ofcom Regarding “The Great Global Warming Swindle”". Ofcomswindlecomplaint.net. 11 June 2007. p. 134. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Ball, Tim (19 April 2006). "Aussies' Suzuki heavier on rhetoric than on science". The Calgary Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c Hoggan, James (2009). Climate Cover-Up. Greystone Books. pp. 142–143. 
  29. ^ "Timothy F. Ball". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  30. ^ a b c Farley, John W. (1 May 2012). "Petroleum and Propaganda". Monthly Review. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  31. ^ Horn, Steve (16 August 2013). "Big Oil Just Can't Take a (Tar Sands) Joke". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  32. ^ Partial Discontinuance of Action
  33. ^ Mann, Michael E. (2012). The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars. Columbia University Press. p. 95. 
  34. ^ Rudolf, John Collins (8 February 2011). "Climate Scientist Sues Skeptic for Libel". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  35. ^ Brainard, Curtis (25 July 2012). "I Don't Bluff". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  36. ^ Reich, Eugenie Samuel (9 February 2011). "Climate skeptic makes free speech appeal". Nature News Blog. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  37. ^ Littlemore, Richard (29 March 2011). "Michael Mann suing Tim Ball for libel". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  38. ^ "Dr. Tim Ball, Historical Climatologist". Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 10 February 2011. Archived from the original on 14 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  39. ^ Greer, Darryl (28 March 2011). "Prof Claims Climate-Denier Defamed Him". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  40. ^ Taylor, James M. (11 April 2011). "Alarmist Mann Sues over Humorous Insult". Heartlander. The Heartland Institute. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  41. ^ Singer, S. Fred (5 April 2012). "Climategate Heads to Court". The Independent Institute. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  42. ^ DeMelle, Brendan (27 July 2012). "Affidavits in Michael Mann Libel Suit Reveal Astonishing Facts About Tim Ball Associate John O'Sullivan". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  43. ^ "Climate of controversy". Ottawa Citizen. 18 May 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  44. ^ Glen, Barb (8 June 2012). "Global warming ‘biggest deception in history’". The Western Producer. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  45. ^ a b Coren, Michael (13 February 2010). "Climatology expert threatened for climate change views". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  46. ^ Minard, Anne (24 September 2007). "Global Warming Inaction More Costly Than Solutions?". National Geographic. p. 2. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  47. ^ a b Montgomery, Charles (12 August 2006). "Nurturing doubt about climate change is big business". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  48. ^ Noory, George (21 July 2011). "Summer Psychic Special". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  49. ^ CLIMATE EXPERTS WHO SIGNED MANHATTAN DECLARATION
  50. ^ Harris, Tom; Ball, Tim (11 January 2013). "HARRIS AND BALL: 2012 probably not the hottest on record, after all". Washington Times. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  51. ^ Ball, Tim (22 August 2009). "ENVIRONMENT: Analysis of alarmism: ocean acidification". News Weekly. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  52. ^ Harper, Tom (11 March 2007). "Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  53. ^ McLeod, Judi (12 March 2007). "Death Threats for man-made-global-warming-doesn't-exist scientist". Canada Free Press. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  54. ^ Moore, John (23 February 2012). "John Moore: A peek into the climate denier industry". National Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  55. ^ Gorrie, Peter (1 January 2007). "Who's still cool on global warming?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  56. ^ "Exposed: The Climate of Fear". CNN. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2014. "...I'm accused of getting the money from the oil company, which is simply a lie."