Time to Straighten out Damage from the Big Lie of Global Warming Starting With Voltaire’s Admonition

“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” – Voltaire

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The big lie that humans are causing climate change spreads as it is promoted by those with a political agenda and their use of a familiar technique to ensnare high profile people. This practice is a fallacious form of argument called Argumentum Ad Verecundiam defined as

…an appeal to the testimony of an authority outside the authority’s special field of expertise.

The latest well-known person exploited in this way is documentary producer Sir David Attenborough, who was taken in by the false story of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). It appears he let his socialist views over-ride any sense of science he might have. The trouble is he doesn’t appear to have any science training. He is an English Grammar School graduate who identifies himself as a naturalist. This is like the practice of people identifying themselves as environmentalists. The truth is that we are all naturalists and environmentalists. It simply denotes that a person cares, but it is not a measure of their knowledge or understanding.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know or understand it is very easy to fall for the biggest lie in scientific history, especially if you are politically and emotionally disposed. The question is, how could Attenborough spend all that time looking at the geology of the planet and not see the extent to which climate changes naturally throughout 4.5 billion years? If he looked, it is startlingly apparent that the current climate situation is well within that natural range. You can only conclude that his lack of scientific objectivity and human response to hero worship, made him easy prey to purveyors of a false message.

Will somebody in contact with Attenborough, preferably someone who claims to know about climate, show him the latest lower Troposphere temperature graph. The data is available to anyone who wants to check it, as David Archibald recently did in his article “Climate: In Case You Were Wondering” (Figure 1). It shows 41 years of no temperature increase, a period that covers most of Attenborough’s adult life and the period when he travelled the world filming nature. During that time, CO2 levels continued to rise in complete contradiction to the original theory. The red line in Figure 1 marks 2004, the year that creators and promoters of the big lie tried to ignore the evidence that showed their theory was wrong. Proof that they knew is in the fact that they changed the name from global warming to climate change.

One option when a big lie is exposed is to admit it; however, the nature of the lie prevents that happening. You understand that when you learn of the original historical definition and objectives of the Big Lie.


Figure 1 from Archibald’s essay

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”

The definition is by Joseph Goebbels and describes the big lie of Nazism with its ultimate goal of a Third Reich to rule the world for a thousand years. It applies just as effectively to the big lie about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) with its goal of establishing a world government through the UN.

The AGW promoters knew from the start it was a lie. Climatologist Stephen Schneider was set the tone when he said, in Discover magazine in 1989:

On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but& which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This double ethical bind which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

Just four years later Senator Timothy Wirth, said it didn’t mean both.

“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

The creators and promoters of the big lie began by narrowing the number of variables to a few of little importance. Then, with the false assumption that an increase in CO2 would cause an increase in temperature, it told the big lie, cloaked in the mystique of a computer model projection. They were wrong because in the historical record temperature increases before CO2; therefore, it does not and cannot cause global warming or climate change.

The only place in the world where a CO2 increase causes a temperature increase is in the computer models of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is the main reason why the model predictions are always wrong. However, the objective of a big lie is to override the truth for as long as possible. One way to do this is to confuse the message by creating a different language or, “Newspeak,” as George Orwell referred to it in his 1949 book 1984.

Newspeak was a language favored by the minions of Big Brother and, in Orwell’s words, “designed to diminish the range of thought.” Newspeak was characterized by the elimination or alteration of certain words, the substitution of one word for another, the interchangeability of parts of speech, and the creation of words for political purposes. The word has caught on in general use to refer to confusing or deceptive bureaucratic jargon.

Every day you hear words and phrases about the weather, climate, and climate change used incorrectly or inappropriately. All of it is part of the deliberate plot to use science for the political agenda and blame humans for what are natural climate conditions. It was deliberately orchestrated to create confusion, and language was at the heart.

The IPCC created the confusion by examining human-caused climate change but let the public believe they were studying all climate change. They didn’t have to do or say much because most people don’t even know the difference between weather and climate. The media constantly confused them.

Weather; is the atmospheric condition at a single place and at a specific time. When you stand outside, it is the sum of everything from cosmic radiation from space, to heat from the bottom of the ocean, and everything in between.

Climate; is the average of the weather over time or in a region. It is a statistic and best summarized by Mark Twain’s astute comment that “climate is what you expect weather is what you get.”

At this point, the discussion requires the context of history because the development of learning about weather and climate was not logical. Today most people are more familiar with meteorology than climatology, and with meteorologists than climatologists, but meteorology is a subset of climatologist. Climate came first, but few know that.

Climatology is the study of climate, a word that originates from the Greek word for inclination. The Greeks understood that the temperature at different latitudes is a function of the angle at which the Sun strikes the surface at noon and how it changes through the day and the year (Figure 1).


Figure 1

From this knowledge, the Greeks determined three climate zones, the Frigid, Temperate, and Torrid in Figure 2.


Figure 2

Aristotle wrote a book titled Meteorologica that was not about meteorology, although that was a small part of the concept. Rather, he was talking about the Greek view of the total Cosmos with its dividing line at the Moon. His student, Theophrastus, addressed the practical side of climate in his book On Weather Signs. This is a collection of folklore about regular events that are climate because they evolved from long-term observations of the weather. The Greeks also examined the relationship between human physical traits and personality and geography and climate. They believed that geography created environmental determinism and climate created climatic determinism.

These ideas prevailed through Montesquieu (1689 – 1755) and others into the 18th century. As one history commentator wrote,

In his famous book, “The Spirit of Laws,” French philosopher Montesquieu proposes the controversial theory that geography and climate can influence the nature of men and societies.

These ideas wandered off into the miasma of Friedrich Ratzel’s book Anthropogeographie (French version), that became the evil basis of Hitler’s ideas on the superiority of people from cold climates over those from warm climates. Meanwhile, the shift was away from climate and back to weather. Ratzel’s life from 1844 to 1904 spanned the transition. Airplanes were invented and by 1914 were a major factor in warfare. They needed detailed and short-term weather forecasts that changed the emphasis from the statistics of climate to the physics and mathematics of the atmosphere. It evolved as Meteorology: the study of the physics of the atmosphere, something considered essential training for weather forecasters. Meteorologists continued to work after the war, initially only working at airports, but gradually being built into the media triumvirate of News, Weather, and Sports. This continued until after WWII when they became synonymous in the public mind with weather to the exclusion of climate and climatologists. Until recently meteorologists received little or no climate training, which is why so many of the media presenters were so misinformed about the global warming issue. Since they were the major source of the public information, confusion reigned.

After WWII very few people, with Hubert Lamb and Reid Bryson being dominant, were even looking at climate. Both of them realized that if you are going to improve forecasting, you must first build an extensive database in space and time. Their work gained no attention because the global cooling from 1940 to circa 1980 only had political implications for groups like the CIA who produced reports on the impact of cooling on food production failures and social unrest that follows.

That changed after 1988 when Senator Wirth and others invited James Hansen of NAAS GISS to produce the scientific lie necessary to promote the big political lie that human CO2 is causing runaway global warming that is destroying the planet. Now the terminology that distorts, distracts, confuses, and limits understanding begins.

The Earth’s atmosphere does not work like a greenhouse, so there really is no Greenhouse Effect. For example, in the greenhouse, the glass blocks 100% of Ultraviolet (UV) light. In the atmosphere, the UV interacts with oxygen to create Ozone (O3), but a portion reaches the surface. The major movement of energy in the atmosphere is by conduction, advection, and change of phase of water. Only conduction occurs in a greenhouse. The greenhouse is a closed system; that is, heat can only leave if you open a window, door, or vent. The atmosphere is always open to space. However, the term was appropriate because it fit the political narrative of Global Warming. This incorrect theory was based on the false assumption that an increase in atmospheric CO2 would cause a temperature increase. Despite the efforts of the creators of the big lie to hide the truth, the lack of warming became blindingly obvious.

In 2004, across the media, the term global warming was replaced by the term climate change, when talking about the work of the IPCC and the threat to the world. In that same year, leaked emails between “Nick” at the Minns/Tyndall Centre, and the group involved in handling PR for the people at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), identified their dilemma. Nick wrote,

“In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public relations problem with the media.”

Swedish alarmist and climate expert on the IPCC, Bo Kjellen replied,

“I agree with Nick that climate change might be a better labelling than global warming.”

Many people noticed the change in terminology, but all it did was create more confusion. Runaway global warming was an aberration, so the idea that humans were to blame was an easy sell. However, many people knew that climate changes, so the claim of human interference became less plausible.

The truth of Climate Change, something that has occurred throughout the Earth’s history, was, as Goebbels predicted, the enemy of the big lie.

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March 30, 2019 8:13 pm

A great post.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
March 31, 2019 8:33 am

One inaccuracy does need correcting: David Attenborough DOES have academic training as a sciencist. He did zoology (and geology) at the University of Cambridge. He’s a member of Clare College, my college too, which is the Cambridge college that always is photographed next to Kings College Chapel on the Backs.

March 30, 2019 8:31 pm

Yes great post. Poor old David Attenborough. I just finished reading that he has a new show on netflix about our imminent doom if ”something is not done now!”
I don’t have Netflix but I can jus imagine what will be on there. Retreating glaciers.
Ok so what else you got?

D. Anderson
Reply to  Mike
March 30, 2019 8:39 pm

I’m done with Netflix. I canceled. Right after they increased their fees again. Also, I don’t want a dime of my money going to the Obamas.

Reply to  D. Anderson
March 31, 2019 8:22 am


Reply to  Drake
March 31, 2019 3:18 pm

They just gave AOC ten million dollars for “her story”. Now there’s a reason to cancel Netflix.

Reply to  Mike
March 30, 2019 11:06 pm

Attenborough is a TV nature documentary presenter. He is well past retirement age and probably needs a little extra income for his old age.

David Archibald recently did in his article “Climate: In Case You Were Wondering” (Figure 1). It shows 41 years of no temperature increase

NO, that is a lie. What he did was take one month’s global average and try to infer there had been no warming ! This site has always opposed such blatant and reprehensible misrepresentation by AGW alarmists. It is a travesty that this sort of false claim was published here in the first place and is now parroted by the ever unreliable Dr Ball.

If you want to provide fodder for alarmists to prove that WUWT is factually unreliable “denier central” then you probably could not give them a better present.

Anthony, you have had to pull Tim Ball up before. Please consider where this kind of silly fallacious claim in taking this site.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 2:10 am

That’s right! And he forgot to dot an ‘ i ‘ as well!

Oooh that unreliable Dr. Ball…

Reply to  Klem
March 31, 2019 5:56 am

I don’t mind if he forgets to dot the i’s but parroting a stupid, false claim that there has not been any warming for 41y, based on one months ave. temperature is a pretty pathetic way to start “straightening out the Big Lie”.

Dr Ball is well read and educated enough to recognise that as a fraudulent misrepresentation of the temperature data used just as quickly as I did. It is also such a surprising claim that demands instant verification ( which it fails equally instantly ).

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 6:16 am

Let me just remind everyone what David Archibold’s claim was ( which is being cited by Tim Ball here ):

The last data point is February 2019 with a result of -0.03 degrees C. So we have had 40 years of global warming and the temperature has remained flat.

That is patently a false claim. One month the not make 40 years of data “flat”. Temperature has NOT remained flat.

Dr Tim Ball then represents this as :

It shows 41 years of no temperature increase

Equally stupid , non scientific and fanciful claim. Am I really going to recommend anyone I’m trying to convince CAGW is a scam to come to this site ?? Sadly , no more.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 6:49 am

It doesn’t even make sense when looking at individual months. He’s claiming that because February 2019 for the USA48 was close to the 1981-2010 average this means there was no warming over 40 years, but the average is only going to representative of the mid point of that period, i.e. 1996, not the past 40 years. If you insist on comparing individual months, then February 1979 was -1.56°C, so temperatures have warmed by over 1.5°C in the past 40 years.

And none of this is about global temperatures, with February 2019 being 0.36°C above average.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 8:00 am

Greg and Greg Goodman both MISS the point.
David Archibald uses the February point for emphasis. It shows that if we REALLY had warming the temperature would not dip that low. Too bad you missed it.
However, the MAIN part of the graph is to show how LITTLE the temperatures have changed in 40 years which contrasts with the RAPID WARMING claims by the CAGW types.
So look at the graph again and tell me what you see.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 8:45 am

“David Archibald uses the February point for emphasis. It shows that if we REALLY had warming the temperature would not dip that low. Too bad you missed it.”

How does that logic work. You are saying that if there was any global warming it would never be possible for even a small part of the globe in a single month to drop below the recent average.

Moreover what do you mean using February for emphasis? You could just as easily used say February 2017 for emphasis, when USA temperatures where over 2°C above average.

“However, the MAIN part of the graph is to show how LITTLE the temperatures have changed in 40 years…”

So why claim there has been no change? And why use USA rather than Global temperatures?

“So look at the graph again and tell me what you see.”

I see an overall warming trend. It’s difficult to see given that individual months over the USA can vary and the graph is presented in an unhelpful way, with lines between each monthly anomaly and no smoothing. But I still think it’s evident in the graph that there are more warm months in the later parts of the graph than in the earlier part.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 11:19 am

Thank you Bellman. At least someone with enough integrity to recognise the blindingly obvious.

Everyone knows there has been a mild warming over the last 40y and if David Archibald seriously thought it was flat he is well able to fit a trend and show it is flat. He knows that is untrue as does Dr Tim Ball.

Also if it was “flat” our esteemed friend Christopher of Blenchley would have been all over the place with correctly executed trend analyses with uncertainty and significance calculations to back it all up.

If someone wants to “straighten out the Big Lie” , I’m all for it. Just don’t start trying to do so with another lie. No a good way to go.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 6:04 pm

**I see an overall warming trend.**
Again you are still missing the point.
They could have calculated the exact amount. There was one word missed in the description – it is “significant”.
We are frequently told that we are warming more rapidly than ever today. We are told the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the south. Both of these statements are usually quoted without proof.
So I have an exercise – anyone want to calculate the temperature change in those 40 years illustrated???

A question was asked, “why was only the United States used”?
I cannot speak for the authors but the USA probably has the best area coverage and likely the most accurate observations. Even when using the USA you still have to be careful what you are using. There are about 4 sets of observations, some are adjusted.
When using the world observations about half could be fill-ins, many have urban warming which is not corrected, rural stations have closed, etc.

Reply to  Greg
April 1, 2019 4:14 am

Gerald Machnee

They could have calculated the exact amount.

But they chose not to.

There was one word missed in the description – it is “significant”.

The words missing are “statistically significant”. Are you claiming that De Ball meant to say there had been no statistically significant warming, but mistakenly said no warming?
If so that’s a pretty important mistake, from someone who misquotes Voltaire about the importance of defining terms.
In any event it makes no difference because there is statistically significant warming over the last 40 years, both globally and in the USA.

So I have an exercise – anyone want to calculate the temperature change in those 40 years illustrated???

UAH says the globe has warmed by around 0.5C in the last 40 years, and the USA about 0.7C.

I cannot speak for the authors but the USA probably has the best area coverage and likely the most accurate observations. Even when using the USA you still have to be careful what you are using. There are about 4 sets of observations, some are adjusted.
When using the world observations about half could be fill-ins, many have urban warming which is not corrected, rural stations have closed, etc.

This is satellite data, no difference between USA readings and the rest of the world.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 2:36 am

“NO, that is a lie. What he did was take one month’s global average and try to infer there had been no warming !”

Classic projection where alarmists attribute to skeptics, actions that alarmists have been pretending and forcing upon citizens for decades now.
Alarmists have a multitude of utterly failed doom predictions during the 41 years mentioned. To which, greg adds yet another doom prediction, this time a prediction that WUWT will suffer a disastrous decline of skeptic confidence…

Amazing isn’t it?
Alarmists advising skeptics about how to run a science based website?
Advice, presumably gained from running the plethora of pathetic unpopular extremely undependable misinformation alarmist websites. Advice given to the highly popular well regarded and respected popular website?

Archibald provided a graphic containing the satellite record; which Dr. Ball reposts above.
comment image

greg’s dismal prediction is just another failed prediction based upon invented logical fallacy on the altar of climate alarmism.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  ATheoK
March 31, 2019 5:50 am

Nice little rant of unsubstantiated claims, false assumption and projected motivations. Amazing isn’t it?

To which, greg adds yet another doom prediction, this time a prediction that WUWT will suffer a disastrous decline of skeptic confidence…

Where did you make that up from? I did not predict anything about skeptics, I said it will give ammunition to those who would like to trash this site.

Advice, presumably gained from running the plethora of pathetic unpopular extremely undependable misinformation alarmist websites.

When in doubt, always best to “presume” and accuse others and imply their motivations for your total misreading of what was actually posted. Amazing isn’t it?

I have been a regular commenter here since before the Climategate emails were released. I’m highly skeptical that AGW is even a measurable problem. That does not prevent me from criticizing what I see as misleading and unscientific claims when I see them ( from any “side” ). It is also why I regret what used to be a very good source of science, when Anthony had a more active role, is degenerating into partisan ranting box where standards are dropping to imitate the practices of those this site has always slated, with just cause.

I don’t have a web site but I do have some scientific, climate work on my WordPress account.

Pop over see if you can find the altar of climate alarmism anywhere.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  ATheoK
March 31, 2019 7:06 pm

Atheok, I was born in the 30s and although too young to offer witness testamony on the heat, the subject dominated family discussions and stories for 30yrs afterward.

Archibald and Ball might have been more cautious in their remarks, but a big part of the Big Lie that isn’t being told is that the US is not an outlier here. The pattern of temperatures in Canada (July 1937 remains the hotest month in Canada – Sweetgrass Saskatchewan and surrounding locations reached 47C). Hansen argues that the US occupies only 2% of the globe. Of the land area it is 6.6%, add on Canada, Europe, Greenland and then add on South Africa, Paraguay, Ecuador, etc. all of which had essentially the same temperature pattern as the US with the late 30s, early 40s the highs! These patterns corroborate each other and all, but to a lesser extent (because it would become to obvious here) the United States’ records have been drastically adjusted. SEE Paul Homewood’s site “not a lot of people kmow” link here on WUWT for a primer. Here is Capetown’s raw temperatures for example.


Before the 30s40s high temps were pushed down by alarmists to ‘eliminate’ the dustbowl years, nearly all the warming to 2000 had occurred by the late 30s before CO2 was an issue. That my friends is the really Big Lie. We really havent warmed for 80yrs.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 4:42 am

It’s easy to process that data set in such a manner as to show warming. It’s also easy to interpret it to show that there’s no statistically significant warming.

It’s a pity that the satellite record doesn’t go back to the 1930s. link My mother was a teenager then and clearly remembers the misery of the dust bowl. Given the historical, within living memory even, record of weather extremes, the claims of CAGW are thin gruel indeed.

Reply to  commieBob
March 31, 2019 6:39 am

“It’s also easy to interpret it to show that there’s no statistically significant warming. ”

Then please do it.

However Dr Ball didn’t say no statistically significant warming, he said 41 years of no temperature increase.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 7:01 am

Now you are playing word games, along with the author .. who uses exactly the same rhetorical tricks that he accuses climate alarmists of using.

Sorry, Ball’s rant is no more convincing than the rants of Occasio-Cortez or Al Gore.

Two stupids don’t make a smart, and two wrongs don’t make a right.

To defeat climate alarmism requires reason, facts, data, and thoughtful analysis.

My memory could be defective, but I recall another rant by Ball here last year wherein he denied the theory of evolution. If that is the state of anti-climate-alarmism (it isn’t, thankfully) then the war would be lost.

Thankfully the ranks of climate alarmism skeptics have vastly better spokespeople than this Ball character.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 8:44 am

All you have to do is define the error bars. link

If it’s the same temperature today as it was fortyish years ago, then we could certainly say it hasn’t warmed. How could we demonstrate warming? We have to apply statistics. Then we open a can of worms.

People on both sides will cherry pick and choose their analysis.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 9:29 am

“All you have to do is define the error bars.”

And what do you get if you define the “error bars” for the whole of UAH?

“If it’s the same temperature today as it was fortyish years ago, then we could certainly say it hasn’t warmed.”

We cannot say that with any certainty.

” How could we demonstrate warming? We have to apply statistics.”

Yes and we’ve done this – UAH shows warming of 1.28°C / century with a confidence interval of ±0.56°C. It’s highly unlikely that you would see that warming if there was no actual change in temperatures – hence statistically significant.

“People on both sides will cherry pick and choose their analysis.”

The statistically significant warming doesn’t require any cherry picking, just looking at all the data. And this is using the data set that shows the least warming.

You’ve yet to explain how you can easily interpret the data as showing no statistically significant warming.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 6:49 pm

Re Duane
**Thankfully the ranks of climate alarmism skeptics have vastly better spokespeople than this Ball character.**
Thankfully you say!!
So you like spokespeople who continually present false information as long as it is well spoken.
We are in trouble.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 7:00 pm

Bellman March 31, 2019 at 9:29 am

So 0.128C/decade on a noisy signal and a confidence interval of +/-0.56C. We know that there are climatic cycles and pseudo cycles so we can’t extrapolate for a century. Maybe if you can prove that we can expect a linear trend over the next 100 years we can talk.

Your choice to express the trend in terms of a century is an excellent example of a cherry pick.

Reply to  Bellman
April 1, 2019 4:03 am

Commie Bob,

“So 0.128C/decade on a noisy signal and a confidence interval of +/-0.56C.”

No, that would be 0.128°C / decade ±0.056°C. Whatever units you use it’s still the same level of significance.

That amounts to over half a degree of warming ove the last 40 years, with it very likely that actual warming (ignoring random fluctuations) is between 0.29°C and 0.74°C.

Cycles have nothing to do with the question. The claim was that there was zero warming over the last 40 years, not that there was warming but it was caused by cycles.

Reply to  Bellman
April 1, 2019 10:25 am

Bellman sez:
“It’s also easy to interpret it to show that there’s no statistically significant warming. ”
Then please do it.
However Dr Ball didn’t say no statistically significant warming, he said 41 years of no temperature increase.

I assume you’re just as strident in arguing against eco-loon falsities/exaggerations which they produce each and every day.

richard verney
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 6:30 am

Whilst, I agree that one has to be careful with cherry picks, and it is necessary to make it clear what is being depicted and why it is being depicted, a cherry pick can tell you something useful. It is wrong to dismiss something simply because it is a cherry pick without giving due consideration to what the cherry pick shows.

After all, isn’t the 20th century warming in itself just a cherry pick? Why not deal with the entire Holocene?

For example, one could (validly) cherry pick to see whether maximum daytime temperatures are increasing, or whether summer temperatures are increasing, or whether it is that night time lows are not quite as cold as they used to be, or that winters are milder.

Likewise one can cherry pick climatic zones to see how changes differ in different zones.

The upshot is that cherry picks can be useful, but one needs to be clear what one is doing and explain the reasoning behind the cherry pick. In that way, one can properly evaluate the implications of the cherry pick.

Linda Goodman
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 8:48 am

Why the vicious, undeserved attack on Dr. Ball? Though you claim to be a skeptic, you show the emotions of an alarmist, so I looked at your website… https://climategrog.wordpress.com/ , where you diligently debate AGW junk science. Yet the effort is futile, as it’s either ignored or met with more junk science. And it actually helps the AGW fraud by lending it a false legitimacy that brings us further from exposing it. [It’s useful to debate in front of a live audience, which alarmists avoid like the plague; an audience is a Big Lie’s second-worst enemy.]

But examining the totalitarian underbelly of the AGW fraud brings us much closer to exposing it and Dr. Ball is one of the few who does so and risks being viciously attacked by alarmists and fake skeptics who seek to control the narrative. Most of humanity is still unaware of the true threat of AGW – eco-totalitarian world government – and alerting them is how we win. ‘Elementary, my dear Watson.’

Donald Trump has opened a window of opportunity and imho it shouldn’t be wasted on futile debate and analysis of alarmist junk science. Real climate scientists naturally want to exercise their expertise, but there’s plenty of time for that after this monstrous fraud is put to rest. Until then it’s a futile effort. And if we fail it’ll be far worse than that. Can you say ‘gulag’?

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 4:46 pm

Please, backup just a minute. I have a basic question: do past temperatures affect future temperatures? Whether they were growing warmer, cooler, or stagnant, can they be used to project future temperatures?

I, personally, don’t think it is either correct nor logical to extrapolate past trends into the future. All we can do is determine a PAST trend in hindsight. In this case, we had a past trend of rising temperatures, but the temperature NOW is no different than 41 years ago. We cannot make ANY definitive statement about the future. Nothing that has happened in the intervening years has an impact on future years.

Before someone chimes in that there were ‘drivers’ for that past trend, that will continue the trend in the future, the objection is obvious. If those were truly significant drivers, then what cooling driver was so strong that it wiped out forty-one years of temperature increase? The answer, of course is, we don’t know, even though it would need to be a strong natural variable if those warming drivers existed.

And for that reason, we cannot project any future trend. Climate trends continue until they don’t, and no one can predict when such trends start or stop.

Temperatures are the same as 41 years ago. Nothing more can be said.

D. Anderson
March 30, 2019 8:37 pm

For some reason people associate the Attenborough’s accent with intelligence.

Jim Whelan
March 30, 2019 9:38 pm

Two problems I have with this article:

1. Appeal to authority is unscientific even if the authority is an “expert” in the field.

2. Climate is not just an “average of weather” It’s more a pattern of weather (i.e, warm dry summers & wet winters, hot humid summers & cold winters, …) and not just annual patterns but long term patterns as well, like: decade long droughts intermixed with short periods of severe rainstorms. Things like disasters also are part of the climate: occasional severe hurricanes, flooding, frequent tornadoes.

Reply to  Jim Whelan
March 30, 2019 11:22 pm

3. He attempts “straighten out the Big Lie” by presenting another one. Parroting David Archibold’s ridiculous claim that there has been no warming for 41 years …. based on one months global average.

This is no surprise from Dr Tim Ball , who is so unreliable I generally avoid even reading his posts here.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 4:08 am

Check the error bars on all the graphs. Oh, right, there aren’t any. That’s because they would show that all of the alleged warming fits inside the confidence interval. In other words, there hasn’t been any.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Hivemind
March 31, 2019 6:08 pm

If you look at the last 2 to 3 years you will also see cooling.

Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 4:47 am

Greg –

If CO2 has been increasing, then how do we have any declines for 10 year temperature averages?

Reply to  Derg
March 31, 2019 6:01 am

Where do you get the impression that I think CO2 is a major driver of climate? Certainly in nothing I wrote. It is incredible how you can make one criticism of a specific point a skeptic makes and all of a sudden everyone starts unloading on you for all the ills of AGW orthodoxy for the last 40 years.

If you disagree with something I wrote : quote it and make your point. The rest is in your own head.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Greg
March 31, 2019 7:35 am

So what is your point?
The posted chart with its oscillations looks quite level.
Where is your “one month”?

Linda Goodman
Reply to  Derg
March 31, 2019 7:29 am

Reportedly, the Solar [Maunder] Minimum.

Reply to  Jim Whelan
March 31, 2019 5:53 am

1. Maybe I am misunderstanding your remark, but there should be no appeal to any human in scientific argument, only an appeal to objective and fastidious pursuit of truth. Scientists must remain objective, pursuing only the truth regardless of their own emotional predispositions and the implications of what they discover. If an Earth-ending asteroid were careening towards our planet and were to impact the planet inside of a month, it is indeed an emotionally traumatic truth, but hiding it or disguising it is absolutely unscientific and borders on malicious. The essence of this article is that a titan of a lie has been built to support a political agenda. As concerns the general public, scientific rigor is irrelevant because, as one meme clearly states, “the science is settled.” In reality, it is not settled, nor should it be.

HD Hoese
Reply to  leowaj
March 31, 2019 9:23 am

Appeal to authority is more likely suspect when one is outside of their field, but such observers often notice important concepts not apparent within the field. Credit to author for recognizing the logical error. Science is full of them, the Schneider types appealing to the crisis oriented press. I know the type, nowadays you see their name stuck on a long list of authors, but not the only reason such occurs. I started teaching about logical errors in other fields about the time Mann’s work took off. Sometimes there was more than one such error in a single work. I have a list somewhere that I should post sometime.

Reply to  Jim Whelan
March 31, 2019 7:18 am

You are spot-on to criticize the concept of “average of weather”. It has as little utility as “average temperature”. Climate must include the expectation of variation in weather conditions, daily, seasonally, and over longer periods such as 30 years would experience.

John M Ware
Reply to  hiskorr
March 31, 2019 2:32 pm

“Longer periods such as 30 years”? Longer than what? Thirty years is a totally arbitrary number; there are no major natural cycles or periodicity phenomena of thirty years’ duration. The 30-year periods serve actually to mask the extent to which certain times in the past have been much warmer, or much colder, than at present. I don’t have the tables in front of me, but as I recall, the highest temperatures recorded in all of history in the US states are predominantly in the 1930s, especially 1934 and 1936; a fair number of the record cold readings were in the 1930s also. If you look at record high temps from 2000 to now, I think you’ll find vanishingly few record highs, and somewhat more record lows; but leaving the many decades prior to 1990 out of the history against which we compare recent and current climate risks falsifying the entire impression. There are many locations in the US where temperature records were kept from the late 18th century on; leaving such records out of consideration is a reckless step, scientifically speaking, in spite of limitations and some inaccuracies of the earlier records. I do remember reading of a late outlier of the Little Ice Age: during the Civil War, ice across Hampton Roads (SE Virginia) was thick enough to run trains from Portsmouth to Norfolk in (I think) the winter of 1862. If that were to happen now, people would be very surprised; but then, history is often surprising. I have been suspicious of the 30-year comparisons since I first saw it.

March 30, 2019 9:39 pm

A very good analysis.
There is also the factor that nobody likes to be told that they have been duped; so cognitive dissonance kicks in and exacerbates the problem.
This particularly applies where celebrities and politicians are concerned.
Can you imaging Attenborough doing a mea culpa program?

March 30, 2019 11:21 pm

Great article – BUT – we need to be careful to be factual. Humans DO cause climate change/AGW etc. It’s just that it’s not very significant. CO2, UHI, deforestation, irrigation, soot, etc, all have minor effects on climate. I think the point needs to be that our effects are tiny and irrelevant.

Reply to  ggm
March 31, 2019 11:54 am

Do you have any data to support your claim that humans do have minor, irrelevant effects on world Climate? Or, is it a supposition on your part? You mean you have nothing causal to bring to the debate? You’re more of a correlation kind of reasonable person?

March 30, 2019 11:33 pm

The big lie serves the needs of the UN


March 30, 2019 11:48 pm

Yes I agree that David Attenborough has been “Captured or Conned” by the big lie of Global warming come Climate Change, but in his series on the Galapgalopios he said how time, millions of years, and the different climate of each Island had created the various creatures now there from the originals in South America.

Its good to see Joseph Gobbles being quoited. One gets the impression that for other reasons he is not to be mentioned. One can dislike or hate what Hitler did, but we should recognise that Gobbles was in effect the Father of the USA “Madison Avenue” and the way today’s
Media works.


Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Michael
March 31, 2019 5:54 am


I feel he was more of a follower. The brains behind the modern method of “selling” (the “directed truth”) was the guy who was charged with selling the First World War to the American public.

He invented new techniques of persuasion. There were two important inventions during a period of ten years. First was the management of the message to the point where a plausible narrative combined with an appeal to the moral necessity of killing some people to save others became socially accepted, overcoming the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” It was mostly but not completely effective. Some still didn’t buy it.

The second was the coordination of all the members of an entire industry – light bulb manufacturing – with a scheme to create “planned obsolescence”. After 1925 no electric light bulb should last more than 1000 hours. All producers signed a secret agreement and were fined by the group if their bulbs lasted 1020 hrs, and more if 1050 and so on. The prevailing life prior to that time was 2500 hrs.

This is a form of the Big Lie. The manufacturers settled on a safe 750 hrs and throughout the 60’s-80’s that was a standard claim. The ” new shaped” longer life bulbs with a cylindrical body claimed 1000 hrs, still within the agreement, which was exposed in the 1990’s.

The light bulb life con survived throughout WWII, the cold War, the destruction of the American States in the drug wars and false flag “jackals” operations overthrowing the elected. It was very durable. It is a simple proof that there are powerful and disciplined groups perpetuating Big Lies at the expense of the public.

The CO2 catastrophe scam has many appealing aspects. You can have great ideas like the proper governance of borders (country borders being permanently fixed) and the prevention of predatory dumping (WTO rules) and the management of the radio spectrum (one of the early international agreements with teeth). These actually help people instead of exploiting them. I feel the common criticism of these international agreements is misplaced. The International Criminal Court is a great idea. Some people are still selling the lie that it is not.

Unfortunately the global warming idea is very easily hitched to any bandwagon as the primary draft animal. It is so easy to do: absolutely anything goes. Global warming causes global cooling – and scientists write that with a straight face! I mean, how silly can it get? How could anyone seriously propose that a drop in the global average near surface temperature is caused by an increase in the global average near surface temperature? If you can’t see through that, you are not sentient.

Madison Avenue would be proud.

George Daddis
Reply to  Michael
March 31, 2019 6:41 am

Actually, U.S. Psychologist Dr Edwin Bernays developed techniques he intended for the commercial purpose of selling cornflakes, toothpaste, or even war bonds. In his first book he coined the term “propaganda” for those methods and used that for the title of the book.

Goebbels read the tome and realized the political value of those techniques and used them evilly and materfully.

Bernays was very embarrassed about how in his opinion his techniques were misused. In a subsequent book he coined a new label and renamed his techniques “Public Relations”.

As Paul Harvey used to say: “Now you know the rest of the story.

Reply to  George Daddis
March 31, 2019 8:11 am

Where did you get the idea he was embarassed?


Like gurus before him and gurus who came after, Bernays justified his PR activities as the noble, because ‘necessary’ lie, necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society. In the same book, (1928) he stated:

‘The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate the unseen mechanisms of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our county… We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society… in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.’ (1928 ) PP 9-10.

March 31, 2019 12:02 am

Wiki has David Attenborough as having a Cambridge University degree in Zoology and Natural Earth Sciences. Whereas I disagree with his views on CAGW, he is nevertheless well qualified to form those opinions.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  marcjf
March 31, 2019 8:06 am

But as some of us are told – He is not a “climate scientist”
But I suppose you do not have to be if you are “supporting the cause”.

Reply to  marcjf
April 1, 2019 11:02 am

What he did/accomplished 50 yrs ago isn’t what counts — it what he does now. And what he does now is carry water for the climate-alarmists & broadcast it over much of the earth.

Old Ranga from Oz
March 31, 2019 12:07 am

Warmists are stunned to learn that since 1998 there’s been no correlation between global temperatures and CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions have continued to rise, while for 20+ years global temperatures have plateaued.

When the response is “But 2015 and 2016 were the hottest years on record in Oz”, the next question is “Do you know by how much?”

Answer: “100th of one degree, and 150th of one degree. And official temperature records in Oz go back to 1910. Hardly a catastrophic change”.

Sun Spot
Reply to  Old Ranga from Oz
April 3, 2019 7:48 am


Izaak Walton
March 31, 2019 12:08 am

It is worth noting that the phase “greenhouse effect” was coined by Poynting in 1907 and he explains
the analogy in his paper “On Prof. Lowell’s method for evaluating the surface-temperatures of the planets; with an attempt to represent the effect of day and night on the temperature of the earth”. If Mr. Ball wants to explain why Poynting was wrong then perhaps he should start by looking at the original paper and stating what was wrong with it. And 1907 was long before there was any fear about global warming and the phrase “greenhouse effect” was clearly not invented as part of a “big lie” or to con the public.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 31, 2019 4:27 am

Perhaps Poynting had good intentions, (I have no doubt), but the use of the term today is to deliberately appeal to the emotions of the uneducated, who make a literal comparison with the physical properties of an actual Greenhouse, and our planet in the grip of dangerous warming caused by mankind.
Maybe with 112 years of hindsight (if he was still with us) Poynting would reconsider or at least, clarify the distinction.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Izaak Walton
March 31, 2019 10:00 am

August Krogh in 1904 (The abnormal CO2 percentage in the air in Greenland and the general relations between atmospheric and oceanic carbonic acid) criticized Arrhenius’ work, stating his figures were too high. The only reason I know about Krogh is that I studied this in graduate school. (Krogh, A. 1939. Osmotic Regulation in Aquatic Animals. Cambridge, reprinted by Dover in 1965.) I suspect that he gave up the nearly impossible study of gas transfer between ocean and air for this. He got a Nobel Prize and left an extraordinary legacy.

Paul S
March 31, 2019 12:40 am

From Wikipedia:
Attenborough was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and then won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences.
It took 30 seconds to find this.

Rhys Jaggar
March 31, 2019 1:02 am

It might do to be accurate about David Attenborough, not that I support his global warming mantras.

1. He indeed went to grammar school, from where he was accepted by Clare College, Cambridge, to study the Natural Sciences tripos.
2. He specialised in zoology and geology, hence he might be expected to have rudimentary knowledge of the geological evidence underpinning cyclical climate change over millennia and longer time periods.
3. Soon after completing National Service, he joined the BBC and started out making programmes about animals. He then founded the Travel and Exploration Unit, the basis for him travelling the world to film about life forms on earth.
4. By the mid 1960s, he was in Senior Management, becoming Controller of BBC2, regarded as the more esoteric, refined and learned of the two BBC channels.
5. He renounced management in the 1970s and reverted to become a freelance programme maker, producing the iconic series Life on Earth.

What is interesting is that the BBC also had a renowned ecologist on their books in the 1980s, one David Bellamy.

As it happens, Attenborough supported global warming, whereas Bellamy was a skeptic.

Attenborough remained ‘a national treasure’, whereas Bellamy was ostracised for his views on climate.

It is perhaps the most high profile example of the BBC breaking employment law, laws it is beating the drum about where women, gays, muslims, Jews, those of darker skin etc are concerned. Bellamy is a white man who has never been reported as being gay….

The BBC basically sacked Bellamy for being a global warming skeptic, for which it should have been subject to ignominious and ferocious prosecution in a court of law.

Those of us UK citizens who retain critical faculties have known for years that the law does not apply to the BBC, nor does it uphold its charter on subjects like climate change, the EU/Brexit, being stridently and relentlessly partisan when its charter requires even-handed objectivity.

Atenborough saw early which way the wind was blowing and joined the Establishment camp. Whether he believes a word of it or not, who knows.

If you look at the long list of gongs he has been endowed with, you will conclude with certainty that he resides in the innermost of inner Establishment sanctums and is privy to the most closely guarded Establishment secrets.

There is zero chance he will do anything but remain loyal to an Establishment which has rewarded him so copiously.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 31, 2019 1:58 am

Rhys Jaggar

Spot on. Excellent Rhys.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 31, 2019 3:21 am

A good piece of work, Mr Jaggar.

Mr Bellamy is a classic example of what happens to someone who is out of step with powerfully supported orthodoxy. He could now be reasonably described as a “non-person”. (Hat-tip to Mr Orwell.)

richard verney
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 31, 2019 7:09 am

He is very much an establishment figure:


BRITISH people should not have been allowed to stage the EU referendum because they are not wise enough to make such an important decision, Sir David Attenborough has claimed.

mark green
March 31, 2019 1:10 am

Very good article. But the original ‘Big Lie’ allegation by Goebbels/Hitler was not an endorsement of lying.

It was a criticism of those who tell enormous falsehoods (and how easy it is to fool average people who commonly tell small ‘white lies’). This fact needs to be known.

Today’s understanding of the ‘Big Lie’ is, ironically, something of a lie.

Anthony Banton
March 31, 2019 1:15 am

“He is an English Grammar School graduate who identifies himself as a naturalist. This is like the practice of people identifying themselves as environmentalists. The truth is that we are all naturalists and environmentalists. It simply denotes that a person cares, but it is not a measure of their knowledge or understanding.”

Dear, oh dear.
This is easy enough to get right……


“Attenborough was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester and then won a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge in 1945, where he studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in natural sciences”

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Anthony Banton
March 31, 2019 1:32 am

Tim Ball continues …..

“The data is available to anyone who wants to check it, as David Archibald recently did in his article “Climate: In Case You Were Wondering” (Figure 1). It shows 41 years of no temperature increase, a period that covers most of Attenborough’s adult life and the period when he travelled the world filming nature. During that time, CO2 levels continued to rise in complete contradiction to the original theory. ”

OK, then lets “check it” …..

Archibald critiqued global temperatures via comparison with the Lower 48 States.

This is the plot for the GLOBE……

Which is of course what needs to be used when talking of AGW.
The “G” bit – and not just 1.5% which what comprises the contiguous US.
Seems like a steady rise in a linear LS fit trend.
And of course that is not the surface, where most warming is occurring nocturnally over land.
It is also by far the coldest outlier of any global temp index.

He says…..
“January-February had record cold over North America. ”

No it did not.
Only some of it.
For part of the time ….


Mmmm not Jan at all then.
In fact a large area of the highest warming percentile in the far NW


OK so the NW states and W Canada.

On the warm said in the E/SE states.
A good bit of E/N Europe, an a big chunk of Siberia.
Plus the Arctic was a tad less cold than normal.

“The winter (December–February) average contiguous U.S. temperature was 33.4°F, 1.2°F ABOVE average, ranking among the warmest third of the record. ” (my caps)

Mr Ball the point of Archibald’s post is a tad elusive to anyone who examines the claims you make.
And therefor yours also.

March 31, 2019 1:18 am

how could Attenborough spend all that time looking at the geology of the planet and not see the extent to which climate changes naturally throughout 4.5 billion years?

Attenborough used to be a skeptic. He changed his public utterances for two reasons:
1. The BBC pays him a fortune to make his documentaries and he got fed up having to defend his anti-AGW views every time he needs a few more millions to make another one, and;
2. He hates humans, and he realized he could express that by using AGW propaganda which now appears all through his documentaries.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Sasha
March 31, 2019 2:53 am

That about the BBC is unlikely because he started working on his docus long before any BBC bobo had cottoned on to the fairy tale. But a misanthrope? Really Sasha? You do yourself, and us skeptics, no favour by such a scurrilous accusation.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
March 31, 2019 4:11 am

Do some homework, see just below for evidence :

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 5:34 am

I stand corrected but I notice that at his age A is in a position to contribute to the solution of his perceived problem.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
March 31, 2019 4:49 am

David Attenborough: “Humans are plague on Earth”

22 Jan. 2013

Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, warns Sir David Attenborough

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.


… and there’s plenty more where that came from….

Reply to  Sasha
March 31, 2019 1:52 pm

You betcha.

Scott Wilmot Bennett
March 31, 2019 2:14 am

The trouble is he [Sir David Attenborough] doesn’t appear to have any science training. He is an English Grammar School graduate who identifies himself as a naturalist. – Dr. Tim Ball

He studied at Cambridge (Clare College) where he earned his degree in Natural Sciences: https://web.archive.org/web/20110708163043/http://www.clarealumni.com/s/845/file_lib/1/1/clarenews11_633540413018489651.pdf

Mark Pawelek
March 31, 2019 2:25 am

Thanks Dr Tim, once again, for your crystal clear explanation which gets right to the heart of the matter.

I think the best argument, distilled to its essence, against climate change caused by small changes in carbon dioxide is this:

The self-styled “Climate consensus” define themselves as the only legitimate voice in climate science.
They say:
* Climate change means man-made change, because 90% of modern climate change is man-made.
* This climate change is mainly due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Made by burning fossil fuel.
* This greenhouse gas warms earth because it causes less outgoing radiation to be emitted to space, so warming earth due to the consequent energy imbalance.

In the real world, satellites show:
* More OLR leaving planet over last 33 years. By a big margin too, of about 2W/m².
* Satellite data diametrically contradicts the “climate consensus” greenhouse gas model which explains how greenhouse gases warm the climate.

It follows that either the satellites are wrong, or the self-styled “climate consensus” are wrong.

References (both open access):
1. The basic greenhouse gas warming explanation: Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann, 2011: Earth’s energy imbalance and implications. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13421-13449, doi:10.5194/acp-11-13421-2011.

comment image

2. Satellite data: Steven Dewitte and Nicolas Clerbaux, Decadal Changes of Earth’s Outgoing Longwave Radiation; Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101539

comment image

E J Zuiderwijk
March 31, 2019 2:45 am

Attenborough is a Cambridge graduate. Clair College. He has a BA degree in geology and zoology.

Far from his ‘socialist views’, which he never put in his documentaries anyway, if he actually has them, this just shows that even the best can be taken in by a hoax.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
March 31, 2019 4:12 am

See just below Sir David in his own words.

March 31, 2019 3:36 am

Early British TV had Attenborough dashing around the world capturing fauna for his Zoo Quest series, Armand and Michaela Dennis gadding around stone age Africa filming antelopes and stuff, Hans and Lotte Hass filming fish and other slimy denizens of the under water world. Of all these the most memorable 30 minutes was Attenborough’s Zoo Quest for a Dragon! You can’t say a word against him over here, we love him to bits.

March 31, 2019 3:40 am

In the good Sir’s own words at Obama’s BBC America, with the President of the USA acting as tv presenter in Jun 28 2015 :
Attenborough enthused that, “young people understand that our species has no right to destroy and despoil the Earth,” and cited Kenya (pop. density: 26/sq. km compared to U.K.: 116/sq. km) as exemplary that “population growth is one of our huge problems.”

Attenborough gave the keynote speech at the Royal Society for Music and Art conference, in March 2011, presided over personally by Prince Philip, for whom Attenborough is a senior advisor:

“It remains an obvious and brutal fact that on a finite planet, human population will quite definitely stop at some point. And that can only happen in one of two ways. It can happen sooner, by fewer human births — in a word, by contraception…. The alternative is an increased death rate, the way which all other creatures must suffer, through famine or disease or predation. That translated into human terms means famine or disease or war over oil or water or food or minerals or grazing rights or just living space. There is, alas, no third alternative of indefinite growth….

“We now realize that the disasters that continue increasingly to afflict the natural world have one element that connects them all — the unprecedented increase in the number of human beings on this planet, as Malthus warned. But no one proposes the necessary measures to curb human population, which makes every problem worse….

“There are over 100 countries whose combinations of numbers and affluence have already pushed them past the sustainable level…. It is tragic that the only current population policies in developed countries are, perversely, attempting to increase their birth rate, in order to look after the growing number of old people. The notion of ever more old people needing ever more young people, who will in turn grow old and need even more young people, and so on, ad infinitum, is an obvious ecological Ponzi scheme….

I’m afraid Dr. Ball misunderestimated the good Sir’s dedication to population reduction with lies about CO2.
Like Goebbels, the Big Lie hid a Big Truth – genocide. Obama and the good Sir are good chums.

Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 4:20 am

Notice the 2015 reference to “young people” .
Today poor Greta is recommended a Nobel Prize, along with Obama…

Someone ought to remind Francis that there is man-made global warming in Hell, but which nations should agree to go there?

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 5:55 am

That is a Mathusian viewpoint and he ought to know better, but I can’t see the socialist connection. Malthus preceeded Marx by more than half a century and also never even mentioned ‘genocide’. Nor does Attenborough. He only tells us that there is a problem and it clearly worries him. But I agree that it is disappointing to have him fall back on Malthus who has been proven wrong in his predictions time and time again. Not only that, we know what is the real solution: lowering the birth rate by raising living standards and educating in particular women. And that requires a modern energy infra-structure as a necessary ingredient.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
March 31, 2019 10:47 am

I’m afraid ye do not know the solution. The physical economy, not the WallStreet/London fantasy, must always increase the relative potential population density. That means the energy density per capita and hectare must always increase. Over known history that is easy to see – after all we are the only species that willfully uses fire. Labor productivity must always increase.
Coupled to the increase in relative potential population density there is a potential longevity.
Hence when the WWF et. al , praise Yanonami or some chosen tribe, check carefully. These peoples fell from a much higher density went back to nature with a 30 year average lifespan – they never see grandchildren.
So when Prince Charles, Dr. Schellnhuber, Sir David propose “nature”, they are far worse than Malthus. Deliberately lowering energy density is a precisely calculated attempt to rid the world of about 5 billion.
Socialist or Marxist economics has no concept of the increase in labor productivity with new principles constantly promoted. Hence it is essential Malthusian.

March 31, 2019 4:13 am

What is important to climate scientists. Money to enable living obviously – but they would still be employed in a different department if there was no climate research; but they could be paid more in the private sector. Surely like most scientists their current and future reputation is the most important?

In a decade or so they must realise that the reputation will stand or fall depending on the state of the climate. would so many risk their reputation on a lie? I think not!

Their research leads them to their current conclusions. Their research forces them to make statements about future climate that you suggest are in error.

Why would so many risk their reputation on a lie?! This would not be sensible.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
March 31, 2019 4:47 am

Very good question.
It is not a recent phenomenon – Schiller, in his famous essay, “What is and to What End Do We Study Universal History?” distinguished between those he called, “bread scholars,” those in the idea industry for the purposes of money and prestige; and he compared them to those intellects who willing to give free rein to the creative powers of the human mind for the simple pure joy of doing such. Of the Bread Scholars, Schiller said,
“Who rants more against reformers than the gaggle of bread-fed scholars? Who more holds up the progress of useful revolutions in the kingdom of knowledge than these very men? Every light radiated by a happy genius, in whichever science it be, makes their poverty apparent; their foils are bitterness,
insidiousness, and desperation, for, in the school system they defend, they do battle at the same time for their entire existence. On that score, there is no more irreconcilable enemy, no more jealous official, no one more eager to denounce heresy than the bread-fed scholar…. Thus, one hears no one complain
more about ingratitude than the bread-fed scholar; he seeks his rewards not in the treasures of his mind — his recompense he expects from the recognition of others, from positions of honor, from personal security. If he miscarries in this, who is more unhappy than the bread-fed scholar? He has lived, worried, and worked in vain; he has sought in vain for truth, if for him this truth not transfer itself into gold, published praise, and princely favor.”

Now look at the current roster of Climate actors – sound familiar?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
March 31, 2019 5:56 am

“Why would so many risk their reputation on a lie?! This would not be sensible.”

Belief is a powerful state of mind that can cause people to do irrational things.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
March 31, 2019 4:54 pm

Never underestimate how much a person’s belief system is influenced by what is in that person’s professional and or economic interest. You see the effects all the time in legal and political conflicts, and it is especially evident with expert witnesses in court cases. So, the “warmist” scientists actually believe in the alarming conclusions they promote (with a few exceptions) but they either came into the field with a pre-set bias, or they they subconsciously developed a bias in favor of the personal interests over time, or a little of both.

March 31, 2019 4:51 am

The definition is by Joseph Goebbels and describes the big lie of Nazism with its ultimate goal of a Third Reich to rule the world for a thousand years.

Joseph Goebbels was a Nazi. Why do you think he would be describing Nazi propaganda as a big lie. When he talked about lying he was talking about “Churchill’s Lie Factory”,

“The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

This is even mentioned in the Wikipedia page linked to in this post. Yet I keep seeing this false claim repeated as a truth so often, it’s almost as if some believe that by repeating a lie often enough it will be accepted as the truth.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 5:07 am

The Big Truth behind the Big Lie is what is important. Both Goebbels, and AGW , as well as decarbonization, are all about genocide. Even Dr. Schellnhuber CBE makes no bones about it.

Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 6:29 am

“The Big Truth behind the Big Lie is what is important. ”

The Big Truth this constant misquoting suggests to me is that anyone can just accuse the other side of using Big Lies. It might also suggest that sometimes it’s those most adept at the lie who are quickest to accuse others of doing the same.

But it just seems odd that people quote Nazi propaganda in a supportive way – as if “see Goebbles agrees with me” is a valid argument.

Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 10:23 am

To tell the truth, eugenics got a bad rap with Goebbels.
Genocide just had to be given a new name – and environmentalism took off. Eugenics, being British Empire policy, was pervasive – even Keynes liked it after 1946. Churchill just didn’t like their golem Hitler doing it with a different accent.

Dr. Schellnhuber, dubbed CBE by the Queen personally in 2004 at the Berlin Embassy is quite outspoken, citing 1 billion population as the optimal decarbonized number.

Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 11:58 am

“Dr. Schellnhuber, … is quite outspoken, citing 1 billion population as the optimal decarbonized number.”

Are you sure, or is this a Big Lie that has been repeated too often? A brief search suggests he said that extensive warming could reduce the population below 1 billion, not that he thought that would be a good thing.

Reply to  bonbon
March 31, 2019 12:34 pm

Liars are good aren’t they?
Do a full search, see why he got the CBE.
The Queen’s Consort Prince Philip often talks about being re-incarnated as a virus to do “something” about population. Actually I think he was telling the truth.

Ask Dr. Schellnhiber directly. He is the author of the German WBGU – Energiewende, and Pope Francis’ Laudato si.

There is global warming in Hell, but what nation should go there?

March 31, 2019 5:03 am

Will somebody in contact with Attenborough, preferably someone who claims to know about climate, show him the latest lower Troposphere temperature graph. The data is available to anyone who wants to check it, as David Archibald recently did in his article “Climate: In Case You Were Wondering” (Figure 1). It shows 41 years of no temperature increase, a period that covers most of Attenborough’s adult life and the period when he travelled the world filming nature. During that time, CO2 levels continued to rise in complete contradiction to the original theory.

UAH Lower Troposphere shows statistically significant warming over the last 41 years. Your graph is only showing USA temperatures, and shows warming at the rate of 1.8°C / century.

Kaiser Derden
Reply to  Bellman
March 31, 2019 5:42 am

no it doesn’t …

Reply to  Kaiser Derden
March 31, 2019 6:23 am

Define your terms. I can’t tell what or who you are disagreeing with.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Bellman
April 1, 2019 9:35 am

The last two years show cooling in spite of the CO2 increase.
This would indicate that CO2 is not the PRIME cause of change in the last two years.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
April 1, 2019 5:11 pm

Year on year temperatures fluctuate. As was understood here at the time 2016 was exceptionally warm due in part to a strong El Niño. It would be astonishing if the following years were not cooler than the 2016 spike, just as years were cooler after the 1998 spike.

As with any variable data source it’s important to distinguish between the trend and the noise. The trend continues, global temperatures are continuing to rise despite any short term ups and downs. I avoid here making any assumption as to what causes the warming, though away from Dr Ball’s repeated assertions most would argue that increasing CO2 plays at least some if not the main part.

Rod Evans
March 31, 2019 5:23 am

Thank you Dr Ball. A good overview of how the climate debate has been corrupted, to advance the political ambitions of the few at the expense of the many, sadly too many victims are also poor and unimportant to the political activists, engaged in this world wide fraud.
Those who like David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes, should not be fooled or motivated to support his well documented hypocrisy re sustainable life choices.
Attenborough is just someone who produces eye candy TV output involving nature. His views are clearly unscientific and flawed, but he is given the opportunity to convey his thoughts because the BBC allows one sided unbalanced lies be broadcast when those lies chime with their political agenda.

Tom Abbott
March 31, 2019 5:31 am

Global Warming verses Climate Change

I started paying attention to climate issues during the days when Global Cooling was the big issue. Fears of Global Cooling were at their heighth during the early 1970’s.

Ever since CO2 was found to be a greenhouse gas, there has been speculation about it causing Global Warming, and the term Global Warming has been used occasionally for many decades.

In the early 1980’s the temperatures started to climb instead of fall and Global Cooling receded into the past and all the talk was about Global Warming.

From my experience, I would say that during this time period, when temperatures were rising, Global Warming was used more than was Climate Change. About a 75 percent to 25 percent ratio, in my estimation. As time went along this changed to just the opposite with Climate Change being used about 75 percent of the time and Global Warming being used about 25 percent of the time.

It was interesting to see in this article that alarmists took steps in 2004 to organize the use of the term Climate Change so as to be able to cover all weather events with one term.

I don’t think the use of Global Warming and Climate Change back in the day was orchestrated. I think that was mostly up to the preference of the individual scientists doing a particular climate study.

But I guess it’s orchestrated now. The Alarmists are SO devious! But they are not fooling us! 🙂

Kaiser Derden
March 31, 2019 5:39 am

define your terms you say … then you post a chart to use as ammunition to convince people and you don’t define your terms …

WHAT IS THE 1981 – 2010 average ??????????

No other science or business uses an undefined baseline nor do they measure anomalies …

March 31, 2019 6:07 am

And the big lies in the WMO state of the climate


old construction worker
March 31, 2019 8:24 am

“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” – Voltaire.” Not bad
“Are you referring to “CO2 induced global warming” if so please explain the hypotheses.” – Old Construction Worker

J. Guida
March 31, 2019 8:58 am

If you study propaganda, you will quickly observe that every tactic in the toolbox is being use to promote climate change/AGW. You first start with a narrative that follows the fairy tale structure by including a Victim followed by the Villian, then the Hero. The Victim is very important since it establishes the emotional hook and allows the Villian to be identified (how many victims can we count here, the planet, polar bears, coral reefs, etc). Once the emotional hook is set, critical thinking stops and you can manipulate with ease.
With that you set yourself up as the Hero and the narrative is put into the echo chamber to bombard the target audience from every direction. The AGW/climate campaign is a fascinating study in propaganda technique and is a testiment to a well organized and coordinated propaganda campaign. How else could you get so many people begging and demanding the government drive them into poverty!
In addition to the Big Lie as Dr. Ball describes, following are only a few of the many tactics of which are too numerous to put here:
-The “Glittering Generality” (Save the Planet) draws people in because “who wouldn’t want to do that”.
-The “Get on the Band Wagon” ploy (97% of scientists agree) begs the question, “everyone else is on board, why aren’t you?”
-“If the tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, does it really happen?” Since most media will ignore anything that doesn’t fit the narrative, the assumption is that it must then be false. And when contrary events happen that must be reported (i.e. record cold temperatues), simply twist the facts to fit the narrative (why, those record cold temperatures are also due to climate change).
-Misinformation, disinformation, confusion
-Ridicule, smearing, discrediting, and slandering of those who are skeptical
-Refusing to engage in honest debate (that only elevates the credibility of the opposing side)
-Fear tactics and wild predictions
-Blaming the Villians (note that AOC really blew it with the GND. For 30 years they’ve been blaming oil companies and big corporations. Now the GND blames everyone, even cows! Going to be a tough sell)
-Testimonial, get as many celebrities to speak out as possible. Keep saying 97% of scientists agree.

Great article Dr. Ball

Jeff Alberts
March 31, 2019 9:11 am

“In 2004, across the media, the term global warming was replaced by the term climate change, when talking about the work of the IPCC and the threat to the world. ”

This doesn’t really fly, since the CC in IPCC stands for “climate change”, and was created more than a decade before 2004.

March 31, 2019 11:37 am

Well said Jeff.

What really doesn’t fly is the overselling from the academic and media community….fires, floods, storms, melting ice caps, polar bears dying from over-swimming in the rising dead coral seas of acid…yuk, yuk…really stupid stuff.

We (WUWT readers) understand the emissions CO2 molecule, like all CO2 molecules, is resonant in the far infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. To what extent the equilibrium restoration response to the emissions CO2 increases surface temps thus changing climate is nothing mare than a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess).

IMHO I’m more concerned about chewing gum pollution.

IMHO I’m more worried about chewing gum pollution.

Reply to  M.W.Plia
March 31, 2019 12:40 pm

I often wonder if Voltaire could have walked and chewed gum…

Stephen Skinner
March 31, 2019 12:55 pm

“The Greeks understood that the temperature at different latitudes is a function of the angle at which the Sun strikes the surface at noon and how it changes through the day and the year (Figure 1).”

The sun has to [1] travel through the atmosphere first and then [2] the area rule can be applied. There is progressively much more atmosphere to travel through going towards the poles and the affect on how this reduces heat reaching the surface can be demonstrated. A metal surface such as on a vehicle will become too hot to touch under a midday sun near the equator. Although the ground at the poles is not face on to the sun any vertical surface of a ship (at the poles) can be face on to the sun and become too hot to touch based on the area rule. But that doesn’t happen.

Derek Colman
March 31, 2019 4:52 pm

The climate scammers are using the same technique as all those phone scammers who phone almost every day, playing on the gullibility of old people. It’s sad to see David Attenborough fall prey to these vultures.

March 31, 2019 6:28 pm

I was astonished that Attenborough was taken in by this AGW crap….
CNN has exploited this…and a lot of people probably believe him.

Bill Mccarter
March 31, 2019 6:46 pm

Dang, I like Dr Ball. He has unerring ability to stick his finger in the festering wounds and falsehoods of the Warimistas, and gives it a good wiggle. The screams and agw tears are a wonderful sight to see.

Gerald Machnee
March 31, 2019 7:03 pm

For those who are concerned about a little wording in this article I suggest you have a look at the Prairie Climate Centre website. This group is mainly funded by the Government of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg.
Here is a quote from the website:
The cause: human activity

Our planet’s climate is influenced by many natural factors, including the Earth’s tilt, its orbit around the sun, large volcanic eruptions, and changing ocean currents. Because we know a lot about how these forces work, we also know that none of them explain the sudden, recent warming of the globe [9].

Evidence shows that only increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—specifically carbon dioxide concentrations—can explain Earth’s observed warming trend. Greenhouse gases are called that because they effectively act like a greenhouse or a layer of insulation for the Earth: they trap heat and warm the planet. (See our “Greenhouse Gases” page for more information.)
NOTE that any other source is now DISCOUNTED here. They are so sure of themselves now.

Climate scientists agree:

1 Climate change is happening.

2 It’s being caused by us.

3 If left unchecked, the impacts will be serious.

4 We must take action.
Read about
Climate Science

Science is very clear on the facts and the causes of climate change. The world is warming, and human activity is the cause.

The climate threat is real, but so are the exciting possibilities to find new and creative approaches to living together with health and prosperity within the limits of the natural world.

In order to take meaningful action, we need to understand how climate change works. Learn more about the basic science of climate change.

They do not even say MOSTLY human caused.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
April 1, 2019 9:36 am

Looks like nobody has checked this yet.

John Robertson
April 1, 2019 3:39 pm

If the Cult of Calamitous Climate defined their terms,they would have nothing to say.
Hard to be excited when you admit you know nothing for sure and have vague suspicions that man must be to blame.
Definition of terms and error bars on the known data kill the narrative.
Crisis? What crisis?

The only way this Climate meme flies is if you can willfully ignore human history and scientific methodology..by believing.

April 2, 2019 10:54 am

What is so strange about these climatology arguments, and the global warming protagonists, is that they ignore the MAJOR cause of temperature variability – the Sun. And this is so easy to prove – for example, the differences in winter and summer,due to orbital variations. There is also the critical actual variation in solar output, which is roughly measured by sunspots. Luckily for us, the solar radiation is very steady, and only changes by a few tenths of a percent, at most. Even so, this slight variability can create much longer and colder winters, as happened in the past. And the reverse happens, as in the period 1950 – 2000, when there was an increase in sunspots, and temperatures did rise worldwide, leading to increased melting of polar caps and glaciers. In the last few years, suddenly, the sun has gone blank, few or no sunspots. As a result, the sun is in a cooling period. Expect colder winters, more ice, and the longer this solar cooling continues, the longer winter will linger. And yes, already, there is a colder winter this year, for example, look at the temperatures at the US/Canadian border this past week. Global warming advocates need to educate themselves about Solar science…

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