tools of light

Call for an Open Debate on Climate Science.

by DR. TIM BALL on SEPTEMBER 26, 2011


Winston Churchill said,

“It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Free Speech is central to the maintenance of Democracy, as the US Founding Fathers recognized by enshrining it as the First Amendment, which says in part,

“Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech.”

Americans must cherish and defend their freedom of speech at all costs.

Global warming and subsequently climate change were transport vehicles for a political ideology to replace free market capitalism by claiming it’s byproduct, CO2, was exhausting world resources and destroying the planet. This was an extension of the Malthusian idea adapted by the Club of Rome in the 1960s that it accelerated the overpopulation problem and endangered all resources, not just food supply.

It also became part of the new larger vehicle, the paradigm shift created by environmentalism. The combination gave proponents of the hypothesis that human CO2 was causing global warming and climate change the moral high ground. They joined a few environmentalists who already claimed only they cared about the environment. It’s an arrogant outrage because we all care about the environment, but the outrage is amplified as the environmentalists use the environmental issue to push a political agenda.

When I began studying climate in the 1960s the pattern was global cooling. It was of geopolitical concern and agencies like the CIA produced reports of the impacts on food supply and potential socio-economic stress, including war. Few people even knew what climatology was and so it avoided any political influence or exploitation. It meant a struggle for funds, but little went to reconstruction of past climates. Hubert Lamb explained the problem in his autobiography.

“When the Climatic Research Unit was founded, it was clear that the first need was to establish the facts of the past record of this natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”

The situation is worse because of the activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and direction of funding away from data collection and reconstruction.

I watched the politicization of climate science and the deliberate misdirection. The scientific method was thwarted by creating a hypothesis and instead of allowing other scientists to disprove it the IPCC was set up to prove it and attacked those who dared to question. I was one of those scientists who was derided as a global warming skeptic until I pointed out all scientists must be skeptics and the world had warmed since 1680 – the nadir of the Little Ice Age. Indeed, overall it had warmed since the last Ice Age that bottomed 20,000 years ago.

In 2002 CO2 continued to increase while temperatures declined so they switched from warming to climate change. Now we were climate change deniers, with all the holocaust connotations of the word, but the reality is I have spent my career telling people how much the climate changes naturally. These are ad hominems even if they are against groups. They follow the individual ad hominems many of us have suffered for years. In my case they couldn’t use the standard claim that I was not qualified, although they tried by saying I did not have a PhD in climatology. (The document is available here )

Recently the attacks and hyperbole, evidenced by Al Gore’s recent telethon, have increased, apparently due to several factors. These include disclosure of leaked emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU): incorrect and inappropriate data and methods of the IPCC: and Nature not cooperating by invalidating predictions – accurate predictions are essential validation of the science.

The limits of new paradigms are defined by extremism. The majority generally accepted the environmentalism; the question was what were the limits? Now people are realizing that some of the costs are not worth the price – they are doing more harm than good.

Despite this the attacks continue and have some traction. I continue to be a target evidenced by two lawsuits filed within nine days of each other, one by Andrew Weaver, and the other by Michael Mann. I understand that these suits would have no traction in the United States because of Freedom of Speech. This is, in my opinion, the most valuable, albeit occasionally troublesome freedom Americans have. Canada’s protections do not go far enough.

Two of the defenses in Canada are either to claim “fair comment” or “truth”. Without pursuing the truth as a defense, discovery is much more limited. However, claiming truth means the penalties for a loss are much higher. In addition, even though I am accused of defamation I must prove the truth of my comments. Given the divergence of scientific opinion and the complexity of the issue, producing the “proof” is extremely expensive. Legal and potential penalty costs seriously inhibit people defending themselves or pursuing the truth. Perhaps the climate alarmists are right, however, the important point is that there must be a free and open discussion, which is not chilled by libel action. The lawsuits are available through the Supreme Court of British Columbia web site. Details for donations to a legal fund are also available at my web site.


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