On October 21, the Fraser Institute will present a policy briefing on what speaker Tim Ball calls the flawed consensus on global warming. Ball is a retired professor of climatology from the University of Winnipeg now living in Victoria. As a global-warming skeptic, he is in high demand by the front groups sponsored by the fossil-fuel industry.
The Fraser Institute receives $60,000 a year from ExxonMobil Corporation for climate-change work. That's only one percent of the institute's budget but enough for some policy briefings.
For more than 15 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN-mandated body of 2,000 of the world's top climate scientists, has debated climate change. With such a huge selection of expertise, unanimity was not possible, but within a few years a hard-won consensus was achieved. Climate change is occurring, is caused by human activity, and will have serious consequences for humanity, most climate scientists now believe.
Ball is among the handful who claim global warming is not occurring. His particular niche is the argument that since 1940, the world's climate has actually been cooling. The IPCC conclusion that the world is heating up is wrong, he says, because it used "distorted records".
Undistorted records in hand, Ball is promoted by the National Center for Public Policy Research ($225,000 from ExxonMobil) and Tech Central Station (support from ExxonMobil and General Motors). He's a hot topic on the Coalblog Web site, www.coal.ca/blog/?p=134, sponsored by the coal companies.
You could have found him at a conference in Ottawa just days before Parliament adopted the Kyoto Protocol, where he argued that emissions from carbon-based fossil fuels have little impact on climate. That conference was sponsored in part by Imperial Oil and Talisman Energy.