My Posts to the LinkedIn Discussion
John O'Sullivan Began to
Attack Climate Scientists
and Science Journalists
(The entire discussion was deleted by moderator Eric Bobinsky,
after, I suspect, he received litigious threats from Mr. O'Sullivan. Unfortunately, this list may not be
complete. I may have failed to copy some of my posts. Also, I may have made some small edits after
copying and pasting some of them here.)
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. Sullivan, you could be the poster child of dishonesty and misinformation.
Scientists admit they have a "low or very low understanding" of gravity -- and everything else they
study. By its fundamental nature, science is always tentative and always incomplete. Despite the huge
holes in scientists' understanding of gravity, they -- and we -- can use it perfectly well whether we're
trying to climb a mountain or use the gravity of other planets to sling-shot space probes all across the
solar system and now beyond. Mr. Sullivan, you are a very silly man whose polemics are laughable.
Your twisted logic reminds me of 50 years of arguments of the tobacco industry's hired guns, who
insisted that there is no evidence smoking causes cancer, heart disease, emphysema, stokes, birth
defects or any other disease and that the"dubious" evidence of harm comes from a conspiracy of "anti-
smoking Nazis." In fact, some of the large PR firms that ran the tobacco industry's disinformation
program for decades are now working for the oil and coal industries to keep the public misinformed.
One last poke at Mr. Sullivan's silly polemics: "Would you let a doctor operate on you if he didn’t know
how 80% of your body worked? " We can only wish there were surgeons who "know how 80%" of our
bodies work. Not even Dr. House knows more than 1 percent of how bodies work. Still, if we get hit by
a bus, we have to rely on surgeons to put our broken bones back together even though they don't
understand just how bones know they've been broken or how they go about mending the break.
Although they do know how to safely place the pieces back together enough for the body to heal itself
and how to support the patient while they heal. Take Aspirin, one of the first modern drugs to be
invented. A scientist at Bayer synthesized the marvelously useful drug 114 years ago. It quickly became
one of the most widely used drug in history, helping to ease pain, reduce fever, and allowing people
crippled with arthritis and other diseases to function more normally. Yet, scientists didn't have a clue
how the drug worked for nearly a century more. Even now, when scientists are able to construct new
varieties of drugs that work like Aspirin, there's still an enormous amount they don't have a clue about.
For example, why does Aspirin cause potentially deadly Reye's syndrome in some children who have
the flu or other viral infection but not others? Despite that ignorance, doctors learned from scientists
that children with viral infections should not be treated with Aspirin. Mr. Sullivan is simply parroting
over and over the mantra of the oil/coal/tobacco industry: "Until scientists can explain everything and
all scientists agree, they should keep their meddling hands off of our businesses."
Andrew Skolnick • To illustrate just how easy it is for fossil fuel industry shills to "repackage" the
highly successful slogans of the tobacco industry disinformation campaign, let's replace a few words in
some of the arguments Mr. O'Sullivan made above:
"When science journalists apply due diligence they soon see that the America Cancer Society is forced
to admit that the science behind its claims about smoking and cancer is pitifully weak." Indeed,
scientists still do not understand how normal cells become cancerous, nor why some cancers take many
years to grow while others reproduce rapidly and spread metastases to other organs in the body.
The "Achilles Heel of the whole sham" is the fact that "despite 35 years of the" War On Cancer "and
hundreds of billions of dollars spent on" cancer research, the anti-smoking Nazis admit that researchers
have very low understanding of most of the steps that lead up to a normal cell becoming highly
"I have proven there is widespread disinformation about" the causes of cancer. "I’ve identified, buried
in the official documents, frank admissions from the scientists that have very poor understanding of
what" causes cancer. "I can assure you if the MSM published these FACTS there is no way voters
would allow policymakers to" pass anti-smoking laws that invade the privacy of individuals and
interfere with an industry that employs millions of Americans in a perfectly legal business.
If you think we have heard these arguments before, it's because we have -- for half a century. They
didn't stand up to honest scrutiny then. They don't stand up to it now.
During that half-century of well-funded disinformation, an estimated 20 million Americans died of
smoking-related diseases (including many hundreds of thousands of children and other victims of
environmental tobacco smoke -- who did not chose to smoke). The toll of death and suffering may
prove to be a whole lot higher if the global warming deniers are anywhere near as successful as were
the tobacco disease deniers.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, you continue to misstate the facts and misrepresent what climate
scientists say. The vast majority of climate scientists you keep attacking do NOT say most -- let alone
every -- question in climate science is "settled." That's a bald faced misrepresentation and a straw man
argument. The question climate scientists say has been settled is whether earth's global temperature is
increasing. That increase is a proven fact. They also say the dramatic increase of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere from burning fossil fuel is a major factor contributing to the temperature increase. That
theory is supported by a wealth of confirming data from a broad range of scientific disciplines and is no
longer doubted by many scientists who are not funded by the fossil fuel industry.
The situation is virtually identical to the tobacco industry's successful use of PR firms, hired scientist,
and journalist shills to keep the public misinformed about the deadly effects of tobacco addiction for
more than half a century. Indeed, some of the very same PR firms that ran the tobacco industry's
campaign are now leading the oil and coal industry's disinformation campaign. And they're using the
identical mantra "scientists don't agree [plug in the appropriate fact you wish to deny] -- that smoking is
addicting -- that smoking causes cancer or any other disease -- that global temperature is rising -- that
increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has a greenhouse effect on our planet."
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan's comments on the methods of science also reveal much
"...what you’ve forgotten is that man-made global warming was never more than hypothesis – please
don’t even dignify it any longer by calling it a theory. An example of an ongoing debate of a theory is
Darwin's theory of evolution. Even with all the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution, it is still
debated and called the "theory" of evolution, not the "fact" of evolution—and this debate has been
going on for nearly 150 years. Many are advocating that schools also teach the theory of creationism.
Personally, I’d teach kids the whole caboodle and let them apply reason and judgment."
As the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578), because "creationism"
is a religious belief, not a scientific theory, it may not be taught in public schools as "science" anymore
than Hindu demonology, Muslim Sharia law, or the Inerrancy of the Roman Catholic Pope.
Evolution is both a scientific theory and a fact. There's long been absolutely no doubt among the vast
majority of Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Brahman, and atheist scientists that all species
of life on our planet evolved from earlier species. The many complex mechanisms involved in
evolution is what is being debated by scientists -- not the fact of evolution -- as creationists and their
fellow travelers want people to believe. Creationism is a religious belief held primarily by members of
fundamentalist religious groups. That's a fact.
Despite being a science writer, Mr, O'Sullivan doesn't seem to understand that science is a systematic
way of pursuing knowledge about our universe by making careful observations, forming hypotheses
that help to explain those observations, and then carefully testing those hypotheses. When a hypothesis
is verified by careful testing, it becomes a theory. The theory of evolution has been verified by many
hundreds of thousands of different experiments over the past century and a half by scientists of all
religious faiths (except Fundamentalists who reject any knowledge they believe contradicts their
reading of holy scripture).
Only people who wear tin foil hats to protect their brains from alien messages doubt Einstein's theory
of relativity. Yet, it's continues to be called a "theory." Does anyone believe a particle's mass doesn't
increase as its velocity approaches the speed of light? Of course not. That's well-established fact.
The atomic theory (which the renowned scientist Ernst Mach -- refused to accept to until his dying day)
is similarly a fact no rational informed person denies. Atoms are as real to us today as is the air we
breathe (but also cannot see).
Mr. O'Sullivan's insistence that "man-made global warming" is not a theory based on scientific
observations and experiments shows a similar lack of understanding. Although not as solidly
established as relativity, evolution, or the atomic theory, it nonetheless is supported by an
overwhelming preponderance of scientific observations and tested predictions.
Scientific "theory" and "fact" are two different but NOT mutually exclusive terms. A scientific theory is
an explanation of observations that is supported by experiments and/or additional observations. A fact
is an objective and verifiable observation. The earth revolves around the sun is a fact. It's also part of
the Copernican heliocentric theory. Subsequently modified by the contributions of Galileo, Newton,
and (to a much lesser degree) Einstein, the Copernicus' heliocentric theory is a long-confirmed fact.
(Although not by a relatively small number of religious Fundamentalists and other loons.)
Some theories eventually are either modified or disproved by ongoing observations (i.e. Copernicus
was wrong that the planets move about the sun in circular orbits). But to insist that a theory cannot be a
fact is ridiculously non-factual.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, you continue to make false statements about science and how
scientific research is conducted. You say "there are several stages scientific ideas must pass through
before a theory becomes a LAW of science." That's just false. A science journalist is expected to know
A scientific law is a concise verbal or mathematical statement of a relationship that expresses a
fundamental principle in science -- such as Newton's first law of motion ("Every object in a state of
uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.") or the
2nd law of thermodynamics (which in the best known version says "the entropy of a closed system can
increase but never decrease".)
In science, laws differ from theories in that they summarize a relationship without offering an
explanation for the relationship. Newton didn't have a clue where the force of gravity comes from (we
still don't!), yet his law of universal gravitation was a profound and revolutionary advance in our
understanding of the universe.
The germ theory, the atomic theory, Einstein's two theories of relativity, and the theory of evolution are
as soundly proven as is the universal law of gravitation -- yet not one of them can become a scientific
law because they are not concise statements expressing a fundamental principle of science -- not
because they have not "passed through enough stages"!
When a scientific hypothesis is tested and confirmed by careful experiments and/or observations it
becomes a theory. French chemist Louis Pasteur tested his hypotheses that microorganisms are
responsible for spoiling wine, making milk into cheese, and causing anthrax, rabies, and many other
diseases. That led to the development of the germ theory of disease. There's no such thing as the "germ
law of disease" -- not because the germ theory hasn't been proven, but because it is not a concise verbal
or mathematical statement of a relationship that expresses a fundamental principle of science.
You further show a lack of understanding by claiming "There is no such thing as scientific fact per se."
Water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Those are facts. So is the fact that the most
common isotope of hydrogen has one proton and no neutrons and that rabies is caused by a viral
You write, "If you wish to dispute this then please cite where any scientist refers to the FACTS of
Evolution and not the THEORY of Evolution. Sorry, but evolution doesn’t even make it to the level of
a law." That's a gross misrepresentation of what I wrote. I never said anyone refers to the "Facts of
Evolution" I clearly called it the theory of evolution. What I said is that the overwhelming majority of
scientists (regardless of their religious beliefs) believe that all species of life today evolved from earlier
species. That species change over time through changes in their genetic make up is a fact that is no
longer in dispute by any educated person, who isn't a Fundamental religious zealot.
At least there is one thing you say I agree with: "Frankly, a science journalist ought to know these
basics." I've been writing about science for more than 30 years. I know the difference between
scientific hypotheses, theories, and laws, as well as between facts and assertions
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, I never suggested anything about whether you smoke or not. And I
didn't say you are tied to or independent of the tobacco or fossil fuel industries. I know nothing about
you other than what you've recently posted to this discussion.
What I did say is that you are using similar misleading arguments the tobacco industry's hired guns
used to falsely create the appearance of scientific disagreement about the deadly effects of tobacco use.
It's been well documented that a number of the prominent PR firms that led the tobacco industry's
disinformation campaign now are employing the very same strategy and techniques to help the fossil
fuel industry deceive the public about the role of carbon emissions in global warming.
You are free to use these arguments here or anywhere else. And I'm just as free to point out how false
and misleading they are.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, I explained to you how hypotheses become scientific theories and
how theories are different from laws, yet you persist in misrepresenting these terms. Your statement,
scientific "laws are created when a theory has stood the test of time and cannot be proven wrong (i.e.
gravity)," is an embarrassment of wrongness. You needn't just take my word for this:
In modern science the term "theory" refers "to a proposed explanation of empirical phenomena, made
in a way consistent with scientific method. ...A common distinction made in science is between theories
and hypotheses, with the former being considered as satisfactorily tested or proven and the latter used
to denote conjectures or proposed descriptions or models which have not yet been tested or proven to
the same standard." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory)
In science, a "law" refers to "universal and invariable facts of the physical universe. Laws of science
may, however, be disproved if new facts or evidence contradicts them. A 'law' differs from hypotheses,
theories, postulates, principles, etc., in that a law is an analytic statement, usually with an empirically
determined constant." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science)
Frankly, I have a hard time understanding how a "science journalist" doesn't understand the difference
between hypotheses, theories, and laws. In science, there is a fundamental difference between a theory
and a law. Theories do not become laws "by standing the test of time and cannot be proven wrong," as
you falsely claim. Hypotheses, on the other hand, can become established as theories through careful
testing and/or observations.
Andrew Skolnick • Gareth, well stated. But I suspect your reasoned arguments will fall like water off a
duck's back. The basic physics of carbon dioxide is certainly well understood. There's no question
whatsoever that the increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes a "green house"
effect (anyone who doubts that should put on an asbestos space suit and take a trip to Venus, where the
surface beneath the planet's dense CO2 atmosphere is hot enough to melt lead.) As you note, what is
still unclear is how global heating from increasing CO2 levels will affect regional climates around the
Mr. O'Sullivan's argument that we wouldn't let a surgeon, who only understands "80% of how our
bodies work," operate on us shows how absurd the arguments of global warming deniers can get.
Claiming that we must not act until we have perfect and complete understanding is a plea for
Andrew Skolnick • I'm reminded of an old saying I recently made up: "An attorney is to truth the way a
professional boxer is to unblemished skin." :-)
Andrew Skolnick • "Andrew, more personal insults? Again you avoid the points I make and resort to
silly name calling. Very sad."
Hardly, Mr. O'Sullivan. If you were the only lawyer in the world, you could rightly claim a personal
insult. I was just pointing out what is common knowledge: The duty of lawyers is to protect and serve
the interests of their client, not the interests of public understanding. They will do so by telling the truth
and they will do so by hiding the truth. That's how lawyers in good standing work, but it's not how
scientists in good standing work.
Lawyers have a saying that when the facts are not on your side, pound the law. When the law is not on
your side, pound the facts. When neither are on your side, pound the table.
You sir, are pounding the table.
Andrew Skolnick • No, Mr. O'Sullivan, what you wrote is this: "Would you let a doctor operate on you
if he didn’t know how 80% of your body worked? "
My first post correctly quoted you. I regret my subsequent paraphrase unintentionally reversed the
ratio. I should have said "doesn't understand" instead of "only understands." My apologies for the
garbled paraphrase. But your claim that my mistake is "reprehensible and dishonest" is utter table
If I remake my argument correcting the mistake, my point is just as valid and your argument is just as
"Would you let a doctor operate on you if he didn’t know how 80% of your body worked? " We can
only wish there were surgeons who know ow how 20%" of our bodies work. Not even Dr. House
knows as much as 1 percent of how bodies work. Still, if we get hit by a bus, we have to rely on
surgeons to put our broken bones back together even though they don't understand how bones know
they've been broken or how they go about mending the break. Although they do know how to safely
place the pieces back together enough for the body to heal itself and how to support the patient while
Take Aspirin, one of the first modern drugs to be invented. A scientist at Bayer synthesized the
marvelously useful drug 114 years ago. It quickly became one of the most widely used drug in history,
helping to ease pain, reduce fever, and allowing people crippled with arthritis and other diseases to
function more normally. Yet, scientists didn't have a clue how the drug worked for nearly a century
more. Even now, when scientists are able to construct new varieties of drugs that work like Aspirin,
there's still an enormous amount they don't have a clue about. For example, why does Aspirin cause
potentially deadly Reye's syndrome in some children who have the flu or other viral infection but not
others? Despite that ignorance, doctors learned from scientists that children with viral infections should
not be treated with Aspirin.
Mr. Sullivan is simply reciting over and over the mantra of the oil/coal/tobacco industry: "Until
scientists can explain everything and all scientists agree, they should keep their meddling hands off of
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, would you please tell us where the science you quote, which
"proves" there is no carbon dioxide green house effect on the planet Venus, was published?
Do you really understand all those facts and figures you posted above to prove all those "climatologists
are entirely wrong about Venus"?
Was it published in a respected peer review science journal or was it published on a blog of a self-
publishing kook who also writes about UFOs and aliens.
You may not consider this important, but I and a lot of other people do.
Andrew Skolnick • Dear Barrister, please stop pounding the table for a moment and point out exactly
what I said that is libelous and I will certainly retract it and apologize.
But don't put words in my mouth. I never accused you of lying. Nor did I ever say "lawyers serve their
clients rather than uphold the law." Your allegations are false.
No one would argue with a straight face that lawyers never try to hide the truth about their clients.
Indeed, that's what lawyer client privilege is all about. What a client reveals to his attorney stays with
his attorney. Lawyers who reveal damaging truths about a client could face serious professional
Having been in the business for three decades and having been sued for defamation (unsuccessfully)
and suing (successfully) two corporations for defamation, I know a good deal about libel law. And I
know the sound of legal bluster having heard it many times from lawyers who believe they can silence
criticism with empty threats.
So kindly cut the crap about "suborning perjury" and ties to "tobacco and coal/oil interests." I never
said anything of the kind. I said you're using the same arguments employed in the tobacco industry
sponsored disinformation campaign to discredit scientists. I also said I don't know who you are nor
what you do for a living. I know nothing of your motives. It's only your tactics that I criticize.
And if you really want to sue somebody for disparaging your profession, go sue Barabus Kubiak, who
"The job of the writer is to describe the rose; that of the poet to sing its virtues; that of the artist to
convey its beauty; that of the lawyer to convince us that it's not a rose at all."
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan now writes, "Andrew, now back to the doctor analogy."
Having had his first analogy blow up in his face, he now switches to a very different analogy that's
loaded with logical fallacies -- namely petitio principii (begging the question) and plurium
interrogationum (the fallacy of loaded questions).
To persuades us that climate scientists are a bunch of quacks, he's replaced the surgeon of his first
analogy with a medical "quack," who hides information from him and probably doesn't ever put the
toilet seat down.
Hey, anyone can play the fallacious analogy game. Let me give it a shot:
My lawyer visits me to tell me, contrary to my own perceptions, that I’m in deep trouble and that I
must pay him very large sum to ‘fix’ my problems....
I better stop there before I get sued.
Andrew Skolnick • I suspect most readers by now can see through your distortions and
misrepresentations without my help. But for your sake, let me correct a few of your misstatements.
The opposite of "truth" is not "lie" but "falsehood." You may be a wellspring of falsehoods, but I never
accused you of lying. "Lying" means "having deliberate intent to deceive." I'm not willing to speculate
why you say the false things you do. It could be deliberate or it could be out of ignorance and an
unwillingness to check your facts. Frankly, I don't care why you post false and misleading statements. I
will only point out that they are false.
If you want to sue me for correcting your false and misleading statements, be my guest. I'm willing to
bet you have more money than I do and I'd be happy to grab some of yours for filing a frivolous suit.
If you really are an attorney, you should know that you cannot sue someone for "defaming" the legal
profession. False and damaging speech against doctors, lawyers, or any other profession is NOT
actionable. I think they teach that in first year law, at least in the United States.
If you need help in understanding this or other aspects of libel law, I'd be happy to suggest references
you can read.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan pounds the table and declares "there are ZERO species extinctions
shown by scientists to be due to humans."
Wonder what he "thinks" happened to the dodo bird? Or the Carolina parakeet and passenger pigeon,
which was hunted to extinction, as were all 11 species of moas -- the giant wingless birds of New
Zealand and the remarkable huia birds that were killed off in order to decorate the hats of Europeans.
Mr. O'Sullivan apparently believes they must not be extinct since he thinks we must be dumb as dodos
to swallow such whoppers.
Andrew Skolnick • Another whopper Mr. O'Sullivan thinks we're too dodooish to see through is his
"(a) Wikipedia is heavily edited by 'greens', so it is very likely (using IPCC terminology here) that the
quote is among the highest that can be found;"
The Wikipedia article he quotes is NOT an article on wildlife extinction, it's an article on the Red List
published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). So of course Wikipedia cites
IUCN's number. Other groups have higher estimations of extinct species, but this is neither an article
about those groups nor about human-driven extinction. It's about IUCN's offical Red List.
The IUCN is very conservative in its list of extinct species. According to the agency, no species is
included in the list unless: " there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. A taxon is
presumed Extinct when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times
(diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have failed to record an individual. Surveys
should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon's life cycle and life form."
Most scientists believe there are far more species that have recently become extinct. However, they will
not be included in IUCN's Red List unless and until the necessary time-consuming and expensive
surveys are carried out.
It's worth repeating: "The job of the writer is to describe the rose; that of the poet to sing its virtues;
that of the artist to convey its beauty; that of the lawyer to convince us that it's not a rose at all." --
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, again you resort to name calling and seeking to discredit a scientist for his
personal beliefs. Very sad. You also seem to wish to claim to yourself some kind of scientific authority,
as if those who disagree with you are somehow not 'proper' scientists or are just "kooks" as you put it.
I'm sorry to burst your bubble but as I have advised you, I am well briefed by the 24 international
scientists who coauthored with me the best seller, â€˜Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse
Gas Theory.â€™ Many of my advisers are esteemed professors with PhDâ€™s in their respective
fields, some are well-known climatologists, others are mathematicians, astrophysicists, chemists and
specialists far more qualified than those generalists you cite from the infant science of climatology.
Harry Dale Huffman is a highly-respected physicist who has worked in both in academe and high-tech
industry. That you have not one shred of evidence to refute his argument but merely resort to calling
him names proves that you are his intellectual and scientific inferior. Do you really believe that
childishly abusing others enhances your credibility as a science journalist?
Huffman, numerous skeptic scientists and meteorologist agree that atmospheric pressure determines
atmospheric temperature. Your attempt to â€˜proveâ€™ that atmospheric pressure is not a factor is not
only clumsy but demonstrably false.
I had to stifle laughing at your claim that â€œIt's not high gas pressure that generates heat, it's
compression. Stable gas pressure, whether high or low, generates no heat whatsoever.â€• The earth's
climate is not a stable system but is in constant chaos with shifts from low to high pressure. We call it
Frankly, you mischaracterize basic meteorology and ignore the fact that the terms â€˜high pressureâ€™
and â€˜low pressureâ€™ are referenced in conjunction with use of a barometer to determine likely
short term weather.
To better inform you on this I suggest you research the term â€˜adiabatic lapse rate.â€™ The
Encyclopdia Britannica may be a good place to start your education:
What you will learn is that all planets show temperature decreases with altitude for the tropospheric
layer. But what is most striking is that temperature is neatly correlated with atmospheric pressure. It is
unfortunate that you choose not to open your eyes to this glaringly obvious fact. Because what it tells
us is that the planets in our solar system show a cooling atmospheric trend that reverses at around 100
millibars, all except Venus, which shows a similar reversal except that it begins to warm at a lower
pressure. NASA data confirms this here: http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect19/Sect19_7.html
What my esteemed scientist colleagues have proven is that not only does atmospheric pressure
determine weather, it actually is a major factor in determining climate and the temperatures found on
every planet far more reliably than the discredited â€˜greenhouse effect.â€™ I suggest you read â€˜A
Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?â€™ the paper written by Dr Martin Hertzberg, Chemist, Hans
Schreuder and climate researcher, Alan Siddons:
This is a good primer for those who are open-minded and intelligent enough to comprehend the
Andrew Skolnick • The science behind the greenhouse effect of atmospheric gases is extremely
complex. So it's an easy target for science kooks aiming to “disprove” global warming using the old
IYCDTWYBBTWBS strategy: “If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with BS.”
Readers who would like a basic explanation of the greenhouse effect should read the Wikipedia article:
The so-called science Mr. O'Sullivan copied and pasted here (without quoting the author) to “disprove”
the greenhouse effect of Venus' atmosphere is difficult to read and understand because it is a garbled
mess written by a self-published kook (un)known for his diatribes against the scientific community. His
name is Harry Dale Huffman and he has a big gripe with the scientific community for failing to publish
– or even acknowledge – his brilliant discoveries that "prove" the earth was shaped – not by natural
laws – but by the design of “gods” – "advanced people" who came to earth in UFOs to reshape its
landmasses and teach the Eqyptians how to build pyramids.
Plate tectonics and continental drift over millions of years? The babble of children, he says. The
landmasses of earth and stars in the heavens were reorganized 10,000 to 20,000 years ago by these
"gods” to leave a message than only he has been able to decipher. This is Mr. O'Sullivan's scientific
“authority” on the atmosphere of Venus. http://stores.lulu.com/hdhsciences (For more about his
“authority,” see my post to follow.)
But I'll point one absurdity out here: Mr. O'Sullivan's authority compares the average temperature of
earth's surface to the temperature of the Venus' atmosphere 31 MILES above the planet's surface
because that's where the pressure is equal to earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level. That's kind of
like measuring the temperature of the air above the greenhouse glass rather than below it.
Amost 90 PERCENT of Venus' infrared-blocking atmosphere lies BELOW that altitude. Beneath that
thick, infra-red radiation capturing atmosphere, the surface of Venus is nearly 900 degrees F. – hot
enough to melt metals like zinc, tin, lead, bismuth, cadmium, and selenium. How does Huffman
explain the source of the great heat? From the great pressure of Venus' atmosphere, which weighs 92
times as much as earth's, he says.
In doing so, he confuses pressure with compression. While compression generates heat, pressure does
not. Every person who has ever pumped up a racing bicycle tire probably knows this. While pumping
up the tire – often to 120 pounds per square inch -- which is 8 bars or 8 times atmospheric pressure at
sea level and about 1/12th the atmospheric pressure on the surface of Venus – they can feel the pump
get hot and the tire getting warm. However, in a short time the heat generated by compression will
dissipate. When they come back later, they will find the tire is at ambient temperature.
It's not high gas pressure that generates heat, it's compression. Stable gas pressure, whether high or low,
generates no heat whatsoever. Unless of course Mr. Huffman believes “the gods” are now compressing
Venus the way they reformed Atlantis into Greenland and moved it from near the coast of Africa to off
the coast of Canada.
1 day ago
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, you simply compound one falsehood with another. Here's what you
"A popular meme in the extremist wing of environmentalism is that 'humans are causing XXX number
of species to become extinct.' However, just as with the bogus claims about global temperatures, once
we examine the facts, we see that there is no substance to the hot air. For example, if we use Wikipedia
as our source (a favorite among greens) we see the following admissions by alarmists that there are
ZERO species extinctions shown by scientists to be due to humans."
The claim that "there are ZERO species extinctions shown by scientists to be due to humans" is one of
the most egregiously false statements you've posted to date.
And that's saying a lot.
Andrew Skolnick • One thing a good journalist has in common with a good attorney is the habit of
asking people questions for which they already have the answer. It's an effective way of testing the
person's competence, knowledge, and/or integrity.
That's why I asked Mr. O'Sullivan where the “science” was published he quoted to “prove” climate
scientists and astrophysicists are either liars or have rocks in their heads. I specifically asked if it was
published in a peer-reviewed science journal.
For scientific research to be credible, it must be published in a peer-reviewed journal or forum.
“Research” reported in the lay media has little credibility. And research that is self-published by the
kooks on the fringes of science is considered a joke – if considered at all.
Unfortunately, promoters of pseudoscience are able to take advantage of people's ignorance of the
scientific process. They plead to their sense of “fairness” and appeal to egalitarian ideals. Peer-review
is not a process to protect the integrity of science by keeping out incompetent and or dishonest
research, they argue, it's censorship.
Thus we have that quote Mr. O'Sullivan lifted (without quotes!) from a “scientist,” who accuses the
scientific community of censorship for not publishing his crackpot “proof” that the earth and heavens
were recently shaped by alien visitors rather than by natural forces over billions of years.
I asked Mr. O'Sullivan where the “science” he quoted was published, suspecting correctly that he
would not give an answer. He lifted that nonsense verbatim from Harry Dale Huffman's personal blog:
Although Mr. Huffman has no doctorate in any discipline, he calls himself an “independent physical
scientist, in physics and applied mathematics.” By independent, I think he means he self-publishes his
research. Mr. Huffman has self-published several books on his revolutionary “discoveries” offered
through Amazon.com – none of which has earned a single review.
Mr. Huffman claims to have solved many great mysteries that continue to stymie the great minds of
science (who won't even reply to his letters). He alone has been able to tease out the messages left by
Among those mysteries is the location of the lost continent Atlantis and the truth about space aliens. He
claims all the geologists of the world who study plate tectonics are “incompetent,” since he has shown
beyond a doubt that the plate tectonic theory is childish fiction. He has proven, he says, that 15,000 to
20,000 years ago, the entire earth was reshaped -- not by natural geological processes that took billions
of years -- but by “advanced people” whom our ancient ancestors called “gods.” He alone has been able
to decipher the “message stored for mankind” by the alien visitors.
My favorite bit of his crackpottery is his evidence of the alien's "Grand Design," which is is the
“abundance of creature-like shapes” on the globe that are “generally incomplete or otherwise
ambiguous, but many quite stunning.” For example, if you turn the globe upside down, Australia looks
to him “like a sheep dog.”
For an idea just how kooky Mr. O'Sullivan's authority on Venus is, see if you can see the "sheep dog" in
an upside map of Australia: http://aaskolnick.com/hold/australia.jpg
23 hours ag
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, if you want proof that you're a liar, I suggest you provide it
yourself, since only you know why you post things that are demonstrably untrue.
I won't speculate on your motives. But I will keep pointing out how many of the things you post are
false -- such as the clearly absurd whopper, "there are ZERO species extinctions shown by scientists to
be due to humans." That was a real leg stamper.
(Before falsely accusing me again of calling you a liar, I suggest you check a dictionary. The first
meaning of "whopper" is "something exceptionally big or remarkable." Some of your falsehoods are
Andrew Skolnick • After I identified the actual author of the crackpot science on Venus' atmosphere
Mr. O'Sullivan posted, he now is willing to name the author of the words he lifted without quotation:
"Harry Dale Huffman is a highly-respected physicist who has worked in both in academe and high-tech
Sorry, if Huffman was such "a highly-respected physicist," why did Mr. O'Sullivan lift his words and
post them here without quotes?
I flunked students who used other peoples words in their papers without proper attribution.
But considering the hilarious absurdity of Huffman's crackpot claims, I can almost understand why
O'Sullivan didn't bother to name him or even use quotation marks.
22 hours ago
Andrew Skolnick • I asked Mr. O'Sullivan if the “science” he posted as “proof” that there is no
greenhouse effect on Venus was published in a peer-reviewed publication. I'm no longer surprised he
would answer so falsely:
“You ask for published peer-reviewed proof. Try reading ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the
Greenhouse Gas Theory’ (2010) [Stairway Press]”
The “science” he posted verbatim (without quotation and appropriate attribution) actually was lifted
from the blog of a kook who self-publishes his revolutionary discoveries because the scientific
community is too "incompetent" to recognize his brilliance.
So the truthful answer is no, it was never published in any peer-reviewed journal. It was self-published
by a crank on his own blog.
Instead, Mr. O'Sullivan plugs the book he coauthored, falsely implying that it's a peer-reviewed
Only in the bizarro world of deniers is Stairway Press a publisher of peer-reviewed research. It's a tiny,
recently launched publishing company that recently put out a press release announcing the sale of its
5000th book! I am NOT kidding: http://www.stairwaypress.com/about/
The publisher says, “The main thing we focus on is writing quality – we represent the finest writers we
can find...writers who might otherwise be overlooked in the world of the written word.”
Putting aside an apparent oxymoron (the “finest writers” one can find are not likely to be “overlooked
in the world of the written word” ), why would the “finest writers” choose a publisher that has
published only 11 books and has just put out a press release announcing the sale of its 5000th book?
The world of deniers – whether they deny that the earth moves around the sun, that tobacco causes
cancer and other diseases, that HIV causes AIDS, or that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can raise
global temperature – is a bizzaro world where up is down, hot is cold, and self-published and non-peer-
reviewed research is more credible than peer-reviewed research. But it can be very entertaining for
those who like to watch pompous pontificators gag on their own feet.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan continues to pound his table:
"Andrew, any reasonable person who read your statements may infer that you have repeatedly
attempted to portray me as a liar. Very sad. But when I asked you to provide some evidence you tell me
to find it myself! Wow! Is this the extent of your debating alacrity? "
Despite my repeated claims to the contrary, he continues to insist that I've called him a liar. To be a liar,
a person has to deliberately and knowingly utter a falsehood.
I've said repeatedly, I do not know enough about Mr. O'Sullivan to even speculate why he posts
falsehoods. And I have no evidence that he can even tell a falsehood when he sees it.
Is this because he's dishonest? I don't know. He could be delusional or he simply has difficulty
understanding or using English correctly. Or something else. I simply don't know and am not willing to
speculate. What I do know is that much of what he says is demonstrably untrue. And I'll continue
criticizing his untrue statements despite his protests and litigious threats.
I'm sure the barrister will continue to pound his table demanding evidence that he's a liar. It's a straw
man argument and I'm sure he thinks he's very clever. By my refusing to provide evidence that he's
lying, he's going to insist that what he posts is the truth.
Andrew Skolnick • O.K. Here's my vote for the most idiotic statement Mr. O'Sullivan has ever posted:
"Andrew, ... Why don't you also attack Einstein for not being a proper 'scientist'? Einstein was a mere
patent office clerk when he changed the course of modern science."
Duh! Albert Einstein changed the course of modern science by publishing his theories in the most
respected physics journals (while working in the Swiss patent office as he earned his PhD). He did
NOT self-publish his work like the "scientists" Mr. O'Sullivan touts. He was NOT an outsider or kook
like the"authority" Mr. O'Sullivan quotes.
In 1905, the same year the lowly patent office clerk finished his PhD thesis, Einstein published FOUR
ground-breaking papers in the prestigious journal Annalen der Physik. Published since 1799, Annalen
der Physik is one of the world's most renowned scientific journals! Those papers helped to build the
foundation of modern physics, earning Einstein a Nobel Prize in 1921 and changing our views of space,
time, matter, gravity, and the nature of light.
Even 4 years before that the lowly student and patent office clerk published his very first research paper
(on capillary action) in Annalen der Physik. And then he published several more important papers
before his block-busting four papers in 1905.
This is the great scientists Mr. O'Sullivan compares with the kook who SELF-publishes nonsense about
how space aliens, rather than plate tectonics, shaped the geological features of our planet less than
20,000 years ago!
Does any reader have a statement from Mr. O'Sullivan that they think is even more idiotic that the one
above? Let's hold a "contest."
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan asks: "is there going to be anything you post that addresses the facts
I don't know. Let me know when you post some facts and I'll see.
Right now, I'm a bit overwhelmed dealing with your falsehoods. I double check the accuracy of what I
write and I just don't make things up -- which takes a lot of time. You'll therefore always be way ahead
of me posting dubious statements.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan insists that I cite animals that have become extinct due to human
activity since 1963. (Why since 1963 is unclear.)
O.K. even though I know he won't ever acknowledge facts that disagree with any of his dubious claims,
The last Pyrenean ibex died in 2000 -- these beautiful wild goats were victims of unregulated hunting
and habitat loss.
In 2006, the majestic West African black rhino was declared extinct, victim of poaches who sold their
horns for their alleged "aphrodisiac powers."
The Tecopa pupfish, a native of the hot springs of the Mojave Desert, was reported extinct in 1982 after
its limited habitat was lost to California developers.
The gorgeous Java tiger became extinct in 1979, a victim of agricultural development and loss of
The Zanzibar leopard that were found in the Tanzania archipelago was declared extinct in 1996 (though
there have been a few unconfirmed reports of sightings). These beautiful large cats were killed off by
superstitious locals who believed they were used by witches. A short-lived conservation campaign in
the mid-1990s came too late to save them.
The beautiful Spix's Macaw (also called the Little Blue Macaw) has been extinct in the wild since 2004
due to habitat destruction and illegal trapping and trade.
So, Mr. O'Sullivan, when you insist that no species has recently become extinct due to human activity, I
find your disregard for truth quite disgusting.
Andrew Skolnick • I really shouldn't let Mr. O'Sullivan get away with this fallacious slur:
"That you have not one shred of evidence to refute his [Harry Dale Huffman's] argument but merely
resort to calling him names proves that you are his intellectual and scientific inferior."
Mr. O'Sullivan, if you search the National Library of Medicine's data base PubMed, you will find more
than 230 articles I authored in major peer-reviewed journals.
Pray tell how many articles has Mr. Huffman published in peer-reviewed journals -- major or
All I can find are his self-published articles about finding the lost continent of Atlantis, UFOs, and how
to get 20 percent more gas mileage by adding a little acetone to the gas tank (which, not surprising,
doesn't work, according to research at the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kettering University!
http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=resources/auto&id=3951510), and similar drivel.
While we're at it, how many articles have you published in major peer-reviewed science journals?
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan snipes: "Andrew, if ever there was an appeal to your own 'authority'
this takes the biscuit, 'Mr. O'Sullivan, if you search the National Library of Medicine's data base
PubMed, you will find more than 230 articles I authored in major peer-reviewed journals.'"
I wrote that in response to Mr. O'Sullivan's dismissal of my criticism of his "highly-respected"
scientific expert Harry Dale Huffman, claiming I lacked Huffman's "intellectual and scientific"
I then asked him if Mr. Huffman has ever published his crackpot theories in ANY peer-reviewed
science journal -- and while he was at it to tell us if he ever published any of his own commentaries in a
peer-reviewed science journal.
As judges like to tell table-pounding attorneys who object to testimony being presented in response to
questions that they themselves raised, "Counselor, you opened that door yourself."
This is probably the closest to an admission we're going to get from Mr. O'Sullivan that neither he nor
Huffman ever published their "research," "theories" or opinions in peer-reviewed science journals.
Which is hardly surprising considering the great reluctance of peer-reviewed science journals to publish
conspiracy theory diatribes full of polemics and falsehoods. I can understand why Mr. O'Sullivan is
pounding the table instead of answering the question he himself raised.
Andrew Skolnick • Not to miss an opportunity to post a falsehood, Mr. O'Sullivan says the LinkedIn
moderator deleted an entire thread containing my "tirade of personal insults."
I made my first post to this discussion 5 days ago. I cannot see where ANY of my posts were removed.
Mr. O'Sullivan says, "I can see what the term 'debate' means among so-called science journalists."
No, Mr. O'Sullivan, you cannot. The term "debate" in science journalism does not mean the making of
false statements to deceive, intimidate, or to prevent careful and critical analysis of the issues.
It means not making false accusations. It means not creating straw man arguments to pretend to knock
down. It means honestly responding to questions put forth by critics. And it means having the integrity
to retract false statements that are disproved
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, you say we're "shooting the messenger," but I've seen your kind of
I've dealt with your likes throughout my career, which began as a science writer for the March of
Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. While working to educate the public about the terrible risk to babies
from maternal smoking, I had to deal with "science" and "health" writers who put out stories saying the
smaller size of babies help smoking moms have shorter, less complicated and painful deliveries.
Studies had compellingly shown that mothers who smoked during pregnancy were at a much higher
risk of delivering low-birth weight babies and babies born with low birth weight are at much higher
risk of death, lung and brain damage, and terrible life-long disabilities. And these bloody scoundrels
were trying to spin the research into a positive thing for mothers.
I've seen your kind of messenger before, Mr. O'Sullivan. Same message, different sponsor.
Andrew Skolnick • "I'm not blowing my trumpet about my successes in law or my huge online
following as a science journalist (in the millions) after only 2 years in this field." -- John O'Sullivan
No, Mr. O'Sullivan would NEVER blow his own trumpet about having millions of followers. Must
have been someone who hacked into his LinkedIn account who posted this irrelevant boast. ROTFL!
Nobody asked him how many followers he has. He was asked if he has ever published anything in a
peer-reviewed science publication. Obviously not.
Andrew Skolnick • Nice try, counselor. Since Gareth raised the possibility that you could be padding
your resume by claiming to be the National Review columnist of the same name, I took just a quick
look and what did I see? There is a John O'Sullivan who earned a law degree from University College,
Cork -- only he's not you.
You haven't answered Gareth's request for evidence that you're not padding your resume by claiming to
be the National Review columnist. Gareth asked you for the titles and dates of the articles you
published in National Review.
You have not replied.
And you still haven't answered my question why you're are not including the law school you claim to
have attended in the education section of your LinkedIn profile.
Could it be because you're falsely claiming to have earned a law degree from them and don't want them
to find out? If not, why else would you omit such vitally important professional information? It boggles
Your client and fellow Denier Timothy Ball is well known for outrageously padding his resume.
Getting proof of your University of Cork degree would require sending them your permission along
with identifying information including, birth date, year of graduation, and identification number (ie.
social security). I suggest you contact the University of Cork and ask them to send me a letter
confirming your claim.
Right now, counselor, you seem about to fall off a very slippery slope. You've got some 'splaning to do.
Andrew Skolnick • More table pounding from the counselor: "[Andrew says,] 'There is a John
O'Sullivan who earned a law degree from University College, Cork -- only he's not you'"
Oh really let's see your proof please."
Mr. O'Sullivan, you've clearly convinced everyone taking part in this discussion that showing you proof
of anything is an utter waste of effort. You simply deny the proof.
That's what Deniers do, just like Tecopa pupfish swim and Little Blue Macaws fly ... Oh, sorry. They
don't anymore because they're all GONE.
Alas, Deniers are hardly endangered, though they certainly endanger the rest of mankind.
Other discussion participants, however, are worth the effort:
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan says, "Andrew, what does your link prove other than you haven't a
clue about how to verify a lawyer's credentials?"
What credentials? Seriously. We keep asking you to identify what your credentials are and where
they're from and you won't give a serious answer.
You claim to write for Forbes Magazine and National review, but you won't identify the titles and dates
of any such articles. We've asked you for this several times and you completely ignore us.
Your LinkedIn profile omits any mention of where and when you earned a law degree. You even fail to
provide the year you claim to have received a bachelor's degree or even in what field.
It would be a simple matter for you to put to rest our growing suspicions that you may be lying about
your academic and professional credentials even more than your client, Timothy Ball lied about his.
Just provide us with information and sources we can actually check out.
When your client (if he is indeed your client) lies about being a professor at the University of Winnipeg
for 32 years, he's only off by 24 years. At least there's documentation that he actually was a professor
Andrew Skolnick • Interesting. Mr. O'Sullivan, you say you are a co-author and legal adviser for
Timothy Ball. I just heard from someone who suggested that Ball may not approve of what you've been
posting and may not even know you've been doing it.
This would be flabbagastounding if it were true.
John O'Sullivan • Guys, this has been splendid entertainment hasn't it? En masse you all crawl out from
under your stones, not to debate science but to engage in character assassination. I've given you plenty
of leads to follow and still you don't do proper journalism!
But wait! Here’s something far more entertaining! Make a note of this scoop for the future because if
what I’m about to tell you is for real you are all going to look even bigger fools than you already are.
A trusted source has just informed me that NASA has today officially abandoned the back radiation
effect in its Earth energy budget calculation. You won’t know the significance of that (if it’s true)
because you’re all only science ‘journalists.’
But if this breaking news is genuine (make that a big IF for the next day or so until I get NASA
confirmation) this is the biggest scoop of the decade. But you won’t be seeing it on CNN or the BBC
because those humiliated revisionists will be busy behind the scenes playing down this game changer.
If (yes, again I say IF) the story is confirmed this is game over for all you suck ups of the
environmentalists because the greenhouse gas theory will be officially dead and buried as a scientific
hypothesis - no more scare stories any more about carbon dioxide!
I'm not making any official statements on this yet because this is either a massive prank on my team of
scientists or the ultimate surrender by the warmists at NASA.
Andrew Skolnick • Folks, I'm beginning to think searching for Mr. O'Sullivan's credentials is like
searching for the Loch Ness Monster.
Perhaps, when they finally find Nessie, it will be holding a CV in its jaws that lists the counselor's
articles published in Forbes and National Review as well as the schools he attended, what he studied,
and the year he graduated.
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, Dr Ball knows that I'm engaged in 'debate' with you science 'journalists.'
Why don't you email him and check? You can do this the same time you're checking my legal
credentials with the New York Bar Association, University College, Cork, the American Bar
Association, my publishers, the universities of Surrey and Northampton, as well as Pearlman Lindholm
Attorneys, Google, Bing, Lycos etc, etc.
Remember, as long as you keep me tied up defending myself against your puerile attempts at character
assassination I’m not able to expose you frauds on the REAL issue…… CLIMATE SCIENCE, right?
Andrew Skolnick • BREAKING NEWS from John O'Sullivan: "I'm not making any official statements
on this yet because this is either a massive prank on my team of scientists or the ultimate surrender by
the warmists at NASA."
And I was all set to believe YOU'RE the massive prank on your team of scientists!
I'm serious. I've begun to wonder whether you might be an agent provocateur seeking to discredit
global warming skeptics.
That makes more sense than believing what you've been posting here is helping global warming
deniers. If I were any of them, I'd probably deny one more thing -- knowing you.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan began this discussion by proclaiming:
“Any scientist who comes up with new findings that refute the bogus claims of greenhouse gas
theorists is immediately barred from peer reviewed journals. I have seen it for myself time and again.”
Peer-reviewed science journals, he declares, are controlled “by a gang of self-serving religionists
imposing an iron grip on what can and cannot be published.”
And he accused science “journalists” of “routinely censor[ing] science that disproves the man-made
global warming meme.”
Yet now he is pounding his table over the publication of what he calls a “superb groundbreaking paper”
published in the journal Nature.
The letter (not an article), “Species-area relations always overestimate extinction rates from habitat
loss” was published by the prestigious science journal less than 5 months after receiving it!
And the main stream science journalists, who Mr. O'Sullivan says are part of the conspiracy to “censor
science that disproves the man-made global warming meme”?
The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC, CBS, CBC, the Christian Science Monitor, and
more than a hundred other news media have already covered the scientific debate over the Nature letter.
Mr. O'Sullivan does such a nice job refuting his own nonsense, maybe we should just let the barrister
argue with himself.
Andrew Skolnick • After just denying ever posting anything untrue, Mr. O'Sullivan illustrates the
absurdity of that claim with yet another falsehood:
"you do a deservice [sic] to the authors of the Nature paper. Contrary to your statement that the paper is
a ' letter (not an article)' you'll find it is actually an article and may be purchased for $32."
Anyone who still thinks John O'Sullivan has any credibility left should look at the top of the Nature
publication and read how the editors identify it: "Nature | Letter"
Once again the lawyer, with neither the law nor facts to pound, pounds his table.
Andrew Skolnick • Well, I'll be darn. I finally read the entire thread here. So Mr. O'Sullivan, YOU'RE
the lawyer defending one of the oil industry's biggest allies Tim Ball. Have you been defending him in
all his libel suits or just the one brought by Dr. Mann? I understand he's got yet another one filed
According to Richard Littlemore (http://www.desmogblog.com/michael-mann-suing-tim-ball-libel),
Mr. Ball has a poor track record in court:
“Ball's last foray into the court ended badly. Ball attempted to sue another Canadian scientist, Dr. Dan
Johnson, in 2006, complaining that a letter that Johnson had written to the Calgary Herald suggested
that Ball had lied about his resume. When Johnson's Statement of Defence demonstrated that Ball HAD
lied about his resume, Ball abandoned the suit.”
Tsk, tsk. Making false claims about one's academic credentials is quite a serious no-no for any one who
wants to claim scientific authority.
Was it you who advised him to drop that suit or did he figure that one out on his own?
It seems you ARE being paid to bad mouth climatologists and other scientists after all.
In the Notice of Civil Claim, filed on March 25, 2011 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Dr.
Mann's attorney Roger McConchie argues:
"The defendants have been guilty of reprehensible, insulting, high-handed, spiteful, malicious and
oppressive conduct, and such conduct by the defendants justifies the court imposing a substantial
penalty of exemplary damages on the defendant and an award of special costs in favour of the plaintiff,
in addition to an award of general damages for injury to reputation."
Considering Tim Ball's record of false statements -- as well as yours right here -- you're going to have a
hard time making your case. Judging by the name-calling and kind of arguments you've been making
here, I think Dr. Mann may likely get those special damages.
It's one thing to attack scientists you disagree with as being careless, stupid, and even mendacious. But
to accuse them of "unlawful conduct" and "criminal fraud" is quite another. Good luck proving that in
Ohhhh, this is going to be fun to watch. I wonder how much a round trip ticket to Vancouver costs.
Andrew Skolnick • What do you call a person who wrongly accuses someone of a falsehood, ignores
all evidence that he's made a false accusation, and then repeats the dishonest accusation?
Mr. O'Sullivan falsely accused me of doing "a deservice [sic] to the authors of the Nature paper” on
extinction rates because I said the report is a letter, not an article. I corrected Mr. O'Sullivan and
pointed out that right there above the title, the journal's editors identify the paper as a “Nature Letter.”
Seeing one's error, an honest person would say sorry, I was mistaken.
But we're not dealing with an honest person. Mr. O'Sullivan simply doubled-down and accused me of
deception. In doing so, he has finally convinced me his falsehoods are not unintentional.
Anyone who doesn't think Mr. O'Sullivan's false accusations are dishonest and reprehensible should
look at the journal's table of contents page, which lists the extinction rate report in its Letters section,
not the Articles section:
“Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss"
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan says, "I did not represent Dr. Ball in his 2006 libel claim. But I have
read that case file and I can assure you, contrary to the lies published by Desmogblog, Dr Ball has
never misrepresented his credentials."
Yeah, right. I feel so all assured, now that the barrister has pounded his table.
Let's take an actual look at how the Oil-industry flak Timothy Ball misrepresented his academic and
professional credentials and sued Dr. Dan Johnson, Professor of Environmental Science at the
University of Lethbridge and the Candian newspaper Calgary Herald for exposing Ball's deceit.
Rather than rolling over, the newspaper vehemently defended its reputation. When it filed its defense
documenting how Timothy Ball lied about his professional credentials, Mr. Ball quickly dropped his
Here, from its court filing, is what the Calgary Herald was ready to prove in court:
Ball "was NOT the first individual to have a PhD in Climatology in Canada" [as he falsely claimed];
Ball "was NOT a professor at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years" [as he claimed].
Ball "was a Professor at the University of Winnipeg for approximately 8 years;"
Ball's "total tenure at the University of Winnipeg, as an assistant professor, associate professor, and
professor was approximately 14 years."
[Contrary to his claims] Ball "has published few articles in academically recognized peer-reviewed
scientific journals; and
[Contrary to his claims] Ball "has not conducted research regarding the relationship between climate
and elements within the atmosphere."
Ball "has never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on
Ball "has never published any research in any peer-reviewed scientific journal which addressed the
topic of human contributions to greenhouse emissions and global warming;"
Ball "has published no papers on climatology in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific
journals since his retirement as a professor in 1996;"
Ball's "credentials and credibility as an expert on the issue of global warming have been repeatedly
disparaged in the media; and"
Ball "is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than a practicing
Of course, Mr. O'Sullivan will insist that these are all scurrilous lies. (In psychology, this is called
"projection.") If they were lies, it would have been a cinch for Timothy Ball to prove. He could have
nailed the newsmen's butts to the court bench and reaped millions in punitive damages. Instead, Ball
dropped his suit and beat a hasty retreat.
All attorney O'Sullivan's assurances aside, the Calgary Herald had proved its case that the oil industry
flak lied about his academic and professional credentials.
Andrew Skolnick • Because I demand proof of Mr. O'Sullivan's scurrilous charges of criminal fraud
against a respected climatologist, he tells me, “please do not tell an experienced and successful lawyer
how to suck eggs.”
I would never consider such a thing. Mr. O'Sullivan has repeatedly demonstrated here how good he is
at sucking. What I'm trying to do is to get him to deal with facts rather than unsupported criminal
allegations against members of the scientific community who are being targeted by the oil and gas
Andrew Skolnick • Deniers. Whether they reject knowledge about the movement of our planet around
the sun, the benefits of vaccines, the cause of AIDS, the deadly effects of tobacco smoke, or the effects
of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming, Deniers of all stripes follow the same philosophy and
employ the same tactic: The simply deny all facts that do not agree with their world view and attack all
contrary evidence as having been counter-fitted by a corrupt conspiracy of scientists.
Among the unwashed, vilifying scientists is almost as much fun as vilifying Muslims. It doesn't require
much brain power to bamboozle the barely literate who love a good conspiracy theory, the wackier the
Fortunately, Deniers have a much harder time persuading educated people who can see through
blatantly obvious distortions and bald-faced falsehoods and are willing to check facts for themselves.
The arrogance of Deniers is remarkable. They feel quite safe uttering the most outrageously transparent
falsehoods knowing that their audience rarely if ever will check the facts.
Just look at how Mr. O'Sullivan keeps pounding the table, insisting that the report on the species
extinction rate in Nature is an “article” not a “letter.” He knows his “millions of followers” won't
bother to read the paper for themselves nor even look at the TABLE OF CONTENTS where the paper
is listed in the LETTER SECTION, not the Article section.
I had a dream last night. I was watching Judge Judy on the tele and to my astonishment, Mr. O'Sullivan
was standing before her and the more he kept pounding his table, the angrier Judge Judy grew and the
more incendiary were her admonitions. By the end of the program, there was nothing left of Mr.
O'Sullivan but a pile of charred ashes.
Andrew Skolnick • The attorney who's so good at "sucking eggs" tells us:
"I am not at liberty to divulge details of the cases because they are sub judice."
Mr. O'Sullivan, if you are "not at liberty" to provide evidence of your allegations of criminal conduct of
climatologists, you should NOT be making those allegations here.
What scurrilous conduct!
In what state(s) are you licensed to practice law?
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan, when the Calgary Herald reported how Timothy Ball
misrepresented his academic and professional credentials, he sued them for libel -- then dropped his
suit and scurried away when the newspaper filed its defense.
Didn't you notice that I repeated above what the Calgary Herald said about Mr. Ball's many false claims
of academic standing. If this is false, it is clearly defamatory. So why don't you and Mr. Ball sue me for
(I'll give readers who don't "suck eggs" as well as Mr. O'Sullivan a hint: Truth is ALWAYS a defense in
defamation suits; if something is true, it cannot be defamatory.)
Andrew Skolnick • Sheesh! When it comes to false and misleading statements, Mr. O'Sullivan is an
He says, "As and when Dr. Ball wins both his libel suits I will certainly benefit from our conditional fee
Those suits are NOT Ball's libel suits, they are libel suits AGAINST him! He's the DEFENDANT, not
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan now falsely accuses me of "childish insults" and "shouting" because
I emphasized three words in my post with upper case letters (there's no other way to emphasize text in
Sorry counselor, according to netiquette, "shouting" is the use of all caps when posting messages on
line. "While all caps can be used as an alternative to bolding for a single word or phrase, to express
emphasis, repeated use of all caps can be considered 'shouting' or irritating."
As for childish insults, I leave that field to him.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan said, "Andrew, if we cut through your personal insults and all the
smoke and mirrors what we see is that you have not cited peer-reviewed science to refute the peer-
reviewed paper I cited and published only last week in Nature.
Which is yet another bald-faced falsehood: I cited the co-author of the paper himself!
"The evidence is in - humans really are causing extreme extinction rates," said co-author Stephen
Hubbell, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California at Los
And I cited the paper as well to show how shamelessly Mr. O'Sullivan is misrepresenting it in his
campaign of disinformation.
What Dr. Hubbell and co-author Dr. He argue in their letter in Nature is that the rate of extinction may
be substantially less than some scientists believe and that we therefore may have more time to save the
many species that are now threatened with extinction.
Andrew Skolnick • Again, Mr. O'Sullivan persists with his ridiculous falsehood, accusing me of
subterfuge and making a "Freudian slip" for referring to the paper published in Nature's Letter section
as a "paper."
Good grief! It was no Freudian slip. Papers published in the Letter section of science journals are called
Science writer O'Sullivan boasts of having "millions of followers." I don't understand how anyone with
more intelligence than a tape worm would believe the falsehoods he posts.
Falsely accusing me of "subterfuge" for calling a paper published in Nature's Letter Section a "paper"
has got to be one of his most bizarre accusations to date.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan's table pounding and litigious threats remind me of my encounter
with Victor Zammit, a retired attorney in Australia who has many followers in the psychic yahoo
About 7 years ago, I found myself being attacked by Zammit for having designed a test of the Russian
teenage psychic Natasha Demkina for a Discovery Channel documentary. Sick and desperate patients
were paying Ms. Demkina to use her "psychic" vision to see inside their bodies and tell them what is
wrong with them. The test my fellow investigators and I carried out found Ms. Demkina was using the
typical "cold-reading" tactics of every street corner fortune teller and astrologer to convince people she
had "X-ray" sight.
I was shocked when a retired attorney I never heard of began attacking my colleagues and me, likening
us to "rapists" and "child molesters."
Like Mr. O'Sullivan, Mr. Zammit is a self-aggrandizing prophet of "scientific truth" who publishes
almost entirely on the Internet and likes to defame and vilify scientists and science writers. Instead of
the oil, coal, and gas industries, Mr. Zammit self-published screeds seek to defend every kind of palm
reader, astrologer, ghost buster, and snake-oil peddler who ever winked a hood.
My response to Mr. Zammit's defamatory attack was to create a spoof of his web site that was almost as
funny as his. I simply lampooned his crackpottery with some appropriate tweaks.
Mr. Zammit was enraged. He demanded that I take down my spoof site immediately or he would
bankrupt me in court. He also warned that if it didn't come right down, certain friends in New Jersey --
without his consent of course -- would be paying me a visit.
He insisted that satire is NOT protected speech. I replied that I'd be delighted to give the Australian
barrister a lesson in U.S. libel law -- and then added his threat to my spoof web site.
Almost 7 years later, my "Victor Dammit" spoof web site is still up and my legs remain unbroken.
Perhaps Mr. O'Sullivan will have more success with frivolous threats of litigation. I think not. But I
would be just as happy teaching him about libel law in court as I would have been with Mr. Dammit.
John O'Sullivan • As for my Linked-In influence rating, it's entirely worthless to me. The true measure
of my worth is the success as a lawyer and in my litigation in the most high-profile libel suits in
Canadian history between Professor Michael 'hockey stick' Mann and Dr. Tim Ball. I'm representing
Dr. Ball and will prove not only that Mann's claims are vexatious but I will demonstrate he acted
unethically within a clique of climate scientists implicated in global climate data fraud. My goal is to
see criminal convictions against any and all scientists party to such unlawful conduct.
Andrew Skolnick • No doubt, if I say the earth travels around the sun, Mr. O'Sullivan would launch
into a similar tirade:
"If the earth travels about the sun then it’s news to me. It’s as fallacious as your other unsupportable
To a closed-minded zealot, every fact he doesn't like will always be "news to him."
Here's the news that Mr. O'Sullivan says he "missed."
Headline: West African black rhino 'is extinct'
Sunday Times (London) July 7, 2006
Headline: West African Black Rhino Extinct, Group Says
National Geographic News, July 12, 2006
It's been five years since an exhaustive survey of Western African black rhino habitats failed to turn up
any evidence of any black rhinos still alive. I wonder if Mr. O'Sullivan is going to suggest they're all
hiding with the mastodons, mammoths, yetis, and Loch Nest monsters.
I will concede him this: After reading all his irrational and ill-informed arguments over the past week,
I'm ready to concede that the dodo may not be extinct after all.
Andrew Skolnick • Although he bills himself as a science writer with "millions of followers," Mr.
O'Sullivan doesn't understand how papers published in science journals are classified -- and he doesn't
seem to want to understand. So I'll address this to readers who would like to know the reason for
different classifications: It helps the journal's readers understand how important the paper is and how
thoroughly it has been reviewed.
As an associate editor at JAMA for 9 years, I wrote more than 230 articles for the journal's Medical
News & Perspectives section. MN&P articles are quickly published after limited peer-review -- usually
by one or two in-house authorities. Occasionally, they are submitted for additional outside review.
Papers published in the journal's Letter section receive similarly quick and limited peer review
(although in certain cases, the review is more extensive).
Commentaries also generally receive speedier and more limited peer-review.
At the other end of the spectrum are the articles published as "Original Contributions." Publication of
these papers can take many months and require extensive review by noted experts in the field. Often
the manuscripts are sent out a second time for additional reviews.
The placement of papers within separate sections of a science journal helps to tell readers how
extensive the manuscript's review process was.
Of course, to Deniers like Mr. O'Sullivan, who habitually attack scientific peer-review as censorship,
there's no need whatsoever to understand the peer-review process.
Andrew Skolnick • I should also point out that the classification of papers can vary from journal to
journal. Journals may use different classification titles and the same classification title can have a
somewhat different meaning. For example, Lancet and Nature publish briefer research reports as
Letters, while JAMA's Letter section is more of a letters-to-the-editor section.
Andrew Skolnick • I will admit to Mr. O'Sullivan that I certainly don't have a scientific authority to
quote like his "highly-respected physicist" Harry Dale Huffman.
I prefer authorities who publish their research in peer-reviewed science journals rather than self-
publishing rants on how the science community keeps rejecting his incontrovertible "proof" of how our
planet was shaped -- not by natural forces over billions of years, but by space aliens who visited us less
than 20,000 years and hung around to teach the ancient Egyptians how to build the pyramids, hid the
lost continent of Atlantis, and made Australia look like an upside down sheep dog.
This is the kind of scientific authority Mr. O'Sullivan will accept. He's really into kooks. Authors of
studies in peer-reviewed journals, not so much. He also likes scientists with a penchant for
misrepresenting their academic and professional credentials as did his client Timothy Ball.
Andrew Skolnick • "I think what Mr. Skolnick and others are saying is that there must be a system to
validate the vast amount of scientific data in the public domain The peer-review process is not perfect,
but until something better can be found, it's a pretty good way of rejecting all the 'crackpot' stuff that
litters the Internet."
Thanks Mr. Thomas. That's exactly what I had tried to communicate to Mr. O'Sullivan.
Only to see him try to prove there is no runaway atmospheric greenhouse effect on Venus with self-
published nonsense written by a kook who claims, if you hold the map of Australia upside down, you'll
see the figure of a sheep dog, which "god"-like alien visitors left as a message for us.
Self-published kooks are NOT credible authorities -- unless of course you wear a tin foil hat and claim
scientific peer-review is censorship.
Andrew Skolnick • "Either provide some peer-reviewed science that proves that humans have caused
species extinction in the last 50 years or retract your slurs against me and apologise."
Sorry Mr. O'Sullivan, even if explorers discover herds of West African black rhinos, Pyrenean ibexes,
Java tigers, Zanzibar leopards, and schools of Tecopa pupfish hiding out with dodos, passenger
pigeons, Susquatches, and the 10-cent cup of coffee on some secret island, it would not change the fact
that you've been posting false and defamatory accusations here like the world is going to end tomorrow.
How ridiculous you are. Don't you realize it ended yesterday? [published the day after the predicted
“Rapture” came and went with no one apparently swept up into heaven]
The world would be a much poorer place without all its kooks. Saner, but a whole lot less entertaining.
Andrew Skolnick • ROTFL! Anyone else notice how often Mr. O'Sullivan quotes his favorite ally, Mr.
"Some will accuse you of being a hypocrite if you obstinately refuse to work to the same high
standards that you hold me to."
You can tell when he's sputtering and looking for something else to throw. He calls on his buddy Some
to come back him up.
John O'Sullivan • Rob, if you contrast and compare the remarks of Mr. Skolnick with mine you will see
that it is he who opts to fill his comments with personal insults. Moreover, I was challenged to produce
peer-reviewed science and I did. We see that Nature has lately published evidence that species
extinction has been exageratted thus affirming my position and discrediting that of Mr. Skolnick who,
in his replies repeatedly fails to cite any peer-reviewed science to subtantiate his claims.
I now also challenge you to produce peer-reviewed science that affirms there has been species
extinction in the last half century that is directly attributable to humans.
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, you state that you "prefer authorities who publish their research in peer-
reviewed science journals ." I've repeatedly asked you to provide such evidence to substantiate your
For my part I cited the article from Nature, Volume:473, Pages: 368–371, Date published: (19 May
2011). The authors caution, “Despite its importance, estimating extinction rates is still highly uncertain
because no proven direct methods or reliable data exist for verifying extinctions.”
The Nature paper identifies that there is widespread statistical exageration by researchers in this field
and quantifies the overestimation at “greater than 160%.” The authors are thus unable to affirm any
species extinction due to human activities. Will you now produce the peer-reviewed science to contr
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan says, "For my part I cited the article from Nature, Volume:473,
For your part, you mischaracterize the nature of the paper and misrepresented its findings.
But you did accurately quote the self-published "science" of your "highly respected" expert Harry Dale
Huffman, who is so angry with the scientific establishment for not abandoning their "childish" belief in
plate tectonics and continental drift in favor of his "discoveries," that space aliens came to earth to
teach the Egyptians how to build the pyramids and to reshape earth's land masses in order to leave him
Unfortunately, you didn't attribute that quote. Considering Mr. Huffman's wacko theories, we can
Andrew Skolnick • You can misrepresent all you want, Mr. O'Sullivan, but in a discussion group meant
for science journalists, you're only going to keep embarrassing yourself.
Here is what Dr. Stephen Hubbell, the Nature paper's lead author told reporters, "The evidence is in -
humans really are causing extreme extinction rates."
So who are we going to believe, your mischaracterizations and misrepresentations or the lead author's
I'm sure you'll find some who will choose your misrepresentations among the "millions of followers"
you claim to have. But not here.
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, if the "evidence is in" as you say, then post it here. I've given you peer-
reviewed evidence that disproves your unfounded claims. There are no records of any species
extinction caused by humans in the last 50 years. We’ve witnessed several days of you doing your
waffling but you still haven’t provided any rebuttal evidence in the form of peer reviewed science.
May I suggest that you contact Dr Hubbell? As a bona fide scientist specializing in this field he ought
to know if there are any peer-reviewed papers that can provide the names of species and the dates they
became extinct. But the fact he states none in his paper makes me skeptical.
So why should we accept your word on the matter when you refuse to take mine? Face it Andrew,
you’re mendacious assertions are again discredited.
Andrew Skolnick • [Sound of loud table pounding] "I've given you peer-reviewed evidence that
disproves your unfounded claims. There are no records of any species extinction caused by humans in
the last 50 years."
No, Mr. O'Sullivan, you haven't. I know of NO study reported in peer-reviewed journals that proves
your nonsensical assertion that have been no species extinction in the last 50 years caused by human
I'm sure if you knew of any, you would be quoting them rather than loudly pounding your table.
To satisfy your demand, I named several large species that became extinct in the past decade. So when
you can get around to it, show us your "peer-reviewed scientific evidence" that these animals are all
secretly hanging out in a park outside of Hoboken New Jersey -- hoping to escape the scrutiny of all the
Deniers that are so desperately looking for them.
You simply attack any institution or group that carries out surveys of endangered species as "criminals"
and "liars." So presenting you with their peer-reviewed reports is a waste of bandwidth.
Instead, of just thumping your chest and pounding your table, why don't you show us the peer-reviewed
reports in science publications that show the species I identified are running around somewhere quite
happy to be non-extinct.
As everyone knows, it's a hell of a lot easier to prove a positive than prove a negative.
Where is your peer-reviewed scientific evidence that the species I named are still "tinct"?
Put up or, please, please, please, shut up.
Andrew Skolnick • One more correction: "Andrew, if the "evidence is in" as you say, then post it here."
It is not I who said this: "The evidence is in - humans really are causing extreme extinction rates."
That is a statement from Prof. Stephen Hubbell, the lead author of the Nature Letter that you just got
done praising to the highest as an honest authority who should be listened to.
The table pounds, "So why should we accept your word on the matter when you refuse to take mine?
Face it Andrew, you’re mendacious assertions are again discredited."
Again, they are not MY words you dismiss as "mendacious assertions" but the words of the very same
authority who you declare in a previous paragraph to be "a bona fide scientist specializing in this field."
I love watching the barrister argue with himself.
Rob Thomas • Mr. O'Sullivan, you are the one who started the discussion with the extremely
provocative statement, "The climate science community is run by a gang of self-serving religionists...."
Any one who passionately cares about the critical role of scientists in our society and the importance of
the scientific peer review process, is going to react to such an inflammatory remark as this.
The problem is that when unsubstantiated information is put out there, it confuses the heck out of Joe
Public. He doesn't know enough about the science to know who's telling him the truth. He tends to
believe the loudest and most aggressive voices. As a result, society in general has become very
suspicious of the scientific community. In my opinion, it is a very sad state of affairs when highly
respected scientists have to continually defend their work, which has probably taken them many years
of research to reach their conclusions. Your initial posting and subsequent outrageous statements
exemplifies this point very well.
Andrew Skolnick • Rob, well said. I'll add that, by Mr. O'Sullivan's own admission, he stands to gain
financially by proving climate scientists are dishonest and criminal frauds.
Yet he comes here claiming to be a science writer. He may be able to fool his "millions of followers,"
but he won't fool the science journalism community.
"Science journalists" who are hired to attack the credibility of scientists on any side of any issue are
NOT science journalists -- they are dishonest flacks.
I painfully recall how I and other members of the National Science Writers Association were shocked
and angered to discover that one of our long-time members -- who we all felt was a delightfully kind
and friendly fellow -- had for many years been secretly working for the tobacco industry. He was paid
to spy on what reporters asked at medical conferences dealing with tobacco-related diseases and to help
steer fellow reporters away from attending presentations by leading tobacco-disease researchers.
His conduct was indescribably despicable. And, in my opinion, so is Mr. O'Sullivan's.
Andrew Skolnick • [Sounds of fists pounding upon table] “Dr Ball has never misrepresented his
credentials. … We will have great delight in presenting to the court conclusive evidence that Dr Ball
has been entirely honest about his credentials.”
Although Mr. O'Sullivan is by his own admission an “experienced and successful lawyer,” we need to
point out that this lawsuit is NOT about Timothy Ball's scientific credentials, or lack thereof. It is a libel
suit AGAINST Ball for defamatory accusations of criminal misconduct he made against a distinguished
The time for Timothy Ball to have proven his professional and academic integrity was 5 years ago –
when he sued another noted climate researcher and the Calgary Herald for saying he had puffed up his
Picture this: Ball takes the Calgary Herald to court alleging that the newspaper defamed him. When the
paper stands its ground and defends what it printed about Ball's reputation or lack thereof (instead of
paying him off to go away), Ball drops his suit and beats a hasty retreat.
Among the outrageous exaggerations the Calgary Herald came to court ready to prove was Ball's claim
– The first person in Canada to earn a PhD in climatology – he was not. In fact, his PhD was in
geography, not climatology;
– A Professor at the University of Winnipeg for approximately 28 years – unless you call “8” an
approximation of “28.” (Ball's TOTAL tenure at the U. of Winnipeg, as assistant prof, associate prof,
and prof was about 14 years.)
Contrary to his claims, the Calgary Herald argued:
– Ball has published few articles in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals;
– He has not conducted research regarding the relationship between climate and elements within the
– He never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on
– He has never published any research in any peer-reviewed scientific journal which addressed the
topic of human contributions to greenhouse emissions and global warming;
* He has not published papers on climatology in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific
journals since his retirement as a professor in 1996.
The Calgary Herald further argued that Ball “is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and
gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.” (All the above is from the Defendant's court
The time for Timothy Ball to prove he doesn't lie about his scientific credentials was when he sued a
newspaper for reporting he had. That was in 2006. The fact that this oil and gas industry hitman is a
puff-Ball of puffery was pretty well established 5 years ago.
Mr. O'Sullivan doesn't seem to understand that reasonable people do not trust the “science” of those
who exaggerate or falsify their scientific credentials.
Of course, by his own admission, Mr. O'Sullivan stands to financially profit by proving scientists who
question his client's credentials are a “criminal” bunch of “liars.”
Andrew Skolnick • While we're on the habit of climate-warming Deniers shamelessly puffing up their
scientific credentials, I should mention the Überpuffing by one of the Denier's Übermenschen – the 3rd
Viscount Monckton of Brenchely, known by his close oil industry friends as Chris.
The Denier's organization, Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) identifies Christopher Monckton
as its “Chief Policy Advisor.” Its web site claims Viscount Monckton's:
"contribution to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 … earned him the status of Nobel Peace
Laureate. His Nobel prize pin, made of gold recovered from a physics experiment, was presented to
him by the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester, New York, USA."
The Viscount's Nobel Prize turns out to be as real as Timothy Ball's PhD in Climatology.
As Mother Jones reports:
"Monckton's fame is eclipsed only by the size of his fibs. Though he has told two senators that he's a
"peer" "member" of the House of Lords; he's not. He stood for election in 2007 and got no votes. In an
open letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), he claimed to have been named a Nobel Peace Laureate for
correcting the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel
in 2007. Needless to say, he does not have a Nobel. And less glamorous, Guardian reporter George
Monbiot busted Monckton for editing his own Wikipedia page to falsely claim that he'd received an
$80,000 libel settlement from the newspaper."
Monckton's defenders now argue that the Nobel Prize claim was just a joke, though the SPPI still
apparently hasn't caught on. They're still impressing the gullible with their Chief Policy Advisor's
Nobel golden reputation: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/personnel.html
Perhaps, attorney Mr. O'Sullivan will have his client put on clown shoes and a squirting bow tie in
court and proclaim “I was JOKING!” to explain why he greatly exaggerated his scientific credentials.
Andrew Skolnick • What's doubly funny, Monckton is one of the prominent Deniers who's been
publicly attacking the climate science-bashing book O'Sullivan co-authored. In Monckon's opinion,
Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, is more like Shooting One's Foot.
By O'Sullivan's own admission, the "Nobel Laureate" says, “There is unfortunately a great deal that is
wrong with the book.”
While that may be an understatement, it may be one of the very few truths Viscount Monckton has ever
uttered in the global warming debate.
Last of 211 html1.htm
Andrew Skolnick • I know by now readers are scratching their heads and wondering how anyone can
take these climate-warming denying "experts" like Monckton, Ball, and O'Sullivan seriously.
Sadly, millions of uneducated people here and aboard do. If there's any helpful message that can come
out of this discussion started by O'Sullivan, it is this: We science journalists need to do a better job
educating other journalists how to recognize pseudoscience scams.
Andrew Skolnick • You say you have seen Timothy Ball's academic qualifications and can affirm that
he has a PhD in climatology.
Excuse us for not taking your word over sources that are more credible, such as the Calgary Herald.
After all, we have listened to you rant on and on and refuse to admit that the extinction rate paper in
Nature is listed as a letter in the journal's table of contents.
Your endless falsehoods and refusal to ever admit when you are wrong has utterly destroyed your
So please provide a reliable source for your claim that Ball has a PhD in climatology rather than
In response to Ball's frivolous libel suit against the Calgary Herald, the newspaper filed papers in court
stating it was prepared to prove Ball does NOT have a PhD in climatology. Ball didn't stick around for
that humiliation. He dropped his suit and beat a hasty retreat.
Numerous other reliable sources say Ball's PhD is in Geology. Indeed, even the very pro-Deniers
Canada Free Press interviewed Ball in 2007 and quoted him as saying his PhD was in Geology.
If you have documentation to back up your claim, provide it. But taking your word for it would be as
foolish as taking Ball's.
Tonight I've had an interesting time searching through Ball's statements about how long he served as
professor at the University of Winnipeg. Like Pinocchio's nose, Timothy Ball's tenure as professor just
keeps growing and growing and growing. In a couple of Ball's articles, he claims to was a professor at
Winnipeg "for 32 years."
(He was a professor for only 8 years.)
Ball might know a bit about geography, but his math skills suck. Ball retired from the U. of W. in 1996.
To have been a professor there for 32 years, he would have had to have been appointed full
professorship in 1964 -- which is 18 YEARS BEFORE he earned his PhD! Wow! A childhood genius.
Or the biggest blowhard since P.T. Barnum.
And in this resume (and in other articles he authored), Ball claims to have a “Doctor of Science degree”
which in the UK is an academic honor above a professorship!
I'll continue my Google searches until I find a resume or article where he claims to have discovered
fire, gave Moses directions to the Red Sea, and told Ben Franklin to go fly a kite. There's just no limit
to the accomplishments of this man.
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, as you’re too lazy (self-serving) to check such facts with the university that
awarded this degree then give me your email address and I'll forward you a copy of Dr. Ball's PhD in
If you knew anything about how the law works you'd know a registered attorney can be disbarred for
making such claims if they are false.
Indeed, both Dr. Mann and Dr Weaver's libel suits also repeat the same such lies. They, too, will be
made to look stupid. Why do you green zealots think if you repeat such lies often enough they
somehow become ‘true’?
Andrew Skolnick • Counselor O'Sullivan says, "If you knew anything about how the law works you'd
know a registered attorney can be disbarred for making such claims if they are false."
Exactly. That's why I asked you in what states you are licensed to practice law.
I'm sure others have noticed you haven't answered the question.
Andrew Skolnick • The time to "make" the "green zealots" look "stupid" for libeling your client Tim
"Pinocchio" Ball was when he sued the Calgary Herald for reporting he lied about his academic and
professional credentials. When they showed up to prove he did, your client scampered away and
dropped his suit.
The time to make so-called green zealots "look stupid" was 5 years ago.
You know counselor, if you ever watched Judge Judy you would know she frequently lectures litigants
that they can't come into court without "clean hands" and expect the court to reward them. Your
impressive record of deceit in this forum and your client's long, hilarious history of whoppers is not
going to help you in court.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan reminds me of an attorney for a company I was suing for
defamation, who showed up at conference, for which I was invited to speak, and warned me not to say
anything against her company. I reported her misconduct to the Florida bar and she paid for that
Trust me Mr. O'Sullivan, I would have no reservations showing you how much I know about the law.
Andrew Skolnick • Mr. O'Sullivan says, "Give me your email address and I'll forward you a copy of Dr.
Ball's PhD in Climatology."
While you're at it, would you please send me a copy of his "Doctor of Science" degree that he lists on
Never mind, I've got Photoshop. I'll just make them up myself.
As virtually every employer knows, all records of academic achievement need to be sent directly from
the academic institution or otherwise every 10 year old with a computer would be getting top-notch
Most universities do NOT send academic records out unless the former student gives permission.
So if you want me to admit I am in error and apologize, you better have your client ask the University
of London to mail me an official letter stating he earned a Ph.D. in climatology and a Doctorate of
Andrew Skolnick • Utterly shameless.
I just found a record of Timothy “Pinocchio” Ball's thesis in the University of London's Library
database. Lo and behold, it identifies his Board of Studies as – wait for it – Geography.
http://catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/search/a Enter in the Author box “Ball, Timothy”
I expect Mr. O'Sullivan will now argue that “stupid green zealot" liars have taken over the University
of London Library.
Andrew Skolnick • There's also the article on Ball in the Spanish Wikipedia (oddly there's none on Ball
in the English version -- I think it may have been deleted).
I quote: "Ball posee el grado de B.A. por parte de la Universidad de Winnipeg, una M.A. en geografía,
de la Universidad de Manitoba en 1970, y un Ph.D. en Geografía de la Universidad de Londres,
Inglaterra, en 1983, ...”
Translation: "Ball has a BA degree from the University of Winnipeg, an MA in geography from the
University of Manitoba in 1970, [ 7 ] and a Ph.D. in Geography  of the University of London,
England, 1983. His PhD thesis involved an analysis of historical weather records of northern Canada.
 Ball taught geography at the University of Winnipeg from 1988 to 1996, starting as a seasonal
assistant and retired as a professor. 
Damn Greenie Zealots! They seem to be able to lie in any language!
BTW, the reference  is a link to the University of London Library record of Ball's thesis I provided
in the previous post.
Andrew Skolnick • Rumor has it that one can tell if an expert is a Denier by the ring tone on their cell
phone. It's the melody for that old Sam Cooke classic Wonderful World:
Don't know much about climatology
Don't know much geology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about where to look
But I do know that I'll sue you
And I know that if you sue me too
What a wonderful world this would be.
Don't know much about geography
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is three
And once we set the oil companies free
What a wonderful world this would be
Don't know much about climatology
Don't know much geology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about where to look
But I do know that I'll sue you
And I know that if you sue me too
What a wonderful world this would be.
Andrew Skolnick • Elmer Rich said, "The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster
than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, dramatically
higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says."
Elmer, you need to listen to the oil and gas industries' Denialist friends and stop this scare mongering.
Global warming is good for man, is good for nature, and it's especially good for the coal, gas, and oil
companies' bottom line.
Didn't you hear attorney John O'Sullivan declare triumph over global warming propaganda? “No one is
scared about global warming any more,” he recently boasted as he ran victory laps around this
He and his “millions of followers” are urging you to chill out. There is absolutely NO danger to
anyone. Even if the world's glaciers and the gigantic Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets should melt
tomorrow, all that melt water would drop safely off the edge of the earth.
And if all species of life on earth vanished tomorrow, God could just pull another rib out of man and
create an entirely new garden of life.
You need to trust the Denialists, because they've been around a whole lot longer than scientists.
Gareth Renowden • John, still no links to your work at National Review or Forbes? You seem to have
time for plenty of writing here, but not to provide evidence of your credentials.
Perhaps I should email the editors of those publications, and ask them...
Andrew Skolnick • I mean seriously, does Timothy Ball read your stuff?
And he's not telling you, "John! Stop this crazy stuff. You're embarrassing us!"
John O'Sullivan • Gareth, don't you know how to Google? Try inputting 'john o'sullivan climate' then
'National Review, Forbes or whatever. There's something like 2,000,000 cross links to my work on
Bing (far less climate biased than Google). Why not just Google 'greenhouse gas theory'? Within the
top two dozen links you'll find most are me. I am, after all, the Internet's most read writer on that junk
science hypothesis. Have fun.
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, don't worry about Tim. I appointed Tim our lead Author on 'Slaying the Sky
Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory' after I recruited the best skeptic science brains in the
world for this epic project.
Tim knows he can trust me to get the job done my own (unconventional) way. If the above NASA
scoop is for real Dr. Ball will be doubly delighted, as it will mean early settlements in his favor against
those climate crooks in the Vancouver Supreme Court (oh, and a whopping bonus for me, too!).
Isn’t amazing how a 'fake' lawyer gets to do all this, don’t you think? ; )
Andrew Skolnick • Having finally gotten a chance to visit the Forbes web site, I can now document
why you refuse to cite any article you claim to have published in Forbes.
You haven't. You and your colleague Tim Ball clearly are competing to determine which of you two
deniers is the biggest humbug.
Readers, to see what a montebank this blow hard is, visit Forbes and search for the key word "climate"
and author "John O'Sullivan." Leave the dates blank and specify "All Sources" "All Dates" "All
Content Types," and "All Story Types."
You will get this answer:
"Your Search for climate, where author is john O'Sullivan produced No Results."
I expect to get the same result from searching National Review's web site.
John O'Sullivan • here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/220381/going-against-green/john-
John O'Sullivan • Andrew, everyone knows Forbes has a policy of only running climate skeptic articles
for online readers that the algorithms in the search engine of the link you provide will block. You need
to Google it!
John O'Sullivan • Here's another as you've given up trying to defend the indefensible fraud of man-
made global warming:
Gareth Renowden • John, just so that I get my facts absolutely straight. You claim that you are the
author of the articles linked above thus: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/220381/going-against-
green/john-osullivan and thus:
These are your own work, commissioned and paid for by National Review, is that correct?
Andrew Skolnick • Just as I thought. Searching National Review's web site for "John O'Sullivan" and
"climate" turns up just 10 links, NONE of which involve any article written by our resident humbug.
What was authored by a "John O'Sullivan" turns out to be written by National Review's famous Editor
at Large -- a much older man who is noted for his writing skills, unlike our O'Sullivan who has to
struggle to put nouns and verbs together so that they don't get into a fist fight with each other.
I strongly suspected our John O'Sullivan might be doing this -- claiming the credentials of other John
O'Sullivans. There are so many JOS's in the world, many who are highly accomplished. Our JOS
refuses to provide us with identifying information that can help us distinguish what he may have done
from what he may have stolen.
All he does is to tell us to "Google" "John O'Sullivan" confident that people are not going to search
through hundreds of resulting links trying to figure out just which one he is.
He made a big mistake coming here and trying that. Like the song says, you don't tug on Superman's
cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don't try to
scam science journalists.
If what I say here is in error, I will immediately and graciously apologize to Mr. O'Sullivan and to
fellow readers. All our denier O'Sullivan would have to do to get my apology is finally cite the titles of
the articles he claims to have published in Forbes and National Review and tell us where he attended
law school and what year he graduated.
Andrew Skolnick • Gotcha! "Counselor."
Finally thinking he's found a National Review article that he can steal, Mr. O'Sullivan posted a link to
the commentary by National Review's Editor-at-Large's titled, "Magical Mystery Tour."
It took some sleuthing, but I finally found a published response to the commentary that shows the
global warming denier John O'Sullivan has the chutzpah to try to steal credit for the work of NR's well-
known Editor-at-Large, who is as known for his eloquence as our Denier is for mangling English.
The Editor-at-Large has been locked in debate with Alex Massie over his commentary, "Magical
Mystery Tour (that our Denier O'Sullivan is attempting to steal). Massie published a follow up reply in
Spectator, that clearly shows how audacious -- and incompetent -- the attempted theft was:
"John O'Sullivan is right. It was remiss of me to overlook the fact that, as Executive Editor of Radio
Free Europe, he is currently based in Prague. Nonetheless, he is also National Review's Editor-at-Large
and was, for nine years, that magazines' Editor-in-Chief. He has also edited the National Interest and
been a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. For good measure his family home is, I believe, in
Alabama*. All that being the case, I don't think my suggestion that he views conservatism through an
American, rather than a British, lens is desperately unfair.:
Clearly, this impostor and fraud is not and never was National Review's Editor-at-Large or its Editor-
In-Chief. Nor does he live in Alabama or was ever a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.
This fraud has hoisted himself upon his own dumbass petard!
Finally, I can use the line I've been holding:
The Prosecution rests.
Gareth Renowden • No need to rest, Andrew. We can carry on digging. Here's an interesting page from
"John O'Sullivan"'s LiveJournal on March 15th 2010 (I've taken the precaution of web archiving it in
case he should decide he wants to remove it): http://www.webcitation.org/5yysXdGqG
It's a letter of application for a post as a feature writer at WalesOnLine, and it includes the following
I have lately enjoyed international success as an Internet journalist and I am most keen to broaden my
experience and take my career to the next level here in Wales. Although I have arrived late to
journalism, after 20 years of pursuing the mundane life of a classroom teacher and college lecturer, I
have already shown my mettle working to the highest standards and to precise deadlines.
I wonder why he would not mention his courtroom prowess and membership of the American Bar
Association in his letter of application?
But there's more. In his letter he says: "My articles may be found all over the world in diverse national
publications from Britain’s ‘The Sun’..."
... and links to a discussion forum hosted by The Sun, where someone has posted an article by him
lifted from a web site he used to be associated with, called climategate.com. His claim to have featured
in China Daily is based on a similar case - an article lifted from climategate.com posted on a discussion
board by a third party. And the only occasion his name has appeared on National Review Online
associated with his own work is when NRO's Planet Gore blog re-posted a comment he made at a
climate sceptic blog.
It would appear that Mr O'Sullivan is indulging in blatant misrepresentation when he claims his work
"features" at NRO, Forbes and China Daily.
One might speculate what would happen if we approached the American Bar Association to check his
bona fides, but that will have to wait for another day...
Andrew Skolnick • This guy is giving chutzpah a bad name:
John O'Sullivan • here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/220381/going-against-
While this incomplete article is missing any information to help us identify which John O'Sullivan
wrote it, it is considerably less eloquent than usual prose of the magazine's editor-at-large. So the John
O'Sullivan who wrote this might just be this denier -- except for just one problem. It was NOT written
for National Review.
It's clearly identified as a reprint of an article previously published in the Chicago Sun-Times!
Isn't it funny that our "distinguished science writer" never bothered here or ANYWHERE else to claim
that he's written for the Chicago Sun-Times? That's certainly odd considering the Sun-Times is
infinitely more prestigious and credible than Suite101 -- the online information sweat shop that appears
to be the only certain medium for which the Denier writes.
Likely, if we dig further looking for information about the Chicago Sun-Times writer, we might find
another John O'Sullivan from whom the Denier's trying to steal.
Andrew Skolnick • Good sleuthing Gareth. The only problem with trying to query the American Bar
Association is that without more specific information, there's no way we can find anything. There must
be hundreds of ABA members named John O'Sullivan. Without information that can pinpoint the exact
one, we wouldn't be able to learn anything.
And our Denier John O'Sullivan is determined to keep that information to himself.
That's why he thinks he's so clever. By hiding all identifying information, he knows he can just say "ask
the ABA," knowing that they'd just say, "John O'Sullivan who?"
I asked him what states he is licensed to practice law. Of course he will not answer.
However, I have others helping research his legal credentials. I expect to be able to nail down his law
credentials -- or lack thereof -- soon. I hope to "rest my case" about his legal profession credentials
Andrew Skolnick • Roger, we're slowly putting together the missing pieces to the puzzle. While it
might not show us exactly who John "The Denier" O'Sullivan is, it will likely show us what he is and
who he isn't.
Already, we have a compelling case that he's been trying to steal credit for work of other people named
John O'Sullivan and passing it off as his own. Soon we may have the evidence that the legal credentials
he claims are similarly exaggerated, if not fabricated whole cloth.
Gareth's great find really shows how bizarre and spectacularly dishonest the claims of this person ia.
O'Sullivan's letter of application for a job at WalesOnLine is the nail in the coffin of whatever shred of
his reputation is left.
Rather than citing all his prestigious publications in National Review, Forbes, the Chicago Sun-Times,
etc., he presents himself as a late-in-life beginner in journalism with great potential -- if WalesOnLine
would only give him a chance.
I examined the approximate date this letter of application was written. Because it cites the demise of
climategate.com, we know it was written after March 12, 2010 -- a year and more after the articles he
says he wrote for National Review and the Sun-Times were published. (Remember, we haven't found
anything anyone named John O'Sullivan has written on climate in Forbes!)
And just listen to this plea for a chance to prove himself in his "newly chosen career."
"Since settling in South Wales last Summer I have sought a post in the established mainstream media
where I aim to secure a foothold for myself in my newly chosen career. Having perused
walesonline.co.uk, many times to get a better feel for what others are contributing, I firmly believe
there exists a niche for me to bring something unique."
The only positive thing I can say about our budding middle-age "journalist," is that he didn't write
Wonder what happened to his old career as a fabulously successful litigant.
Or why he's chosen instead to work in Suite101.com's information sweat shop, which pays writers
about $15 for all exclusive rights to an article.
When I started out, I published my first article (on fresh water hydra) in Smithsonian Magazine, for
which I was paid $2000. That was in 1976, when $2000 was a lot of money. Damn, back in 1976, $15
would get you a hell of a lot more than breakfast at Denny's.
I just got a rather funny image of a Deniers convention in my head. You can tell when you're at a
Denier's convention because they all are wearing someone else's name tag.
Andrew Skolnick • GOTCHA AGAIN JOHN "THE FRAUD" SULLIVAN!
Just thought of a clever way to search for the Chicago Sun-Times article (couldn't be found on the Sun-
Times web site) and lo and behold up popped even more indisputable evidence that John The Denier
O'Sullivan is an utter thief and fraud:
Look what I found on the Hudson Institute's web site:
Going Green: Will Europe Wise Up on Global Warming?
From the March 20, 2007, Chicago Sun-Times
March 22, 2007
by John O'Sullivan
[skipping to end]
"John O'Sullivan is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and editor-at-large of National Review."
Below that is the editor-at-large's email address. I will be sending him an email informing him that
John The Denier O'Sullivan has been stealing his work.