Interview 992 - Tim Ball on Geography, Politics and Cognition

01/19/201512 Comments

Dr. Tim Ball of joins us once again for a wide-ranging conversation on geopolitics, history and cognition. We also engage the annual "hottest year ever" claim and detail the real science behind global temperature averages.


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  1. Al Saleh says:

    I loved this interview. Thank you.

    Perhaps Dr. Ball might like the writings of Richard Phillips Feynman. Dr. Feynman wrote some inspiring modern physics courses that looked as physics as the study of nature, not the modelling of nature, he made sure his students understood nature, then they would understand the models created by mathematicians about nature.

    And James, I think you will love TED selection of Feynman talks:

  2. candideschmyles says:

    I did consider not commenting on this but since I endured the whole rambling pointlessness of it I claim I have earned the right to do so.
    Especially as your first link goes to a site that receives almost all of its funding from globalists and capitalists you spend most of your time trying to expose, and roughly 18% of its funding from 98-07 from Exxon.
    A perusal of its battles finds it in venomous support of fracking, scrapping low level ozone targets, the Keystone oil pipeline, burning dirty coal and more. So James I just don’t get why you support this voice of the capatilists. I really don’t. Indeed I find it perplexing and disquieting.
    Looking through Dr Balls contribution to our scientific legacy I am unimpressed to say the least. His one contribution to “climate science” was in fact that which he just condemned, a mathematical computer modelling of HBC archive data. And it seems the only citations he ever received are from his other oil industry funded “science prostitutes”.
    All that aside it is just ridiculous to even contemplate that the over 1 billion cars pumping out some 1520,000,000 tons of co2 annually has no effect. (Figure extrapolated by me from UK figures based on 9000 miles per car per year ). And that’s just from cars. In 120 years atmospheric co2 has increased by 25% and is higher than it has been for at least 2million years and this increase is accelerating. Temperature variation quibbling is a disengenious distraction and part of the strategy of Dr.Ball’s paymasters. It is fair enough to be critical and demanding of IPCC data but to believe the human footprint is harmless is just farcical.

    • Whether there are or aren’t certain business interests in oil that fund research to debunk “climate change” does not mean that the arguments for “climate change” are any better or the arguments against “climate change” any less valid. This fallacy of association can be misleading.

      In my opinion, the “climate gate” scandal with the leaked emails and tampered statistics is enough for me to doubt the climate change myth. Growing up, all I heard was “global warming,” and now it’s all about the rebranded phrase “climate change.” After all this is the same thought strain of anti-human transhumsnist-eugenicist-globalist thinking, that, like Malthus before, seeks to blame humanity for every problem. The ultimate goal is control. When politicians, talking heads and the controlled media all push the same idea, ad nauseum, I’m sorry, but my bullshit indicators tend to go off. “Why am I being told to believe this from every orifice of communication? Why are they so insistent?”

      Ultimately, this quote best captures the essence of ideological zeal in every manifestation:

      “You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

      They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”

      –Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

      • candideschmyles says:

        Climate change is as inevitable as a sunrise. Anthropogenic influence on climate and on natural ecosystems is what concerns me. Since the industrial revolution human population has increased from under one to over seven billion people and is expected to reach ten billion by the end of the century. Carbon emissions to enable this exponential growth cannot be wished out of basic atmospheric chemistry. The atmosphere is not an infinite system. It should and must be thought of as a fragile finite system and dramatically altering its chemistry in ways we are certain will effect its various cycles should be strictly limited. Not because we know what will happen but because the consequences of the uncertainty have the potential to be not only devestating but to all practical purposes irreversible.
        As I have stated before Tim Ball is not, (in my opinion and by way of his funding and dishonest claims about his own expertise), any more credible than the governments that exploit the science to extract extra tax revenues. However most climate and environmental scientists are honest and dedicate their lives to the procurement of real and honest data. It is those scientists I listen to and not those that are out to politicise it to one camp or the other.
        Mostly however I think it very important that Dr Ball lies about his academic career and has received funding from the big oil lobby. And listening to his rambling monologue there is little of any value to take away from it. Even his recommendations like Carl Sagans “Broca’s Brain” are so out of date, (I read it over 30 yes ago), as to be worthless. In today’s video Sybel Edmonds says she is not afraid of not being popular and of distaste for the guru complex. Well I am with her on that. To me Dr Ball is nothing more than an irrelevant old man with nothing to say courting the oil industry to top up his pension.

      • Of course “climate change” is inevitable. I like to avoid this type of vague phrase. Basically, what you are saying is that: (1) climate change occurs; (2) anthropogenic warming (via the CO2 conduit) leads to climate change; (2) anthropogenic warming is caused by man. The assertion tends to perpetuate a tautology, much like Darwinian evolution. Given “Climate Gate” and the blatant tampering and fiddling with statistics and numbers, the above propositions seem absurd to me. Moreover, seeing the forces that have funded and brought these views to the fore, like the Club of Rome, and other globalist think tanks, makes me even more skeptical.

        Like the Darwinian tautology, when the facts don’t fit the theory, instead of being scientific and looking inward at their own theory (perhaps the problem is in the way they postulate this), the court scientists fiddle with the numbers to hold fast to an immutable theory and go down the road of consensus science. I am reminded of how evolutionary biologists used to believe that Darwinian evolution occurred slowly, and gradually, over time. The only problem was the paucity of intermediate forms in the fossil record. Not a problem! Enter Stephen Jay Gould and ‘punctuated equilibria’ whereby evolutionary changes must be ‘rapid’ and ‘sudden’ so that we don’t see those intermediate forms. One should not infer from this I am a “Creationist” either, as reality is more nuanced than the Manichean views we are often asked to choose from.

        Your assertions about “exponential growth” and how the “human population has increased from under one to over seven billion” is pretty much repeating Malthus’ discredited views. You should note that Darwin was very much influenced by Malthus’ views and incorporated a lot of it into his own evolutionary theory, the mélange of which led to social Darwinist type thinking of applying the “survival of the fittest” concept to human populations, and we saw the abominable results this led to in the 20th century. In fact, the developed countries prove that as things get better, humans breed less, not more. Look at the imploding birthrates in Europe, Japan, the U.S. (which the only reason the population has increased is due to immigration).

        So because the earth may be warming (debatable) it must ipso facto be a result of human CO2 emissions. This leads to a very self-limiting view whereby it automatically shuts out any other potential sources of possible warming (debatable), whether they are from the effect that such things as geoengineering may have, the possible influence of solar activity and cosmic rays including the earth’s orbit itself. Nope. None of those are worth any inquiry because we have an easy answer by appealing to our ignorance – humans did it! That must be it!

      • candideschmyles says:

        Consensus in science is only as good as the first solid evidence to refute it. The denial camp produces little to zero evidence to refute the fundamentals of the pertinent scientific basis for a cautionary approach to playing with our atmosphere. Certain undeniable truths such as historically significant melting in the Greenland ice shelf, thawing in Siberian permafrost, disappearing mountain glaciers in every continent and the rapid acceleration of West Antarctic glacier calving all transcend arguments of mediaeval warm periods or short lived solar cycles. The arguments put forward by oil industry stooges like Dr Ball do not under any scrutiny even begin to cast doubt on the science done by hundreds of researchers doing the actual fieldwork. I trust that the vast majority of research scientists are doing good science and I do so because I have taken part in gathering data myself. There are tens of thousands of volunteers like myself that support scientists doing the groundwork and collecting data. To believe that they are all duped or in collusion to promote a lie is not only ridiculous it is insulting.
        Yes science often gets things wrong but it is the best we have. And it is the papers of these researchers on the periphery of the subject, these tens of thousands of barely reported findings that inform my opinion on the veracity of the larger picture.
        Even looking at the recent history of the debate governments only came on board after science got it right on acid rain and ozone depletion and even then only once they saw they could use it to increase taxes. Up until very recently denial was mainstream and scientists had to fight tooth and claw to get any funding for research.
        As for population growth I am aware of and have some confidence in the idea that population will plateau at about 11 or 12 billion. But how does that detract from the fact it is still an insane growth rate since preindustrial levels and that they are each and every one responsible for producing more carbon than any individual in history prior to the 1800s. I have no issue with population reaching 15billion so long as it is sustainable and does not lead to mass suffering. It may be unscientific but you need only look at the sattelite images of city lights at night to realise our footprint is scary. And warming alone is only a part of the picture. Chemical and genetic modification is introducing many unknown quantities into that thin blue line of our biosphere that have never existed prior to very recently. And it is the same corporate giants that are responsible. Even if, like me, you believe that Lamarckian evolutionary theory is meritous and life can adapt extremely quickly it is not a good excuse to not be cautionary.

  3. rpmroland says:

    Excellent interview James thank you.
    The more information I learn regarding the subject of climate change, the more alarmed I begin to feel. One thing that I am very concerned about is the fact that Obama mentioned climate change as the number one concern he has for this “new century.” He predicted catastrophic drought, floods, and massive population migration. Living in California, where severe drought is currently plagued by, I can’t help but consider how we have estimates of 12 months worth of water left in our reservoirs – an analysis made about 2 months ago. Since then, we’ve had about 3-5 days of rain. Another factor; anytime one looks up in the sky, the streaks of man-produced clouds continue without one peep from the public.

  4. Louwittner says:

    You *MUST* have this guy back for more interviews!
    I REALLY want to hear his thoughts on “politics” and psychology!

  5. nosoapradio says:

    I believe George Carlin’s so eloquently stated position on pollution can be extended to the “man-made climate change” debate.
    If man needs to tend to carbon emissions (though other environmental emergencies would seem more pressing) it’s most notably in “his” own interest. The planet isn’t going anywhere with or without climate change – man-made or otherwise. Man, on the other hand, may poison himself to death with fossil fuel emissions.
    This nuance between saving humans and “saving the earth” is crucial.
    Having said this, given the collossal power and age of the elements involved in climate change: time, the sun, the solar system travelling through space and galactical spiral arms with varying degrees of cosmic rays and the fluid dynamics of the oceans, the ocean’s currents, planetary winds and physical transformations with the atmosphere, man’s contribution from his 3% urban occupation of the puny earth’s tiny 18% landmass is clearly overpowered by greater cosmic elements.
    However, the IPCC and carbon credit’s politically created and marred history would seem charged with money-making agendas.
    And there is no consensus contrary to politically motivated individuals’ claims.

    • candideschmyles says:

      George Carlin was a comedian who made a living from being an edgey contrarian delivering unchallenged monologues. While his point that “we are all fucked” is an ultimate truth if we were to live by that philosophy then we need to start giving our children loaded guns to play with instead of toys. Now while that may be the American way not everybody agrees with it.
      We cannot predict nor mitigate the risk for every potential cosmic disaster however these are rare events. What we do do when crossing a busy road is look and choose a safe route to cross. What you advocate is closing your eyes and just step out in the hope you make it across. Or pissing in your own drinking water. Or crapping in your own chair. The Earth is a finite system and our contributed pollutants are perhaps not a threat to the survival of life itself but they are a very real threat to the beauty and complexity of life as we inherited it. I value that diversity and want my grandchildren to enjoy it too. If you don’t then its your choice but you have no right to break what is not yours.

  6. nosoapradio says:

    Nope Candide,

    Not what I said or implied. Strange rant you made just there.

    Said if we decide to take care of carbon in any meaningful way (that’s not necessarily designed to make more money for the rich while impeding the development of “developing countries” ie carbon exchange credits etc.)

    then we need to do it for the well-being of humans and not for or within the context of some other hidden eugenicist agenda.

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