Timothy Francis Ball
November 5, 1938
|Alma mater||University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Queen Mary University of London|
|Known for||Opposing mainstream consensus on climate change|
|Awards||Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence |
|Institutions||University of Winnipeg|
|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)|
|Doctoral advisor||B.W. Atkinson|
Timothy Francis Ball (born November 5, 1938) is a Canadian public speaker and writer who was a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg from 1971 until his retirement in 1996. Ball then became very active in promoting climate change denial, giving public talks and writing opinion pieces and letters to the editor for Canadian newspapers. He has been a member of energy industry funded lobbying groups, and wrote for the climate change denial website Tech Central Station.
Education and professional career
Ball received a bachelor's degree with honors in geography from the University of Winnipeg in 1970, followed by an M.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1971 and a PhD in Geography with a specific focus on historical climatology from Queen Mary University of London in England in 1983. 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. He retired from teaching in 1996.
Research and books
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. He also served as its director from then until 1996. The society placed a particular emphasis on the use of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives. 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. 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, as well as by Fred Cooke in the Auk in 2004.
In 2007 Ball was one of seven co-authors of a paper 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." The paper was a "Viewpoint" article and was not peer-reviewed. While the paper was cited by Sarah Palin to justify opposition to listing polar bears on the endangered-species list, its findings were contradicted by reports from the U.S. Geological Survey and other independent researchers, who concluded that man-made climate change was likely to devastate polar-bear populations by 2050. 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." A subsequent in depth international independent study, Re-Assessment of the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin Polar Bear Subpopulations: Final Report to the Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on Polar Bear determined that while polar bear populations are not declining overall and are increasing significantly in some areas, "If the current trends in sea ice continue it is reasonable to predict further changes in [the Baffin Bay] subpopulation including, ultimately, declines in abundance and vital rates. This warrants caution in both future monitoring and management." .
Ball was one of several authors of Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, published in 2011. In 2014, Ball wrote a book entitled The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, published by Stairway Press.
Views on climate change
He has worked with Friends of Science and Natural Resources Stewardship Project, which oppose the consensus scientific opinion of significant anthropogenic global warming, and is a former research fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Ball also rejects the consensus scientific opinion on climate change, stating that "CO2 is not a greenhouse gas that raises global temperature."
Ball rejects the consensus scientific opinion on climate change and has stated that he believes global warming is occurring but that human production of carbon dioxide is not the cause. Ball rejects not only CO2 greenhouse gas–induced climate change but the existence of the CO2 greenhouse effect itself.
He told 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. 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.
He has also been a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM, an alternative media radio show. On July 21, 2011, while a guest on the show, he stated: "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." He is also one of the signatories of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change. 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. 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]." Ball has also said that since he became a vocal opponent of the consensus position on global warming, he has received five death threats.
Michael E. Mann has called Ball "perhaps the most prominent climate change denier in Canada." The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Canadian think tank, states that Ball has disputed anthropogenic global warming since the mid 1990s, and has asserted that global warming is due to natural variations. Ball 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. However, critics point out that Ball was a professor of geography, not climatology, and that the University of Winnipeg has never had a climatology department. Ball rejoins that the climate program at The University of Winnipeg was part of the geography department in the early 1980s. He also asserts that websites such as DeSmogBlog have made false charges about his credentials and professional qualifications.
From 2002 to 2007, Ball wrote 39 opinion pieces and 32 letters to the editor in 24 different Canadian newspapers, and from 2002 to 2012, he gave over 600 public talks about global warming and various environmental issues. Friends of Science maintains a "Climate Digest" of articles written by Ball in 2008-09. Since then he has continued to advocate against governmental intervention to ameliorate climate change.
In 2007 Ball appeared on The Great Global Warming Swindle, an hour and a quarter-long British television documentary that aired 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. In 2010, he appeared on the Michael Coren Show.
Controversies and lawsuits
Ball claimed, in an article written for the Calgary Herald, that he was the first person to receive a PhD in climatology in Canada, and that he had been a professor for 28 years, claims he also made in a letter to then-prime minister of Canada, Paul Martin. Dan Johnson, a professor of environmental science at the University of Lethbridge, countered his claim on April 23, 2006, in a letter to the Herald stating that when 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. Johnson, however, counted only Ball's years as a full professor. In the letter, Johnson also wrote that Ball "did not show any evidence of research regarding climate and atmosphere," which Ball later admitted.
In response, Ball filed a lawsuit against Johnson. Johnson's statement of defence 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."[failed verification] In the ensuing court case, Ball acknowledged that he had only been a tenured professor for eight years, and that his doctorate was not in climatology but rather in the broader discipline of geography, and subsequently withdrew the lawsuit on June 8, 2007.
In 2011 climate scientist Andrew J. Weaver sued Ball over an article Ball wrote for the Canada Free Press 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. Andrew Weaver's defamation suit against Ball was dismissed in 2018. The judge noted that Ball's words "lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory" and concluded that the “article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views...". The British Columbia Court of Appeal in April 2020 reversed the dismissal. Writing that Ball's statements "meet the classic test for defamation," it sent the case back to the trial judge to decide the amount of damages and whether the article was fair comment.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy's web site published a February 2011 interview, in which Ball 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". This referred to Mann's role in the Climatic Research Unit email controversy. Mann then sued Ball and Frontier Centre for libel, and stated that he was seeking punitive damages and for the article to be removed from the web site. On 7 June 2019 the Frontier Centre For Public Policy published a retraction and apology and settled their part of the case with Mann. On 21 March 2019 Tim Ball had applied to the court to dismiss the action for delay, this request was granted at a hearing on 22 August 2019, and court costs were awarded to Ball. The actual defamation claims were not judged, but instead the case was dismissed due to delay by Mann's legal team.
Some of Ball's critics have claimed that he has received funding from the fossil fuel industry, especially through the organization Friends of Science, whose scientific advisory board he sits upon. For example, Peter Gorrie said in the Toronto Star that Friends of Science received a third of its funding from the oil industry. Ball himself has publicly denied these claims, as have both his wife, Marty Ball; and the Toronto Sun's Michael Coren, who wrote an opinion column stating that Ball, "unlike so many global warming advocates, is not in the pay of anybody".
- "Dr. Tim Ball". Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 15 November 2004. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Mittelstaedt, Martin (17 November 2009). "Ad campaign takes aim at climate change". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- Powell, James Lawrence (December 2012). The Inquisition of Climate Science. Columbia University Press. pp. 71–72. ISBN 978-0-231-15719-3.
- McLeod, Judi. "," Climatologist Timothy Ball sends PhD to Canada Free Press, February 7, 2007: Canada Free Press. Direct quote of how he describes himself.
- Website at the University of Winnipeg
- 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.
- "Churchill Provides Ideal Meeting Place for Rupert's Land Colloquium" (PDF). In Edition. 5 (16): 1–2. April 1988.
- 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: 39–56. doi:10.1007/BF00141667. S2CID 153328941.
- 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. S2CID 150697714.
- 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. S2CID 154272626.
- 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.
- 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. S2CID 162302655.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Exxon's funding of polar bear research questioned". New Scientist. 28 October 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry," The Guardian, 21 Feb. 2015. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2017.
- Pilkington, Ed (30 September 2008). "Palin fought safeguards for polar bears with studies by climate change sceptics". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Forecasting the Future Status of Polar Bears," USGS: Alaska Science Center, updated August 19, 2014. Retrieved 7 Sept. 2014.
- Report Summary Pdf, pg 21, p3,5
- Ball, Tim. "Excerpt from Slaying the Sky Dragon." Accessed from Ball's website, 2 Feb. 2014.
- O'Sullivan, John, et al. Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory. Mt. Vernon, WA: Stairway Press, 2011.
- Ball, Tim. "The First in A Series of Simplified Explanations of the Corrupted and Falsified Science of Human Caused Global Warming," posted by Ball on his own website, 17 June 2017. Retrieved 3 Nov. 2017.
- Monbiot, George (21 July 2008). "Why does Channel 4 seem to be waging a war against the greens?". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Tim Ball, Research Fellow." Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 31 Jan. 2007, archived 15 June 2014.
- Ball, Tim, "CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas that Raises Global temperature. Period!", personal website, 15 Feb. 2016.
- "Climate of controversy". Ottawa Citizen. 18 May 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Glen, Barb (8 June 2012). "Global warming 'biggest deception in history'". The Western Producer. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Coren, Michael (13 February 2010). "Climatology expert threatened for climate change views". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Minard, Anne (24 September 2007). "Global Warming Inaction More Costly Than Solutions?". National Geographic. p. 2. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Montgomery, Charles (12 August 2006). "Nurturing doubt about climate change is big business". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Noory, George (21 July 2011). "Summer Psychic Special". Coast to Coast AM. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Climate Experts Who Signed Manhattan Declaration
- 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.
- Ball, Tim (22 August 2009). "ENVIRONMENT: Analysis of alarmism: ocean acidification". News Weekly. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Harper, Tom (11 March 2007). "Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- McLeod, Judi (12 March 2007). "Death Threats for man-made-global-warming-doesn't-exist scientist". Canada Free Press. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Mann, Michael E. (2012). The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars. Columbia University Press. p. 95.
- "Expert says global warming all "bunk"". Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 28 March 2004. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Timothy Ball". Heartland Institute website. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
Dr. Timothy Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
- "Tim Ball". International Conference on Climate Change. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- 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....
- "Complaint to Ofcom Regarding "The Great Global Warming Swindle"". Ofcomswindlecomplaint.net. 11 June 2007. p. 134. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- "Ad hominem".
- Farley, John W. (1 May 2012). "Petroleum and Propaganda". Monthly Review. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Not all of the 19 articles archived at the Friends of Science website are dated.
- Petition E&E News, 13 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. Ball, Tim and Tom Harris, "It's time to publicly debunk UN climate science," USA Today, updated 1 Aug. 2017. Retrieved 4 Aug. 2017. First published in The Daily Caller, 7 July 2017.
- Gertz, Matt and Julie Millican. Beck's global warming special dominated by industry-funded experts,' serial misinformers Archived 2012-06-14 at the Wayback Machine." Media Matters for America. May 3, 2007. Accessed 15 Feb. 2014.
- Durkin, Martin (12 December 2010). The Great Global Warming Swindle (Film). 00:14: YouTube.CS1 maint: location (link) Ball was misidentified in the documentary as Professor from the Department of Climatology, University of Winnipeg; he left his faculty position in 1996, and the University of Winnipeg has never had a Department of Climatology.
- Coren, Michael.Climatology expert threatened for climate change views." The Toronto Sun. 13 Feb. 2010. Accessed 15 Feb. 2014.
- Ball, Tim (19 April 2006). "Aussies' Suzuki heavier on rhetoric than on science". The Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Hoggan, James (2009). Climate Cover-Up. Greystone Books. pp. 142–143. ISBN 9781926706771.
- Ball was an instructor at the University of Winnipeg in 1971, an assistant professor in 1982, and an associate professor in 1984 before promotion to full professorship in 1988. See CV.
- Partial Discontinuance of Action
- Rudolf, John Collins (8 February 2011). "Climate Scientist Sues Skeptic for Libel". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Brainard, Curtis (25 July 2012). "I Don't Bluff". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Reich, Eugenie Samuel (9 February 2011). "Climate skeptic makes free speech appeal". Nature News Blog. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- Fraser, Keith (February 14, 2018). "B.C. Green party leader Andrew Weaver has defamation lawsuit against retired prof thrown out". Vancouver Sun.
- DeRosa, Katie (Feb 14, 2018). "B.C. Green Party's Andrew Weaver loses defamation lawsuit". Times Colonist. Victoria, B.C. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
- Dickson, Louise (April 30, 2020). "Article defamed Andrew Weaver, B.C. Court of Appeal finds". Times Colonist.
- "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.
- Michael Mann v. Timothy Ball, VLC-SS-111913 (BCSC 2011-03-11).
- Greer, Darryl (28 March 2011). "Prof Claims Climate-Denier Defamed Him". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Retraction and apology to Michael Mann" (png) (Press release). Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 2019-06-07. Retrieved 19 September 2019 – via Columbia University.
- McIntosh, Emma (16 June 2019). "A Scientist Took Climate Change Deniers to Court and Wrested an Apology From Them". Mother Jones. Retrieved 16 June 2019. (story originally published by the National Observer)
- Michael Mann v. Timothy Ball, 1580 (BCSC 2019) ("This is a relatively straightforward defamation action and should have been resolved long before now. That it has not been resolved is because the plaintiff has not given it the priority that he should have. In the circumstances, justice requires that the action be dismissed and, accordingly, I do hereby dismiss the action for delay.").
- Moore, John (23 February 2012). "John Moore: A peek into the climate denier industry". National Post. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Gorrie, Peter (1 January 2007). "Who's still cool on global warming?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- "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.