Climate Scientist Wins $50,000 Libel Lawsuit Against National Post

national postA prominent Canadian climatologist won his libel lawsuit against The National Post on Friday, after a judge decided that the newspaper had published several articles that were both inaccurate and defamatory to his character.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Emily Burke said that Dr. Andrew Weaver should be awarded $50,000 in damages from the Post, which she said unfairly diminished Weaver’s credibility as a climate scientist by publishing articles that falsely painted Weaver as incompetent. The articles claimed that Weaver, a former member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was “untrustworthy, unscientific and incompetent; and that he distorts and conceals scientific data to promote a public agenda and receive government funding.”

The decision did not touch on the accuracy of climate science itself, instead focusing on statements the Post and its columnists repeatedly made about Weaver — such as claims that he was attempting to distract the public from a (now-discredited) scandal involving climate scientists e-mails; that Weaver was a government employee; that he wanted the head of the IPCC to step down; and that he used data despite knowing it was “unadulterated rubbish.” Justice Burke found that those statements were either untrue or misleading.

In fact, the opinion defended the Post’s right to be skeptical of climate science, but said the Post was not being honest in its skepticism. “While certainly entitled to express those views, in this case as part of that expression, they deliberately created a negative impression of Dr. Weaver,” Burke wrote. “In doing so, I conclude the defendants have been careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts.”

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Categories: Action, Climate Change

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