The Politics of Global Warming
Steigerwald, Bill, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Timothy Ball is no wishy-washy skeptic of global warming. The Canadian climatologist, who has a Ph.D. in climatology from the University of London and taught at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years, says that the widely propagated "fact" that humans are contributing to global warming is the "greatest deception in the history of science."
Ball has made no friends among global warming alarmists by saying that global warming is caused by the sun, that global warming will be good for us and that the Kyoto Protocol "is a political solution to a nonexistent problem without scientific justification."
Needless to say, Ball strongly disagrees with the findings of the latest report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which on Feb. 2 concluded that it is "very likely" that global warming is the result of human activity.
I talked to Ball by phone on Feb. 6 from his home on Victoria Island, British Columbia, which the good-humored scientist likes to point out was connected to the mainland 8,000 years ago when the sea level was 500 feet lower.
Q: The mainstream media would have us believe that the science of global warming is now settled by the latest IPCC report. Is it true?
A: No. It's absolutely false. 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.
There was a large group of people, the political people, who wanted the report to be more harum-scarum than it actually is. In fact, the report is quite a considerable step down from the previous reports. For example, they have reduced the potential temperature rise and they've reduced the sea level increase and a whole bunch of other things. Part of it is because they know so many people will be watching the report this time.
Q: Why should we be leery of the IPCC's report -- or the summary of the report?
A: Well, because the 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.
Q: You always hear the argument that the IPCC has several thousand scientists -- how can you not accept what they say?
A: 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.
Q: What is your strongest or best argument that GW is not "very likely" to be caused by SUVs and Al Gore's private planes?
A: 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. …