Tim Ball is suing Dan Johnson for defamation because of a letter to the editor published in the Calgary Herald (edited to add links):
Whatever one may feel about Tim Ball’s denial of climate change science, newspapers ought to report factual summaries of authors’ credentials. You note that he “was the first Climatology PhD in Canada and worked as a Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years”. Ball received a PhD in Geography in the UK in 1982, on a topic in historical climatology. Canada already had PhDs in climatology, and it is important to recognize them and their research. Examples include Kenneth Hare, a well-respected Professor at McGill, who received his PhD in 1950, also in the UK. Climatologist Andre Robert (PhD from McGill, 1965) conducted research that laid the groundwork in atmospheric models and climate. Timothy Oke, a leader in the study of urban climate, received his PhD from McMaster in 1967. According to Ball’s website, he was not a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years. And how could he have? He did not even have an entry-level PhD until 1983, that would allow even Assistant Professor status. During much of the 28 years cited, he was a junior Lecturer who rarely published, and then spent 8 years as a geography professor. His work does not show any evidence of research regarding climate and atmosphere and the few papers he has published concern other matters. There are great gains to be made in science from conjectures and refutations, but sometimes denial is nothing more than denial.
Dan Johnson, PhD
Professor of Environmental Science
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Grassland Ecosystems
Department of Geography
University of Lethbridge
It’s easy to check that Ball was not the first Climatology PhD and that he wasn’t a Climatology Professor for 28 years. I thought that maybe the paper had edited down his biography and mangled it, but in this later article he puts it in his own words and further embellishes his qualifications:
I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and that for 32 years I was a Professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg.
Gee, now he’s saying he was a Professor for 32 years and he’s claiming to be a Doctor of Science, a much more prestigious qualification that the one he holds.
So in response to Johnson’s letter that correctly pointed out that Ball had puffed up his qualifications, Ball is going to sue the paper, Johnson and, for good measure, the University of Lethbridge.
I believe it is wrong for Ball to use legal harassment to attempt to suppress the truth about his qualifications so I’ve republished Johnson’s letter on my blog.
Dr Ball: if you want to sue me as well, my contact details are on the tab at the top of the page.