Climatologist Dr Tim Ball has won a landmark victory in a long–running legal battle against the green blob.
John O’Sullivan reports:
After 3–week trial Canadian judge dismisses all charges in the lawsuit brought against Dr. Tim Ball by British Columbia Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. Climate skeptics are hailing the verdict as a key victory over extremists promoting human–caused global warming. Not a peep from the mainstream media!
Speaking to Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, Ball explained:
“The judge ruled that Weaver was not defamed by me and dismissed the claim completely.This was after almost seven years and thousands of dollars in legal costs.” But Ball lamented, “There are no media reports and my guess is there won’t be any.”
This marks the beginning of the end of years of misery suffered by Ball, formerly professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg in Canada and one of the world’s most prominent and outspoken climate skeptics.
Ball is now aged 79 and should be enjoying a happy retirement. But as he explained recently on the Delingpole podcast for Breitbart, his savings have been exhausted and his peace of mind (never mind that of his poor wife) has been ruined by a serious of vexatious lawsuits – arguably brought about with a view mainly to impoverish, discredit and break him – brought about by the richly funded environmental lobby.
As Ball explains here, the lawsuit brought by Weaver was one of three in a row, all instigated by the same activist lawyer.
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. […
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 BC had anti–SLAPP but for some unknown reason, it was withdrawn through legislation.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.
Weaver’s ostensible reason for bringing the lawsuit was that he had been libelled by Ball in an article, published in January 2011 in the Canada Free Press, headlined “Corruption of Climate Science Has Created 30 Lost Years.”
Happily, the judge in this case — the Honourable Mister Justice Skolrood of the Supreme Court of British Columbia — was not persuaded by Weaver’s claim that he had been defamed.
The judge’s full ruling can be read here.
While conceding that Ball’s article had been “poorly written” and “derogatory” and that it had made inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims, the judge was nonetheless scornful at the suggestion that Weaver’s reputation or feelings had suffered any meaningful damage.
The judge ruled:
 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.
 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.
The judge also clearly recognized the wider significance of the case in terms of free speech and the debate on climate change.
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.
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.
His verdict marks a landmark victory for honest science and free speech against the green blob.
The world owes Judge Skolrood a huge debt of thanks for his wisdom and common sense, just as it owes Tim Ball a huge debt of thanks for the way he has sacrificed his retirement years in order to speak the truth about climate change.