Clear proof that Tim Ball is not a scientist

12342308_925804084135927_2797038756846899098_n Tim Ball has a quasi-incoherent piece over at WUWT (I know, I know, but it was a grey Sunday afternoon) explaining why the nutters lost the dogma hearing. I’m a bit surprised that he’s prepared to admit they lost, but I was more amused by his excuses; and perhaps the piece is more an excuse to write about himself than anything else. Anyway, as he puts it:

In a debate between a scientist and anyone else the scientist inevitably loses because it becomes about emotions, especially the exploitation of fear

He’s forgotten that a moment earlier he wrote:

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party in Canada… agreed to a debate with me… I know I won the debate

I think we can be fairly sure that EM isn’t a scientist. Therefore, following TB’s own logic we can clearly see that he can’t be a scientist, otherwise he’d have lost.

25 thoughts on “Clear proof that Tim Ball is not a scientist”

  1. Come on, it’s Christmas time, you can do better than this…I come here for wit and snark, not just rehashed wiki wars and nonentities on WUWT…

    [Ha, you haven’t been exactly prolific yourself of late. I do offer the picture, though, if you want, errm, wit -W]


  2. One cure for boredom: put these on your desktop in, er, rotation:
    Fresh set every 24 hours, more or less, approximately.

    Get the .PNG rather than the .JPG if your monitor makes it worthwhile.

    And sigh over the fact that there’s four times as many pixels on the instrument, most of the time dumbed down by averaging to save bandwidth before the images are sent to Earth.

    Discussion at the AGU’s session on DSCOVR, streaming video.

    Yeah, it won’t transfix you forever and as Brand points out in that session, at 46:39, about viewing the still images, “they’re disturbing to people” — but it’s the best we can get so far.

    With a few rare exceptions each picture’s resolution is cut by averaging 4 pixels into one on the instrument before transmitting it, then they offer .JPGs routinely (.PNGs available if you look).

    Still awesome. But my hunch is the imagery’s degraded partly to avoid inciting the Republicans into trying harder to prevent people from seeing this at all. I think they’re afraid more people will experience the “astronaut effect” reported by those who’ve seen Earth from space (and forecast in a science fiction story “The Far Look” decades ago), if better imagery is widely available.

    As Brand says there: “the whole fundamental point … is respect.”

    To paraphrase him: “It’s 2015. Why don’t we have live streaming high resolution video of the whole Earth yet?”

    There’s some good snark in there too. Gore commenting about the related NASA ‘Globe’ program, “I think my DNA was completely scrubbed off it so it survived a previous Administration …”


  3. Hank @ 3 brings up a good point:

    ” I think they’re afraid more people will experience the “astronaut effect” reported by those who’ve seen Earth from space…”

    More specifically known as the Overview Effect, astronauts who have seen Earth from space report an experience of deeply-felt meaning in relation to the greater whole, and deep reverence for Earth and all of its life. In many ways it corresponds to what Canadian psychiatrist R.M. Bucke called “cosmic consciousness” when he wrote a book by that title in the early 20th century.

    Bucke noted that a similar effect occurred in people who had flown in airplanes, which were new technology at the time: soaring over the Earth, they saw that there were no national boundaries, no state boundaries, only the vast continuity of the land and sea below. Bucke predicted that as “aerial navigation” (as it was then called) became more common, an increasing portion of humanity would come to recognize that our natural condition was that of one planet and one people. That turned out to be correct, as international air travel today has gone a long way toward dissolving the cultural and economic significance of national borders.

    With that in mind, a modest forecast or two:

    As “space tourism” gets going, at first it will be limited to the wealthy. A decent percentage of its wealthy and influential patrons will experience the Overview Effect for themselves, with all the resulting benefits to their worldview. They will return to Earth with new-found insight and a commitment to taking care of this precious blue speck amidst the starlight. That, in a very real way, will contribute to the impetus of humanity to meet our sustainability crises and succeed.

    As space tourism becomes more affordable to the masses, the Overview Effect will become more widespread. One of the direct effects of that, will be recognition of humanity’s capacity to explore the cosmos, and increased support for space exploration.

    For anyone here who is skeptical of space tourism, I’d suggest thinking through the implications of first the wealthy and influential, and later an increasing number of people, encountering the Overview Effect. That, in and of itself, makes space tourism a worthwhile endeavor.


  4. Me, I come here for the snark. Which is of excellent quality. I’m not complaining about that at all. But I’m not sure I’ve seen the wit, unless it’s along the lines of “McIntyre/Dr Roy/Curry/(insert septic name here) is a tosser ha ha ha”


  5. Himawari-8 is indeed a nice view (and a good reminder why the snapshots 2 hours apart from DSCOVR lose all the detail on cloud movements, they move a LOT in that time span, in intricate detail you can see from the live video.

    Himawari-8 is in geosync, usually described as viewing the full hemisphere, but it’s interesting to compare it to the DSCOVR snapshots for what it misses as well as what it shows.

    Right at this time of the year, when Antarctica is tipped toward the Sun, we see it from DSCOVR but barely see the edge of the icecap from Himawari-8’s position.

    And there’s interesting stuff showing around Antarctica — holes in the clouds, breaks in the sea ice.


  6. a Firefox addon:
    Extensions Prevent Fingerprinting on Survey v2
    0 user reviews
    36 users
    Prevent Fingerprinting on Survey v2 initial.rev439.1-signed by lucia

    This plugin tries to prevent browser fingerprinting when you take a Climate survey being conducted by a blogger.


  7. Hank, can you explain just what this does, for the benefit of we luddites who don’t understand “browser fingerprinting”? I recently got an invitation for the latest Bray and von Storch survey so it’s potentially timely.


  8. “browser fingerprinting” — all I know is what ‘oogle tells me, it’s a way of deriving unique identification even if you’re promised anonymity (or no advertiser tracking) from a site.

    ‘oogle the quoted string and there are tools online that will tell you what they can determine about you; fiddle with whatever privacy settings/tools you have, try again. The idea is to get your system set so that from one click to the next it can’t be uniquely identified.

    I read somewhere that according to someone who used to work for Amazon, just as a for-instance, they try to track everyone everywhere, not just when they visit Amazon sites, so when you show up on an Amazon site their database has a good idea of what your interests and needs are and what you’re susceptible to following. But that’s just hearsay, of course.

    Excuse me, there’s a drone at the door ….


  9. Panopticlick
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    It’s possible to configure your browser to thwart tracking, but many people don’t know … Panopticlick will analyze how well your browser and add-ons protect you …

    Device fingerprint – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A device fingerprint or machine fingerprint or browser fingerprint is information collected about a remote computing device for the purpose of identification.
    ‎Essentials – ‎Active vs passive collection – ‎OSI model fingerprints – ‎Limitations

    Browser fingerprints, and why they are so hard to erase ……/browser-fingerprints-and-wh...
    Network World
    Feb 17, 2015 – Fingerprinting is an increasingly common yet rarely discussed technique of identifying individual Web users….


  10. Several years ago, circa 2010, I debated Tim Ball on a local conservative radio station in Portland, OR, for about an hour. From what I recall, mostly he railed about the urban heat island effect and that it hadn’t been considered when determining temperature trends. I pointed out that it has been discussed widely in the scientific literature since the 1980s, and he should have published about it then, and that he only had about 4 peer reviewed publications in his entire career, and none of them important.

    He whined about that. There was more to the debate, such as that I blamed Katrina on AGW in a Guardian op-ed around that time. A mistake, I said, but not the answer I would have given today.

    Meanwhile, Tim Ball is not a climate science expert, and this has been admitted in a court of law.

    After the Calgary Herald published an op-ed by Ball on April 19, 2006, whom the newspaper identified as the first climatology PhD in Canada and a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years, they published a letter on April 23, 2006 from Dr. Dan Johnson, a professor at the University of Lethbridge, who pointed out that neither of those descriptions is true; that Dr. Ball’s credentials were being seriously overstated. Ball later threatened Johnson and the Herald and ultimately sued for defamation.

    In their Statement of Defense filed in Court, the Calgary Herald submitted the following:

    1. “…that the Plaintiff (Ball) never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming.

    2. “The Plaintiff has never published any research in any peer-reviewed scientific journal which addressed the topic of human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming

    3. “The Plaintiff has published no papers on climatology in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals since his retirement as a Professor in 1996;

    4. “The Plaintiff’s credentials and credibility as an expert on the issue of global warming have been repeatedly disparaged in the media; and

    5. “The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”

    Ball dropped his lawsuit.

    Source: The Calgary Herald, Statement of Defense – paragraph 50, Dr Tim Ball v The Calgary Herald, In the Court of the Queen’s Bench of Alberta Judicial District of Calgary, Dec 7, 2006 (

    More at:


  11. David – the science of the urban heat island effect goes back much, much further:

    Except in the period of rapid climatic temperature change occurring since about 1890, observed temperature records, with few individual exceptions, are concluded to be very misleading as direct measures of macroclimatic change over periods longer than a few decades. With their use in climatic studies, particularly those extending back of 1900, isolation of the effects of widespread urban development and frequent thermometer relocation is imperative. At average stations in the United States, urban development has contributed local temperature rises at the rate of more than 1F in a century. The influence of very large cities has not been in proportion.

    This from the abstract to J. Murray Mitchell Jr’s 1953 paper – On the Causes of Instrumentally Observed Secular Temperature Trends

    Concerns over the effect of urban development and station relocations goes back to at least the early 1950s.

    Judging from denier sites you’d think they invented *both* concerns 🙂


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