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Climate Scientist Sues National Post for Libel

University of Victoria Professor Dr. Andrew Weaver has launched a lawsuit today in the BC Supreme Court against three writers at the National Post newspaper, and the newspaper as a whole. Representation for Dr. Weaver released the following statement today:

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News Release – Contact Roger McConchie for further information 604-988-1620

Climate Scientist Sues National Post for Libel
Weaver seeks unprecedented order to remove stories that “poison” the internet

For Immediate Release

April 21, 2010, Vancouver, BC. University of Victoria Professor Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis, launched a lawsuit today in BC Supreme Court against three writers at the National Post (and the newspaper as a whole), over a series of unjustified libels based on grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet.

In a statement released at the same time the suit was filed, Dr. Weaver said, “I asked The National Post to do the right thing – to retract a number of recent articles that attributed to me statements I never made, accused me of things I never did, and attacked me for views I never held. To my absolute astonishment, the newspaper refused.”

Dr. Weaver’s statement of claim not only asks for a Court injunction requiring The National Post to remove all of the false allegations from its Internet websites, but also seeks an unprecedented Court order requiring the newspaper to assist Dr. Weaver in removing the defamatory National Post articles from the many other Internet sites where they have been re-posted.

“If I sit back and do nothing to clear my name, these libels will stay on the Internet forever. They’ll poison the factual record, misleading people who are looking for reliable scientific information about global warming,” said Weaver.

The suit names Financial Post Editor Terence Corcoran, columnist Peter Foster, reporter Kevin Libin and National Post publisher Gordon Fisher, as well as several still-unidentified editors and copy editors. It seeks general, aggravated damages, special and exemplary damages and legal costs in relation to articles by Foster on December 9, 2009 (“Weaver’s Web”), Corcoran on December 10, 2009 (“Weaver’s Web II”) and January 27, 2010 (“Climate Agency going up in flames”), and Libin on February 2, 2010 (“So much for pure science”).

The Statement of Claim was filed April 20, 2010 at the BC Supreme Court Registry at the Vancouver Courthouse: Weaver v Corcoran and others, SCBC No.102698, Vancouver Registry.  Court record information and documents are publicly accessible online at Court Services Online:  https://eservice.ag.gov.bc.ca/cso/index.do

Contact:
Roger D. McConchie
Barrister and Solicitor
604-988-1621 or 1622
mcconchie@libelandprivacy.com

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  1. Kelly Manning says:

    Roger D. McConchie literally wrote the book on “Canadian Libel and Slander Actions”.

    http://www.irwinlaw.com/store/product/85/canadian-libel-and-slander-actions

    Folks at the NP should be taking this very seriously.

    Here is some advice for them:
    http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2008/08/how_to_admit_youre_wrong.php

    I see this as a very welcome development.

    Spin doctors and journalists who seem more like paid off Fossil Fuel PR agents than reporters write about vast conspiracies of fake science involved in a world wide conspiracy to defraud.

    Fine, but they should be prepared to come to court with admissible evidence to back that up or promptly state that they have nothing to back up their claims and accept responsibility for their unfounded claims and the damage their unfounded claims did to their victims.

    Deniers have begun to resemble “birthers” or “truthers” in their escalation of rhetoric against anyone who dares suggest that they have no facts to support them, and that what facts are available contradict them.

    Weaver’s concerns about how false news can spread far and persist are well founded.

    Deniers are still citing portions of the revised Steve Goddard red herring story, long after Editors at “The Register” added a retraction at the bottom of the article. Goddard added his own mea culpa as well, but it still gets cited by deniers as though it was true and held up to examination.

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