Tim Ball's Victory in the First Climate Lawsuit Judgment – The Backstory

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

I am extremely grateful for the judgment of a complete dismissal in the lawsuit brought against me by Andrew Weaver. It is a victory for free speech and a blow against the use of the law to silence people. As with all events, there is so much more that rarely receives attention yet is essential to understanding and improving conditions in the future.

While I savor the victory, people need to know that it was the second of three lawsuits all from the same lawyer, Roger McConchie, in Vancouver on behalf of members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In each case, he also filed lawsuits against the agency that published what I wrote or said. This is why Anthony Watts wisely asked me and I was willing to put the phrase “Guest Opinion” at the top of any column I wrote. Of course, the double-barreled lawsuits created complications in mounting any defense.

The first lawsuit was brought by Gordon McBean. In 1985, when he was Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada he chaired the founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria. My wife and I decided we could not afford to defend the case and so I withdrew the publication. This, in my opinion, achieved the objective of the lawsuit that many call SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). All the lawsuits were filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. BC had anti-SLAPP but for some unknown reason, it was withdrawn through legislation. The anti-SLAPP legislation is spreading as politicians and lawyers realize the dangers in using the law designed to protect people by silencing them. Eight of the other ten Canadian Provinces have anti-SLAPP legislation.

The second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Andrew Weaver. At the time he was a professor of computer modelling at the University of Victoria and author on four of the IPCC Science Reports (1995, 2001, 2007, 2013). After filing the lawsuit, he was elected to the BC Legislative Assembly as a member of the Green Party. He later was re-elected as the leader of the BC Green Party.

Nine days after receiving the Weaver lawsuit I gave a public presentation in Winnipeg, including an explanation of the “hockey stick.” Afterward, I was interviewed by the Frontier Centre, and they published my flippant comment about the juxtaposition of Mann’s location. Within 24 hours I received the third lawsuit. That case was scheduled for trial on February 20, 2017, but after six years Mann sought an adjournment. We are now trying to get the case back into court. It was incorrectly reported that Mann was in contempt of court for failing to produce documents. He did not produce the documents, but he is only in contempt of the court when they so rule. That is part of what we will pursue now the Weaver trial is finished. How quickly that will proceed is hard to know because I understand Weaver is going to file an appeal.

The Weaver defamation case involved an article I wrote saying that the IPCC had diverted almost all climate research funding and scientific investigation to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). This meant that there was virtually no advance in the wider understanding of climate and climate change. I referenced an interview with Weaver and attempts by a student to arrange a debate. I made comments that were not fully substantiated, so they became the base of the defamation lawsuit. Meanwhile, Weaver’s lawyer arranged with the publisher of Canada Free Press (CFP) to print an apology he had written. I never knew about that until after it was printed. As a result, I withdrew all my articles on file with CFP and did not send them anything else.

I contacted a lawyer, Michael Scherr of Pearlman Lindholm to defend myself against the case. He wrote a letter withdrawing and apologizing for the unsubstantiated comment but not the main thrust of the article. Apparently, that was insufficient for Weaver because he continued the lawsuit. He did not call a single witness to the trial. It lasted three weeks, and the judge allowed witness statements into the record without objection from Weaver. On Tuesday, February 13 the judgement was released with the ruling that all claims against me were dismissed. The judgment is available on line, so I will not influence anyone’s view by commenting here.

I am meeting with my lawyer next week to reactivate the Michael Mann trial as soon as possible. We will discuss costs but cannot do anything until the Appeals procedure is over. I can tell you I am overwhelmed by the financial and support from around the world. The sort of comment that is particularly encouraging is a variation of Voltaire’s comment that I don’t necessarily agree with you, but you must have the right to say it. Of course, Voltaire understood the station because he also said what I discovered “It is dangerous to be right in matters where men in authority are wrong.”


From the judgment, available online here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0205.htm 

The link also includes the original article by Dr. Ball, which spurred the lawsuit, under Appendix A. Here are some relevant excerpts from the court document.

[77]        In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.

[78]        Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.

[82]        The law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack. However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived. Public debate on matters of importance is an essential element of a free and democratic society and lies at the heart of the Charter guarantee of freedom of expression. As Justice Lebel observes, such debate often includes critical and even offensive commentary, which is best met through engagement and well-reasoned rejoinder. It is only when the words used reach the level of genuinely threatening a person’s actual reputation that resort to the law of defamation is available. Such is not the case here.

[83]        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.

[84]        Given this finding, I need not consider whether Dr. Weaver has established that the Article was published in the sense that it was downloaded and read in BC by anyone other than him. I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.

Conclusion

[85]        Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.

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Tom Halla

The whole point of filing a lawsuit is to make the defendant pay to defend against it, most of the time. Unless one is rich enough to have lawyers on retainer, merely having to defend oneself is punishment.

gwan

This sort of bullying (and that is exactly what it is ) unfortunately is becoming far to prevalent ,
.Doug Edmeades a prominent New Zealand skeptic has written a number of articles that are published mainly in the New Zealand Farmer a weekly farming magazine delivered free to all rural box holders through out New Zealand .
He was attacked by James Renwick a former head scientist of NIWA and now a professor at Victoria University in Wellington .
Doug wrote a rebuttal and answered Fenwick very well and destroyed Fenwicks main argument which relied on consensus and the work of the IPCC .
Doug has now been told by the Editor the NZ Farmer that they do not want him to contribute any more articles as pressure has been applied to stifle his views and stop his views being published .
If a polll was taken I am sure the majority of farmers in New Zealand have little worries about the effects of climate change .
.They work on the land and they know that weather is always changing from hour to hour .day to day ,week to week month to month. year to year .
After that it becomes climate that extends back centuries and those records are denied and changed to suit the the global warming theory

Patrick MJD

I have contracted to NIWA in the past. To use the word shonky, to describe their work and practices would be an understatement IMO.

Simon

“Doug has now been told by the Editor the NZ Farmer that they do not want him to contribute any more articles as pressure has been applied to stifle his views and stop his views being published .”
I wouldn’t have thought NZ Farmer would care one bit about pressure from who ever. I think you will find they made their own mind up based on their best interests.

ralfellis

Indeed. And they dont care about what they are fighting for, nor why, as long as they win. When I filed a lawsuit about faulty manufacture, their defence was to dig into my previous company and tax returns, to stop me proceeding. Luckily everything was in order, and I won the case.

Shoshin

Weaver is scum. He ‘s now holding up the construction of a pipeline approved by all levels of government in Canada except his rag tag band of five blowhards that by sheer luck hold the balance of power in the BC legislature. What he’s doing is illegal and unconstitutional, but doing illegal things is the stock in trade of the eco-nutbar.
Weaver is a nation breaker, not a nation builder. He cares for nothing and no one outside of his postage stamp sized piece of turf. The unrestrained narrow mindedness and of the cad is breathtaking.
Doesn’t stop him from jet-setting to conferences on the government dime though. His carbon footprint is as big as his mouth.

gwan

Simon ,
You do not realize how those with the money control the debate .The New Zealand Farmer runs a business that rely s on advertisers to pay the bills and make a profit .
There are at least four other free farmers magazines delivered to every rural box holder in New Zealand so the advertisers have a choice and they can apply subtle pressure or just tell the editor or marketing manager they are not happy advertising in there paper when they allow people like Doug Edmeades to air his skeptical views .
Doug Edmeades told me that the NZ Farmer had told him that they had been pressured not to publish more articles written by him .
97% of readers ( remember the rural focus ) would have enjoyed the articles and the debate between Doug and Renwick and with the number of free weeklies coming to rural post boxes it was certainly a point of difference .
Over the years there has been a debate between warmists and Doug about global warming in the NZ Farmer and Doug has handled them very well .
When you get people of the same ilk as Griff Nick and Mosh spouting trash and the party line about climate change in free news papers someone has to put them straight and put the facts before the public .
Thankyou Doug Edmeades

Very clever of McBean, Weaver, and Mann to file the suits particularly and seemingly intentionally in a jurisdiction that does not have an anti-SLAPP law — as these lawsuits are nothing other than Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, exactly the type that anti-SLAPP laws are enacted to prevent — lawsuits to stifle and shut down opposing opinions.
Along with my congratulations, you have my sincere support in attempting to get Weaver to pay all of your legal fees for this frivolous suit.

McLovin'

And I’ll give that an “Amen!” Keep up the good fight, Dr. Ball!

paul courtney

Kip: Mann v. Steyn was filed in a DC court, that jurisdiction has an anti-SLAPP law. I assume Mann’s tobacco lawyers also knew that the jurists in that Court were CAGW cultists who would brush aside the SLAPP law (they did), helping the broader cause in other suits down the road. In other words, they wanted to diminish anti-SLAPP laws in any jurisdiction by getting a friendly Court decision that can be cited in future anti-SLAPP motions. There is simply no other explanation for Mann’s forum shopping.

Paul ==> Thanks, law is not my field.

TG

Congratulations Tim. your one of my heroes.

Simon

“Congratulations Tim. your one of my heroes.”
Did you read what the judge said? Tim Balls arguments were poor, some even bordering on lying. You must have a low bar for your heroes.

David Ball

Simon February 16, 2018 at 10:59 am says;
“Congratulations Tim. your one of my heroes.”
Did you read what the judge said? Tim Balls arguments were poor, some even bordering on lying. You must have a low bar for your heroes.

Reply: Simon, dispute anything from the original “offending” article. I challenge you.

s-t

@Simon
How is the judge qualified, again?

Robert of Ottawa

The process is the punishment.

Roger Knights

“May you be in the right in a lawsuit.”
—Modern American curse

Barbara

Wikipedia / Gordon McBean
Re: Backstory – Gordon McBean
Short biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_McBean

Barbara

Ontario Newsroom
Press Release: July 10, 2015
Includes Climate Statement: Gordon McBean
https://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2015/07/ontarios-climate-summit-lays-path-for-low-carbon-future.html

Alan Tomalty

I have lived 67 years on this planet and have come to realize that all of the 1001 conspiracy theories on the internet are junk, but incredibly there is 1 that is real The conspiracy behind AGW. Unfortunately it is the most dangerous one (mostly because of the corruption of science and the huge costs involved with trying to stamp out a bogeyman).. And the public doesnt even realize the conspiracy. Worse still all the politicians around the world have bought into this. How for the life of me could certain intelligent human beings many of them PhDs believe in a theory of AGW that has no scientific basis. I will never understand this. We are truly living in a world of Oz. Dr. Ball I commend you in your fight and perhaps we need a huge court case to bring out all the facts( somewhat like the monkey trial in the 20s).

RW

Nothing to do with conspiracy. It is corruption plain and simple.

A C Osborn

Alan Tomalty February 14, 2018 at 8:24 pm
Just follow the money.
It is not the only conspiracy that is real, but the other one is in plain sight, it is the UN “Agenda” series.

Barbara

UNESCO, Paris, France, Founded 1946
Link to:
And: International Council for Science (ICSU) > Gordon McBean
http://www.unesco.org/science/wcs/eng/overview.htm
UNESC > ICSU > Future Earth organization
Future Earth
North American Hubs: Colorado & Quebec
Governing Council includes: ICSU, Unesco, UNEP, WMO, and others.
Information & Map;
http://www.futureearth.org/our-people-networks
ICSU now World Conference on Science

Barbara

Montreal International, Feb. 13, 2015
International Organizations, Press Releases
Re: Gordon McBean & Future Earth organization in Montreal.
http://montrealinternational.com/en/news/2015/02/paul-shrivastava-head-global-secretariat-future-earth

s-t

Saying that “vaccines are proven, safe, effective” is just as big hoax or “ideation” as globul warmin. Most are actually unproven, useless, dangerous and sometimes just disastrous.

Phil.

s-t February 22, 2018 at 7:27 am
Saying that “vaccines are proven, safe, effective” is just as big hoax or “ideation” as globul warmin. Most are actually unproven, useless, dangerous and sometimes just disastrous.

Global vaccination programs were what eradicated smallpox. I helped my father (a polio sufferer) work to help eliminate polio which has also been largely eradicated by global vaccination programs. In the 50s, prior to the development of the polio vaccine, parents dreaded summer when outbreaks of polio would occur, public places would be closed down etc.

s-t

“polio which has also been largely eradicated by global vaccination programs”
There is no more evidence of that than of CAGW. It’s the same evidence free assertions and guild and “climate skeptics” are falling for it, which makes me question the “skeptic” part.
Polio is exploding now in India. That increase of polio may be caused by the vaccination.

Sara

To Dr. Ball:
Evelyn Beatrice Hall said, “I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” which she attributed to Voltaire in her biography of him.
I may disagree with Michael Mann on what he says but I will not stand in his way of saying stupid, incorrect things, unless he decides to attack me. Then the gloves come off.
Kudos,and please continue to stand your ground. You are right. They are afraid of you, or you would not be targeted.

NME666

another fund raiser is not out of the question, as we want these tools to know that T Ball is not alone on this issue!!!

bjc70

YES please and crowd fund it.
If so big notice here at WUWT pls.

TG

Now the next sad chapter is that Dr Ball is no longer held to ransom/blackmail by Weaver, but the whole Provence of British Columbia by 3 Green MP;s holding the balance of power with a minority NDP socialist government. Look at the devastation the Green party has brought to the Australian economy – it,s truly sickening how these green sycophants think!!!

Proportional representation is meant to achieve a fair balance in govt, but so often it hands way too much power to extremists.

s-t

People are fast to name and shame any person linked to anyone who may be “alt right” and “white nationalist” (but not black nationalist or anti white racism) or who mets with such person (except if it’s Louis Farrakhan).
These persons are isolated. As if any person emitting any comment vaguely interpreted as possible “racist” (or sexist) was contagious.
But apparently those who use lawsuits against critics (not limited to climate science, see Gilles-Éric Séralini and his infamous GMO rats) are not such “contagious” bad people. They are not named and shamed and isolated from the “community”.
This is not just a science issue. Some browser was apparently distributed with some password manager that worked by putting all user secrets under the control of Javascript code on just every single website, so every website could enumerate all saved passwords. It did so not just once but twice. The second time the tool was shamed by Ars Technica. And they now attack Ars, because it wasn’t exactly the same exact display of abject incompetence the second time.
Is there naming and shaming of those who abuse the Justice system to cover for their undeniable abject incompetence?
OTOH, any person who emits any doubt on any vaccine that is currently recommended is named, shamed, ridiculed, punished, isolated… even by climate skeptics. They are treated worse than G.E. Séralini just because they emit doubts. Any medical doctor “guilty” of skeptical thinking can lose his livelihood. It’s the ultimate “no go zone” as Tucker Carlson puts it.
There is one study showing a lack of autism/vaccine link that has one author on the run for fraud. The study is still standing, nobody checked it. The only answer was “that author had a minimal input”. I am not sure why it was even listed as author, apparently his scientific contribution is nil.
Nobody seems to care.
The “scientific” and computer worlds are upside down.

Hugs

OTOH, any person who emits any doubt on any vaccine that is currently recommended is named, shamed, ridiculed, punished, isolated… even by climate skeptics

You are simply wrong on ‘any doubt on vaccine’. But I don’t engage with antivaxxers, professor emeritus Tim Ball being sued is enough.

s-t

“But I don’t engage with antivaxxers”
Typical expected reply: you see “antivaxxers” everywhere like others see agents of “Monsatan”, Russian trolls, bots, Putin, Big Oil money…
Vaccines believers are exactly like blogul warmin believers.

Michael Jankowski

…Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation…
Priceless stupidity on his part. Sharp contrast with Mann, who is so fragile that his peers email behind his back about damaging his ego and who can’t even bring himself to say “McIntyre.”

Kamikazedave

They are afraid of you, Dr. Ball.
To Michael Mann et al. It’s what you know about yourself inside that makes you afraid.

gnomish

yes
and it’s so funny watching the make.believe emperor look for his clothes.

I doubt that an appeal would be successful.

Man Bearpig

The explanation in para 82 is interesting. Perhaps some alarmist scientists and others should take note.

Man Bearpig

There may be claims to counter sue based on the ruling, in particular, “It is only when the words used reach the level of genuinely threatening a person’s actual reputation that resort to the law of defamation is available” as this is what happened to many reputable scientists.

Rod Everson

Man Bearpig: Interesting observation about countersuing on the same grounds. Liberals tend to resort to the courts while conservatives tend not to, preferring open debate and winning the point via elections, but sometimes a resort to the courts might be a reasonable response.

michael hart

“It is dangerous to be right in matters where men in authority are wrong.”

Tyrants may forgive you for being wrong, but they’ll never forgive you for being right.

M Courtney

It reads as though the judge threw out the complaint because he thought no-one would read what Ball wrote and if they did they would ignore it as Ball has no credibility.
This is not really a win.
Example 1:

….nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived.

Example 2:

…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.

Or, more explicitly,
“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.”

Moa

Who cares what the judge thinks is ‘credible’ ? They are as subject to the Dunning-Kruger Effect as anyone else.
This is a massive victory because it sets a precedent. And as long as skeptics can speak then the alarmists are doomed – because OBSERVED REALITY is diverging from the broken computer models of the IPCC.
As time goes on the observations are increasingly falsifying the AGW Hypothesis – the falsification is now at the 3 sigma level.
The Climate Realists have to do nothing except wait. The Alarmists are in real trouble, and are so desperate now they have to pretend that natural El Nino effects are the same as CO2-induced AGW.
How do you spot a bad scientist ? when they appeal to “consensus” and “computer models” (which are ‘hypothesis’ in the Scientific Method, not empirical observations) instead of observed reality.
Observed reality has falsified the UN IPCC AGW Hypothesis. Only bad scientists cling to their falsified model. Are you a bad scientist, Nick ? (don’t answer me, meditate on it).
Hint: when I was doing my PhD in Physics they never explicitly taught the Scientific Method. Most scientists talk about it but have never taken the time to actually formally study it – hence most scientists get it wrong.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
Any scientist who appeals to “consensus” is demonstrating a “tell” (as in the poker term), that they don’t actually understand the philosophy underpinning science at all. Which is why their clocks are getting cleaned by the scientists who do base their position on observed reality (such as the satellite and balloon datasets that falsify the predictions made by the IPCC).

“Who cares what the judge thinks is ‘credible’ ?”
The defence, presumably. Lack of credibility is what made it not defamatory, and so won the case.

Typical Nick Stokes, he sees only what he can use to throw back at us with his slanted opinion attached.
“Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.”
Boom! End game. Doesn’t matter if Dr. Ball was viewed as credible or not. If the complaint doesn’t meet the tests, then it doesn’t fly.
It’s a lot like Nick’s ridiculous complaints few years back about “death threats” against climate scientists in Australia that weren’t actually death threats at all. They failed the test. Police never bothered to open a case. Yet Nick and David Appell were wailing about my lack of concern.
Of course, Nick and Dave could never admit they were wrong. It’s not part of their own credibility schema.

zazove

Presumably it matters to Tim.

Moa says: “Who cares what the judge thinks is ‘credible’ ?”

Clearly Moa has had no dealings with the judicial system. Judges can exclude testimony if the find the witness is credible. If you think otherwise, please learn who gives the jury “instructions.” If you are still in doubt, remember that a trial can be done in front of a judge with no jury, and the “credibility” of any witness and or testimony is determined by the judge.

Moa says: “Who cares what the judge thinks is ‘credible’ ?”

Clearly Moa has had no dealings with the judicial system. Judges can exclude testimony if the find the witness is not credible. If you think otherwise, please learn who gives the jury “instructions.” If you are still in doubt, remember that a trial can be done in front of a judge with no jury, and the “credibility” of any witness and or testimony is determined by the judge.

John Harmsworth

The judgement refers to the specific language which the complaintant claims is defamatory. He is saying that there is scope within the law to say things that exaggerate without meeting the threshhold of liability. Courts in Canada generally don’t like their time wasted in this matter. Provincial Supreme Courts even more so. I would be surprised if Weaver’s lawyer didn’t get hard stare down the nose from the judge for bringing the case and no witnesses.

Paul Penrose

Once again, Nick gets it wrong. The judge was referring to the insulting statements that Dr. Ball made, not the entire article. For example, if I said Nick was “a prostitute for the CAGW crowd”, nobody would be gullible enough to believe that I was accusing him of being an actual sex worker. In other words, the statement would lack a sufficient air of credibility to make it believable and therefore potentially defamatory. Of course, I would never use such language.

David A

Paul , Bingo, and well delivered.

Brendan H

M Courtney: ‘It reads as though the judge threw out the complaint because he thought no-one would read what Ball wrote and if they did they would ignore it as Ball has no credibility.
This is not really a win.’
Yes, a Pyrrhic victory, given the other comments by the judge about Ball’s veracity and rigour:
‘…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.’
‘Dr. Ball is also less than forthright in the Article about his interaction with Dr. Weaver.’
‘Overall, even as an opinion piece, the Article presents as poorly written and it provides little in the way of
credible support for Dr. Ball’s thesis.’
The judge provides some clear examples to support his opinions.
So Dr Ball has received a judgement that both absolves and damns him.

Alan Tomalty

I still believe that Weaver brought no witnesses cause it truly was a an attempt to stifle Dr. Ball and not to argue in debate. The alarmists have never wanted a public debate and I dont know if there ever was one in any country, certainly i never heard of one in Canada so we are reduced to debating on blogs and writing letters to government departments and media to complain about the hoax. But since the government departments are controlled by warmists and the media has bought into AGW it will be a long uphill battle.

Sunsettommy

You miss this part, Brendon?
“[78] Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.”

Mickey Reno

Dr. Ball has made many credible statements on the overall corruption in climate science, and can easily defend specific ones if called upon to do so. But he needed not do so in this case, because the judge saw through the feigned “harm” alleged to have been suffered by Weaver. These “damning” statements are just statements from an opinion piece, not a science paper.
Speaking of opinions, here’s mine: One of the basic truths of this political debate is that the post-normal politics of climate change have corrupted science and scientists, turning them into mere public bureaucrats or academic rent-seekers. They are also publicly funded jet-setters traveling the world and visiting exotic locales, all on the public dime, enjoying well-paid jobs, lavish public pensions and they also get to think of themselves as planetary saviors. But this will end, because its not sustainable. Sooner or later, they will no longer be able to delude themselves with their dodgy model-based disaster predictions. They’ve never had the ability to convince the public and most people are NOT willing to pay South Australian rates for their electricity, nor suffer that level of performance and grid insecurity. Small scale blackouts will gravely harm the world’s economy and hurt millions, but hopefully, the damage done by renewable energy won’t be permanent. Your world of CAGW is crumbling. Get used to it. The smart ones among you will find new career choices now, and beat the rush.

dennisambler

The Judge presumably is of the opinion that no-one could credibly believe that AGW due to CO2 emissions is an untenable theory, after all so many people and 97% of politicians believe it.

s-t

“if they did they would ignore it as Ball has no credibility.”
That may be a Soviet phrasing.
You never say the truth directly. You say something else or the opposite but everyone understands.
Like when a study showing very terrifying risk with a vaccine begins with a recitation of the overwhelming benefits of the vaccine (which are unproven unlike the risks). It’s necessary in Stalinist countries.

Hugs

The Soviet way – secretary Chernenko is in very good shape and health, he’s a young man with ambition and will undoubtedly lead the working class in new victories during the coming decades.
That is, he’s sick and elderly and can’t function, but is supposed to die so soon.
But you are still wrong on vaccines.

This case was about the limits of free speech, and on this question Tim Ball won a resounding victory. The case wasn’t about science, so we don’t need to concern ourselves with what the judge thinks of each party as a scientist.

“on this question Tim Ball won a resounding victory”
But there is a catch-22. You can say anything you like as long as it isn’t credible.

Gunga Din

[77] In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.

Free speech won big.
(Now if the Mannequins actually would debate rather than file lawsuits funded by others ….)

“But there is a catch-22. You can say anything you like as long as it isn’t credible.””
You can say anything credible that you like as long as it isn’t defamatory.

On the basis of your catch-22, Nick Stokes, So: given that those who question global warming are not credible (by your interpretation of the ruling) they could say anything they like with impunity, whereas the global warming faithful because they are credible (by your interpretation again) must watch their derogatory statements as well as their accuracy – with extreme care, because they are liable and will be sued into silence for the slightest misstep or wrong predictions which has led people for instance into spending vast amounts of public money on desalination plants.
So: given that… why is the OPPOSITE true, and your premise demonstrably false?

Gerald Machnee

**But there is a catch-22. You can say anything you like as long as it isn’t credible.**
We have noted you doing that, Nick.

You are overthinking this. Weaver lost, Ball won. Don’t as a non-legal expert overanalyze the result.

Sunsettommy

“Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.”
Nick and others can’t accept this.

Alan Tomalty

You can’t be imprisoned or stifled once the truth comes out. We skeptics relish the debating of the theory and always will be on guard to protect the scientific method. The climatologists went wrong when they ignored the scientific method. Moa is right. Only science can win in the end . If you live your life ignoring the scientific method then you are simply a believer in a religion. The biggest scam in history God has cost the human race untold amount of deaths and suffering and the 2nd biggest scam AGW will turn out to have cost us the most financially.

RW

I see the derisive credibility comments of the judge as a indicator that he is a true believer. He broadcast his badge of allegiance there quite a bit, and so I found the judge’s opinion troubling, especially the broad strokes assertion that most ordinary folk would hold a similarly skeptical view of the defendant’s views. But the most important point is the ruling which itself is good news for free speech and for Tim Ball.

Jack Dale

Ball’s article was “rife with errors and inaccuracies” that showed a lack of attention to detail and an indifference to the truth, Skolrood wrote.
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,” Skolrood wrote.
Ball’s words “lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory,” the judgment concluded.
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/b-c-green-party-s-andrew-weaver-loses-defamation-lawsuit-1.23174209

Sunsettommy

Jack Dale,
It is clear you didn’t read the actual decision since you run to a website that doesn’t contain a link to it as it does here. Your site took small quotes way out of context which distorted what the Judge was stating in support of his decision.
You need to keep in mind that Dr. Weaver sued him for DEFAMATION, not about poorly written articles.
Straight from here are the Judges own words
“Analysis
General Observations About the Article
[58] Before turning to the elements of the tort of defamation, it is first worth making some general observations about the Article, given that the impugned words must be considered in the context of the Article as a whole.
[59] I accept Dr. Ball’s characterization that the Article is an opinion piece directed at an issue of public interest, namely, climate change and the role of humans in contributing to global warming. While Dr. Weaver is mentioned in the Article, he is not its primary focus.
[60] 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. For example:
a) He purports to cite a paper from Michigan State University stating that most college students do not understand the scientific basis of the carbon cycle, when in fact, he was referring to an online article written by a professor of education who was describing a study published in the science journal BioScience;
b) He suggests that Dr. Weaver has consistently refused to debate the climate change issue, an allegation not borne out in the evidence;
c) When describing his presentation at UVIC, he alleges that Dr. Weaver’s students showed up to disrupt the presentation, which again, was not established on the evidence, and Dr. Ball had no basis for making that allegation in the Article; and
d) He alleges that Dr. Weaver had announced his intention to withdraw from the next IPCC and had advocated for the resignation of the IPCC chairman. Dr. Ball said he took this information from a newspaper article, the veracity of which he did not confirm, and which was disputed by Dr. Weaver.
[61] While each of these errors, looked at individually, may seem quite minor, collectively, they illustrate that Dr. Ball’s approach to gathering facts in support of his opinion or thesis is less than rigorous.
[62] Dr. Ball is also less than forthright in the Article about his interaction with Dr. Weaver. He states that he met with Dr. Weaver in his office at Dr. Weaver’s invitation and he recounts a rather odd conversation about whether he was recording their conversation. He fails to disclose however, that this meeting occurred in 1997, over thirteen years prior to the date on which he wrote the Article. I note that Dr. Weaver denies Dr. Ball’s version of that conversation. Dr. Ball also fails to disclose the subsequent email exchange, referred to above, at para. 12, in which the two men engaged in a lengthy debate.
[63] While Dr. Ball presents his central thesis that climate science has been corrupted by politics, the Article offers little in the way of support for that thesis, apart from vague references to missing or falsified data and political manipulation, unsubstantiated and erroneous references to Dr. Weaver as referred to above, and a recommendation that people read a 45-year-old text on climate science written by Professor Hubert Lamb.
[64] Overall, even as an opinion piece, the Article presents as poorly written and it provides little in the way of credible support for Dr. Ball’s thesis.
Are the Words Defamatory?
[65] In his notice of civil claim, Dr. Weaver alleges the following inferential meanings of the impugned words set out in the Article:
a) He is not competent or qualified to teach climate science to university students;
b) He cheated Canadian taxpayers by accepting public funding for climate science research although he has little or no knowledge about climate science;
c) In the meeting in his office with Dr. Ball, he displayed symptoms of paranoia because he fears his incompetence, lack of academic qualifications and corrupt exploitation of the Canadian taxpayer will be exposed;
d) He bribed university students with research funds so they would participate in useless computer modeling studies which had little scientific value, with the objective of continuing to receive unwarranted personal financial benefit from government funding;
e) He dishonestly claimed on his website to be a “climatologist” but removed that claim when challenged by Dr. Ball;
f) He shuns involvement in public debate about global warming because it would publicly expose his professional incompetence, his inadequate knowledge about climate science, and his corrupt exploitation of public resources;
g) He shamefully conspired to have his students interrupt Dr. Ball’s presentation at UVIC in order to suppress the truth by preventing honest and open debate about the existence of global warming and/or whether humans are causing or contributing to global warming;
h) He shamefully conspired with his students to deter people from attending Dr. Ball’s UVIC presentation in order to stifle Dr. Ball’s views and prevent people from learning that his views on global warming have no scientific basis;
i) He teaches his students little or nothing about climate science because he lacks the requisite knowledge, does not have academic qualifications, is nothing more than a computer technician, and is blinded by personal bias;
j) He knows that the reports of the IPCC concerning global warming are unscientific and corrupt, and is therefore dishonestly trying to dodge personal responsibility for his involvement in those reports by dissociating himself from the IPCC; and
k) He dishonestly obtained substantial public funding from Environment Canada for climate science research despite knowing that he lacked the necessary education, training, and intelligence to carry on competent research.
[66] I agree with Dr. Ball that many of the meanings advanced by Dr. Weaver are extreme and are not borne out when the words are considered from the perspective of a reasonable, right-thinking reader. This requires the court to assess the words objectively, and not to attribute the worst possible meaning or the meaning that might appear to the plaintiff or a person with an overly fragile sensibility (Color Your World, at para. 15).
[67] Specifically, I do not accept that the Article, read in its entirety and properly construed, alleges dishonesty on Dr. Weaver’s part or attacks his character in the sense of imputing moral fault or blameworthiness. For example, despite the inferential meanings advanced by Dr. Weaver, there is no allegation, explicit or implicit, that Dr. Weaver cheated taxpayers, dishonestly obtained public funding or shamefully conspired with his students to disrupt Dr. Ball’s presentation to suppress Dr. Ball’s views.
[68] In para. 8.1 of his amended response to civil claim, Dr. Ball pleads that the gist or “sting” of the Article is as follows:
The plaintiff is qualified by conventional standards to teach climate science but should not be qualified because the conventional experience and training of climate science has been corrupted by political advocacy and limited by inadequate data, and his students have accordingly been taught a biased perspective.
[69] Dr. Ball submits that the meaning conveyed in the Article, as reflected in para. 8.1, is that conventional climate science has been corrupted by political advocacy and is limited by inadequate data, and that accordingly, Dr. Weaver, as a supporter of the conventional view, has taught his students a biased perspective.
[70] Dr. Weaver seeks to put a different meaning on para. 8.1. He submits that para. 8.1 alleges that he has been corrupted by political advocacy, both his own and that of others like Maurice Strong, who is referenced in the Article. Dr. Weaver relies on a statement made by the agent for Dr. Ball’s counsel who appeared in Chambers on Dr. Ball’s application to amend his response to civil claim and who is recorded in the transcript as saying that the “defendant’s meaning is that Dr. Weaver was corrupted by political advocacy and limited by inadequate data, and his students have accordingly been taught a biased perspective”.
[71] I do not read para. 8.1 this way, and counsel’s paraphrasing of that paragraph in court does not displace the actual language used. In my view, para. 8.1, as interpreted by Dr. Ball, accurately captures the sting of the Article.
[72] That is not to say that the Article is wholly benign as it relates to Dr. Weaver. On Dr. Ball’s own interpretation, the Article suggests that Dr. Weaver is not competent to teach climate science or, at least, teaches it from a biased perspective. The Article suggests further that Dr. Weaver would not be qualified to participate in a multi-disciplinary panel on climate science.
[73] These allegations are directed at Dr. Weaver’s professional competence and are clearly derogatory of him. Indeed, it is quite apparent that this was Dr. Ball’s intent. Why else would he include a description of Dr. Weaver’s allegedly paranoid behaviour at the meeting in Dr. Weaver’s office, given that it has no direct relevance to the central thesis of the Article? (I note again that Dr. Weaver denies Dr. Ball’s version of that meeting.)
[74] However, not every derogatory statement is defamatory. The test again is whether the impugned words genuinely threaten the plaintiff’s actual reputation (Weaver, at para. 68). Here, I am not satisfied that the impugned words of the Article reach that level. I reach this conclusion for the following reasons.
[75] 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.
[76] Moreover, as noted above, the Article is clearly an opinion piece, and statements of opinion are generally evaluated differently than statements of fact. As stated by Mr. Justice Lebel in WIC Radio, at para. 71 of his concurring reasons:
[71] Although distinguishing facts from comment may sometimes be difficult, a comment is by its subjective nature generally less capable of damaging someone’s reputation than an objective statement of fact, because the public is much more likely to be influenced in its belief by a statement of fact than by a comment. …
[77] In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.
[78] Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.
[79] The issue of climate change is a matter of public interest and, as noted, Dr. Weaver has been at the forefront of public discussion. It has long been recognized that where someone enters the public arena, it is to be expected that his or her actions and words will be subject to robust scrutiny and criticism. For example, in Lund v. Black Press Group Ltd., 2009 BCSC 937 [Lund], Mr. Justice Bracken stated, at para. 123:
[123] It is important to any community that matters of public interest are debated freely and openly. Sometimes, in the heat of discussions over a controversial issue where strong personal differences exist, persons on one side or other of the debate make comments that offend. But the fact that they offend is not enough. The comments must go beyond strong criticisms of a public man acting in his capacity as a public official. …
[80] Similar observations were made by Chief Justice Nemetz in Vander Zalm, at 535 and 536. While the plaintiffs in both Lund and Vander Zalm were elected officials, in my view, the principle applies with equal force to others who actively engage in matters of public interest.
[81] In WIC Radio, Justice Lebel again, in his concurring reasons said, at paras. 74-75:
[74] Members of the public will generally have a more solid basis on which to evaluate a comment about a public figure than one about someone who is unknown. Thus, although public figures are certainly more open to criticism than those who avoid the public eye, this does not mean that their reputations are necessarily more vulnerable. In fact, public figures may have greater opportunity to influence their own reputations for the better.
[75] People who voluntarily take part in debates on matters of public interest must expect a reaction from the public. Indeed, public response will often be one of the goals of self‑expression. In the context of such debates (and at the risk of mixing metaphors), public figures are expected to have a thick skin and not to be too quick to cry foul when the discussion becomes heated. This is not to say that harm to one’s reputation is the necessary price of being a public figure. Rather, it means that what may harm a private individual’s reputation may not damage that of a figure about whom more is known and who may have had ample opportunity to express his or her own contrary views.
[82] The law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack. However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived. Public debate on matters of importance is an essential element of a free and democratic society and lies at the heart of the Charter guarantee of freedom of expression. As Justice Lebel observes, such debate often includes critical and even offensive commentary, which is best met through engagement and well-reasoned rejoinder. It is only when the words used reach the level of genuinely threatening a person’s actual reputation that resort to the law of defamation is available. Such is not the case here.
[83] 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.
[84] Given this finding, I need not consider whether Dr. Weaver has established that the Article was published in the sense that it was downloaded and read in BC by anyone other than him. I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.
Conclusion
[85] Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.”
http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0205.htm
The Judge specifically stated,
“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.”
Early in the decision, the Judge pointed out that Dr. Ball Apologized BEFORE he was sued for defamation that met all but ONE of Dr. Weavers request, which Dr. Weaver decided was not good enough.
“[30] Ultimately, on March 3, 2011, Dr. Ball issued the following apology:
My article entitled “Corruption of Climate Change has Created 30 Lost Years” contained untrue statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The article has since been withdrawn from the Internet website of Canada Free Press, where it was originally published in January 2011.
Contrary to what I stated in my article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”); (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010. I hereby unequivocally retract my suggestion that Dr. Weaver sought to dissociate himself from the scientific work of the IPCC.
As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. That work began in May, 2010. My article failed to mention these facts although they were publicly available.
I did not intend to suggest that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with my presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling me during my talk. Further, I do not dispute Dr. Weaver’s credentials or competence as a climate scientist and university professor. While Dr. Weaver and I have different views on the cause of global warming, I acknowledge that Dr. Weaver has at all times acted honestly and with integrity.
I sincerely apologize to Dr. Weaver and express regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by my article.
[31] Dr. Ball’s apology was substantially in the form requested by Dr. Weaver, with one exception. Dr. Weaver had proposed language stating that students had not been deterred from attending, that Dr. Ball had not been heckled, and that “students who attended were polite and respectful and asked their questions in a manner and form which is customary and entirely acceptable on such occasions”. Dr. Ball declined to include this language because it was not consistent with how he perceived the students acted at his UVIC presentation.
[32] Dr. Ball forwarded his apology to the various websites on which the Article had been republished.
[33] Dr. Weaver posted Dr. Ball’s apology alongside the Article on his “wall of hate”.
Next time Mr. Dale read the actual court decision.

MarkW

Since Jack’s intention is to deflect rather than inform, becoming fully informed would be a waste of time for him.

TomRude

“Jack Dale” = “Ken Evans” on CBC? LOL

David Ball

“Jack Dale” why don’t you use some of those journalistic skills and find out who is paying Weaver’s legal bills? But you won’t do that, will you?

Hivemind

You can always tell which ones are the pioneers. They are the ones with arrows in their backs.

John V. Wright

From the court document: “Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”.
There you go, warmist ‘scientists’ all. One you have read that you have read all that you need to know. One at a time now. In an orderly fashion. We don’t mind waiting. Just talk WUWT readers through that one.
Off you go…

bitchilly

it certainly highlights the irrational behaviour of the warmists, particularly the educated ones. well done dr. ball, hopefully the mann situation is resolved in similar fashion.

Barbara

Wonder what students think when they see this wall of shame posted? Don’t say anything if they are required to take a course he teaches?

PiperPaul

Yes, climate alarmists are victims, (because disagreement with them and objecting to them wasting trillions of dollars while they attempt to frighten everyone into compliance are threats) you see, and need special protected status.

M Montgomery

Congratulations and thanks on behalf of your skeptic supporters for taking this on! We need more of the brave and heroic.

We all hope to see Andrew Weaver and later, in due course, Michael Mann both labouring in the salt-mines for years to pay off huge costs and penalties awarded against them. Congratulations, Dr.Tim Ball.

zazove

“ill-conceived…lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.””
Ouch, I bet that wont make it onto the CV. Stick to your blog.

bitchilly

looks like you are a supporter of the loser in this case zazove . oh well, how sad , never mind. i look forward to more of your inane dross when mann gets a similar result from the steyn case.

Gary Pearse

bit chilly, Oh Steyn’s case is not the same. Weaver could have withdrawn his suit, whereas Steyn has locked Mann into a very painful corner. He countersued for 20 million damages plus punitive (IIRC). If Mann withdraws to hide his hockey dockies from public view – he’s very reluctant to “show his work” on the dev of the stick- It will cost him 20 mil+ to do so! Steyn fears not. He even regularly insults the DC court handling it. He is famous for winning a big free speech case in Canada that led to the killing of a hate speech statute as collateral damage. A Steyn win will put this bullying to rest.

bitchilly

hopefully so gary. i have an occasional look on steyn’s website just to see how it is progressing. painfully slow at the moment.

Warren Blair

Appealing a judgement handed down under ‘English’ defamation law?
Weaver is obviously spending other people’s money.
The majority of appeals don’t succeed.
FIY Google recently lost an appeal in a long-awaited decision where a majority of the Full Court of the South Australian Supreme Court dismissed Google’s appeal against a decision that it defamed an individual, Dr Janice Duffy.
Most defamation cases are settled prior to hearing so a judgement is usually ‘final’.
Andrew Weaver ‘politician’ will now be running around looking for a leftist green activist judge!
He better find one or his ‘green funders’ will be much worse out of pocket.

DC Cowboy

IT will be interesting to see the basis of the appeal. IT has to be some sort of procedural ‘error’ on the part of the judge. I am assuming that Canada has similar appeal rules to the US and you can’t simply appeal a ruling because ‘I didn’t like the outcome, the appeals court should re-try the case’. If that were allowed all cases would end up being tried by the Supreme Court.

gnomish

good job dr ball.
one of the ways to win is to be the last man standing.
you are mohs 11, man! non illegitimi carborundum.

Javert Chip

Since the USA was among the first (if not the first) nation to credibly & legally guarantee free speech, it would be darn nice to see the USA follow Canada’s lead, and do essentially the same thing for Mark Steyn.
Free speech is really not free if targets of deep pocket litigation can be indefinitely tied up in trivial procedural matters. Those alleging damage from “free speech” should bear a heavy burden of proof, and the expectation of a reasonably expeditious decision.

markl

Congratulations and a BIG WIN regardless of what some may think/say. Reading what the judge said it could be his way of saying the suit was without merit and sided with Dr. Ball….. without really saying it.

Germinio

Mark,
I am not sure how you get that from what the judge said. It sounds more like the judge was playing the
insanity card for Tim Ball. After all the judge has stated that the article was “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.” Or in other words the judge is saying that nobody in their right mind would take Tim Ball seriously.

MarkW

As always, you are desperate to believe what you are told to believe.
Someone above gave an example that demonstrates why you are wrong.

MarkW

That person was Paul Penrose.

Paul Penrose

There is no doubt that the judge does not like Dr. Ball and certainly did agree with the article. In fact, he used his judgement as a soapbox to make this quite clear. For example, he said the article was “poorly written”, which has no bearing on whether Dr. Weaver was defamed or not. This is also true of most of the negative things he had to say about Dr. Ball. Since little evidence as to the scientific expertise of either man was presented to the judge, none of that fluff really matters – it’s just the opinion of a single man, not the Court. What the decision boils down to is this: The article was obviously an opinion piece by Dr. Ball which was snarky and unkind to Dr. Weaver, but not defamatory.

Gary Pearse

Are costs not fairly automatic? Are there not punitive costs for a suit of this duration and stress? Of course, one has to await appeal if it comes about. There is a time limit. Finally, shouldn’t McConchie the lawyer be censured. He must be aware of what constitutes defamation?

Leo Smith

Can you defame someone who has either lost their reputation already or has no reputation to lose?

Bad News Quillan

Dr. Ball: Have you thought about submitting this article to the Vancouver Sun and/or Victoria Colonist?
Weaver is an uber-pious poser, and needs to be taken down many notches in public opinion here in BC.
–Bad News

Perhaps if they are not interested in publishing it, we may need to donate to have it published as a paid advertisement.
Have still not seen anything in the media about this court decision.

One report here.

Gary Pearse

I’m happy Dr Ball won his suit because of the plaintiff’s abuse of court to shut down dissent on a matter far from settled and of such moment as to affect the lives of all. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, however, in the unprofessional loutish, angry language Dr Ball used in his article. It didn’t do him proud. His thoughtful essays on climate and the Grey Cardinals behind it all didnt prepare me for the Free Press diatribe. The Free Press was derelict in not asking Dr Ball to polish it up considerably without changing the criticisms he had.

PaulH

My study of history is not my strongest assets, so I have to wonder: Did Einstein, or Feynman, or Ernest Rutherford, or Edward Jenner, or Watson & Crick, or Michelson & Morley, etc., etc. resort to law suits they were criticized?
I think not. I think the best scientists allow their work to stand for all to see.

PaulH

Grammar corrections…
“…not my strongest asset” and
“…resort to lawsuits when they were criticized”

Hugs

Grammar corrections are not one of my strongest assets.

Jack Dale

Tim Ball sued the Calgary Herald and Dr, Dan Johnson of the University of Lethbridge. He withdrew the suit in the case in the light of strong defense depositions by both the Herald and Johnson.

David Ball

False. The lawsuit was dropped because there was no money. No big oil money. No tobacco money. No government money.
Do not speak of which you do not know.

HDHoese

There seems to be a widespread failure in the understanding of the difference between advocacy and science, and it may accompany a rise in thin skinned juvenile responses. If one enters the tempting advocacy role, credibility in science is always affected. This seems to be on the increase in climate science and other areas where similar conditions such as political relevance and press coverage occur. Most scientists don’t want to go there even to correct blatant errors, but may suffer the consequences as well.
I have known and worked with a number of US attorneys over several past decades on non-climate scientific matters and have been warned about and observed the problem. It is in both the legal and academic professions. If Schedule “A” bothers him, he should be thankful, as it appears, that serious damaging defamation was not done behind his back. He may have thought such.
While I have only read a review and it does not excuse anything, the problem has been long recognized (Martin Anderson, “Imposters in the Temple”). Published in 1992, I first saw some clear evidence nearly a decade before. My sample size is small, but many, inside and outside academia, are long aware and know it has to be corrected. You are doing an important service.

J.H.

Tim Ball is Victorious. Good has triumphed over evil.

Barbee

“…In summary, the Article is a poorly written opinion piece that offers Dr. Ball’s views ”
What is that? Judge Snarky just had to slip in a nasty dig.
Is he/she up for re-election and in need campaign funds from the left. This looks really unprofessional to me.

This is Canada. Judges aren’t elected here, they are appointed.

commieBob

It’s actually really funny.
To appeal the judgement, Weaver will have to argue that Ball’s comments were credible and substantial. ROTFL

And the defence will have to argue that they weren’t.

NS, you really should stick to your supposed expertise in data and statistics. When wandering off as here into legal matters, you expose both your ignorance and your warmunist bias.

paul courtney

Rist: You got there first. NS is patently wrong on this one. He does not explain why he has reflexively jumped to Weaver’s defense. He should be attacking Weaver for the damage Weaver has done to “climate communications”. Instead, he’s having too much fun riding Ball, who admitted his mistake before suit was filed. His credibility took the hit back then, and warmistas won’t likely let that go. Well, what’s sauce for the goose…. We may do the same if ever a warmunist admits error.

Paul Penrose

Nick,
They have to have grounds for an appeal first, and since the judge was clearly not a fan of Dr. Ball, I doubt they have a leg to stand on. So all Dr. Ball’s lawyer has to say is, “The plaintive has no grounds, your honor.”

“They have to have grounds for an appeal first”
I expect they would appeal the citation of Vellacott. The judge concedes that Vellacott was a more extreme case, so he’s lowering the bar. That would be a precedent, which they may well ask the Appeals Court to review. I have no view on whether that should succeed or not. Of course, if Weaver wins on that one, there are still other hurdles that the judge didn’t get to.
It’s true that the judge didn’t think much of Dr Ball’s credibility. But that is why he dismissed. If the defence can convince the court otherwise on that point, it will not help, following the logic of the dismissal.

Gerald Machnee

And the judge is an expert in science?????

s-t

No, but for some reason, US judges need to in order to determine who is an “expert” and what expertise methods are sound. A job for which they may be unprepared, but those with academic “science education” probably even more so.

Gerald Machnee

“…In summary, the Article is a poorly written opinion piece that offers Dr. Ball’s views ”
It shows the judge knows nothing about climate and as in the sex harassment cases, the judge needs “climate sensitivity” training.

homeys44

Seems so. Just throwing the alarmists a bone. which they are chomping on. Based on the examples he cited, he was stretching to find things to dismiss in Ball’s article. Save that, its a complete loss for them.

George McFly......I'm your density

Congratulations Dr Tim. One small step for man…

Amber

Really, after Climate Gate was there any drought a small clique of “climate scientists ”
were sticking their thumb on the scale . A pattern of models running excessively hot
to sell the propaganda for climate capitalists and rent dependant
science fiction pretenders .
Bought and paid for with a great big fat bow on it . IPCC , propaganda central .
Way to go Dr Ball disarming climate con-men was never going to be easy just necessary .

Gunga Din

Under this post, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/09/an-ode-to-climate-alarmism-at-the-museum/ ,I said this.
A tree ring
A Climate Ring
Cabal
A small part just went CABOOM!
You’re not alone, Dr. Ball.

wendy lynn

Leftists want science to be settled by courts and for it to always adhere to their political agenda. They aim to silence all skepticism and opposition using agressive law-fare, which most people cannot afford, particularly scientists. This is APPALLING on so many levels and will seriously hinder scientific advancement that we so sorely need in climatology for economic and humanitarian reasons. It is bad enough that the humanities have been hijacked; now the left has come for science, too. Science is the one thing that is most sacred to me. This breaks my heart. That poor man, having to deal with BS this in his retirement.

Simon

So Ball won because the article was so badly written that no reasonable thinking person would take it seriously. Well I suppose a win is a win

Sunsettommy

Quoting Anthony:
““Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.”
Boom! End game. Doesn’t matter if Dr. Ball was viewed as credible or not. If the complaint doesn’t meet the tests, then it doesn’t fly.”
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/14/tim-balls-victory-in-the-first-climate-lawsuit-judgment-the-backstory/comment-page-1/#comment-2744354

Simon

It didn’t meet the first element, because the article was light weight/poor. Going to be very interesting to see what happens with Steyn/Mann. While I don’t agree with Steyn on a few issues, you can’t pass him off as a nut, so I doubt he will have the same out clause as Ball.

zazove

You’re saying he “Nut defense” won’t work?

paul courtney

Simon: And because Weaver is not credible in his claim. Don’t see how you could have overlooked that. Hope you never have to face a 7-year lawsuit only to get a decision that demonstrates it could (and should) have been decided in the first month.

Sunsettommy

Did you miss this Simon?
“[83] 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.
[84] Given this finding, I need not consider whether Dr. Weaver has established that the Article was published in the sense that it was downloaded and read in BC by anyone other than him. I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.”
She clearly states that it WAS NOT Defamatory. End of story!
Weaver lost the case. Get over it!

Jack Dale

Ball’s words “lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory,” the judgment concluded.

Jack Dale

Sunsettommy – Did you actually bother to read your own post?
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/14/tim-balls-victory-in-the-first-climate-lawsuit-judgment-the-backstory/#comment-2745188
[60] 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. For example:
a) He purports to cite a paper from Michigan State University stating that most college students do not understand the scientific basis of the carbon cycle, when in fact, he was referring to an online article written by a professor of education who was describing a study published in the science journal BioScience;
b) He suggests that Dr. Weaver has consistently refused to debate the climate change issue, an allegation not borne out in the evidence;
c) When describing his presentation at UVIC, he alleges that Dr. Weaver’s students showed up to disrupt the presentation, which again, was not established on the evidence, and Dr. Ball had no basis for making that allegation in the Article; and
d) He alleges that Dr. Weaver had announced his intention to withdraw from the next IPCC and had advocated for the resignation of the IPCC chairman. Dr. Ball said he took this information from a newspaper article, the veracity of which he did not confirm, and which was disputed by Dr. Weaver.
[61] While each of these errors, looked at individually, may seem quite minor, collectively, they illustrate that Dr. Ball’s approach to gathering facts in support of his opinion or thesis is less than rigorous.
[62] Dr. Ball is also less than forthright in the Article about his interaction with Dr. Weaver. He states that he met with Dr. Weaver in his office at Dr. Weaver’s invitation and he recounts a rather odd conversation about whether he was recording their conversation. He fails to disclose however, that this meeting occurred in 1997, over thirteen years prior to the date on which he wrote the Article. I note that Dr. Weaver denies Dr. Ball’s version of that conversation. Dr. Ball also fails to disclose the subsequent email exchange, referred to above, at para. 12, in which the two men engaged in a lengthy debate.
[63] While Dr. Ball presents his central thesis that climate science has been corrupted by politics, the Article offers little in the way of support for that thesis, apart from vague references to missing or falsified data and political manipulation, unsubstantiated and erroneous references to Dr. Weaver as referred to above, and a recommendation that people read a 45-year-old text on climate science written by Professor Hubert Lamb.
[64] Overall, even as an opinion piece, the Article presents as poorly written and it provides little in the way of credible support for Dr. Ball’s thesis.
The judge called diplomatically called Tim Ball a liar.

Sunsettommy

Sunsettommy February 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Gosh Dale, I already posted it FOUR HOURS earlier than your comment you snottily made to me. I already knew that Dr. Ball was wrong in writing that derogatory article, Here is what I posted to YOU FOUR HOURS earlier:
Sunsettommy February 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Jack Dale,
It is clear you didn’t read the actual decision since you run to a website that doesn’t contain a link to it as it does here. Your site took small quotes way out of context which distorted what the Judge was stating in support of his decision.
You need to keep in mind that Dr. Weaver sued him for DEFAMATION, not about poorly written articles.
Straight from here are the Judges own words
“Analysis
General Observations About the Article
[58] Before turning to the elements of the tort of defamation, it is first worth making some general observations about the Article, given that the impugned words must be considered in the context of the Article as a whole.
[59] I accept Dr. Ball’s characterization that the Article is an opinion piece directed at an issue of public interest, namely, climate change and the role of humans in contributing to global warming. While Dr. Weaver is mentioned in the Article, he is not its primary focus.
[60] 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.
For example:
a) He purports to cite a paper from Michigan State University stating that most college students do not understand the scientific basis of the carbon cycle, when in fact, he was referring to an online article written by a professor of education who was describing a study published in the science journal BioScience;
b) He suggests that Dr. Weaver has consistently refused to debate the climate change issue, an allegation not borne out in the evidence;
c) When describing his presentation at UVIC, he alleges that Dr. Weaver’s students showed up to disrupt the presentation, which again, was not established on the evidence, and Dr. Ball had no basis for making that allegation in the Article; and
d) He alleges that Dr. Weaver had announced his intention to withdraw from the next IPCC and had advocated for the resignation of the IPCC chairman. Dr. Ball said he took this information from a newspaper article, the veracity of which he did not confirm, and which was disputed by Dr. Weaver.
[61] While each of these errors, looked at individually, may seem quite minor, collectively, they illustrate that Dr. Ball’s approach to gathering facts in support of his opinion or thesis is less than rigorous.
[62] Dr. Ball is also less than forthright in the Article about his interaction with Dr. Weaver. He states that he met with Dr. Weaver in his office at Dr. Weaver’s invitation and he recounts a rather odd conversation about whether he was recording their conversation. He fails to disclose however, that this meeting occurred in 1997, over thirteen years prior to the date on which he wrote the Article. I note that Dr. Weaver denies Dr. Ball’s version of that conversation. Dr. Ball also fails to disclose the subsequent email exchange, referred to above, at para. 12, in which the two men engaged in a lengthy debate.
[63] While Dr. Ball presents his central thesis that climate science has been corrupted by politics, the Article offers little in the way of support for that thesis, apart from vague references to missing or falsified data and political manipulation, unsubstantiated and erroneous references to Dr. Weaver as referred to above, and a recommendation that people read a 45-year-old text on climate science written by Professor Hubert Lamb.
[64] Overall, even as an opinion piece, the Article presents as poorly written and it provides little in the way of credible support for Dr. Ball’s thesis.”
As you can see that I never disputed the fact that Dr. Ball was out of line, but the Judge goes on to explain WHY he didn’t consider it Defamatory: Continuing on to the rest of the comment I had posted to you FOUR HOURS earlier:
The Judge specifically stated,
“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.”
Early in the decision, the Judge pointed out that Dr. Ball Apologized BEFORE he was sued for defamation that met all but ONE of Dr. Weavers request, which Dr. Weaver decided was not good enough.
“[30] Ultimately, on March 3, 2011, Dr. Ball issued the following apology:
My article entitled “Corruption of Climate Change has Created 30 Lost Years” contained untrue statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The article has since been withdrawn from the Internet website of Canada Free Press, where it was originally published in January 2011.
Contrary to what I stated in my article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”); (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010. I hereby unequivocally retract my suggestion that Dr. Weaver sought to dissociate himself from the scientific work of the IPCC.
As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. That work began in May, 2010. My article failed to mention these facts although they were publicly available.
I did not intend to suggest that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with my presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling me during my talk. Further, I do not dispute Dr. Weaver’s credentials or competence as a climate scientist and university professor. While Dr. Weaver and I have different views on the cause of global warming, I acknowledge that Dr. Weaver has at all times acted honestly and with integrity.
I sincerely apologize to Dr. Weaver and express regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by my article.
[31] Dr. Ball’s apology was substantially in the form requested by Dr. Weaver, with one exception. Dr. Weaver had proposed language stating that students had not been deterred from attending, that Dr. Ball had not been heckled, and that “students who attended were polite and respectful and asked their questions in a manner and form which is customary and entirely acceptable on such occasions”. Dr. Ball declined to include this language because it was not consistent with how he perceived the students acted at his UVIC presentation.
[32] Dr. Ball forwarded his apology to the various websites on which the Article had been republished.
[33] Dr. Weaver posted Dr. Ball’s apology alongside the Article on his “wall of hate”.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/02/14/tim-balls-victory-in-the-first-climate-lawsuit-judgment-the-backstory/comment-page-1/#comment-2745188
Here is the section that tells us WHY he “dismissed” the Defamation case
[83] 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.
[84] Given this finding, I need not consider whether Dr. Weaver has established that the Article was published in the sense that it was downloaded and read in BC by anyone other than him. I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.
Conclusion
[85] Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.”
You finally get it Jack Dale?
His Defamation CLAIM was dismissed!
It was the fact that while it is was called derogatory , it didn’t rise to the level of Defamation, which means Weaver FAILED in his lawsuit claiming Defamation.
You finally understand?

dennisambler

According to the climate specialist Judge…

they found no reasonable person would believe ball because he is a nut.

John Robertson

“they found no reasonable person would believe ball because he is a nut”.
Hell Steven let me fix that ther english for you;
“they found no reasonable person would believe Mosher because he is a nut”.
Surprised you still bother,a few years ago you could almost manage a coherent argument, now you are beyond irrelevant.

J Mac

Ad hom flatulence is all Steve can provide tonight? Meh….

MarkW

It’s all he’s got.
It’s all he’s ever had.

Jack Dale

Ball’s words “lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory,” the judgment concluded.
A pyrrhic victory at best.

MarkW

I love it when trolls take quotes out of context.
It shows they aren’t being serious.

paul courtney

Mosh: So you’re criticizing Weaver for spending valuable “climate communication” resources on a seven-year pursuit of a nut?

Paul Penrose

No, the judge found that the article was an opinion piece and not a serious analysis of Dr. Weaver’s scientific credentials. That’s why your statement that Dr. Ball is a “nut” (insane) is not defamation, for which you should be happy.

brians356

“… BA’s [sic] in both English Literature and Philosophy” (berkeleyearth.org). At least you held real jobs in the technology sector, so you’re marginally more qualified to preach climate alarmism than weepy Bill McKibben (former gossip columnist) anyway.

Gunga Din

Steven Mosher February 14, 2018 at 9:04 pm
they found no reasonable person would believe ball because he is a nut.

The “they” was a judge, not a scientist.
In the realm he works in (even without SLAP laws) he found that, No reasonable person would believe that Weaver had a reason, grounds to sue.
(But he did it anyway. Just like Mann. “Sue into Silence” doesn’t always work.8-)

J Mac

Sincere Congratulations, Dr. Ball!
You are greatly admired and can count on support going forward!

Science is not made by vote (97% consensus) and it is not decided in court. How far the alarmists are from true science can be seen in their hypersensitivity to deviant, skeptical opinions. Even the claim that a scientist is in error can not be an insult! To err is part of science and every scientist who thinks he can never be in error makes a big mistake!

I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.
Folks, read the judge’s remark above and ask yourselves why it is there. Seems to me the judge ruled the way he did in order to NOT deal with the substance of the matter. He managed to let Dr. Ball off the hook while not embroiling himself in the politically charged argument of who’s science was correct. Had he let Dr. Ball off on THOSE issues, he might well have ended his own career.
Read between the lines folks, the court system is no less tainted by politics than anything else.

gwan

davidmhoffer
I think you have hit the nail on the head .Pressure can be applied to people in high places who show a leaning towards climate skepticism by liberal green governments .
New Zealand now has a Labour {read liberal ) green coalition government and the pressure is starting , the screws are being tightened ..
CLIMATE CHANGE HAS BECOME VERY IMPORTANT.
Climate skeptics are being told that their views are not wanted in the news media .The science is settled how dare you question Us
The government has more than enough to do without diverting time and money away from their basic tasks

Rick

I think your point is good. A politically correct point of view rules the day in every walk of life today, including the law. Although the judge ultimately recognized the dangers to free speech, he simply could not leave himself exposed and had to make those comments.
As for Mr. Weaver adding Mr. Ball’s article to his own ‘wall of hate’ the purpose is clear to any student or associate of Mr. Weaver. Posting Ball’s article is Mr. Weaver ‘s clear warning to any other climate heretic who may be lurking in the vicinity.
‘These are the thoughts that lead to madness and ruin’

>he did in order to NOT deal with the substance of the matter.<
The "substance" is whether Dr. Ball is right or not. But that's not an issue the judge can decide on, because he's a judge, but not a scientist. So he decides within the categories to which he is entitled.

Gary Pearse

Judges are appointed – it is a plus. They can rule without fear or favor.

MarkW

They can also ignore the law and rule on personal whim, without fear or favor.

brians356

Many judges in the US are elected.

Michael Jankowski

Actually, I think the judge made his views on the substance of the matter clear. He just was able to separate that from the defamation ruling.

Sunsettommy

David, I think the Judge stated in that way because the failed arguments from Dr. Weaver against Dr. Ball was enough to disprove his defamation claims.
Don’t forget that Weaver never brought witnesses or himself into court for direct question, plus he posted the despised article outside of his office for others to see, that he refuse to accept Dr. Balls widespread apology.
Weaver wanted to smack Dr. Ball down in court is clearly obvious to me.

“Don’t forget that Weaver never brought witnesses or himself into court for direct question”
Much said here, of dubious relevance (did the defence bring witnesses?), and it seems, not even true. The judgement says
” [22] Dr. Weaver testified that he came across the Article by using a computer search of his name.”

Sunsettommy

I concede that he was at the trial, but you have yet to concede that Weaver lost because he failed to prove his Defamation complaint in court.
You write,
“It’s true that the judge didn’t think much of Dr Ball’s credibility. But that is why he dismissed. If the defence can convince the court otherwise on that point, it will not help, following the logic of the dismissal.”
The Judge specifically stated that Weaver FAILED to support his claim.
“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.”

“you have yet to concede that Weaver lost because he failed to prove his Defamation complaint in court”
Of course he lost, and that is usually the reason. The judge dismissed the case. But he says explicitly why “the impugned words do not genuinely threaten Dr. Weaver’s reputation in the minds of reasonably thoughtful and informed readers”. I quoted it above, and so did you:
“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.”

Sunsettommy

Ok,
He stated the main reason why he dismissed the complaint:
““[76] Moreover, as noted above, the Article is clearly an opinion piece, and statements of opinion are generally evaluated differently than statements of fact. As stated by Mr. Justice Lebel in WIC Radio, at para. 71 of his concurring reasons:
[71] Although distinguishing facts from comment may sometimes be difficult, a comment is by its subjective nature generally less capable of damaging someone’s reputation than an objective statement of fact, because the public is much more likely to be influenced in its belief by a statement of fact than by a comment. …
[77] In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.
[78] Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.
[79] The issue of climate change is a matter of public interest and, as noted, Dr. Weaver has been at the forefront of public discussion. It has long been recognized that where someone enters the public arena, it is to be expected that his or her actions and words will be subject to robust scrutiny and criticism. For example, in Lund v. Black Press Group Ltd., 2009 BCSC 937 [Lund], Mr. Justice Bracken stated, at para. 123:
[123] It is important to any community that matters of public interest are debated freely and openly. Sometimes, in the heat of discussions over a controversial issue where strong personal differences exist, persons on one side or other of the debate make comments that offend. But the fact that they offend is not enough. The comments must go beyond strong criticisms of a public man acting in his capacity as a public official. …”
Dr. Weaver never had sufficient evidence that he was defamed, the man who turned down a public apology on all but one demanded point. I am not impressed with his behavior when he could have accepted the apology and go on with his career.

Janet Smith

Tim, What a hero you are! Here are some Aussie dollars and they are not the first from me! Hero!

Ghalfrunt

Ball and his publishers both apologised for publishing unresearched information and withdrew all instances on the web.
In doing so they are admitting it was defamation.
This case has nothing to do with agw. It is about.damaging a person’s reputation and affecting his ability to earn a salary. The statements Dr Ball makes do just that.
He obviously made the statements knowing them to be false _he admitted this by his apology.
He wrote the article with malice in mind. I have no doubt that this would be construed as defamafion
The apology and the judge deciding that Tim Ball was not making creditable sense are the reason Ball got off.
If I were Ball I would not be spreading this result. It just makes him look like a mentally challenged old man unfortunately.
To repeat this once more this has nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of agw or for that matter,free speech.

Gary Pearse

Only the press apologized.

Ghalfrunt

“only the press apologised”
Not true according to the court report . The both used similar wording admitting inaccuracy and lies

Paul Penrose

Every sentence you wrote is utterly incorrect, as has been well documented above.

Sunsettommy

You didn’t read what the Judge stated at all, since you post this unsupported opinion.
Here is what the Judge said about the Apology:
““[30] Ultimately, on March 3, 2011, Dr. Ball issued the following apology:
My article entitled “Corruption of Climate Change has Created 30 Lost Years” contained untrue statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The article has since been withdrawn from the Internet website of Canada Free Press, where it was originally published in January 2011.
Contrary to what I stated in my article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”); (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010. I hereby unequivocally retract my suggestion that Dr. Weaver sought to dissociate himself from the scientific work of the IPCC.
As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. That work began in May, 2010. My article failed to mention these facts although they were publicly available.
I did not intend to suggest that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with my presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling me during my talk. Further, I do not dispute Dr. Weaver’s credentials or competence as a climate scientist and university professor. While Dr. Weaver and I have different views on the cause of global warming, I acknowledge that Dr. Weaver has at all times acted honestly and with integrity.
I sincerely apologize to Dr. Weaver and express regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by my article.
[31] Dr. Ball’s apology was substantially in the form requested by Dr. Weaver, with one exception. Dr. Weaver had proposed language stating that students had not been deterred from attending, that Dr. Ball had not been heckled, and that “students who attended were polite and respectful and asked their questions in a manner and form which is customary and entirely acceptable on such occasions”. Dr. Ball declined to include this language because it was not consistent with how he perceived the students acted at his UVIC presentation.
[32] Dr. Ball forwarded his apology to the various websites on which the Article had been republished.
[33] Dr. Weaver posted Dr. Ball’s apology alongside the Article on his “wall of hate”.
DR. Weaver didn’t accept a public apology, withdrew the articles and propagated that apology.
Dr. Weaver failed his claim of Defamation, according to the Judge.

richard

“Voltaire’s comment that I don’t necessarily agree with you, but you must have the right to say it”
I believe it was his biographer that wrote that.

richard

oops, sorry to Sara above she has already addressed the comment!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Does Canadian law have a “loser pays” provision? Can Dr. Ball reasonably expect to recover legal costs from the plaintiff?

Jack Dale

Alan – There was no loser or winner. The case was dismissed. In chess it is a stalemate.
Conclusion
[85] Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.

MarkW

Once again, completely wrong.
If a case is dismissed, then the defendant has won.
As always, the portion you quote doesn’t say what you want it to say.
The section you quote is only in there precisely because Weaver has to pay Ball’s court costs. It just says that if the two sides can’t agree on how much Weaver has to pay, then they are free to let the courts decide.
If both sides were simply to pay their own costs, then there would be no need for the courts to get involved.

John Murphy

It probably wasn’t a good idea to take Tim Ball seriously but who can know how such an attack on another person’s reputation (even if his article was “rife with errors and inaccuracies”) can affect that person. We’re all human and no one should have to expect to put up with “clearly derogatory” comments just because they’re in the public eye. Well, at least we do now have a judgement about Tim Ball’s credibility, and that is a valuable weapon against him and his supporters: “a lack of attention to detail”, “an indifference to the truth”, “poorly written and does not advance credible arguments”, “a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views”. Ouch, that’s got to hurt even someone like him and his supporters! Good for the truth and future dialogue, though, because now everyone knows who is credible, who can be trusted and what to think of those who still think he is credible. Good job, judge!

David Ball

If Dr. Ball has no credibility, why the need to sue him? Three times. Same lawyer. Same litigants as well.
Some people just cannot put 2 and 2 together.

Ghalfrunt

Until the court said he had no credibility this was assumed but not proven.
If someone incorrectly states inaccuracies as facts then surely you have a right to defend yourself. When such inaccuracies are published on the web where they will be taken up and run with to all corners of the idiocracy you need to take rapid and notable action to limit the hurt.

Gord

Gord McBean got on the gravy train right after he retired from Environment Canada. A group started a hazardous weather program, getting gov money to run it. Was he an oceanographer?

then surely you have a right to defend yourself.
Of course you do. You can write a rebuttal and ask the publication to print it. You can write a rebuttal in other publications. You can post in blogs. You can set up your own blog. What Weaver did instead was try to shut down the debate. If Dr. Ball’s comments were so incompetent, why didn’t Weaver just make public mince meat out of his arguments? He didn’t, because those arguments have merit, and Weaver’s position would be exposed by engaging. So he sued to shut down debate instead. He’s afraid to engage on the facts.

Sunsettommy

Ghalfront, it is Dr. Weaver who is damaged here since he turned down a groveling apology over an article properly labeled as Derogatory, by the Judge.
Dr. Ball has publicly admitted that his article was bad with his apology. But Dr. Weaver sued anyway only to lose as the Judge stated:
“[82] The law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack. However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived. Public debate on matters of importance is an essential element of a free and democratic society and lies at the heart of the Charter guarantee of freedom of expression. As Justice Lebel observes, such debate often includes critical and even offensive commentary, which is best met through engagement and well-reasoned rejoinder. It is only when the words used reach the level of genuinely threatening a person’s actual reputation that resort to the law of defamation is available. Such is not the case here.
[83] 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.
[84] Given this finding, I need not consider whether Dr. Weaver has established that the Article was published in the sense that it was downloaded and read in BC by anyone other than him. I also need not address the defences raised by Dr. Ball.”
Here is why she decided for the Defendant:
“[76] Moreover, as noted above, the Article is clearly an opinion piece, and statements of opinion are generally evaluated differently than statements of fact. As stated by Mr. Justice Lebel in WIC Radio, at para. 71 of his concurring reasons:
[71] Although distinguishing facts from comment may sometimes be difficult, a comment is by its subjective nature generally less capable of damaging someone’s reputation than an objective statement of fact, because the public is much more likely to be influenced in its belief by a statement of fact than by a comment. …
[77] In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.
[78] Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.
[79] The issue of climate change is a matter of public interest and, as noted, Dr. Weaver has been at the forefront of public discussion. It has long been recognized that where someone enters the public arena, it is to be expected that his or her actions and words will be subject to robust scrutiny and criticism. For example, in Lund v. Black Press Group Ltd., 2009 BCSC 937 [Lund], Mr. Justice Bracken stated, at para. 123:
[123] It is important to any community that matters of public interest are debated freely and openly. Sometimes, in the heat of discussions over a controversial issue where strong personal differences exist, persons on one side or other of the debate make comments that offend. But the fact that they offend is not enough. The comments must go beyond strong criticisms of a public man acting in his capacity as a public official. …”

David Ball

Sunsettommy February 15, 2018 at 5:48 pm says;
“Dr. Ball has publicly admitted that his article was bad with his apology. “
Correction, Dr. Ball’s lawyers wrote the apology.

ralfellis

Ball is right about the diversion of funding and research into the narrow study of AGW. When my recent paper was peer-reviewed, a major bone of contention that stopped its initial publication, was that it did not support AGW.
How can science progress, if the outcome of research is being determined in advance??
Ralph

Daryl M

Dr. Ball, thank you for dedicated pursuit of truth and free speech.

Edwin

Sounds like Dr. Ball won round one but has two, maybe three more rounds to go. What I don’t understand, and it might be different in Canada than the USA, is how these three brought liable law suits against Dr. Ball at all. They are not exactly private citizens. They have made themselves well known public figures. Weaver a politicians and head of a political party. Mann runs around in the public spouting off all the time. I was just a lowly high level administrator and was regularly attacked in the news media by people using totally made up lies. Yet when I got tired of it all my attorney told me I was too much of a public figure, been in the news media too much on my own during my career not to have a judge throw out any libel law suit I could bring. In other words I had to grin and bear it.

Cam_S

Weaver made the CBC news twice, for one lawsuit against the National Post, and one against Tim Ball. The National Post brought up Weaver’s connection to Climategate.
——————————————
Climate scientist Andrew Weaver wins defamation suit against National Post (Climategate)
‘Imputations of dishonest behaviour on the part of a scientist… can constitute defamation’
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-scientist-andrew-weaver-wins-defamation-suit-against-national-post-1.2950286
B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver loses defamation lawsuit (Tim Ball)
Judge says article about Weaver was derogatory, but too poorly written to be legally defamatory
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-green-party-leader-andrew-weaver-loses-defamation-lawsuit-1.4536096

David

I cannot be the only person who worries about Tim and his wife’s mental state, this is a very brave stand to take under such unfair attrition.
Why does an individual have to stand alone on these matters?
Tim, I have watched your online lectures and read your Corruption of Science book from cover to cover and you are right.

Jack Dale

Ball’s article was “rife with errors and inaccuracies” that showed a lack of attention to detail and an indifference to the truth, Skolrood wrote.
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,” Skolrood wrote.
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/b-c-green-party-s-andrew-weaver-loses-defamation-lawsuit-1.23174209
A Pyrrhic victory at best. The judge basically said that Ball won the case because he had no credibility.

zazove

Pyrrhic victory. Difficult to think of a riper example. He can consider himself lucky only his credibility was shredded.

Sunsettommy

The Judge doesn’t see it that way:
““[76] Moreover, as noted above, the Article is clearly an opinion piece, and statements of opinion are generally evaluated differently than statements of fact. As stated by Mr. Justice Lebel in WIC Radio, at para. 71 of his concurring reasons:
[71] Although distinguishing facts from comment may sometimes be difficult, a comment is by its subjective nature generally less capable of damaging someone’s reputation than an objective statement of fact, because the public is much more likely to be influenced in its belief by a statement of fact than by a comment. …
[77] In my view, it is very unlikely that the Article and the opinions expressed therein had an impact on the views of anyone who read it, including their views, if any, of Dr. Weaver as a climate scientist. Rather, the reasonably thoughtful and informed reader would have recognized the Article as simply presenting one side of a highly charged public debate.
[78] Second, despite professing to have been “saddened, sickened and dismayed” by the Article, I am not satisfied that Dr. Weaver himself perceived the Article as genuinely threatening his actual reputation. As noted, Dr. Weaver has been actively and publically engaged in the climate change discussion for many years. That included endorsing political candidates who advanced policies he agreed with and opposing candidates with whom he disagreed. It is also quite apparent that he enjoys the “thrust and parry” of that discussion and that he places little stock in opposing views such as those espoused by Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver characterized as “odd” and “bizarre”. Dr. Weaver went so far as to post the Article on his “wall of hate” located outside his office, alongside other articles and correspondence from “climate doubters”. It is apparent that he views such material as more of a “badge of honour” than a legitimate challenge to his character or reputation.
[79] The issue of climate change is a matter of public interest and, as noted, Dr. Weaver has been at the forefront of public discussion. It has long been recognized that where someone enters the public arena, it is to be expected that his or her actions and words will be subject to robust scrutiny and criticism. For example, in Lund v. Black Press Group Ltd., 2009 BCSC 937 [Lund], Mr. Justice Bracken stated, at para. 123:
[123] It is important to any community that matters of public interest are debated freely and openly. Sometimes, in the heat of discussions over a controversial issue where strong personal differences exist, persons on one side or other of the debate make comments that offend. But the fact that they offend is not enough. The comments must go beyond strong criticisms of a public man acting in his capacity as a public official. …”
DR. Weaver who turned down a public apology, damages his claim with his antics over the article indicating he wasn’t really damaged as he claims.

zazove

Turd polishing.

MarkW

So why do you do it z?

Sunsettommy

Dr. Weaver’s credibility is shredded too since he REJECTED the public apology he had demanded from Dr. Ball to later push a claim of Defamation in court, a claim he failed to prove.
If he had accepted the Apology as demanded, he would have come out much better as a person who was a victim of an attack article. Then it would have been more like 100% Weaver to Ball 0%
Instead he partially rehabilitate Dr. Ball by losing in court against him, while tarnishing his own position in this sorry mess. It ends up more like 35% Weaver to Ball 65%