BREAKING: Tim Ball’s free-speech victory over Andrew Weaver – all charges dismissed!

I got word tonight from David Ball, son of Dr. Tim Ball via Facebook messenger:

This morning the judge dismissed all charges in the lawsuit brought against Tim by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. It is a great victory for free speech.

At the moment, I have no other details, but will update as I have them.

The case has been ongoing since 2011, and arguments were heard in court in the fall of 2017.

From an article in the NYT: https://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/climate-scientist-sues-skeptic-for-libel/

Andrew Weaver, a climate modeler at the University of Victoria, filed the lawsuit against Tim Ball, a former professor of geography at the University of Winnipeg and a vocal critic of the science linking man-made emissions to global warming, over an article published by the Canada Free Press, a conservative Web site.

“I stand by the story,” said Dr. Ball, who was prominently featured as a climate change expert in the 2007 film “The Great Global Warming Swindle.”

The apology and retraction of the story by Canada Free Press “hung me out to dry,” Dr. Ball added, saying he was in the process of hiring a lawyer to fight the lawsuit.

The lawsuit against Dr. Ball is not the only libel action that Dr. Weaver is pursuing in Canadian courts. Last year, the scientist filed suit against The National Post, a conservative Canadian newspaper, for publishing articles that he alleged contained deliberate falsehoods designed to disparage and discredit him.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was to be called as a witness in the trial, and did hours of preparatory work, but the case took a turn when Weaver did not call any witnesses on his behalf and I did not testify [on behalf of Ball]. The case was decided by a judge, who just today gave his verdict.

UPDATE1: here is the original lawsuit: Weaver-vs-Ball-lawsuit (PDF)

UPDATE2: Dr. Ball promises a report very soon. I’ll have it here as soon as possible.

UPDATE3: Here it is: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/14/tim-balls-victory-in-the-first-climate-lawsuit-judgment-the-backstory/

 

 

 

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144 thoughts on “BREAKING: Tim Ball’s free-speech victory over Andrew Weaver – all charges dismissed!

  1. Hooray for Dr. Ball. My thought on why Weaver did not call any witnesses on his behalf is that the climate alarmists told him not to. They dont want to get into a debate about AGW in court because they know they will lose.

    • What a tangled web we weave
      When first we practice to deceive
      And when the art we have perfected
      We’re just the boys to get elected

      – A.R.D. Fairbairn (New Zealand Poet)

    • Oh WUWT is on a roll this morning. I’m very happy for Dr Ball and more than pleased that my meagre donation to his legal fund has got the desired result. I’m sure Dr Ball could use some more help so if you can please do: http://drtimball.com/ and click the donate button.

      Thanks to all who helped and cheered Dr Ball on. The tide has turned.

    • I was just going to ask. IIRC, the Canadian court system would (may?) require that. If so it will become a good reminder not to go after someone based only on flimsy evidence.

    • Costs in libel cases can be very expensive. In one recent well publicised case in the UK, the legal costs were well over £1 million. The case turned upon what was said by a politician to a policeman in a 10 second conversation outside the gates of Parliament. See:
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/27/andrew-mitchell-plebgate-libel-case-legal-costs

      The extent of Mitchell’s liabilities are complicated by the fact that his solicitors, Atkins Thomson, said they would represent him on a no-win, no-fee basis after they were late filing estimates to the court. They had previously submitted a £506,425 costs budget for the case.

      Mitchell’s side was said to have run-up expert fees of more than £150,000, obtaining advice and testimony about what was said at the gates of Downing Street. The Police Federation costs alone are believed to be almost £1m.

      But one issue here is who is paying these costs? Will this be the University, the Green Party? I would hazard a guess that it is not Dr Weaver personally.

      The same issue arises in the M@nn case, where M@nn is being bankrolled by others and will not personally pick up the tab if he loses the case. These people have a way of evading liability/responsibility for their misdeeds, failed ‘science’ and failed predictions etc.

  2. Dr Weave, academic climate modeller and Green Party activist-politician. At he is least consistent as those are compatible and mutually supporting professions.

    • The only thing that would satisfy me is to see these clowns like Weaver serve some hard time for something or forfeit all their assets. It is appalling that Canadians tolerate these fascist tactics.

  3. “It is a great victory for free speech” – not entirely – the court system used since 2011 to arrive at that conclusion. That burden on Tim Ball is in itself is a threat to free speech. The laws that open up for this misuse of the court system by climate alarmists and the inability of our court systems to resolve these issues promptly are in itself a serious threat to free speech.

    • As they say, the process is the punishment.
      I would be interested to see the Judge’s ruling. And remarks, if any.

    • Weaver, Shukla, Mann… wanting to do science,
      not by trial and error, but by Soviet-style show-trial.

      Congratulations to Dr Ball, and condolences for all
      the mental anguish they put him through.

      • Weaver, Shukla, Mann…

        And Pachauri, who derailed himself because he followed the compass between his legs.

  4. Wasn’t it Weaver who claimed an office break in caused the loss of science research documents ?
    Well good for Dr. Ball . I can’t wait to see the 4 ” headlines announcing the victory for free speech .
    As pointed out Weaver has moved into politics now . Makes sense .

  5. Indeed good news. Weaver is in a funny position. He controls British Columbia. But his grip is such that if he disapproves of Premier Horgan’s behavior, he is no longer in control. Therefore his grip on power is like wet tissue paper….fleeting and flaccid. He is the architect of his own impotence.

  6. Great news! Dr. Ball is a man with an open and honest mind and an abundance of integrity and courage. Weaver – I refuse to call him “Dr.” – is the exact opposite.

    Recall that Weaver weaved that obviously phoney break in of his office to deflect from Climategate.

    Recall that Weaver’s climate model was one of the – the? – worst (most erroneous, on the high side of course)of them all.

    Note that Weaver made his name in politicized pseudoscience (IPCC) and is now an unbearably arrogant and deceptive professional politician.

    Next up: Mikey Mann the Hokey Stick Man.

    • You are correct about Weaver’s model prognostications. They are the second worst (least accurate) of them all. As you can guess, to keep the ‘model mean’ up, his and the other even worse one are ‘needed’. Thus his work, no matter how irrelevant, is supported by the those seeking to alarm the public. Without the two worst (least skillful) models, the model mean would be a lot lower, might provoke no alarm at all, and where then would they be? There are solutions to sell! The unconcerned won’t buy virtue signals when there are higher priorities.

    • Extreme,

      That dreadful climate model, CANESM2, was created by Weaver and colleagues at the University of Victoria over a ten-year period at a cost of $tens of millions of taxpayers’ money. Weaver left UVic to enter British Columbia politics in 2012 as a Green party member. The Green party currently holds the balance of power in the B.C. legislature with only three seats as an ally of the governing socialist NDP party.

      • I donated a small amount to Ball in the last round and I’d also be happy to donate again if he still needs help!

      • +1. Same with me. Next I expect is that the Mann-slaughter begins. Dr Ball and Mark Steyn still have an axe to grind with that abominable Mann.

    • Crowd funding is a new weapon in fights such as this. Peter Ridd has shown the way. No longer can these highly funded organisations assume they can steamroll individuals with only personal funds to defend themselves.

  7. The purpose of filing such a lawsuit is to shut the critic up. Dr. Ball is retired on a small pension, and Weaver obviously thought he would be unable to afford to defend himself in court and would have to concede. Weaver and the other alarmists know full well they are wrong.

  8. Mann has a suit pending, but failed to “show and tell” his hockey stick defense, and I don’t know if that will get Dr. Ball a win plus costs, but it should. Wonder if he’s talked his dad into buying an EV yet. Just sayin’.

    Whaddya mean, Weaver switching to politics? That’s where he’s been for decades.

  9. … the judge dismissed all charges …

    I’d love to see the judgement. Charges are dismissed in criminal cases. I thought this was a civil case.

    Defamitory Libel is a crime in Canada but the charge would have been brought by the crown, not by Weaver.

    It’s more common for civil matters to be settled out of court. Usually, the case is obvious enough that the parties agree to settle. What can happen, early in the proceedings, is that one party will bring a motion to the court asking that a case be dismissed because it is so obviously faulty that it would waste the court’s time to hear it.

    So many possibilities …

    • Yes, in this case the suit was dismissed. But I too would be interested to discover just what the Judge’s reasoning was.

  10. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end for our provincial and federal brain dead carbon taxes. Our politicians and MSM journalists heads are so densely packed with AGW cr@p, when they open their mouths to speak a raging torrent of $hit comes out.

  11. Weaver is in the same league as Michael Mann; both pseudo science charlatans. Ball won his case against Mann in the B.C. Supreme Court, now he wins against Weaver. We just have to wait for Mark Styen to win against Mann and his “tree ring circus”…

  12. It’s the right decision. Which tells us more about the changes occurring in the minds & attitudes of the judiciary than about the merits of the global warming scam.

    The main outcome will be to embolden other judges to uphold the law against the climate bullies. That in turn will open the gates for prosecutions against those climate bullies who have been pushing the scam. As as there are so many more of them, as they are clearly earning a lot from pushing the scam and as they have been so utterly reckless in their statements, I can see those prosecutions turning into a veritable industry.

  13. I have had a similar libel lawsuit from Greenpeace in Germany, where free speech (in my case a publication) is more restricted than in most other European countries. Besides the costs, the main problem is that it takes so much time from an individual (or small group) that it gets at the cost of reacting on actual news items. That is one of main objectives of these lawsuits. In Germany Greenpeace starts lawsuits against any journalist who dires to publish something negative about them. Quite effective to shut them all up…
    All together, it ended not too bad: a fifty-fifty result, so we hadn’t to pay the “Streitwert” (what it was worth for Greenpeace), but still a lot of money for the court and defence lawyer…

    Anyway, congratulations for Dr. Ball, one down, still one important to go…

    • Well done for taking them on. Greenspin in all it guises is a bully which might once had a moral purpose but that seems to have long disappeared and it seems all they do now is promote causes that benefit foreign governments.

    • Greenpeace are mendacious bullies. They are currently soliciting donations on the Guardian website with images of polar bears “endangered” by Global Warming, despite all the good work by Dr Susan Crockford showing exactly the contrary.

    • From your “chlorine-lover”-blog 1998

      Chlorophiles lose…..

      Parts of two points of the complaint were lost by Chlorophiles because they were unable to prove that Greenpeace deliberately misleads public opinion or deliberately spreads facts that do not reflect reality.

      Another point was lost because it was a quotation that was judged by the Court to be an unacceptable opinion, even a lie. The quotation was produced in due format and properly documented. The statements were quoted from a newspaper and had been expressed by a Member of the European Parliament who was talking about the ‘green lobby’, not about Greenpeace.

      A number of paragraphs of the essay described and mentioned statements and interviews made in video reports by the Icelandic producer Gudmundsson and by Danish Television. The Court of Hamburg ordered that all such statements and interviews be forbidden for further distribution by Ferdinand Engelbeen.

      And finally, one point of the complaint was qualified by the Court as slander, according to the Court’s definition of the contested wording used in the essay. This concerns the word “mole”

      and Chlorophiles win…

      Greenpeace is a sect

      This is an acceptable opinion, and this point of the complaint is therefore rejected (note 2)
      Greenpeace has military-trained activists and creates disturbance

      Concerning the wording “military-trained activists”, the Court says: “This declaration is indisputably true” (note 3)
      Greenpeace’s argument “that one can publish exaggerations in a political controversy over ideas” is NOT VALID if they give false impressions

      The Court made this comment in connection with the case of a photograph of a hydrocephalus child in a Greenpeace advert used in an anti-nuclear campaign (note 4).
      It is a well-known fact that radiation cannot possibly be the cause of hydrocephality!

      AND

      Greenpeace spreads half-truths about PVC

      • feliksch,

        Thanks for mentioning it… What we learned is that in Germany it is not allowed to quote someone, without warning that you don’t agree with that statement, even not if quoted literally and with the proper context. If you don’t warn, you are supposed to stand behind what is said and you personally have to prove that what you quote is right, not the original speaker/writer.
        And a court seems to interpretate things very literally, like the “military trained activists”.

        Further, it is near impossible to prove for a court that someone lies, that is intentionally telling untruths. You can prove that they tell untruths, but you don’t know if that isn’t by mistake. Only since that court case, we can prove that they lie if they repeat the same “mistakes”, as they now know by court that they are mistaken…

        Anyway it took about three years of our time and that were not the most pleasant years.

  14. It is a ‘win’… but at what a personal cost, as Steyn says the process is the punishment.. and a deterrent to others… I really want to se Mann / Steyn resolved soon.

  15. They’ll have to cook up a new strategy now crowdsourcing has outflanked their vexatious lawyering. There’s plenty more where that came from bozos as your time in the commanding heights draws to a close. You could hide the dodgy data but never the lunar predictions and prescriptions.

  16. It appears that Weaver doesn’t like criticism any more than Mann does. That’s unfortunate. The scientific process is meant to allow criticism, to give the author of assertions time to review and if required, revise them. Saying that someone’s assertions or results are incorrect is not libel, especially if you have backup.
    Casting unnecessary aspersions on someone’s character could be construed as libel if it’s just a bitch-slapping contest, which is what usually occurs in something like this. I’ve been through this myself, I won, and that jerk owes me money which I will never get.
    Glad to see that the court found in Dr. Ball’s favor.

  17. The greatest interest in these law cases is always the written judgement. I believe these should be public domain in the BC Courts system, so should be available as a pdf just like the pleadings (already linked). The pleadings are over-the-top histrionic, ending with a petition to “throw the book at him”. And they come from one of Canada’s highest profile defamation lawyers.

    What I really want to read are the *reasons* the judge dismissed the case. Please post/link if you can. Thank you.

  18. Tim is fortunate, in that Weaver did not present a case and called no witnesses.

    The Justice had little choice but to dismiss the case, presumably with costs.

    The justice system in Canada is hamstrung by deceit and delay, which is encouraged by the courts to the benefit of the “law business” and the detriment of the public.

    Perjury and Fraud Upon the Court is rarely discouraged, and so has become the standard tactic to deceive the judiciary and delay proceedings. Rules of evidence are routinely ignored and false allegations are accepted by judges as evidence and form the basis of their rulings.

    The selection of judges in Canada is reportedly among the least transparent in the developed world, and judicial appointments can be made to reward political party fundraisers and other favorites.

    Some of my colleagues are convinced that judges are routinely “bought” in big-money legal cases. I have no opinion on this point, but do observe that the entire law business in Canada is remarkably incompetent, and corruption (in addition to incompetence) may be one of the contributing factors.

    Rule of Law is a shambles in Canada. The lesson here is “sort out your problems outside the court system”.

  19. “.. the case took a turn when Weaver did not call any witnesses on his behalf and I did not testify.”

    That makes it sound as though you were subpoenaed to be a witness for Weaver. ??

  20. I am a Canadian lawyer. Dr. Ball has a clear argument for solicitor-client (ie full) costs based on bad faith and litigation misconducr. There was clearly no intention to pursue this matter to a decision. It was prosecuted to harass and gain publicity. I hope he seeks elevated costs.

    • ” There was clearly no intention to pursue this matter to a decision.”
      No. The matter was pursued to a decision, and Dr Weaver won, and was awarded $50,000. The 2015 judgment is here. That judgment was successfully appealed and a new trial ordered.

      • That was obviously a different lawsuit against certain parties and the National Post.
        http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/15/01/2015BCSC0165.htm#_Toc410739114

        I wrote what may have been the first article in the National Post to oppose the Kyoto Accord, back in 2002. I would probably change a few points, but it still holds up quite well today.

        I think it was this NP article that got me threatened, accused of being personally responsible for the flooding of Prague. I have accepted by newfound powers with modesty and grace and have tried to live an exemplary life so as not to cause any more deluges – sorry about Paris though – my bad.

        Tim Ball gets threats all the time, and I have only received one. I confess to suffering from threat-envy, and feel that I am not being treated fairly by the warmist thugs. WTF? Have I not spoken out enough against the fr@ud of global warming alarmism? Am I not worthy? What am I, chopped liver? :-)

      • Mr. Stokes: Thanks for posting the correction. So, what are your thoughts on why Weaver sued Ball? Better yet, why is your knee-jerk reaction to defend Weaver? Have you given that any thought at all?

      • “I accept your apology.”
        You were wrong, though. The matter was pursued to a decision. There was a three week hearing in November, 2017. The judgment is here. It is rather a pyrrhic victory.

  21. Well, I am glad that Anthony linked the PDF of the case. But I’d have to say, having read the whole of it, that Weaver had a reasonable case, in the sense of having reasonable credentials to teach climate science. Personally I hate litigation as much as lawyers love it, and I don’t think he should have sued over a storm in a teacup (storm enhanced by CAGW of course!). But I am very curious to hear more about why Weaver effectively gave up on it. Did he and others fear adding oxygen to the sceptics cause by getting into a debate?

    Rich.

  22. ….Tim Ball, a former professor of geography at the University of Winnipeg..

    Is the NYT disingenuous or ignorant? (that was a rhetorical question).
    Dr. Ball is a distinguished climatologist and retired Prof of that subject at the University of Winnipeg with many peer reviewed publications.
    IMO that was a blatant attempt by the NYT to downplay Dr. Ball’s credentials.
    (Most are aware that in Dr Ball’s student days, Climatology was often part of the Geography Department.)

  23. Mark Steyn is a major FOX TV contributer. He should bring the subject up (the case) or at least the scam of AGW.

  24. Canada Free Press should apologise to Dr Tim Ball. But what is more important, Canada Free Press should again welcome and publish articles by Dr Tim Ball to display its goodwill towards him.

  25. Hi I have been trying to spread this news on some Facebook post and my comments and links to this story keep being censored and marked as Spam!😡
    Just thought you should know if anyone else is experiencing this.

  26. Congratulations to Dr. Ball — I only hope that Weaver was ordered to pay Dr. Ball’s legal expenses.

  27. Weaver needs to be hung out to dry with costs for trying to impose his false greenpriest science on people, and promoting the actual deceit of Piltdown Mann’s fraudulent climate “science” – that he could not support with facts in court. etc. Time these cynical liars for their own selfish profit were exposed and vilified, in the same way they have sought to suppress the truth from honest experts like Tim Ball for their own profit. IMO. This can only fail if the courts of law become based on religion raher than fact. Not happened, yet.

    • Actually, a judge with probably no option, like it or not and brain or no brain, given the failure of the plaintiff to produce the goods needed by court.

      Rich.

  28. Stopped at Izuru to see if Mr. Shollenberger posted on this, because he argued here and at CA that Weaver had such a solid case. Nothing there, though near the top he had a post from Dec. ’17 attacking Judith Curry because she did not bow low enough before all-powerful (and totally preposterous) claims of rape and assault from (any person-name or sex matter not). Gonna have to stop looking if it makes the blood boil.

    • I gave up on Brandon several months ago. From my interactions, my view is that he’s got an ego similar in size to Mann, i.e. it’s impossible for him to be wrong and we are all just stupid.

      • Indeed. He has some worthwhile thoughts, but his attacks on Steve M (and now Curry) are bullet wounds in his own feet.

  29. Canada uses the English rule; ie loser pays all legal fees.

    In the financial world, companies employ poison pills to prevent hostile takeovers.

    Could a poison pill strategy be employed against SLAPPs and other forms of lawfare? IE if I am hit with a SLAPP should I immediately hire 10,000 lawyers? All the most expensive ones…

  30. I just read Weavers suit document! Dr. Ball, you certainly pulled no punches! I’m surprised that there is a British Columbia Judge that would dismiss such a case! Maybe Canada is only half as bad as I thought. Well the plaintiff has at least moved 9n to a job he is qualified for- leader of the Green Party of BC, a failing party that even lefty Canadians are staying away from.

  31. I see the judgment is posted here. On costs it says:
    “Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue. “
    The key para is:
    “In summary, the Article is a poorly written opinion piece that offers Dr. Ball’s views on conventional climate science and Dr. Weaver’s role as a supporter and teacher of that science. While the Article is derogatory of Dr. Weaver, it is not defamatory, in that the impugned words do not genuinely threaten Dr. Weaver’s reputation in the minds of reasonably thoughtful and informed readers. Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.”

    The judgment is not always kind to the defence. For example
    “Further, despite Dr. Ball’s history as an academic and a scientist, the Article is rife with errors and inaccuracies, which suggests a lack of attention to detail on Dr. Ball’s part, if not an indifference to the truth. “

    The reasons for deciding it was derogatory but not defamatory start out not very flatteringly:
    “First, as discussed above, the Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science. In Vellacott v. Saskatoon Star Phoenix Group Inc. et al, 2012 SKQB 359 [Vellacott], the court found that certain published comments were not defamatory because they were so ludicrous and outrageous as to be unbelievable and therefore incapable of lowering the reputation of the plaintiff in the minds of right-thinking persons (at para. 70). While the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, they similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory”

    • Nick, thanks for that. So the ruling apparently did require that the judge be competent and unbiased. And Dr. Ball fell the right side of a knife edge by virtue of his bad writing. I’d have to say, Ball’s writings on WUWT often do leave a lot to be desired – there is often interesting information in them, but not always coherent, and sometimes rather rambling, hence I usually skim them.

      Rich.

  32. Five Hundred Million years ago CO2 levels were 4,500ppm…..as grasses, plants and trees grew so the CO2 levels reduced to the point where todays 390ppm is in effect “starvation” level compared to previous times.
    Earth Scientists both in the East and the West clearly show that the planet has been much warmer in the past….in fact I have two graphs on my mobile along with a graph showing historical CO2.
    It is not and never has been a problem…it is of course the the trace gas that is most important to our atmosphere. It grows everything…greens up the planet.
    As regards the heat from CO2…it is a logarithmic curve…you can have as much as you like.
    Very clever is our planet!
    Turn off computers and refer to empirical based information…..the future is in the past.

  33. Scottish Sceptic February 14, 2018 at 1:22 am wrote:
    It’s a bit unfair to politicians comparing them to climate modellers.

    Mate, you shouldn’t be allowed to post things like that, especially when I have a mouthful of coffee.

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