Affidavits filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court libel litigation brought by climate scientist Michael Mann against climate science denier Timothy Ball reveal that Ball's collaborator and self-styled “legal advisor” has misrepresented his credentials and endured some significant legal embarrassments of his own.
The affidavits also reveal that Tim Ball was “aware of the charges against John O'Sullivan almost from the start” and has tried to distance himself from his erstwhile advisor and writing partner.
The affidavits [1, 2] come from research of science and medical writer Andrew Skolnick, who documents O'Sullivan's misrepresentations, backtracking and questionable behavior.
Skolnick's evidence shows that O'Sullivan made a series of false claims, including:
that he was an attorney with more than a decade of successful litigation in New York State and Federal courts;
that he was employed by a major Victoria, B.C.(Canada) law firm that is representing Ball in the libel action;
that he is a widely published writer, with credits in Forbes and the National Review;
that he had received his law degree from the University College, Cork, Ireland and/or from the University of Surrey (O'Sullivan's actual legal accreditation, apparently obtained after the Mann-Ball action commenced, comes from an online degree mill, Hill University, which promises delivery in two weeks);
that he is a member of the American Bar Association.
Last night's entire first segment of The Daily Show focused on the recent study funded by the Koch Brothers that confirmed (again) that climate change is indeed a reality - an ironic twist given the Kochtopus' track record of fueling the climate change denial echo chamber with upwards of $55 million.
As described in an earlier piece on DeSmogBlog, “The [Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST)] paper, an effort to confirm or debunk whether the urban heat island (UHI) effect was skewing climate records, has affirmed - again - that global temperature records are accurate and worrisome.”
In a manner that only John Stewart and his Daily Show team can, they unpacked the hilarious irony of the whole situation. The segment, roughly ten minutes long, is well worth watching for the laughs alone, especially the McRib-ing of the mainstream media's pathetic coverage of climate science and fixation on corporate advertising ploys. And Aasif Mandvi's interviews, of course. Watch the video below:
Climate skeptics are once again proven wrong, and this time even Koch money can't skew the facts.
Have you heard the one from climate deniers that the “Urban Heat Island” effect has ruined all the weather stations and made the data they collect completely useless? The deniers claim any warming trend seen from these temperature recordings is from concrete buildings and asphalt roads – and that climate change is therefore a myth?
That would be false. Says whom, you ask? How about a new Koch-funded scientific study?
Many global warming skeptics have long claimed that the urban heat island effect is so strong that it has skewed temperature measurements indicating that global warming is happening. The skeptics argue that efforts to curb global warming pollution are therefore unnecessary, citing their pet theory that surface temperature stations were swallowed by, or moved closer to, cities, thus skewing surface temperature records on the whole.
The BEST papers – which still must go through rigorous peer review – confirm what climate scientists have correctly stated previously, demonstrating without doubt that “very rural” temperature stations miles from any new “UHI” towns or cities have also recorded warming at 0.9 degrees Celsius over the last century.
To put it plainly, even the Kochtopus denial machine will have a tough time trying to twist this Koch-funded project’s findings. It looks like the Kochs backed the wrong horse here - one wonders whether they thought Hadley CRU would be proven wrong?
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.
There has been an increasing amount of coverage lately about the (anticipated) death of free speech - about the demonizing of people who deny climate change.
This is a dangerous and slightly desperate trend, because it tends to remove climate science from the climate change debate. It also preys on journalists' darkest fears: that the scourge of censorship, once unleashed, will invade every aspect of their practice.
The most recent outcry in defence of climate change denial arose when the prestigious UK science body, the Royal Society, made the unusual public gesture of demanding that ExxonMobil stop funding organizations that attack the climate change consensus.
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.