For more than a decade, the Heartland Institute has tried to explain to the public, in courteous terms, that the idea of a human-caused global warming catastrophe is a delusion, and that its proponents should not be allowed to waste the world’s economic resources through arrogant efforts to alter the planet’s climate.
Tim Ball, Ph.D., takes up the issue with strong words in his new book, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science. He argues, with overwhelming evidence, that in fact the global warming debate in the halls of science has been an unmitigated fraud perpetrated by people who no longer have the right to be called scientists. Their collective goals have been to alter society radically while enriching themselves, he argues.
Each of the book’s 13 chapters opens with a picture of a major player in this historical drama of the corruption of climate science. A few are heroes, such as Richard Lindzen, Michael Crichton, and Vaclav Klaus, but most are villains, such as Maurice Strong, Paul Ehrlich, James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and Al Gore.
The book is a history of the people and groups who used unwarranted fear of human-caused climate change to undermine science by influencing governments and the private sector to spend vast sums of money on scientists who agreed to climb aboard the global warming gravy train. It also describes the character assassination and dearth of support directed toward those who resisted.
Ball begins correctly at the modern beginning of stifling environmentalism, Paul Erhlich’s egregious and fallacious 1967 book, The Population Bomb, followed by the 1972 Club of Rome report, both of which preached population growth must be stopped or our world was doomed. Then the 1992 UN Rio Conference, led by Canadian tycoon Maurice Strong, developed Agenda 21, a bureaucratic justification for tying population growth to other perceived evils such as global warming.
Strong ultimately conceived of and implemented the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which essentially was engineered to determine that mankind controls the climate. Designating carbon dioxide as an evil, the IPCC created an agenda for stifling economic growth wherever it was occurring. As with so many of our worst politicians, the IPCC is well-described by journalist H. L. Mencken’s famous quote, repeated by Ball: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Ball explains the many mathematical climate models and the surprising fact that despite all their failures at prediction, governments have been quick to implement actions based on them. He notes the scientists who make the models eliminate many variables from their equations to make it possible for supercomputers to reach a conclusion in less than an eon. These choices just happen to skew the models in the desired direction of predicting disastrous global warming.
Nowhere is Ball more instructive than in his explanation of how the IPCC always releases its Summary for Policymakers well ahead of each session’s full report and then makes sure the full report agrees with the pre-written summary. The summaries never admit to any uncertainty or counter-evidence that may appear in the full reports.
By now you are probably aware of Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” fantasy, but you will be amazed at the full story of how prestigious scientists conspired to hide its obvious flaws. Ball recounts the release of thousands of emails from East Anglia University in the United Kingdom, whose climate center was behind a plot to undermine any real science in the climate change debate. Phil Jones is known to have been the primary figure in this, and Ball lashes him to the mast by reprinting email after email in a chronological manner that leaves no doubt regarding this terrible conspiracy to deceive.
Ball’s passion for this subject is palpable throughout the book, but nowhere more than in the following paragraph:
“How much longer can the IPCC maintain the charade? How long before the IPCC and its machinations are understood by enough leaders to elicit some backbone? It is incredible that the IPCC and their manipulation of climate science continue to drive world energy and economic policies. How many more people must starve and economies collapse before this most egregious exploitation driven by environmentalists is stopped?”
The book does suffer from a lack of an index or even a table of contents, and it is overly repetitive and contains far more quoted passages than necessary, sometimes reading like the transcript of a trial. In defense of Ball, however, I can say he has left nothing out of this complete history, which is fully known only to those who have been knee-deep in this controversy for decades.
Too many of us on the right side of science still treat the global warming leadership with respect they do not deserve. Too many of us, as old-time radio’s “Shadow” often said, do not know “what evil lurks in the minds of men.” With this book, Tim Ball will clearly disabuse you of such erroneous judgments.
Jay Lehr (email@example.com) is science director of The Heartland Institute.