This contest was clearly too easy. As the first respondent pointed out, I telegraphed the answer by calling the author of this graph, Dr. Timothy F. Ball, a “distinguished” Canadian climatologist. it seems that sarcasm CAN translate to the printed page once in a while.
The graph, complete with a trend line from the top of one peak to the bottom of the next valley, was taken from a lecture that Ball gave to the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy, which can be found here.
As recently as Monday Feb 5, 2007, the presumptuous Dr. Tim Ball was still advertising himself as “the first Canadian PhD in climatology.”
Here, for the record, is an incomplete list of Canadian climatologists, all of whom received their PhDs before Ball (1983). Each of these has a list of publications and accomplishments that should leave the good Dr. Ball chastened, if not humiliated, when he tries to pass himself off as a Canadian expert.
The deathless and - in many specific respects - completely fictional meanderings of Dr. Tim Ball have begun appearing again on right-wing blogs all over the net. At City Troll, at Convenient Untruth and at New Orleans Lady, the same tired and retreaded old climate rant paints Dr. Ball as the courageous victim of a plot to silence a well-meaning skeptic.
But Ball can’t even tell the truth about his own resume. His claim to be the first Climatology Ph.D. in Canada is a total falsehood; his degree was in historical geography - not climatology - and it was nowhere near the first ever granted to someone writing vaguely in the field. It also was granted by the university as a doctor of philosophy, not the more prestigious “doctor of science” that Ball claims in these articles.
The plaintiff Dr. Tim Ball - much maligned even before he launched his ill-fated lawsuit against Dr. Dan Johnson - is in for another thrashing in the (attached) Statement of Defence filed in December by the Calgary Herald.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.