The name Timothy Ball should be familiar to many conservatives as one of the leading international skeptics of man’s role in global warming. He was interviewed recently by Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and once again made some fascinating statements about the media hysteria surrounding this issue (emphasis mine throughout):
As I tell audiences, the minute somebody starts saying “Oh, the children are going to die and the grandchildren are going to have no future,” they have now played the emotional and fear card. Just like in the U.S., it’s almost like the race card. It’s not to say that it isn’t valid in some cases. But the minute you play that card, you are now taking the issues and the debates out of the rational and logical and reasonable and sensible and calm into the emotional and hysterical.
Ball addressed the recent IPCC report by the United Nations:
As soon as people start saying something’s settled, it’s usually that they don’t want to talk about it anymore. They don’t want anybody to dig any deeper. It’s very, very far from settled. In fact, that’s the real problem. We haven’t been able to get all of the facts on the table. The IPCC is a purely political setup.
[T]he report is the end product of a political agenda, and it is the political agenda of both the extreme environmentalists who of course think we are destroying the world. But it’s also the political agenda of a group of people ... who believe that industrialization and development and capitalism and the Western way is a terrible system and they want to bring it down.
They couldn’t do it by attacking energy because they know that would get the public’s back up very quickly. ... The vehicle they chose was CO2, because that’s the byproduct of industry and fossil-fuel burning, which of course drives the whole thing. They think, “If we can show that that is destroying the planet, then it allows us to control.” Unfortunately, you’ve got a bunch of scientists who have this political agenda as well, and they have effectively controlled the IPCC process.
Ball addressed the idea of a scientific consensus:
The answer, first of all, is that consensus is not a scientific fact. The other thing is, you look at the degree to which they have controlled the whole IPCC process. For example, who are the lead authors? Who are the scientists who sit on the summary panel with the politicians to make sure that they get their view in? … You’ve got this incestuous little group that is controlling the whole process both through their publications and the IPCC. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I hate being even pushed toward that, but I think there is a consensus conspiracy that’s going on.
What are some of the real facts?
I guess the best argument is that global warming has occurred, but it began in 1680, if you want to take the latest long-term warming, and the climate changes all the time. It began in 1680, in the middle of what’s called “The Little Ice Age” when there was three feet of ice on the Thames River in London. And the demand for furs of course drove the fur trade. The world has warmed up until recently, and that warming trend doesn’t fit with the CO2 record at all; it fits with the sun-spot data. Of course they are ignoring the sun because they want to focus on CO2.
The other thing that you are seeing going on is that they have switched from talking about global warming to talking about climate change. The reason for that is since 1998 the global temperature has gone down -- only marginally, but it has gone down. In the meantime, of course, CO2 has increased in the atmosphere and human production has increased. So you’ve got what Huxley called the great bane of science -- “a lovely hypothesis destroyed by an ugly fact.” So by switching to climate change, it allows them to point at any weather event -- whether it’s warming, cooling, hotter, dryer, wetter, windier, whatever -- and say it is due to humans. Of course, it’s absolutely rubbish.
Yeah, the world has been warming since 1680 and the cause is changes in the sun. But in their computer models they hardly talk about the sun at all and in the IPCC summary for policy-makers they don’t talk about the sun at all. And of course, if they put the sun into their formula in their computer models, it swamps out the human portion of CO2, so they can’t possibly do that.
[I]n the theory the claim is that if CO2 goes up, temperature will go up. The ice core record of the last 420,000 years shows exactly the opposite. It shows that the temperature changes before the CO2. So the fundamental assumption of the theory is wrong. That means the theory is wrong. ... But the theory that human CO2 would lead to runaway global warming became a fact right away, and scientists like myself who dared to question it were immediately accused of being paid by the oil companies or didn’t care about the children or the future or anything else.
What about rising sea levels?
Sea levels have been rising for the last 10,000 years. In fact, 8,000 years ago, sea level was almost 500 feet lower than it is today. It’s been rising gradually over that time. It’s risen very slightly in the modern record, but it has risen no more rapidly than it has in the last 8,000 years. One of the factors that people forget is that most of the ice is already in the ocean, and so if you understand Archimedes’ Principle, when that ice melts it simply replaces the space that the ice occupied -- even if the ice caps melt completely. What they do is they say if we estimate the volume of water in Antarctica and Greenland, then we add that to the existing ocean level. But that's not the way it works at all. But it does work for panic and for sea-level rises of 20 feet, like Gore claims.
By contrast to a global warming, Ball sees a coming ice age:
The other concern I have is that we’re totally preparing for warming. The whole world is preparing for warming, but I mentioned that we have been cooling since 1998 and the climate scientists that I respected -- particularly the Russians and Chinese -- are predicting that we’re going to be much, much cooler by 2030. So we’ve got completely the wrong adaptive strategy.
I think there is another ice age coming, because the major causes of the ice ages are changes in the orbit of the Earth around the sun and changes in the tilt of the Earth. Those are things we’ve known about for 150 years.
Ball concluded with his view of the hysteria surrounding this issue, and what should be explained to children:
I was talking to a group in Saskatoon and a woman came up after and she said, “I agree with you totally. We were having a party for my 7-year-old. I went into the kitchen and there was a bang in the living room. I went back and a balloon had exploded. The kids were crying and I said, ‘Why are you crying?’ And they said, ‘There’s going to be another hole in the ozone.’”
It’s completely false. There never were holes in the ozone, by the way. But when we start laying those kinds of problems onto shoulders that are very narrow, that is criminal…So I wouldn’t raise these kinds of fear with the children. What I would do with my children and grandchildren is what I’m trying to do with the public and say, “Look, here’s the other side of the story. Make sure you get all of the information before you start running off and screaming ‘wolf, wolf, wolf.’”
Sound advice indeed. If only the left and the media would listen.