Sunday, 31 May 2020

Canadian Court Slams Trump Climate Advisor in Successful Libel Case


Dr. Andrew Weaver, Nobel
Prize-winning scientist & BC Green
Party MLA who Tim Ball disgracefully
tried, but failed, to libel & discredit.
Climate science denier and Trump transition team advisor Dr. Tim Ball, who a Canadian court earlier derided as incompetent, ill-intended, and apparently indifferent to the truth, has been further rebuffed in the British Columbia Court of Appeal and must now stand libel for a 9-year-old attack against prominent Canadian climate scientist (and outgoing BC Green Party leader) Dr. Andrew Weaver (above). Story here.


This blogger has been trying to sound the alarm over this climate rogue, Tim Ball, for years. More than nine years ago, my hometown newspaper, the Roblin Review, published this letter of mine, below, objecting to the space he'd been given in the paper previously. L.P.
Dear Editor,

I am disappointed in the extreme that a largely discredited individual like Tim Ball was afforded close a full page in the March 15th Roblin Review ("People need to understand plants need C02"), in which to spout his lies about climate change.

Dr. Ball is actually being sued by a Canadian climate scientist, Andrew Weaver, for libel. Dr. Weaver is a leading author with the Nobel-prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A conservative website Ball wrote for has already apologized and retracted certain statements Ball made about Weaver, attacking his credibility. Indeed, the site now seems to have deleted many of the articles Ball had contributed.

The book, "Climate Cover Up - the crusade to deny global warming," describes Ball this way. "There are few 'skeptical scientists' with as little experience and as much ambition as the Canadian geography professor, Dr. Timothy Ball. Never a climate scientist, per se, Dr. Ball quit his position at the University of Winnipeg in 1995, ending an academic career that featured a lifetime output of just four peer-reviewed journal articles, none of which addressed atmospheric science."

Yet Ball continues to make a career out of manipulating media with his folksy style. He seems to have convinced way too many of them that he knows more about the subject than thousands of real climate scientists who now agree that global warming is real and caused by a buildup of greenhouse gases in the air which we humans continue to create through the burning of fossil fuels.

Ball's outright denial that the globe is not warming, but actually cooling, is outrageous. It runs counter to all authoritative evidence available.

A "go-to" agency for credible information on this subject is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a division of the US government. It keeps up-to-date, sophisticated and long-range weather data using computer models, thousands of monitoring stations and satellite readings from around the globe. (Where does Dr. Ball get his information?)

Here is what NOAA has to say. "For 2010, the combined global and ocean surface temperature tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record. 1998 is the third warmest year on record."

Meanwhile, ice cover in the Canadian arctic is receding, at an alarming rate.

So, just what are we to make of all those images we are seeing in the news of polar bears swimming for their lives, gargantuan ice shelves breaking away into the ocean and vast expanses of open water where thick ice-packs once were? Perhaps the media are "photo-shopping" each one, to present a false impression.

Does he really believe there is some kind of conspiracy in the world to "cook the books" on this? What possible motive could they have?

Give me a break, Dr. Ball! Just how stupid do you think we are?

Or might he have an ulterior motive himself? Ball has always been mysterious about where he gets his funding.

As documented in the same book, "Climate Cover-Up," he used to be a front man for "Friends of Science," a shadowy group with a clever, but clear misnomer. Just who were the individuals behind its formation? They included geologists from the Calgary oil patch and some oil industry PR types.

So who would you rather believe? Credible scientists who spend their working lives at the world's leading universities studying these matters, or individuals who get their pay-cheques from an industry with a vested interest in selling as much of its product as possible?

Ball has been a hit as a speaker at livestock conventions in western Canada. But, he is surely revealing himself as anything but a friend to farmers. By actually telling them they "better hope for global warming," he is doing them a profound disservice. Rather than warning them that this phenomenon is likely spawning the very extreme weather events which are ruining their crops and pastures (something now widely believed in the climate science community), he is tacitly giving them the green light to continue the fossil-fuel-rich methods inherent in modern agriculture. Surely this only helps ensure that the problem will not only continue, but worsen.

Larry Powell,

Sunday, 24 May 2020

At least 80 million children under one are at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts

World Health Organization
A WHO photo.
Agencies call for joint effort to safely deliver routine immunization and proceed with vaccination campaigns against deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. Story here.

Friday, 22 May 2020

A Major Oil Pipeline Project Strikes Deep at the Heart of Africa

In the line of fire? Giraffe in a Ugandan National
Park destined for major oil development.
Photo by DrexRockman.
Despite the global plunge in oil prices, a major pipeline that would carry oil 900 miles across East Africa is moving ahead. International experts warn that the $20 billion project will displace thousands of small farmers and put key wildlife habitat and coastal waters at risk.
Story here.

But it's a dry heat: Climate change and the aridification of North America


Photo by Red Charlie
Discussions of drought often centre on the lack of precipitation. But among climate scientists, the focus is shifting to include the growing role that warming temperatures are playing as potent drivers of greater aridity and drought intensification. Story here.

Monday, 18 May 2020

'This pandemic is nothing compared to what climate change has in store'

John Gibbons
IMAGINE FOR A moment that our government and others around the world had been given detailed information and warnings about the coronavirus years, even decades before it finally erupted.  Story here.


Flooding impacts emergency response time in England

 Journal: Nature Sustainability

Before:The Drum Bridge, Dunmurry,UK, 2009.
After: Photos by Albert Bridge
First responders, such as fire and ambulance services, will likely struggle to reach urgent cases in a timely manner during low-level flooding in England. These findings are reported in an analysis of emergency response time in England under adverse geographic and climate conditions, published this week in Nature Sustainability.

Global carbon emissions decline during COVID-19

NATURE RESEARCH - Climate sciences: 
Empty streets are the order of the day now that Covid-19
has forced lockdowns in many places.

Daily global CO2 emissions fell by 17% by early April 2020, compared to mean 2019 levels, as a result of governments’ policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, suggests a paper in Nature Climate Change

Policies implemented by governments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had a significant impact on energy demand globally. With much of the world’s population confined to their homes and international borders closed, consumption and transportation rates have fallen. However, the lack of real-time global emissions data has made it difficult to quantify the impacts.

Corinne Le Quéré and colleagues reviewed a combination of energy, activity and policy data available up to end of April 2020 to estimate the changes in daily CO2 emissions compared to 2019. Changes in CO2 emissions were estimated across six economic sectors — power, surface transport, industry, public buildings and commerce, residential and aviation — under different confinement scenarios. The authors found that total CO2 emissions decreased by 17% by early April 2020 relative to 2019, and that average daily emissions decreased by 26% per country. Emissions from surface transport and aviation fell by 36% and 60%, respectively. Surface transport, power and industry accounted for 86% of the total decline in emissions.
The authors also estimated the impact of this decline on total emissions for 2020. They suggest that if pre-crisis activity levels return by mid-June, there might be a 4% total average decline by the end of year. If some restrictions remain until the end of 2020, average total emissions may decline by 7%.


Canadian Court Slams Trump Climate Advisor in Successful Libel Case

DESMOG CLEARING THE PR POLLUTION THAT CLOUDS CLIMATE SCIENCE Dr. Andrew Weaver, Nobel Prize-winning scientist & BC Green Party ...