What does Tim Ball mean by 'to my knowledge'?

At 3:10 in a Tim Ball interview with the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen, he says this:

To my knowledge I've never received a nickel from the oil and gas companies. I wish I did get some money -- I might be able to afford their product. If you ask my wife she says its cost me a lot of money to take the positions I've taken. Been a lot easier to be on the gravy train of Kyoto and the government handouts and all the rest of it. I'm not doing it for my pocket or my pleasure I assure you.

Certainly there is money available for climate research, but it is nonsense to argue that he could have some of it if he joined the consensus. He retired from his academic position ten years ago.

At 4:48 we learn the significance of the "to my knowledge" qualifier.

TB: The High Park Group brought me in and set me up in a room to give a talk and present my views.
Q: You didn't get paid for those speeches?
TB: Oh I get paid of course.
Q: Did you ever look into where the conference got their money from?
TB: I don't know.
Q: You got paid yesterday to speak?
TB: Yes.
Q: But you don't know who paid you?
TB: The High Park Group paid me. I don't know who paid them.
Q: Which is a public relations group?
TB: I have no idea where they get their money from. ... I make a point of not trying to find out who's paying me. I don't care.

It's beyond obvious that High Park is being paid by companies that see Kyoto as being damaging to their interests and that Ball is only paid by them because he denies anthropogenic global warming. So he is gaining from his denial, both in money and attention.

The High Park Group employs Tom Harris, who has been writing articles attacking Gore's movie.

Kevin Grandia has more on the interview, including Ball's accusation that the scientists at Environment Canada are corrupt. Desmogblog even has a category for posts about Tim Ball.

(Via Ian Forrester.)


More like this

'Well, sure, I've been giving speeches for and being paid by the Anonymous Upstanding Citizens for Delicious McDonald's Hamburgers, but I have no idea what the group's source of funding might be, and frankly I try not to ask. And, mmmmm, what a fresh, tasty McDonald's hamburger I'm eating right now. Mmmmm.'

Is anyone getting rich off research grants? Listining to the "skeptics" you would think all the monmey goes directly to the researcher's bank account, but that is crazy. Someone needs to show where the money actually goes.

Jim is correct,

The last feeble argument used by contrarians is the 'scientists are using scare tactics to secure funding'. Lomborg used this as a last line of defense when it became clear that his book was going to be lambasted by the scientific community. It is actually quite pathetic - the vast majority of research funding has little, if anything to do with anthropogenic global change, but has more to do with enhancing our fundamental understanding of how complex systems function. Of course we know that human activities are a major influence on a range of spatio-temporal processes in ecological systems, but from what the sceptics are saying you'd get the idea that we are all becoming rich on research grants. Utter garbage! As I have said before, there's a lot more money floating around the anti-environmental camp.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 07 Jul 2006 #permalink