B.C. climatologist sues National Post
Skeptics and believers in climate change could battle in civil court
A prominent University of Victoria climate researcher says he's been repeatedly defamed by the National Post and has launched a lawsuit against the national newspaper.
Andrew Weaver has filed a statement of claim in B.C. Supreme Court, citing four articles published in the newspaper late 2009 and early 2010.
"These articles put him in a false light," said Weaver's lawyer, Roger McConchie. "Attributing to [Weaver] views that he says he never held and accusing him of conduct that he says never occurred."
Weaver, a full professor who was part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the Nobel Prize in 2007, claims in the court documents that the National Post articles suggest he's a corrupt scientist who promotes global warming theories so he can obtain government research grants.
War of words
Vancouver public relations entrepreneur James Hoggan is the author of a book that examines the war of words between scientists and climate change skeptics.
He also recently filed a lawsuit against the newspaper and told CBC News he's not surprised the debate over climate change is ending up in court.
"We've documented over the past two decades almost a crusade against climate science," Hoggan said. "When people have that kind of passionate belief — or disbelief in this case — in something, they tend to step over the line."
The newspaper articles about Weaver still circulate on the internet, and as part of his lawsuit, Weaver is asking the court to have the National Post remove the articles from its own website and from any other site where they can be found.
"He's only bringing this action because he sees this and the law as the only mechanism that will allow him to correct the very public worldwide record," McConchie said.
The National Post could not be reached for comment and has not filed a statement of defence against Weaver's allegations.
With files from the CBC's Ben Hadaway and Belle Puri