Tim (C-A-B-A-L) Ball: Climate Science is All a Conspiracy!

Read time: 4 mins

A two-hour, 32-minute audio tape of a Tim Ball lecture (finally available here) features one of Canada’s most compromised climate change deniers (see especially here, here or here) making sweeping and silly pronouncements, getting caught out in misrepresenting data and, finally, attributing all climate science to a socialist plot by an aging Canadian businessman and United Nations supporter.

The audio, recorded April 7, 2010 at a meeting of the University of Victoria Young Conservatives Club, is crackly and begins badly (most people will want to start around the nine minute mark). It starts with Ball going on at length about his bona fides as an environmentalist and touting his life-time total of “peer-reviewed” publications at 23. (This, presumably, would include the four [4] publications listed on the ISI Web of science and 19 others that were, perhaps, checked over by Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, before being typed up for printing in a journal, website or daily paper not generally read among diligent academics.)

Dr. Ball falls into his usual truthiness with comments like this (at around the 34:00 minute mark):

“These guys (the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) can’t tell you the weather 10 days from now but they’re telling you what it’s going to be like 100 years from now. How does that work? They try to argue that one is climate and one is weather, well I’m sorry climate is made up of weather, climate is the average of the weather. If you can’t get the weather right the climate isn’t going to be right.”

… after which, he adds, in reference to the science contributors to the IPCC process, “They’ve been wrong on every single projection they have made since they brought out their first report in 1992.”

Every single projection: can you imagine?

At around 1:02, Ball gets caught cooking his data, at first extrapolating ice core data from Greenland to argue that the world is cooling and then admitting that such a sweeping contention is unsupportable on this dataset. He says:

“Ice core from Greenland that shows you the variation in temperature over the last 10,000 years. … Here’s the current temperature over here and what you see is that for most of the last 10,000 years the world has been warmer than it is at the present. You could in fact argue that the world has cooled down for the last 3,000 years.”

Student: “Is this a representative: does that say everything about the whole world?”

Ball: “That’s a good question … All you can say is that it is representative of Greenland and possibly the northern hemisphere. You really shouldn’t extrapolate this beyond the northern hemisphere.”


A geographer with no background in atmospheric physics, Dr. Ball has nevertheless distinguished himself as, at the very least, an avid hobbyist - as someone who has read enough about climate science to have begun to understand the overwhelming case for concern about anthropogenic warming. If you’re looking for an explanation as to why he is not convinced, however, he’s happy to explain..

First, he puts up a slide with a quote attributed to the one-time Petro-Canada CEO and longtime United Nations supporter Maurice Strong: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

(I have no idea as to the authenticity or this quote. It’s all over the internet, but I have never seen it in context.)

At 1:11:00, Ball goes on to proclaim that Strong is the single-minded, single-handed leader of a world-wide scientific conspiracy. Ball says of Strong:

“He set up the United Nations Environment Program, out of which came the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the whole idea of climate as a vehicle for shutting down industrialization.”

A couple of minutes later, at 1:14:46, a student challenges:

“So we have a lot of climate scientists graduating from UVic, so I’m just wondering at what point somebody comes up to you and says here’s your indoctrination to destroy all the industrialized countries in the world through promoting climate change. It seems a little crazy. That just sounds more like a conspiracy theory to me.”

Ball: “Yes, of course, I have always been accused of being a conspiracy theorist. I prefer to call it a cabal. C-A-B-A-L: it’s a group of people who have a particular political agenda … and they use a vehicle to achieve that. That’s certainly what’s gone on with the IPCC.”

So, there you go: the entire world climate science community is populated by patsies who have been recruited by an 80-year-old former oil executive with a secret plan to shatter civilization. That explains everything, then, doesn’t it?

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Someone should take him aside and tell him that he looks more foolish every time he opens his mouth on the subject. I especially like the image conjured up by the student who wonders when the Agent of the Cabal will sidle up and say “Psssst! Wanna join a conspiracy?” Trenchcoat with the collar up, slouching hat, secret decoder ring …