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On The Death Of Climate Scientist Dr. Tim Ball

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Canadian climate scientist Dr. Tim Ball passed away on Saturday, September 24. A brief obituary has been posted on the Watts Up With That website. Ball had a long career as a professor at the University of Winnipeg, although he had been retired for a number of years, and was 83 when he died.

Regular readers of this blog will likely recognize Ball as someone who commented here from time to time. I also had sporadic email correspondence from Ball, which was always respectful and informative.

Ball was that rarity of a climate scientist in the world of academia with the temerity and courage to say and repeat that CO2 is a beneficial gas. He would not back down, in a world that rapidly went insane and became increasingly intolerant and hostile to his position.

Notably, Ball did not shy away from calling out the biggest scamsters of the climate hustle, most particularly one Michael Mann. Mann is a professor at Penn State who was the lead creator of the IPCC’s iconic “hockey stick” graph that has been used to sell global warming hysteria to the world for the last 20+ years.

For today I’d like to review the disparate treatments accorded to Ball and Mann by various institutions. The moral is, it sure pays to be a useful idiot for the left. This post will draw substantially on a previous post I wrote back in 2019 titled “Michael Mann Hockey Stick Update: Now Definitively Established To Be Fraud.”

That post goes into extensive detail on a lawsuit between Mann and Ball that ultimately ended in total victory for Ball. Here is an abbreviated version of the story in the Mann/Ball litigation, excerpted from that post:

[In 2011 a] prominent skeptical climate scientist in Canada named Tim Ball accused Mann of fraud in generating the Hockey Stick graph. The famous quote, from a February 2011 interview of Ball, was “Michael Mann should be in the State Pen, not Penn State.” In March 2011, Mann sued Ball for libel, focusing on that quote, in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. Here is a copy of the Complaint. . . . The case then essentially disappeared into limbo for eight plus years. But on [August 23, 2019] the British Columbia court dismissed Mann’s claim with prejudice, and also awarded court costs to Ball.

Ball’s accusation against Mann was solidly based on the work of Canadian mathematician Steve McIntyre in attempting to reconstruct the Hockey Stick graph, and also on the so-called ClimateGate emails, released from the University of East Anglia (collaborators of Mann) in 2009.

McIntyre conclusively demonstrated, based on disclosures in the ClimateGate emails, that Mann had truncated data in generating the Hockey Stick in order to achieve the presentation that he wanted. But throughout the process of McIntyre trying to reconstruct his work, Mann flatly refused to share the data and methods that he had used to generate the graph.

And then, even after suing Ball in British Columbia, Mann continued his refusal to produce his underlying data. That’s not something that a litigant can get away with, although in this case, it took eight long years.

From the 2019 post:

Mann absolutely refused to provide the underlying information in the Ball litigation. . . . The court repeatedly tried to get an agreement that something would be produced that would satisfy Ball, and repeatedly gave Mann more time to comply. Could this really go on for eight years? In the U.S., that would be extraordinary, but not impossible. . . . [I]n 2017 Mann actually agreed (under court pressure) to produce to Ball within 21 days the key technical information about construction of the Hockey Stick graph that Ball was requesting. But the information was not produced. Undoubtedly there have been multiple returns by Ball to the court since then to enforce compliance, finally seeking the dismissal of Mann’s claims as the ultimate sanction. On Friday [August 23, 2019], the court granted that relief.

Thus Ball was fully vindicated in the end by the court. As to Mann, we are all entitled to draw the obvious adverse inference from his failure to disclose that his data and methods were faulty and could not stand the light of day. From Mann’s truncation of data in the construction of the Hockey Stick graph, we are further entitled to draw the inference that his misrepresentation was intentional.

In Canada, a loser in court is required to pay the fees and costs of the winner. Ball was awarded the fees and costs in an oral ruling by the court. When I wrote the post in August 2019, the transcript of that hearing was not yet available. However, today at Real Climate Science, Tony Heller has a screenshot of the relevant portion:

As you can see, Mann’s lawyer (McConchie) did not even oppose the application for costs, since that is the norm in Canadian litigation. But, in an event that will probably surprise no one, it turns out that in the intervening three years the execrable Mann has never paid anything to Ball.

Ball was essentially wiped out financially by the costs of the litigation, to the extent that a GoFundMe [will be] started by Anthony Watts to help his family pay for funeral expenses. Follow this link if you would like to contribute.

And how has Mann fared while his iconic work was demonstrated to be dishonest and his lawsuit was going down in flames? For starters, Mann continues to hold his “Distinguished Professorship” at Penn State. But that’s only the beginning:

  • In 2017 Mann received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One.
  • In 2018, Mann received the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union.
  • Also in 2018, the American Association for the Advancement of Science — the largest professional association of scientists in the world, claiming to have more than 120,000 members — gave its supposedly prestigious “Public Engagement with Science” award to Mann. Here is its announcement of the award. Some choice excerpts:
    The honor recognizes Mann’s “tireless efforts to communicate the science of climate change to the media, public and policymakers.” In the past year, Mann has had 500 media interviews and appearances and directly reached public audiences via social media. . . . He has also advised actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who spoke about climate change during a 2014 speech delivered to the United Nations.
  • In 2019 Mann then won something called the “Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement,” which the Penn State release on the event says is “often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for the Environment” and is the “premiere international award for environmental science.” The Tyler Prize came with $200,000 in cash plus a gold medallion.
  • And just now in 2022, Mann received the Leo Szilard Lectureship Award from the American Physical Society. According to Penn State’s release announcing this latest one, “[the Szilard] award recognizes outstanding accomplishments by physicists in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society in such areas as the environment, arms control, and science policy.”

It’s like the New York Times and The Washington Post getting the Pulitzer Prize for spreading the Trump/Russia hoax. But it seems that the scientists have no end to these awards that will be given to the guy who most loudly promotes the official narrative of the left, no matter how misleading,

I always found Tim Ball to be gracious and of good humor, in addition to his great courage in standing up to tremendous pressure. All people of goodwill in the climate community should miss him greatly.

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