Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Avalanche of Disinformation from Harris and Ball

Two of biggest frauds in the anti-science industry are Tom Harris and Tim Ball. They recently ran an editorial that had numerous faults, fallacies, and false arguments that I had to respond. Essentially, they claim global warming isn't real because they want to question one data base. Of course, they conveniently forget to mention how there are numerous data bases and they all show the same thing. Also, they especially fail to mention Berkeley Earth. That's because it's the grand embarrassment for the anti-science crowd. This is an organization which was initially funded by the Heartland Institute for the purpose of showing AGW isn't real. It developed a data base completely separate from the ones used by the four governmental organizations. What did they find? Almost exactly the same thing. Hmmm. No wonder Ball and Harris fail to mention it.

You can read the original piece by Ball and Harris here. You can read my response here. I'm also reproducing it below.


Climate Change Deniers Attempt to Bury Public with an Avalanche of Propaganda

By Dr. Christopher Keating

Tim Ball and Tom Harris inform the reader with their title that they are not serious when they use the term “propaganda” to describe climate science.

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

These are two people whose job it is to deceive the public about climate change and are both paid shills of the fossil fuel industry. Tom Harris has strong ties to the tobacco and fossil fuel industries, even though he continues to deny it. He also has a strong affiliation with the Heartland Institute which is currently recommending the EPA appoint a man who was arrested on charges of raping his own children and convicted of attempted sodomy on his own under-age daughter. ( These are the people Tom Harris has professional association with. You can read more about his deceptions on climate change at

Contrary to his by-line, Tim Ball is a doctor of historical geography. He is not a climatologist as he claimed and was not a member of the Department of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg. There was no such department while he was there. He has never been a climate scientist and does not have any peer-reviewed papers on the subject. When Ball sued a paper for libel, the court documents stated, Ball "never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming."  Continuing, the courts also stated, "The Plaintiff's credentials and credibility as an expert on the issue of global warming have been repeatedly disparaged in the media,” and "The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist."

Now that we know the nature of these two individuals, we shouldn’t be surprised to find their article is full of deceptions and they do not disappoint. It’s important to note they produce not even a single scientific reference to support any of their claims. They simply want you to accept their word for it.
In the opening paragraph, Ball and Harris state, “We’ll be told that extreme weather, sea level rise, and shrinking sea ice are all about to get much worse if we do not quickly phase out our use of fossil fuels.” Strangely enough, we were told exactly that, but not by the UN Conference. The Trump administration this week released the Fourth National Climate Assessment ( Among other things, the report states, “It is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” And, “In addition to warming, many other aspects of global climate are changing, primarily in response to human activities.  Thousands of studies conducted by researchers around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; diminishing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea levels; ocean acidification; and increasing atmospheric water vapor.” There is more. Read the NOAA summary at: And, let’s be clear that this assessment comes from an administration that has repeatedly stated that manmade climate change is not real and has done everything in its power to undermine climate science.

Ball and Harris make several dubious comments that have no basis in reality. For instance, they claim that without a good understanding of past weather, forecasts of future climate change are “impossible.” This is a false statement in multiple ways. First, contrary to their claim, we have a good understanding of past weather conditions. And, not only is it possible to make meaningful forecasts, but we are already doing a good job of it. Again, contrary to what the science-haters will tell you, climate models are good and getting better. Read more about models here:; and here: There are many other places, but these, and the links therein, will get you started.

The science-hating tandem then attacks the data, which is a losing proposition. What Ball and Harris attempt to do is attack one data set with deceptive claims, with the hope that it will taint all data. They do this all the while failing to mention that the data are all confirmed with multiple data sources. People like Ball and Harris like to cherry-pick one datum point to support their claims (citing how a given town is experiencing the coldest temperature in some long period of time, for instance), but scientists don’t. Data is collected from multiple sources, such as tree rings or cores from sea floor and ice shelves, plus others. What we find is that the multiple sources are all consistent, each confirming the findings of the others.

They state, “Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations. And none of the Earth’s oceans, which cover 70% of the planet, had more than the occasional station separated from its neighbor by thousands of kilometers.” So? What is the significance of this statement? They give none, which is good because there is none. But they continue, stating, “Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful.” Of course, this is a false statement. What is true is that the resolution and fidelity is not ideal, but the data is most definitely meaningful, especially when confirmed by those many other data sets. And, the data is only improving with time and this improving resolution is showing the same trend as before.

They continue, claiming satellite data does not show global warming. This claim is based on papers by Roy Spencer and John Christy, two well-known climate change deniers. Review of their papers found them to be so flawed they were withdrawn. And yet, Ball and Harris want you to believe the false claims. Read about these papers here:

They then make the preposterous claim, “So, bureaucrats closed most of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations, thereby yielding the warming desired for political purposes.” As you might expect by now, the reality is vastly different. Read a detailed report on this here:

Their conclusion from this deception? They claim the data is meaningless. Take a moment to think about this statement. They themselves claim the data has become more accurate over time, therefore, according to them, this makes it ‘meaningless.’

And, they want you to believe this.

The reality is, our understanding of the historical climate is quite good and our understanding of the present day climate is excellent and getting better. What they don’t want you to know is that the science is overwhelming conclusive and nearly all climate scientists around the world agree – manmade emissions are causing the world’s climate to change.

As it turns out, there really was an avalanche of propaganda, but it came from Ball and Harris, not the climate scientists.

Dr. Christopher Keating is a physicist and conducts research in planetary geophysics, including climate change.

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