Andrew Weaver: Libel Chill or Libel “Polar Vortex”

Andrew Weaver has been taking a victory lap following the recent decision in his favor by rookie judge Emily Burke. In previous commentary about Mann v Steyn, I’ve made some snide remarks about the competence of D.C. trial court judge Combs-Greene, either implying or stating that Canadian courts have higher standards. I take it all back.  As a Canadian, it’s embarrassing to discuss Judge Burke’s disorganized and muddled decision with readers from other countries. Unsurprisingly, beneath the muddled prose, there are (what appear to me) some bright-line legal errors over and above quixotic and often grossly incorrect findings of fact.

In fairness to Judge Burke, she was astonishingly inexperienced to have been assigned a relatively complicated libel case. She had been appointed as a judge on May 13, 2014 (h/t Hilary Ostrov) and the Weaver v National Post trial began in the first week of June 2014, only a few weeks after Burke’s appointment.  Her resume shows that her professional experience over the previous 20 years had been as a labour arbitrator, with no apparent evidence of previous experience in libel law. It was very unfortunate that she was assigned this case.

If Burke’s decision accurately reflects Canadian libel law, then for opinion writing in Canada (including Climate Audit), it is more of a polar vortex than mere libel “chill”.   To borrow a phrase, it would be a travesty if National Post did not appeal this decision.

In today’s post, I’ll set out an overview of the main issues. As CA readers are aware, I am not a lawyer and my article does not contain legal advice.   However, I know the factual context very well and have familiarized myself with the relevant case law.  I plan to re-review the “facts” with the legal context in mind, but will also comment on the legal implications.  Readers should keep in mind that I also commented at the time (e.g. here) on some of the same events as National Post and that, at the time, I , like the National Post opinion columnists, believed that Weaver believed that the fossil fuel industry was responsible for the UVic break-ins that Weaver had asked the national and international community to be interested in.

The Canadian Libel “Dialect”

Canadian courts have not adopted the actual malice test of New York Times v Sullivan, which set U.S. libel law on a different direction from Canada, Australia and the U.K., which previously had much in common with the libel law of many states, including occasional exchange of precedents.

Like the U.S., Canadian courts have also modified libel law over the past few decades towards freer speech, but through modification of traditional common law techniques, rather than the blunt force of the constitutional argument of NYT v Sullivan.  In my reading, it seems to me that there are (at least) three main techniques, all of which are discussed in recent B.C. libel cases (see Shavluk v the Green Party and Elizabeth May 2010; Lund v Black Press Group 2009– both vastly more readable than Weaver):

  • the fair comment defence was expanded by the Supreme Court in 2008 (WIC Radio v Simpson) by formal recognition of an honest belief test: could any person honestly express that opinion on the proved facts?  Previously this test had been a dissent (Cherneskey v Armadale 1979).
  • the categories of “qualified privilege”, traditionally defined very narrowly, have been expanded in some jurisdictions, to include comment on matters of public interest. It was considered in an important U.K. case in 1999: Reynolds v Times Newspapers  (House of Lords), which argued that it was sufficient “elastic” to meet EU standards of free speech.  It was recognized by B.C. trial courts in Shavluk v Green Party and Elizabeth May, which, though not a decision by a senior court, was written clearly and has extra local colour because of Weaver’s close association with both Elizabeth May and the Green Party.
  • B.C. courts have also recently accepted the argument: Lund v Black Press Group; also discussed in Shavluk but distinguished on facts, that comments about a person in their public capacity are not defamatory in law, unless malice is present.  This technique is not structured as a defence, but as an argument that one of the essential elements of the pleading is absent.  The precedents in Lund recalled an older line of cases.  Lund is only a trial court decision, but it has additional interest because Weaver’s lawyer, Roger McConchie, acted for the defence in Lund, lending a certain interest to how McConchie purported to distinguish the two cases.

On the other hand,  many aspects of Canadian libel law correspond to U.S. libel law.  In both jurisdictions, plaintiffs are entitled to plead both the “literal meaning” and innuendo (in Canada, “inferential meaning”) of the disputed words. In a jury trial, judges are supposed to first determine whether the words are capable “in law” of a defamatory meaning, with the jury then deciding whether the words “in fact” have that objective meaning for an “ordinary” (in some sense) reader.   In Canada, judges in libel cases typically also act as finders of fact, but the two-stage test still applies.

Issue “Threads”

The lawsuit contested four National Post opinion columns – all clearly marked as opinion –  published between December 8, 2009 and February 2, 2010.  The original articles are now difficult to locate online, but are mostly preserved in the decision here:

  • December 8, 2009 – Weaver’s Web by Peter Foster;
  • December 9, 2009 – Weaver’s Web II by Terry Corcoran;
  • January 26, 2010 – Climate Agency in Flames by Terry Corcoran; and
  • Feb 2, 2010 – So Much for Pure Science by Kevin Libin.

Curiously, what the judge described as the “main” area of factual disagreement did not turn on facts originally reported in any of these opinion columns, but on two prior news articles that were not named in Weaver’s complaint. Neither of these news articles is quoted in full in the decision and neither remain online in their original location.

  • Dec 3, 2009 – Megan O’Toole, National Post: “Attempted breaches show larger effort to discredit climate science: researcher” (see archive here) and the near identical Dec 4 “People are ‘trying to find anything’ – Security breaches” (see archive here) .  O’Toole had reported that Weaver had said that break-in incidents at the University of Victoria were “evidence of a larger effort to discredit climate science”, that the “key thing” was to “find something that you can … take out of context”, that the “the timing of the alleged attempts to breach security is linked to the coming Copenhagen summit”, that the “real story in this is, who are these people and why are they doing it?”, not the “minutiae” of the Climategate emails, that the Jones controvesy was not the result of a “lucky hack” and that Weaver “believe[d] the campaign is driven by the fossil-fuel industry”
  • Jan 26, 2010 – Richard Foot, Canwest (the parent of National Post):   Canadian scientist says UN’s global warming panel ‘crossing the line’ (see archive here).  Foot had reported that “A senior Canadian climate scientist [Weaver] says the United Nations’ panel on global warming has become tainted by political advocacy, that its chairman should resign, and that its approach to science should be overhauled.

The four opinion columns relied on the two news articles, though, in both cases, there was a great deal of related contemporary material that was not reviewed in Judge Burke’s decision.

Within the four disputed opinion columns, there are four main issues (or issue threads):

1. the opinion columns are, in part, premised on the understanding that Weaver believed that the fossil fuel industry was responsible for the UVic break-ins and alleged hack attempts.  Weaver later denied that he held such beliefs. Principally through examination of O’Toole’s interview notes, the judge found that National Post failed to “establish” that Weaver held this belief. (In the statement of claim, it’s not clear to me that Weaver explicitly denied holding such beliefs, as opposed to denying that he had told the National Post that he held such beliefs – I intend to parse these matters closely in a future post).

2. Corcoran’s opinion column of January 26 was, again in part, premised on the understanding from the Foot article that Weaver had called for reform and a “change in leadership” at IPCC.  The judge found that this was a factual error, because Weaver had “at most” called for Pachauri to “move on” as opposed to calling on him to “resign” – distinctions that seem both murky, to say the least, and grossly insufficient to trigger the subsquent chain of dominos of J Burke’s decision.

3. a third issue, arising in Weaver’s Web, the first column, concerns Peter Foster’s criticism of a December 4, 2009 article by Weaver and Thomas Homer-Dixon, in which Weaver and HD had dismissed skeptic concerns over the growing discrepancy between models and 21st century temperature observations as nothing more than “cherry-picking” 1998 as a start date for trend calculations. Weaver and HD claimed that the selection of 1998 was “misleading at best and dishonest at worst.” (AR5 subsequently also used 1998 as the start date for trend comparisons in its discussion of the hiatus – a decision that would seem to somewhat vindicating for National Post, though not mentioned in the decision.)  National Post’s retort in Weaver’s Web seems (to me) easily within legitimate comment, quite aside from any vindication by AR5’s handling of 1998 trend starts. However, Weaver argued that the “inferential meaning” of the seemingly routine challenge was the imputation that he had “engaged in willful manipulation and distortion of scientific data for the purpose of deceiving the public in order to promote a political agenda” and “is untrustworthy, unscientific, and incompetent”, claims that the judge accepted.

4. a fourth important issue was whether Corcoran had “changed [a Weaver] quote for his own purposes”, a finding that appears to have influenced the following very severe  and (in my opinion) totally unwarranted characterization by J Burke:

the defendants altered the complexion of the facts and omitted facts sufficiently fundamental that they undermine the accuracy of the facts expressed in the commentary to the extent the facts cannot be properly regarded as a true statement of the facts.

In a 2007 interview, commenting on then newly released estimates of 2007 annual (global) temperature data, Weaver said:

When you see these numbers, it’s screaming out at you, “This is global warming.”

In one of the opinion columns, Corcoran transcribed the quotation as follows:

 When you see these [temperature] numbers, it’s screaming out at you: ‘This is global warming!”
The numbers on which Weaver had been commenting had indeed been temperature numbers, but the judge still took enormous umbrage at the insertion of the clearly marked “[temperature]”. She wrote:
The numbers in the quote Dr. Weaver was referring to in his article were “the global average surface temperatures” and not weather and/or temperature events. It was also clear from Mr. Corcoran’s testimony that he knew the difference between these two concepts; he knew Dr. Weaver was referring to global average surface temperatures but changed the quote for his own purposes.

In a debate over climate, the 2007 global annual temperature is a “temperature event”.  It is deranged to say that Corcoran’s insertion of the explanatory “[temperature]” means that he “changed the quote for his own purposes”.    It is hard to be sufficiently vehement about this sort of nonsense.

Legal Issues

Although Judge Burke made some bewildering and unjustified findings of fact, findings of fact by a trial judge are notoriously hard to appeal (though some of Judge Burke’s findings are so contrary to the record that they may meet even that high hurdle). For appeal purposes, errors of law are of more practical concern. In my opinion,  Judge Burke made some important legal errors that, in my opinion, not only warrant appeal, but National Post would be blameworthy not to appeal.

1) Fair Comment

National Post’s primary defence was fair comment.  In 2008, the Supreme Court established the following test for fair comment as a defence in WIC Radio v Simpson 2008:

the comment must satisfy the following objective test: could any person honestly express that opinion on the proved facts?

In Weaver, in respect to the two main factual issues, Judge Burke found that the interview notes of NP reporter Megan O’Toole did not “establish” the belief attributed to Weaver in her December 3 news article and that Canwest reporter Richard Foot’s notes only showed that Weaver had agreed that Pachauri should “move on”, but did not say that he should “resign”.  Rather than proceeding with the WIC Radio test on the remaining “proved facts” – which are considerable,  Judge Burke dispensed with the WIC Radio test altogether as follows:

[241] I have concluded fair comment does not protect the defamatory statements about Dr. Weaver. The facts upon which they rely are not true. As such, I do not need to address whether any person could honestly express those opinions on the proven facts.

Though not a lawyer, I’ve read enough case law to recognize this as an absolutely extraordinary statement for a lower court judge. I can’t imagine any court of appeal being very comfortable with something like this.

Further, the issue is fundamental and not just wordplay. Even if one stipulates Burke’s quixotic findings of fact in respect to the fossil fuel industry and Pachauri resignation claims, there are many remaining “proved facts” that, in my opinion, permit a person to have honestly held the contested opinions.

2)  “Capable of” the Inferential Meaning

A second large legal issue is whether the actual words are “capable” “in law” of bearing the extravagant inferential meanings claimed by Weaver and accepted by J Burke.

In Hodgson v Canadian Newspapers (1998 ON SC, cited in B.C. decisions),  also a complicated Canadian libel case with multiple alleged defamatory phrases, each with claimed inferential meaning, decided by an experienced judge acting alone, the judge pedantically parsed each of the numerous allegations, first deciding in law whether the phrase was capable in law of bearing the claimed defamatory meaning and, only then, deciding as a finder of fact whether they would bear such meaning to an ordinary person (the objective test). However, once again, J Burke decided that she could dispense with this test:

In Mainstream Canada v. Staniford, 2013 BCCA 341 at para. 15 [Mainstream (C.A.)], the BC Court of Appeal observed in a defamation action tried by a judge alone, it is not necessary for the judge to first determine whether the words in question were capable of having a defamatory meaning. Rather, it is only necessary for the judge to determine whether the words did in fact have a defamatory meaning.

While there are cases noting that judges acting alone sometimes merge the two tests in practice, my take is that, in specific cases, appeals courts were content that the trial court judge, even if a bit sloppy, had not done any injustice in the case at hand, but the decisions did not overturn the requirement for judges to determine that the words were capable in law of the claimed defamatory meaning.

Because some of the inferential meanings claimed by Weaver and accepted by J Burke are so far fetched, it seems to me that challenging whether the words are “capable in law” of bearing the claimed inferential meaning is also a topic that is important and relevant to an appeal.

3) Burke’s Rejection of Public Sphere Comment ‘Defence’

As noted above,  even harsh criticism of someone in their public capacity without imputation on private character has been held in B.C. recently to not meet the definition of “defamatory”: Lund v Black Press Group 2009, a case where Weaver’s lawyer, Roger McConchie, acted for the defence.   National Post pleaded this line of argument, but it was rejected by J Burke, but without distinguishing (or even discussing) Lund.  It seems to me that the criticism in Lund was just as or more harsh than the criticism in the National Post articles and it would be interesting to see how McConchie distinguished the two cases and/or if there was any call on McConchie to offer a distinction.

As I read the decision in Weaver, the only way in which J Burke purports to remove the comments from the “public sphere” exception is by invoking a common law obligation of special deference to a “scientist or professor”:

“[140] While at first blush the articles may appear to be associated with actions such as commenting on various theories associated with climate warming in the media or the associated organizations, the reality is the combination and cumulative effect of these articles is such as to adversely impact on Dr. Weaver’s reputation and integrity as a scientist.  Imputations of dishonest behaviour on the part of a scientist or professor in that role can constitute defamation.

It seems to me that J Burke’s finding on this point has echoes of J Combs-Greene’s remarkable decision that it was a tort in D.C. to question Mann’s “intellect and reasoning”:

To call his [Mann’s] work a sham or to question his intellect and reasoning is tantamount to an accusation of fraud.

J Burke seems to arrived at a similar place. However, it seems to me that once Weaver entered into the rough-and-tumble of public controversy –  as he had done repeatedly over the years and as he had done in the events commented on in the National Post opinion columns – he was entitled to no special deference as “scientist or professor”.  I think that the court of appeal should be asked to consider whether Canadian defamation law recognizes an obligation of deference to “professors” when they are engaged in the public sphere.

4) Qualified Privilege

Although defendants Elizabeth May and the Green Party had succeeded in Shavluk on their defence of qualified privilege (but not fair comment), this defence was not discussed in Burke’s decision and does not seem to have been presented by National Post. I don’t know why, as it seems to me that it would have been worth arguing in light of its success in Shavluk.

5) Gross Errors of Fact

In some cases, Burke’s findings of fact can be proven to be based on errors. For example, in respect of one of her two “main” factual findings, she wrote:

[207] With respect to Climate Agency Going up in Flames, I find Dr. Weaver did not call for the resignation of Mr. Pachauri, but rather as noted indicated he should “move on”. I conclude this on the basis of the emails sent by Dr. Weaver to Nature, which said something completely different, and those immediately sent to Mr. Foot, which indicated he was surprised by this comment. Mr. Foot had the Nature article and, in my view, simply referenced that opinion when writing the article, as reflected in his email in response to Dr. Weaver’s correction.

The Nature article mentioned here was not published until Feb 2 and was therefore not the article reflected in Foot’s email responding to Weaver.  The article actually referenced by Foot in the email was the Der Speigel editorial of Jan 25, which explicitly and unequivocally called for Pachauri’s resignation. If the correct article is considered, Burke’s finding makes no sense whatsoever.

I’m not sure whether her decision on “[temperature]” is an error of fact or law, but it is ludicrous whatever it is.  There’s not a doubt in my mind that “[temperature]” was explanatory and legitimately explanatory and any contrary finding ought not be upheld.

She makes a false and even defamatory mention of Climate Audit in her decision:

[259] Copies of the downloaded publications contain reader comments, an example of which is Heatwave, referencing Climate Agency Going up in Flames and posted January 25, 2010:

Andrew Weaver was a willing participant in the AGW fraud and his “jumping ship” at this time will not save his sorry ass.

[260] A review of the material demonstrates further reader comments, including many reader comments on the Climate Audit site of the article. In my view, this evidence is sufficient to establish the fact of re-publication.

There was no “Climate Audit site of the article” nor was the above reader comment ever made here. Nor would the posting of the above comment comply with CA policies.  Unsurprisingly, the above false comment was immediately republished by John Mashey at William Connolley’s. It’s annoying to be incidentally defamed by false comments by a judge.

It’s hard to list all the errors of fact.  I plan to do follow-up posts, setting out chronologies of fact for the main threads listed above.


145 Comments

  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    once again, I forgot that my current blog settings require me to manually allow comments. I need to change this.

    I have a question for readers. J Burke provided the following quotation in here decision but did not provide a reference for it:

    This is particularly so as the comments regarding Dr. Weaver were made in the context of the “Climategate scandal whereby scientists were alleged to have fudged the numbers in order to support their respective thesis on climate change”.

    I googled the phrase and didn’t come up with a source. Does anyone have any idea where the quote comes from?

    • Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

      I have not heard of that phrase. It is also ungrammatical since ‘respective’ would imply a plural, i.e. theses.

    • RomanM
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

      I did a quick search using some of the phrases from the quote and the closest match I found was at a blog I had never heard of before cryptclidiotsavants.wordpress.com. In the head post there were two sentences separated by other text:

      We all know that Climate Gate proved that scientists “fudged” the numbers to support the global warming claim.

      and

      The impacts of man are exaggerated to support their global warming thesis.

      Could be just a coincidence.

      At the same time, I found a pdf of the court decision which might be more useful than the html version linked in the head post. It’s quite a read.

      • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

        Thanks for this find, Roman. It is definitely more useful – and readily searchable – than the .htm version of the decision.

        As for this strange unsourced quote, it might be found in the (circa April 20, 2010) Statement of Claim. I’ve just posted the pdf of this, for those who might want to refresh their memory.

        Unfortunately, my OCR software is not good enough to “translate” this all-image file to a useful, searchable and quotable pdf. But perhaps others have more capable OCR software than I?!

        As I had noted in an update to my post, it would certainly be interesting to see how much of the (verbatim) content of this Statement of Claim landed in Judge Emily’s decision. As well as what might have been omitted, for whatever reason.

    • Jean S
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

      The origin might be in the comments by Brian Kilmeade of Fox:

      On December 2, Kilmeade said: “This is huge. They hacked into some accounts — I don’t know how they did it — but they found out that those people who say that we’re in the middle of global warming, climate change, it’s cataclysmic if we don’t act soon, well, are fudging the numbers and massaging the statistics to get conclusions that would alert the whole world that we have to quickly act.”

      Kilmeade referred to the “damning” emails and said: “[N]ow we understand that the scientists have fudged numbers and massaged statistics in order to make it seem like the world is indeed heating up. …

    • admkoz
      Posted Mar 6, 2015 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

      It seems likely to me that she meant to close the quote after “Climategate”, as in

      ..the “Climategate” scandal whereby scientists were alleged…

      It would fit in with the general illiteracy of this sentence, which should read

      This is particularly so as the comments regarding Dr. Weaver were made in the context of the “Climategate” scandal, wherein scientists were alleged to have fudged the numbers in order to support their respective theses on climate change.

      although the sentence should really just be hauled out and shot.

  2. jmurphy
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    You say she was appointed in 2004 and assigned the case in 2014. That’s 10 years, not a few weeks. Assume 2004 is a typo?

    Steve: 2014 – fixed.

  3. Political Junkie
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Here’s one Canadian looking forward to a further exploration of the topic.

    And yes, National Post should appeal.

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

      From the “Green party of BC”: http://www.greenparty.bc.ca/6_core_green_principles

      6 core Green principles:

      1)Participatory Democracy
      2)Sustainability
      3)Social Justice
      4)Respect for Diversity
      5)Ecological Wisdom
      6)Non-Violence

      Soon to be party leader Andrew Weaver should write points 3,4 and 6 1000 times on his black(white)board.

  4. bernie1815
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Is the National Post going to appeal? I have looked, but have not seen Steyn write on the outcome of this case. Has anyone seen or heard him comment?

  5. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    I really don’t care that much about this issue, but I’ve consistently found the discussion of it baffling. For one example, this post says:

    The numbers on which Weaver had been commenting had indeed been temperature numbers, but the judge still took enormous umbrage at the insertion of the clearly marked “[temperature]”. She wrote:

    The numbers in the quote Dr. Weaver was referring to in his article were “the global average surface temperatures” and not weather and/or temperature events. It was also clear from Mr. Corcoran’s testimony that he knew the difference between these two concepts; he knew Dr. Weaver was referring to global average surface temperatures but changed the quote for his own purposes.

    I don’t know where the idea of “enormous umbrage” comes from. There is nothing in the tone of the ruling which indicates it. I don’t even see how one can appeal to the text being ruled on as this post strips a fair amount of context from it. For instance, this post ignores the fact Corcoran changed the quoation to add an exclamation mark to it, saying:

    In one of the opinion columns, Corcoran transcribed the quotation as follows:

    But the judge’s ruling clearly states Corcoran took the quotation from a printed article. One would not normally say someone “transcribed” a quote when they copied it from a printed article. Instead, a reader would interpret “transcribed” as saying Corcoran transcribed the quotation from the interview mentioned just one line before.

    That is a subtle difference. A more significant difference arises if we try examining the judge’s reasoning on this point. Doing so requires us look at everything she said, not just a single remark. Shortly after the quotation provided in this post, the ruling gives a more informative explanation of the judge’s reasoning, concluding:

    [Weaver] did not say, in a television appearance linking current weather and temperature events with global warming, “when you see these [temperature] numbers, it’s screaming out at you: this is global warming!” Dr. Weaver does not link current temperature events with global warming. None of the words “temperature” or “global warming” can be found in the original quotation from a newspaper article. Dr. Weaver’s statement did not concern a weather event. Instead, he was speaking about “global annual mean temperature” in December 2007

    Most of the same points were also made in the sentences prior to the quotation from the ruling provided in this post. Not only is this context to the ruling left out, both sections of the ruling reference context of the quote the judge is ruling on which is also left out of this post. Prior to the quote, the article includes this line:

    He has also made numerous television appearances linking current weather and temperature events with global warming, painting sensational pictures and dramatic links.

    All of this context is completely absent from this post. Instead, the post claims the issues was merely “whether Corcoran had ‘changed [a Weaver] quote for his own purposes.'” By doing so, this post completely ignores a central issue in the judge’s ruling, that the National Post falsely claimed Weaver links global warming to specific weather events. This is an especially important issue because the Post had made the same claim in several previous articles, articles Weaver contacted them about.

    This post then concludes:

    In a debate over climate, the 2007 global annual temperature is a “temperature event”. It is deranged to say that Corcoran’s insertion of the explanatory “[temperature]” means that he “changed the quote for his own purposes”.

    I struggle to see why readers would interpret “temperature event” as something so broad as the temperature for an entire year, especially when it is said in the phrase “current weather and temperature events.” When people hear “weather,” they don’t think, “Year.” I can’t see why hearing “weather and temperature events” would make them think, “Year.”

    Beyond that, Weaver wasn’t talking about the temperature of 2007. The AP article being quoted said:

    “Including 2007, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997,” it added. “The global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6°C and 0.7°C since the start of the twentieth century, and the rate of increase since 1976 has been approximately three times faster than the century-scale trend.”

    “When you see these numbers, it’s screaming out at you, ‘This is global warming,'” said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada. “It’s the beginning and it’s unequivocal.”

    There is no reference to a single year’s temperature. Even if one feels readers would interpret “weather and temperature events” to include things like the annual temperature of 2007, something I cannot fathom, Weaver wasn’t even talking about temperatures of a single year. So when the post says:

    It is hard to be sufficiently vehement about this sort of nonsense.

    I hope people can understand my reaction. Not only does this post fail to include useful context for the judge’s statement and/or the quotation being discussed, it gets the subject of the quotation wrong, and it completely ignores much of the issue revolves not around minor changes to a quote but rather the framing of the quote which falsely claims Weaver associates global warming with specific weather and temperature events.

    • MikeN
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      The column said:


      He has also made numerous television appearances linking current weather and temperature events with global warming, painting sensational pictures and dramatic links.
      “when you see these [temperature] numbers, it’s screaming out at you: this is global warming!”

      Be nice if the … were filled in.
      So the use of [temperature] is irrelevant to the judge’s statement. Looks more like something got edited out by the reporter.

    • miker613
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

      Can’t follow what you’re saying. ‘the post claims the issues was merely “whether Corcoran had ‘changed [a Weaver] quote for his own purposes.'”‘ No, the post claims that the judge says that Corcoran changed a quote. The judge did say that. The post then points out that he didn’t change the quote. The judge probably made other points which the post did not discuss.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

        miker613, I’m not sure why you say this post shows the quote wasn’t changed. The quote was changed. One can argue the change was unimportant, but the change is obvious.

        As for the post, it very much does ignore the fact most of this issue in the ruling deals not with whether or not the quote was changed, but with how the quote was portrayed. The ruling specifically discusses the context of the quote, spending quite a bit of space explaining why it is wrong. This post simply ignores that and pretends the ruling only cited the change to the quote as being problematic in regard to this issue.

        That is particularly bad because the issue this post ignores is one the National Post has brought up multiple times in the past. Despite having been corrected on it before, the Post still published the same false argument.

        The judge also gave a fair amount of space to that. Again, this post somehow ignores it, pretending all the judge looked at on this issue was the change in the quote.

        • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

          Brandon
          You need to get a grip on what reporters are and are not allowed to do with a quote.
          The insertion of the word “temperature” in brackets (and the presence of the brackets is important since it specifies to the reader that the word was not in the original quote) is explanatory; it does not alter the meaning and would not be considered in any normal circumstance as “changing the meaning”.
          Sorry if you’re not keen on that but I suggest you ask any journalist or editor of repute.
          In any event, the context from which the quote was drawn makes it very clear that Weaver was discussing temperatures. It is irrelevant what temperatures he was discussing. The quote made it clear that “when you see those numbers (namely the temperature numbers to which he had been referring in the previous paragraph 0.6-0.7 degrees increase and the three-times-as-fast rate of increase) it’s screaming at you. It’s global warming.”
          The inclusion of the word in brackets merely makes it clear that “temperature” was what Weaver was talking about when he referred to “these numbers”.
          Even a rookie judge should be able to understand the concept.

        • geronimo
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

          What sort of penalties are we expecting to come down to a person who inserts “temperature” in parenthesis when quoting someone who says:

          “when you see these numbers, it’s screaming out at you: this is global warming!” What numbers could he be talking about, and if he didn’t want to be misinterpreted why didn’t he say “global average temperatures”. Moreover the addition of the word “temperature” begs the question about what “temperature” means. As far as I’m aware everyone and his dog knows that it is global average temperatures that are indications of global warming.

          How how does it cause material damage to him either publicly or in his professional life.

        • miker613
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

          “The quote was changed. One can argue the change was unimportant, but the change is obvious.” The change was trivial and was revealed to the reader, in the standard fashion (with brackets). I see no reason to spend time on a nothing point – what in my youth we would call a “nudnik” point. The judge’s ruling seems the same to me – all nudnik points. The articles were _close enough_ to accurate that a journalist shouldn’t have to be worried about being sued for them, if you care about having a free society. Only nudniks would make a big deal about the trivial issues involved. Jumping up and saying, “No! It wasn’t accurate! It said __ and __ is true!” doesn’t change the simple fact: the differences would only interest a nudnik.
          “Resign”, “move on” – c’mon.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

          Mike Jackson:

          You need to get a grip on what reporters are and are not allowed to do with a quote.
          The insertion of the word “temperature” in brackets (and the presence of the brackets is important since it specifies to the reader that the word was not in the original quote) is explanatory; it does not alter the meaning and would not be considered in any normal circumstance as “changing the meaning”.

          Just to be clear, are you telling me I need to come to realize people can make up quotes, like you just did with “changing the meaning”? I only ask because I never claimed the change to the quote changed its meaning. I just acknowledged the quote was changed.

          Sorry if you’re not keen on that but I suggest you ask any journalist or editor of repute.

          I’m not sure what you think I’m supposed to ask. I’ve never said changing a quote is wrong. Back when I took journalism in school, we were given guides explaining what kinds of changes we were allowed to make to quotes. My journalism teacher stressed it is only okay to change a quote if doing so does not change the meaning of what is said and is clearly marked. (Well, she also pointed some people accept some unmarked changes to quotations to fix mistakes on the speakers’ part, but she told us not to do it anyway.)

          miker613:

          “The quote was changed. One can argue the change was unimportant, but the change is obvious.” The change was trivial and was revealed to the reader, in the standard fashion (with brackets). I see no reason to spend time on a nothing point – what in my youth we would call a “nudnik” point.

          I wonder if people are going to tell you there was no change like they told me 😛

          For what it’s worth, I agree the changes to the quote are not particularly important. That’s why I’m so surprised this post focuses on the discussion of it. The judge didn’t. The judge spent more time discussing the false context the National Post gave to the quote. You wouldn’t know that from anything anyone here is saying though. Everyone here is just ignoring that.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

          “Brandon
          You need to get a grip”

          ㅋㅋㅋ

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

          “I see no reason to spend time on a nothing point – what in my youth we would call a “nudnik” point. ”

          you just killed his whole gig.

        • Capell Aris
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

          I agree with Mike Jackson about the use of square brackets. In Hart’s Rules for Compositors and Readers (the foundation of OUP’s type-setting, and I suspect many other publishing houses) we have:
          “These marks are used chiefly to enclose an explanation by someone other than the author. For example:
          ‘They [The Lilliputians] rose like one man'”

          Hart’s Rules may now be out of print, but it’s been replaced by the Oxford Guide to Style. In my copy they have a more fulsome explanation, from which:
          “Square brackets are for comments, corrections, interpolations, parenthetical quotes, or translations that a SUBSEQUENT AUTHOR OR EDITOR appended to an original text.
          Square brackets do not replace original text, but supplement it.” Etc., etc. all in the same vein.

      • MikeN
        Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

        Mikes, I was similarly confused, and it was not clear until I read the actual ruling what Brandon is saying. See the two sentences I posted. The point is that the accurate quote, was used to support a separate argument. The use of [temperature] doesn’t matter, and the issue would be the same even if the reporter had used the exact quote.

    • Follow the Money
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

      The numbers in the quote Dr. Weaver was referring to in his article were “the global average surface temperatures” and not weather and/or temperature events. It was also clear from Mr. Corcoran’s testimony that he knew the difference between these two concepts; he knew Dr. Weaver was referring to global average surface temperatures but changed the quote for his own purposes.

      The judge distinguishes, for whatever reason, “temperatures” and “temperature events.” Okay,…but the parenthetical allegedly wrong statement says “temperature” not “temperature events.” Was the judge bamboozled with arguments? Or here scored an own-goal on her decision? Am I misreading? My interest is finding more about the distinction transmitted by the judge, I suspect it will provide some laughs. Was the distinction first forwarded by the plaintiff??

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

        Follow the Money, I suspect your confusion stems fromthe fact this post fails to give important context to the quote. You see, despite what this post argues, the issue was not just about how the quote was changed. It was also about how the quote was presented. Most importantly, the quote was preceded by this line:

        He has also made numerous television appearances linking current weather and temperature events with global warming, painting sensational pictures and dramatic links.

        The judge refers to “temperature events” because she was indicating that claim is false.

        • MikeN
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

          The post leaves out the context, but is arguing the correct context as it says that the global temperature is a temperature event.

  6. Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    I am not sure that the judge understands research grants:

    The Judge:

    [15] Dr. Weaver has received a variety of research grants over the years. These grants, however, do not remunerate Dr. Weaver directly. The University of Victoria receives the grant money and administers them at his request. This provides the University with the ability to reduce Dr. Weaver’s teaching load and administrative responsibilities, enabling Dr. Weaver to pursue his research.


    From the UVic Policy:

    The university acts as paymaster for Research Funding Agreements where the Principal Investigator is a faculty or university employee, unless otherwise agreed to by theparties and the Vice-President Research.

    Normally, only members of the continuing regular staff may hold UVic research accounts, and the grantee is responsible for the proper management of all funds held in that account.

    In other words, if it is not obvious, the University takes an Overhead fee and hands out cheques at the discretion of the researcher — according to a set of general rules.

    It looks pretty direct to me…

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      WillR, I find your comment confusing. You agree the university takes the funding, you agree the university sets guidelines on how the funding can be spent, and you agree the researcher has to request the money frim the university. That fits what the judge says perfectly.

      • Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

        Those budgets for the grants explicitly include the primary investigator (PI) and other key and non-key staff, multiplied by the portion of time they are to spend on the project. So if Weaver’s salary is Can$400k, for example (I have no idea, but this level is common in the US), and he is spending 0.25 FTE (full time equivalent) on the project, he gets Can$100k personally plus fringe and so on. Plus he is able to pay his people and expand his turf, so to speak. (For some agencies in the US, there is a cap on the salary that can be paid; currently it’s about $185k. Others don’t care, as long as it’s “reasonable.”)

        The PI creates the budget, and the money is spent directly for the people, supplies, contractors and equipment needed for the project. The bank account is the university’s, but this is a formality; the amounts are directly fungible and the PI is responsible to the grantor for spending them as he planned.

        Be thankful I didn’t do this in rhyme.

        ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

          If you can’t do the thyme, don’t do the rhyme.

          😉

        • Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

          A personal aside: Since I was here last, an accident killed my lifemate and placed me in a wheelchair, and is trying to take the use of my hands. My rhymes have been somewhat impaired.

          But I remain interested in the topics here, I just type more slowly.

          ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Steve: that is very sad news on both fronts. Your company here is very welcome.

        • kim
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

          Reach skillfully fingers, numb now with grief,
          Deliver the epic, breeched though she be.
          ========================

      • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

        Re: Brandon Shollenberger (Feb 23 17:54), Brandon:

        Keith understood perfectly. Other than it’s cut (commission/overhead/fee) — for the use of it’s facilities and check writing apparatus the university has no significant control.

        I have some experience with these issues.

        Some universities let the professors/etc. keep the IP, other universities retain the IP rights etc. For those details you have to read the policy/policies — carefully, very carefully. But. misunderstand them she did — and if she could not see that somewhat less than fine distinction, the Steve is likely right with the rest.

        Now, someone could argue “Hey, that’s not right, that’s not how we do it!”. But, it is the UVIC policy in question.

    • John M
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

      It would be interesting to see if Weaver ever got any grants that paid his summer salary. I know in NSF grants, it’s common for the grant to remunerate the PI for the summer—up to two months worth.

  7. bobdenton
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Re:

    1) Fair Comment
    …..
    Judge Burke dispensed with the WIC Radio test altogether as follows:
    [241] I have concluded fair comment does not protect the defamatory statements about Dr. Weaver. The facts upon which they rely are not true. As such, I do not need to address whether any person could honestly express those opinions on the proven facts.”

    I think maybe you’re misreading the judge.

    To succeed in a defence of fair comment/honest opinion the Defendant must prove at least one fact to which the WIC Radio test can be applied. As a matter of procedural justice the Defendant must state the facts on which he relies (presumably in the pleadings, which I have not seen). The facts in issue are determined before trial and both sides have a fair opportunity to call evidence and advance argument regarding them. The judge can’t, when all the evidence is in, manufacture a case for one side or the other, she must decide between the cases advanced by the parties. Even if she can see a better case for one party than that put, she can’t decide on that basis; that would rob the other party of the right to call evidence and advance argument.

    All she’s saying in that passage is that she’s found the Defendants have failed to prove any fact they relied on to ground a defence of fair comment/honest opinion, so the need to apply the WIC Radio test does not arise; there are no facts to which it can be applied.

    Steve: in respect to the fossil fuel belief, the judge notes in various places that the defendants stated that they relied on the CBC newscast; a newspaper article by Lupick; desmog articles, a newspaper article by Graham Johnson plus the O’Toole article based on her interview. There were a couple of other things that they were probably aware of but may not have mentioned – the articles in the Guardian and at Think Progress and Weaver’s failure to object to any of the articles. To say that there are no “proven facts” is not correct. At a minimum, Weaver appeared on national television. To form honest belief in Canadian law, as I understand it, one does not need to have a cross-examination transcript in which Weaver unambiguously declares his belief, as J Burke seems to require. There’s not a doubt in my mind that National Post columnists honestly held these beliefs.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

      Bobdenton Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 6:42 PM

      Steve comments:

      “To form honest belief in Canadian law, as I understand it, one does not need to have a cross-examination transcript in which Weaver unambiguously declares his belief, as J Burke seems to require. There’s not a doubt in my mind that National Post columnists honestly held these beliefs.”

      Honest Belief, as such, doesn’t establish the defence of fair comment/honest opinion, so good faith reliance on secondary sources which turn out to be incorrect doesn’t help. Secondary sources, even if proved, aren’t proof of the allegations contained in them and arn’t proof of facts in issue for this purpose.

      There may be evidence both ways. If the trier of fact finds that the party on whom the burden of proof falls, in this case the Defendant, has failed to prove a fact in issue, that’s just one of the hazards of litigation. To show that finding of fact was unsupportable, so’s to make the decision appealable, would require an examination of the transcript of evidence.

  8. bmcburney
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    “I find Dr. Weaver did not call for the resignation of Mr. Pachauri, but rather as noted indicated he should ‘move on’.”

    How does one “move on” from a job if not by resignation? Does the Judge believe Weaver thought Pachauri should be fired? Assassinated?

    • John M
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

      Given the events that led to MoveOn.com, maybe she thought “move on” meant to ignore wrong-doing.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

      bmcburney, your question confuses me. Andrew Weaver specifically suggested the guy shouldn’t have been reappointed (reelected?) for the position. That wouldn’t involve resigning, but it would have him move on.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

        Brandon, don’t you think at the time Weaver said what he said the job was Pachauri’s if he wanted to keep it? If the quote was Weaver saying “he should move on” that clearly implies that Pac should give up the job and move on. How is that materially distinguishable from resigning? Is believing Weaver called for Pac to resign an unreasonable interpretation? You have better arguments than this one.

      • bmcburney
        Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

        Brandon Shollenberger, your confusion confuses me.

        There is, in fact, no meaningful distinction between stating an opinion that a person should “move on” from a position he holds and an opinion that a person should resign from the position. It cannot be otherwise, except via discharge from the position or death. If Weaver meant to say that Pachauri should not be reappointed, he should have said that the UN should “move on” from Pachauri (and then only when his term is up to avoid the possible implication of discharge) not the other way around. For Pachauri to be the one to “move on” he must be the actor.

        In any case, considering what Weaver ADMITS he said about Pachauri’s improper conduct, the fact that he never should have been re-appointed in the first place and Weaver’s forwarding the Der Speigel editorial calling for Pachauri’s resignation the contention makes no sense as a ground for libel anyway.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

          bmcburney, off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen people who fought to avoid resigning from a position in order to make it to the end of their contract/term because resigning (or being fired) would hurt their career. I can think of plenty of other people who “moved on” to different jobs rather than simply resigning in what would be disgrace. You can argue these distinctions don’t matter, but the reality is it is easy to show careers which have been greatly influenced by them.

          If nothing else, one can not seek reappointment/reelection in the future as part of moving on while resigning would be an immediate thing.

          If Weaver meant to say that Pachauri should not be reappointed, he should have said that the UN should “move on” from Pachauri

          Um… Weaver actually did say that. Why are you saying he should have said something he did say?

          In any case, considering what Weaver ADMITS he said about Pachauri’s improper conduct,

          What are you talking about? Weaver didn’t admit he said Pachauri was guilt of any improper conduct.

        • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

          Sounds like Weaver got his wish, albeit a little delayed. Pachauri has moved on.

        • bmcburney
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

          Brandon Shollenberger, this is a “nuanced point” but I understand that, at least in Canada, severe consequences can follow from the failure to understand nuance so please give this your best attention.

          Weaver says that he did not call for Pachauri’s resignation in the interview but Foot says he did (in the second interview). Weaver says he merely thought Pachauri should not be re-appointed, Foot disagrees. This is a factual dispute. Although the Judge found, as a fact, that Weaver did not call for Pachauri’s resignation she did not find that Weaver said he should not be re-appointed. Instead, she found merely that he said Pachauri should “move on.” Since this is the full extent of her factual finding with respect to this issue, this is the reality you must assume for purposes of the legal analysis.

          So assuming the facts which the Judge says she found (not the facts which you would have found had you been the Judge) is it really defamatory of Weaver to say “Weaver says Pachauri should resign” instead of “Weaver says Pachauri should move on.” To me, those two statements, although different in nuance, are too similar to support the legal conclusion of defamation. Does it really “lower [Weaver’s] reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person” to understand that he said “resign” rather than “move on”? Please.

          Of course, it may be that Pachauri would prefer non-reappointment over resignation. You may be correct that many others feel the same. But this observation is irrelevant.

          I think it is clear from the e-mails and his endorsement of the Der Spiegle editorial that he believed Pachauri engaged in improper conduct. I can’t read what Weaver wrote any other way.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

          bmcburney:

          Weaver says that he did not call for Pachauri’s resignation in the interview but Foot says he did (in the second interview). Weaver says he merely thought Pachauri should not be re-appointed, Foot disagrees. This is a factual dispute. Although the Judge found, as a fact, that Weaver did not call for Pachauri’s resignation she did not find that Weaver said he should not be re-appointed. Instead, she found merely that he said Pachauri should “move on.” Since this is the full extent of her factual finding with respect to this issue, this is the reality you must assume for purposes of the legal analysis.

          I’m not sure any of this needed to be said, but okay. That’s the same position I’d have taken. Well, except possibly one thing. Did Weaver actually claim he “merely thought Pachauri should not be re-appointed”? I don’t recall him specifying just what he meant by “move on.” It doesn’t matter for the point you’re making, but it might be good to know just what he said on the issue.

          So assuming the facts which the Judge says she found (not the facts which you would have found had you been the Judge) is it really defamatory of Weaver to say “Weaver says Pachauri should resign” instead of “Weaver says Pachauri should move on.” To me, those two statements, although different in nuance, are too similar to support the legal conclusion of defamation. Does it really “lower [Weaver’s] reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person” to understand that he said “resign” rather than “move on”? Please.

          You stressed how nuances can be important at the beginning of your comment, so I’m not sure why you have trouble accepting nuance here could be important. I think nuance here is quite relevant. I can easily see why calling for a person’s resignation could have different consequences then calling for them to “move on.” The difference may not matter for some people, but it could certainly harm Weaver’s reputation with the people ivolved.

          Mind you, “defamatory” does not mean “actionable.” Tons of defamatory statements are made every day. Most could never sustain a lawsuit. This example, in and of itself, could never sustain a lawsuit. It is a minor example. I just happen to know minor cases of defamation which are not actionable in and of themselves can become actionable when taken in their totality.

          I think it is clear from the e-mails and his endorsement of the Der Spiegle editorial that he believed Pachauri engaged in improper conduct. I can’t read what Weaver wrote any other way.

          Nobody has quoted the article to give me cause to believe that, so right now I see no reason to doubt Weaver’s explanation of what he meant in his endorsement of the article:

          As you noted below, I sent you the Der Spiegel piece as I agreed with the substance of the criticism. That is, when you are a chair of an organization tasked with informing policy you should not be prescribing policy.

          As a rule, I accept a person’s statement of their intended meaning unless I have reason to doubt it. Nobody has presented one in this case.

        • bmcburney
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

          Brandon Shollenberger, now this is really odd, somebody using a name very similar to yours asserted above that “Andrew Weaver specifically suggested the guy shouldn’t have been reappointed (reelected?) for the position.” And yet now you say: “Did Weaver actually claim he ‘merely thought Pachauri should not be re-appointed’? I don’t recall him specifying just what he meant by ‘move on.’”

          For the most part, I guess I will let the various Brandons sort this issue out among themselves. I do note, however, that if Weaver did not suggest that Pachauri should not be re-appointed during his interviews with Foot, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Foot had a sound basis in Weaver’s words for his conlusion that Weaver was calling for Pachuri’s resignation. In my experience, “move on” and “step aside” (evidently used by Weaver in an e-mail to Nature at a different time) are both euphemisms for “resign.” Which puts us right back to the question which started our sub-discussion. Discharge (or non-re-appointment) or assassination?

          In any case, you say: “The difference may not matter for some people, but it could certainly harm Weaver’s reputation with the people ivolved.” Although your intuition regarding Weaver’s motivation may be accurate, for legal purposes it is irrelevant. The standard is what a “reasonable person” or reasonable member of the public would think as to Weaver’s reputation. To be reported as having called for Pachauri’s resignation may have harmed Weaver’s reputation among the demimonde of climate alarmists but you can’t base a defamation claim on that.

          You also claim “I just happen to know minor cases of defamation which are not actionable in and of themselves can become actionable when taken in their totality.” How do you know this? I have practiced law for more than twenty years (although never in Canada and mostly not in defamation cases) and I don’t know it. In the United States there is a doctrine known as “substantial truth” in which minor factual errors are disregarded for purposes of determing whether defamation has occurred. Canada is obviously an entirely different place when it comes to defamation law but a case citation supporting your assertion might make interesting reading.

        • bmcburney
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

          And, Brandon, the misconduct described by Weaver in the various e-mails and adopted by him from the Der Spiegel editorial is the misconduct I meant. Is there other misconduct? What misconduct did you think I meant?

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

          bmcburney, one problem with discussing something I have little interest in is it is easy for me to forget little details. In this case, when I first discussed what “move on” was said to have meant, I read the e-mail exchange while making my comment. By the time I got around to the comment you’re responding to, I forgot a bit of it. It’s a bit embarrassing, but you’ll note the first comment was stated with certainty while the second was stated with uncertainty. There’s a reason I said I don’t recall him saying it, not that he didn’t 😀

          As for many non-actionable defamatory statements being actionable when taken together, I know of it because I know of cases. I can think of several rulings where the judge indicated individual statements in question could not sustain the suit but let the suit proceed because of their net effect. (And if necessary, I can provide some examples when I get home and am not posting from a phone).

          As for misconduct, I have no idea what misconduct you might have in mind other than the Himalayan thing, which Weaver has specifically denied referring to. (I don’t know just what was said in the article he sent to Foot so I can’t hope to tell what you meant)

    • MikeN
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

      Maybe he thought Mr Pachauri should be promoted.

  9. Lemon
    Posted Feb 23, 2015 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    One can always find a connection when one looks…

    https://hro001.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/ipcc-nik-andrew-weavers-wall-of-hate-wins-him-50000/

  10. Ed Snack
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

    Brandon, you are somewhat confused. To add the word [temperature] enclosed in square brackets is not to modify the quote but to give context. And in that the modification is correct, a casual reader may not understand the context for the numbers. Weaver WAS talking about temperature; whether it was annual or specific is not germane.

    I think you need to examine your prejudices. Weaver was weaselling as som many of his ilk do; he lets others make the more disreputable state,nets and just rides along with the general impression created without having to make the more inflammatory comments directly.

    • See - owe to Rich
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 3:47 AM | Permalink

      +1

      I was going to write the same. Talk about trying to determine the number of angels on a pinhead…

      Though, you have omitted to mention that the quotation was also changed by adding an exclamation mark. OMG! Foul!

      Shollenburger, I was sure that in the past I had seen you write sensible things (though the memory can play tricks). This complaint against Steve’s posting has altered my opinion of you.

      Rich.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

        See – owe to Rich, if me pointing out this post stripped remarks of context to such an extent as to seriously understate the support for the judge’s ruling on an issue causes you to change your opinion of me, so be it. The simple reality is anyone reading the underlying material will see the National Post falsely claimed Andrew Weaver linked specific temperature and weather events to global warming. They will see the National Post has done so in the past, on more than one occasion.

        They just won’t see that in this post. For some reason, this post ignores all that. By doing so, this post misrepresents the reasoning given for the judge’s ruling on what it calls the “fourth important issue” as being far weaker than it actually is.

        • See - owe to Rich
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

          Brandon, I am quite willing to concede that you know more about the case than I do and that Steve’s posting may not support the judge’s ruling as some analysts, such as yourself, would see fit.

          But I am not willing to concede that when the National Post added “[temperature]” and “!” they were doing any harm, or misrepresenting anything whatsoever. It is quite clear to a layperson that the “figures” in the quote referred to temperature of some sort or other, and it is a newspaper’s duty to help its readers by clarifying such matters. The judge appears to have wanted laypersons not to get involved in this point.

          I’ll call it fifteen-all. And at least my estimation of you has gone up a little 🙂 and as you imply, interpersonal estimations shouldn’t really come into it so I apologize for that earlier remark.

          Rich.

        • MikeN
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

          It doesn’t ignore that, but I agree readers will not grasp the correct context from the post.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

      Ed Snack, I’m not sure why you’ve ignored the addition of the exclamation mark for some reason. Regardless, the issue doesn’t hinge upon that. Using ellipses or bracketed words to modify a quotation can be appropriate, but it is still modifying the quotation. Whether or not the modification of a quotation is appropriate does not determine whether or not a modification happened. As for your claim:

      Weaver WAS talking about temperature; whether it was annual or specific is not germane.

      This is simply false. I get this post portrays the issue as unimportant, but it only manages to do so by stripping context from both the quote by the National Post and the judge’s ruling on it. Had it not done so, it would be clear what, specifically, Andrew Weaver was discussing was germane. I explained the details of this in a comment earlier on this topic. Thus far, nobody has chimed in to say, “Yeah, you know, misrepresenting the judge’s stated reasons to downplay the case for the lawsuit is bad.”

      I think you need to examine your prejudices. Weaver was weaselling as som many of his ilk do; he lets others make the more disreputable state,nets and just rides along with the general impression created without having to make the more inflammatory comments directly.

      I could say the exact same thing in response to everyone here, including Steve McIntyre. I don’t see a point. Not only is personalizing disagreements bad form, it is practically impossible to distinguish correct personalizations from false ones. That means it just adds noise.

      However, since you brought it up, I’m curious what bias you think I’m exhibiting. A month ago I couldn’t have told you who Andrew Weaver was. I probably couldn’t have told you anything about the National Post other than, “It’s a paper.” Where is my bias supposedly coming from?

      • Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

        “I’m not sure why you’ve ignored the addition of the exclamation mark for some reason.”

        In my opinion, this mark does not materially change the quote – if the quote was “…whisper…” rather than “…scream…”, then one could argue it makes a difference.

    • MikeN
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

      See above where some context was provided. It is not the insertion of [temperature] that makes it a misquote, but the way in which the quote was used.

  11. Ed Snack
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 2:49 AM | Permalink

    No edit function, so auto-correct apologies for som [so] and state,nets [statements]. See what I did there Brandon ?

  12. Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    There was no “Climate Audit site of the article”

    Presumably the post referred to is this one
    https://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/weaver-solves-climategate/

    which although it was not Climate Audit’s finest hour (as hinted at by one PaulM and AdderW) is obviously intended as a joke/satire.

    • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

      But that post does not constitute republication, as implied by paragraph [260] of the ruling. I think that Steve has a defamation case against Burke (based on her own logic).

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

        I am baffled at the idea the judge’s statement could be defamatory. Saying something was republished at Climate Audit doesn’t impugn Climate Audit in any way.

        Speaking of which, it is worth pointing out this post’s response to [259] is weird. [259] clearly refers to the quote it provides as being from the publication Heatwave. It even gives the piece’s publication date. Despite that, this post says:

        There was no “Climate Audit site of the article” nor was the above reader comment ever made here. Nor would the posting of the above comment comply with CA policies. Unsurprisingly, the above false comment was immediately republished by John Mashey at William Connolley’s. It’s annoying to be incidentally defamed by false comments by a judge.

        But the judge’s ruling did not claim that comment was published at Climate Audit. Other people may have misrepresented her claim in that way (I haven’t seen what John Mashey said), but her judgment makes it clear the quote comes from Heatwave, not Climate Audit.

        • Matt Skaggs
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

          I was not able to decipher the comment about CA in the ruling, and I share Brandon’s skepticism about Steve’s interpretation. Brandon wrote:

          “But the judge’s ruling did not claim that comment was published at Climate Audit.”

          What do you think the judge’s ruling did mean?

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

          Matt Skaggs, I have no problem understanding [259]. The judge clearly cited the source of the quotation she provided. That line has nothing to do with Climate Audit. [260] is a different matter. The judge was trying to prove republication as per the standards cited in [249]. Reader comments can be part of the proof of such republication as merely copying material isn’t inherently republishing it. Republication, like the original publication, requires the material be transmitted to a third party. Reader comments can show a third party was exposed to the material.

          But I’m not sure why the judge would cite comments at Climate Audit if she wasn’t trying to say the article was republished at Climate Audit. I guess defamatory material could have been republished here even if the full article wasn’t (such as by quoting an excerpt), but I’m not sure even that happened. And even if it did, it seems a far weaker example than many she could have given.

          I don’t know. I’m not sure there’s a good way to interpret [260]. I just think it’s clear [259] is not referring to Climate Audit in any way.

        • Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

          Brandon, this is kind of my point (“Based on her own logic”)! On her logic, a fact that is under dispute (whether Weaver said the fossil fuel thing) counts as libel. And based on her own logic, any perceived ‘innuendo’ counts as defamation.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

          Paul Matthews, that isn’t a remotely accurate statement. The judge’s ruling in no way indicates “a fact that is under dispute… counts as libel.” NNor does her logic indicate “any perceived ‘innuendo’ counts as defamation.”

          Even if you think the judge’s ruling is wrong, there is no reason to exaggerate things so greatly.

    • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

      … and there is this one
      https://climateaudit.org/2009/12/09/8155/
      which clearly sources the fossil fuel statement to the Megan O’Toole “Attempted breaches…” piece.

      • Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

        OK, the Writ of Summons document posted above by Hilary confirms that it is those two CA articles that they claim constitute republication. There is one link in a comment to the Weaver’s web article. That’s an imaginative redefinition of the word ‘republication’.

  13. Bill_W
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    I can see no problems whatsoever with allowing imprecise statements to be called libel. It will have no chilling effects at all on free speech. And there will not be a huge increase in libel suits just because of this. This will in no way be implemented right and left by everyone on the right and left against any comments that conflict with their political ideology. /sarc 🙂

  14. Miller
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Polar vortexes will produce even more monstrous snow storms in the U.S. this winter.
    With this occasion, many people who say that the CO2 emissions are not related to the climate change will say that, wow, we have snow so where are the environmentalists who said that the global warming is produced by us.

    http://www.alternative-energies.net/are-you-prepared-for-the-monstrous-snow-storm/

    The problem is that nature is not interested in our talks and goes ahead with its own ways which usually do not coincide with ours.

  15. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    bobdenton claims that relying in your commentary on quotes in other articles which turn out to be not valid puts you at risk, but this seems a dangerous precedent–why aren’t the original articles with the bad quotes the ones to be sued? And anyone who has been interviewed by the press knows they are likely to be misquoted. This cuts at the whole foundation of interlocking news.
    Furthermore, if james Hansen says coal trains are “death cars” I think I am justified in making some inferences about his beliefs.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      I don’t know what the rules are in Canada, but in the United States, courts have it does not make you liable for defamation if you had no reason to doubt the validity of the source.

      As for the original articles, in this case, weren’t they also published by the National Post? If so, I don’t think the issue is relevant.

      • bobdenton
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

        “ I don’t know what the rules are in Canada, but in the United States, courts have it does not make you liable for defamation if you had no reason to doubt the validity of the source.”

        In Canada, that would’ve required the Defendants to plead a defence of Responsible Communication. For whatever reason, they did not run this defence.

  16. PhilH
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    I have to say, after reading as carefully as I could, all the above, I find it difficult indeed to understand why these “nuanced” differences in what the judge wrote and what was actually printed in the articles amount to anything more than harmless restatements by the authors and are most certainly insufficient for a finding of defamation. If this ruling is upheld, I would certainly not want to be a journalist in Canada, where the roads will be paved with eggshells.

    I am with Steve on this.

    Phil

  17. clays
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Brandon,

    By my count, according to your own language, you have been “baffled” twice, “confused” three times and “not sure” twice. I am not sure why you are using such a sophomoric debating tactic; it is quite baffling and frankly confuses me. If you disagree with something, you would be better served but just stating it.

    You seem to be a stickler for accuracy in others, so it would behoove you to admit your error in claiming that the quote was modified. As has been explained to you multiple times, adding words in square brackets is standard journalistic practice and no-one with any experience in journalism would claim this as a modification of the quote.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

      clays, you may feel that is “a sophomoric debating tactic,” but I am not using it as a tactic. I am simply expressing my genuine feelings regarding what I read. This is no worse than any of a dozen examples I could point to on this page, including a couple in the main post. As for issues of accuracy, you say:

      You seem to be a stickler for accuracy in others, so it would behoove you to admit your error in claiming that the quote was modified. As has been explained to you multiple times, adding words in square brackets is standard journalistic practice and no-one with any experience in journalism would claim this as a modification of the quote.

      This is simply not true. I have been given guidelines on when it is okay to change a quotation, and what kinds of changes can be made. That one can legitimately modify a quote does not change modifications into non-modifications. If the quote is not the same in both cases, it has been changed. Whether or not that change is acceptable is a separate issue from whether or not the change exists.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

        It’s a good thing that you can express your feelings, Brandon. Don’t change your stubbornly abrasive style for anyone. No matter how lonely it gets.

      • JohnC
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

        Brandon, I too am puzzled by your seemingly obtuse refusal to accept the argument that the “quote” in question was not (to any reasonable person) altered, and is certainly not a case of having “changed the quote for his own purposes”.

        Is it the word ‘modified’?

        The quote was modified in two respects. The word temperature was inserted in [brackets]. To my eye, this is a standard indication that the quote, which does not contain the word temperature, let alone a discussion of what kind of temperature, is referring to numbers related to temperature as opposed to CO2, Hurricane frequency, or winning at Lotto. It may well not be the standard you are used to, but it is nonetheless a frequent technique to allow a reader to understand the quotation.

        The second modification was the insertion of an exclamation point rather than the original period. When I read your comments regarding this change, my immediate impression was you had a fairly smoking gun showing how the quote was altered in a significant manner. However, a re-read shows the quoted segment has the words “screaming out at you” immediately before the ” ‘This is global warming,’ ” Stylistically, that last punctuation should have been the exclamation point that it was changed to. I can’t say if the change was an intentional correction or merely reflexive, but once you describe a sentence as “screaming,” the sentence should have some superlative applied. Perhaps even more than one ?!!!? In fact, the comma apostrophe/single quote that follows looks amazingly like an exclamation point, which would argue for the reflexive interpretation.

        Besides all which, modifying (not just by applying additional text) can be done by presentation and framing outside the quotation marks as well (see ‘screaming’ above). All this is fair game if the quote is unaltered (By which, of course, I mean not changed in a way that alters its meaning, connotation & denotation. The quote is altered just by color of paper, choice of font, indentation, etc ad infinitum.).

        This quote may be in or out of context, but it has not been changed for the author’s own purpose save in that the author took pains that the reader understand the quoted sentence as it should be understood.

        In that broader context, I must allow that I do not see how the use to which the quote was put violates the meaning even in a wider context. As our host points out, a annual average global surface temperature is an event in the context of climate (one of 17 or 30 or 60 or more to make a set to start examining for trends and changes). Not a very good choice for working with, but something. (sort of like FICO scores in real estate)

        Oh yes, about grants. Yes the money is typically funneled through the University. You can think of the school as a Mafia run bank. You have to use them, they charge a 50% deposit fee, and they drag out actual payments as long as possible (we have vendors which refuse to accept Purchase Orders, since they need money this year not next). On the other hand, it is the PI (more specifically, the PI’s funding request) that determines where the money goes. For any one on soft money, no grant = no pay.

        Sorry about the ramble, but for such a smart guy something seems off. Did you get up on the grumpy side of the bed?

        Ciao

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

          JohnC:

          Brandon, I too am puzzled by your seemingly obtuse refusal to accept the argument that the “quote” in question was not (to any reasonable person) altered, and is certainly not a case of having “changed the quote for his own purposes”.

          I haven’t refused to accept that argument. The argument I’ve taken issue with is the claim that the change was unimportant, therefore there was no change. One can accept the quote was changed without thinking that change was important. Personally, I think the false context given to the quote is quite important. I think it is wrong this post completely ignores that, especially as the judge gave the false context more attention than the change to the quote.

          I think the change to the quote, absent the false context, would be unimportant. Clarifying the numbers in question are temperature wouldn’t cause a false impression without the specific link to temperature events.

          In that broader context, I must allow that I do not see how the use to which the quote was put violates the meaning even in a wider context. As our host points out, a annual average global surface temperature is an event in the context of climate (one of 17 or 30 or 60 or more to make a set to start examining for trends and changes). Not a very good choice for working with, but something. (sort of like FICO scores in real estate)

          I don’t think it’s reasonable to claim people would interpret “weather and temperature events” as referring to temperatures of multiple years. I certainly can’t see interpreting the phrase that way given it was preceded by the word “current.” Why would anyone interpret “current weather and temperature events” as something so broad as the temperatures for an entire year? I wouldn’t.

          On the issue of grants, I have no problem with your description. I just think what you describe would make it clear the the grants “do not remunerate Dr. Weaver directly.”

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

          “Brandon, I too am puzzled by your seemingly obtuse refusal to accept the argument ”

          obtuse is a good word

      • MikeN
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

        Brandon by arguing it is a change to the quote, you are causing people to focus on that rather than your main point, and just leaving them ignorant of the issue.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

          MikeN, I agree. I don’t want to argue over such a stupid point. Unfortunately, people keep insisting the quote wasn’t changed. I can’t see how to discuss the more complicated issue of how the quote’s context was misportrayed if people can’t agree on whether or not something was changed.

          But I do know this is at least partially a character flaw. I’m no good at ignoring minor problems. I just don’t get how people can hope to agree on complex stuff if they can’t agree on simple things.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

      “By my count, according to your own language, you have been “baffled” twice, “confused” three times and “not sure” twice. I am not sure why you are using such a sophomoric debating tactic;”

      its a form of the argument from incredulity.
      it is simple.
      You start by finding a way to misunderstand what people write.
      For example you can over literalize a text, or narrowly define a term
      and render the text confusing. It’s a pervasive style that he has.
      ( see the first page of his Mann book for a really good example)
      Then you make a claim something like
      “this is nonsense” This makes no sense, this is confusing, I’m confused,
      baffled etc.

      No matter how often it is pointed out he doesn’t get it.

      • PhilH
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

        A very perceptive observation and conclusion, IMHO.

        The only thing I would add to your description – based on my own observations and limited interactions (for want of a better word!) – is a very unfortunate tendency to completely disregard the actual context of that on which he proffers and sustains (sadly, far too often, well beyond the realm of reason) his opinions and arguments.

        Although, I am willing to concede that this tendency may be the product, fault and/or deficit that derive(s) from the shallowness far too often acquired via a post-modernist education – as opposed to the immature behaviours so often demonstrated by one who has chosen to embark on a merely self-centred and obnoxious ego-trip.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

          Seriously, people? Even if what you guys said about my rhetorical styles was accurate (and it rarely is), the behavior you exhibit while criticizing me is far worse than anything you claim I do. Why do you engage in such infantile attacks?

          That question is especially poignant given you only do it when you disagree with what I say. When I behave in the same way while saying things you like, you never make similar remarks.

        • Hoi Polloi
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

        • kim
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

          The best cut gem flashes astonishingly, and not constantly.
          ===========

  18. JD Ohio
    Posted Feb 24, 2015 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    The basic point of libel law is to financially compensate someone for damages caused by a false statement — for, instance where someone is falsely accused sexual assault and loses his job. Defamation law is not supposed to penalize people for innacurate statements that have no practical effect. I don’t see the practical harm to Weaver. What I do see is Weaver trying to silence those who disagree with him.

    As I said at Lucia’s,I would like to see the particular harm claimed by Weaver.

    JD

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

      The damage has to be compensated in money, but doesn’t have to be financial. General damages in libel are for having your estimation lowered in the minds of right thinking people and being exposed to hatred, ridicule or contempt. Expressions of hatred, ridicule and contempt directed at the Plaintiff by members of the public in response to the articles are set out in the Statement of Claim. Consequent economic loss has to be quantified and proved, and is compensated separately by an award of special damages.

      Different people can come to different conclusions as to whether the Plaintiff suffered damage to his reputation. The Plaintiff felt he did and the tier of fact agreed.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

        Bob Denton: “Expressions of hatred, ridicule and contempt directed at the Plaintiff by members of the public in response to the articles are set out in the Statement of Claim.” That is what I was looking for; Some tangible evidence of real injury. I will have to check it out.

        JD

        • bobdenton
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 9:21 AM

          “Also, in reference to Bob Denton’s earlier post about “Expressions of hatred, ridicule and contempt directed at the Plaintiff” so far all I see is boilerplate in the statement of claim — nothing specific or tangible.”

          Para 41?

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

          BD “Para 41?”

          All I see is a bunch of nasty comments by nobodies, mostly anonymous, on the Internet. I don’t see that these comments affected Weaver in any way. We don’t know that Weaver even saw these comments. His lawyers could have searched the Internet and looked for the nastiest comments they could find. Typically, in the U.S. if you were proving emotional distress, you would have psychiatric testimony. (This matter is more subtle in defamation cases.)

          JD

        • bobdenton
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio

          “His lawyers could have searched the Internet and looked for the nastiest comments they could find.”

          These comments weren’t pleaded to prove damage to reputation. In view of the nature of the allegations the Plaintiff didn’t need to prove damage. The claim was that by hosting these comments NP republished the defamations contained in the comments. The judge found for the Defendants – that hosting these comments didn’t amount to republication.

          The comments were found by reading what was posted below the published articles. No trawl of the internet was involved.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

      Incidentaly, the tort of Injurious Falsehood was pleaded, but, from the judgement, appears not to have been pursued. That is an economic tort requiring proof of special damage. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t pursued.

    • MikeN
      Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

      So Mr Weaver is claiming that he does not think weather events are caused by global warming?
      I think publicizing this fact might cause him more damage, as he is elected from the Green Party. If I were running the National Post should go through his assembly speeches to make sure his objections in court are in line with his speeches in the legislature.

  19. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    With respect to whether the temperature part was altered, the judge should have clarified it instead of making a declaration or judgement on it. As Steve M indicated the judge is inexperienced.

  20. JD Ohio
    Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Hilary Ostrov has a link to Weaver’s complaint. Assuming what I am quoting is true, I believe the defendants should have corrected the following: “The plaintiff did not/not link the break-ins at his office in 2008 to the “evil fossil fuel industry’s attempt to discredit global warming policy.” This statement in the DefamatoryCorcoran Weaver’s Web II Expression is a fabrication.
    c. The plaintiff did not not/not “publicly blam[e/ the oil industry far the break-in at his office at the university.” This statement in the Defamatory Corcoran Weaver’s Web II Expression is a fabrication.” See page 8 of statement of claim. The judge’s opinion is so dense and places so much emphasis on inference that it is hard to ferret this out. Weaver is making a specific claim of fabrication on the part of the defendants and the right thing to do is correct it. (Particularly under Canada’s libel law)

    Also, in reference to Bob Denton’s earlier post about “Expressions of hatred, ridicule and contempt directed at the Plaintiff” so far all I see is boilerplate in the statement of claim — nothing specific or tangible.

    JD

  21. Rick
    Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    ‘The damage has to be compensated in money, but doesn’t have to be financial’
    Who decided what the amount of monetary damages should be? Mr. Weaver continued to work in his field and continued to appear in the media on the subject of CAGW. His influence didn’t seem to suffer as a result of the articles in question.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      The judge will have decided the award, counsel will have canvassed what amount would be appropriate by reference to comparables. The award should be in-line with awards in other cases where the damage to reputation was similar.

      It’s an inexact computation because damage to reputation, like pain and suffering, don’t map easily onto quantities of money, but the award must be reasonable and in line with awards in similar cases. This award does not compensate for economic loss, simply for damage to reputation.

      By English standards the award was modest.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

        BD “It’s an inexact computation because damage to reputation, like pain and suffering, don’t map easily onto quantities of money, but the award must be reasonable and in line with awards in similar cases. This award does not compensate for economic loss, simply for damage to reputation.”

        Yes, but my question is where did the calculation start and how was it made. The $50,000 figure strikes me, as possibly, simply a wild guess and stab at damages by the judge. Also, I know nothing of Canadian law, but I have never heard of some sort of standardized method of comparing “defamation wrongs” and simply awarding damages on the basis of a comparison to other awards. What I have seen is a starting point where actual damages are calculated and then, sometimes, a multiple of actual damages.

        JD

        JD

        • bobdenton
          Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio.

          Google “Damages in Defamation: 
What is Considered and What is Awarded?” That’ll bring up a useful Law Gazette review of how it’s done in Singapore, which is more or less the same as in the UK, and I suspect, Canada.

          $50,000 is a very round figure, which reflects the imprecision of the calculation; the judge will have aimed to bracket it in correct range.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

        Re: Damages (BDenton) “At the outset, I should state that I agree completely with the Court of Appeal that each libel case is unique and that this particular case is in a “class by itself”. The assessment of damages in a libel case flows from a particular confluence of the following elements: the nature and circumstances of the publication of the libel, the nature and position of the victim of the libel, the possible effects of the libel statement upon the life of the plaintiff, and the actions and motivations of the defendants. It follows that there is little to be gained from a detailed comparison of libel awards.” See Hill v. Scientology http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1285/index.do

        JD

        • bobdenton
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

          Hill v Scientology was an appeal against an award by a jury. Weaver was awarded damages by a judge sitting alone.

          The list of factors taken to be taken into account whether trial is by jury or judge alone, is the same, and reasonably consistent across jurisdictions. Differences arise in what information may be provided to a jury to help it arrive at an award. Should they be provided with information about awards in other cases? Should they be given information about range? More controversially, should they be asked to consider awards in personal injury cases? Who should give this information, the judge only, or judge and counsel?

          In Hill v Scientology the jury has asked for information about range, but the Judge, with agreement of counsel, ruled that no further information could be provided, and this was upheld as the proper approach on appeal. The Supreme Court (second tier appeal) also ruled that on appeal an award of damages would only be interfered with if it “..shocked the conscience..” That’s probably the highest bar in any common law jurisdiction outside the US.

          In a sense, in Canada juries are required to pick figures out of the air.

          However, Weaver’s action was heard by a judge sitting alone and it was the judge who assessed general damages. A judge is a professional lawyer. If you want insight into how she would approach the assessment of damages ask yourself, “What would I do if a client walked into my office, showed me a defamatory passage in a local newspaper, and asked, “What’s it worth?””

          I speculate, but I imagine you would review recent awards, look for libels of somewhat similar gravity and effect, review the outcomes of recent appeals against awards and arrive at a range within which you would expect an unchallengeable award to lie. I expect that is what the judge also did. Whether Canadian practice allows this exercise to be conducted with the assistance of counsel I don’t know; I suspect not.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

          BD “In a sense, in Canada juries are required to pick figures out of the air.” I would agree that this is about 85% true. However, you have to start somewhere with meaningful damage to your psyche or reputation. And, I don’t see that so far.

          ****
          “However, Weaver’s action was heard by a judge sitting alone and it was the judge who assessed general damages. A judge is a professional lawyer. If you want insight into how she would approach the assessment of damages ask yourself, “What would I do if a client walked into my office, showed me a defamatory passage in a local newspaper, and asked, “What’s it worth?”

          The fact that someone is a lawyer and that judges are lawyers does not impress me at all. I have seen many instances of incompetent lawyering and judicial decisionmaking. You need only look at the Mann case, where both of the trial judges did a poor job. I personally think that the damages awarded are too high, but I do think they are within reason under Canadian law. On the other hand, the judge’s opinion was poorly written and some of the inferences she made were really obtuse.

          JD

  22. JD Ohio
    Posted Feb 25, 2015 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    Canadian Law Generally An important case was Hill v. Scientology that some may wish to read. A sidelight is that it quotes a judge McIntyre, who I expect is related to Steve. See http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1285/index.do

    Also, Wikipedia states: “In a 2006 commentary comparing Canadian laws with US and Commonwealth laws at that time, the situation was described thus:

    For all the lofty quotes about free speech in Canadian jurisprudence, the reality is that our libel laws are the least protective of free speech in the English-speaking world.

    Libel law developed in an ancient era which we would today consider backward, tyrannical and repressive. It is rooted in 16th and 17th century criminal statutes protecting nobility from criticism. Cases of political libel and eventually damages actions were handled by the infamous Star Chamber until its abolition in 1641. By the end of that century, many elements of the common law of libel we would recognize today had been established. In Law of Defamation in Canada, Professor Brown notes that the common law of defamation has been described by scholars and judges as “artificial and archaic” and characterized by “absurdities”, “irrationality”, and “minute and barren distinctions” (pp. 1–3).

    While social values and legal concepts have evolved dramatically of the past 200 years, the common law of libel in Canada remains startlingly unchanged.[10]

    Accordingly, most pre-2006 commentary on defenses and tactics remains valid, although the more recent case law and constantly changing standards require defamation lawyers (on both sides) to study almost every recent case.”

    ****

    2006-2011 saw significant developments in Canadian jurisprudence, with many important issues being clarified and the law changing generally in the direction of that occurring in the US and elsewhere in the Commonwealth:

    In Crookes v. Newton,[11] the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated its own opinions in these recent cases, citing the application of fair comment[12] and of responsible communication on matters of public interest.[13]
    In Grant v. Torstar, the Court, quoting Jameel & Ors v. Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl,[14] made the latter defence available “to anyone who publishes material of public interest in any medium”.[15] Moreover, it defined the concept of “public interest” expansively:

    Public interest is not confined to publications on government and political matters, as it is in Australia and New Zealand. Nor is it necessary that the plaintiff be a “public figure”, as in the American jurisprudence since Sullivan. Both qualifications cast the public interest too narrowly. The public has a genuine stake in knowing about many matters, ranging from science and the arts to the environment, religion, and morality. The democratic interest in such wide-ranging public debate must be reflected in the jurisprudence.[16]

    Most commentators took this as a sign that the Supreme Court would continue to expand latitude for political and public affairs comment, and that judges were encouraged to interpret common law defenses and process abuse broadly enough to ensure that comment on public interest matters was not inhibited unduly by looming lawsuits. However, these more recent developments did not specifically exempt all provably true factual statements from liability, nor did they exempt forums or figures on the basis of public activities. Canadian law is still generally the most “plaintiff-friendly” libel law in the English-speaking world.”

    JD

    • AJ
      Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

      Steve has mentioned his Grandfather McRuer being a prominent lawyer at least a couple of times. Maybe he has another lawyerly relative?

      https://climateaudit.org/?s=McRuer

      Steve: judge McIntyre is no relation. My grandfather McIntyre was a surgeon.

  23. Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Someone asked about Mark Steyn.

    In http://www.steynonline.com/6826/fake-nobel-laureate-facing-sex-arrest-for he provides a tidbit about his case with Mann.
    The article is his usual [cleverness] in title and wording, comes across as inferring much about Pachauri.

    As for any comment on the NPWeaver case, Steyn would be wise to study it and write carefully – Mr. McIntyre has of course given him a great start on such study.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Keith. I’m running out of touch with much of the climatosphere; that’s a timely and typically witty update.

  24. EdeF
    Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Have been reading the National Post for years on-line. Haven’t spotted anything
    even close to libelous. Just good reporting and solid commentary.

  25. MikeN
    Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Any updates on Mann vs Ball?

  26. Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    I am seeing a lot of contumely on this thread but not much light. As far as I can tell, Brandon is talking about perceived inaccuracies in Steve’s account of this case. However these inaccuracies do not seem to matter. What counts is how the verdict of libel was reached. And it is not at all clear. The inaccuracies and mistakes that Brandon has spotted do not appear to me to be defamatory. Brandon seems to be obsessed with errors rather than defamation, which is saying or writing something that will destroy your reputation. The usual causes in England tend to relate to accusing someone of having a sexually transmitted disease, or being illegitimate, or having committed a crime. With appropriate cultural adjustments, I suspect the same is true in Canada and the USA.

    The judge has not clarified the libel. An error in a newspaper can be cleared up by an apology printed in the newspaper. For all Brandon’s typing, where is the libel?

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

      man in a barrel, I’m afraid you may have misunderstood the purpose of my comment. I haven’t tried to demonstrate the judge’s ruling was correct. I am merely expressing my shock at the poor quality of the arguments being used to say the judge’s ruling was incorrect. Whether or not the judge’s ruling was correct can not be determined by discussions which misrepresent the ruling to significant extents. I’d be willing to discuss whether or not the ruling was correct, but I feel it’s pointless to try so long as people misrepresent the reasons for the ruling.

      Incidentally, you’re wrong to say:

      Brandon seems to be obsessed with errors rather than defamation, which is saying or writing something that will destroy your reputation.

      Defamation does not need to destroy a person’s reputation to be defamation. Defamation covers any false statement which harms a person’s reputation. How much harm it is only matters for determining whether or not there is an actionable case, and if so, what can be awarded in it.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Feb 26, 2015 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      I said that it was my intention to survey the main issues in detail in separate threads. I therefore don’t think that it’s fair to complain that my quick overview was incomplete or that it left out salient facts. The facts in question are considerable and obviously some – probably most – are left out in an overview. Otherwise the post would have been about 50 pages long. Some of the commentary has tried to begin commentary before the facts are surveyed rather than accepting an overview as an overview.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

        Beautifully clear – and conciliatory.

      • Paul Courtney
        Posted Feb 28, 2015 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

        I understood Brandon’s point to be, leaving out part of the decision changes the context, the court’s decision is saying something more than a harmless addition of [temperature] to the quote (nevermind the !). If Brandon is correct, the court found Weaver did not say current weather is evidence of AGW, and NP falsely reported he did. Is it true Weaver has not made such claims? That would sure separate him from the warming crowd, this talk is ubiquitous with them (snow in Boston=AGW; you can see global warming out your window; CA drought=AGW; etc.). In the quote itself, Weaver is saying “numbers” from a single year “screaming out… this is global warming” Whether the “numbers” are global average or temperature or whatever, they were recent numbers at the time of the statement, seems to me the NP got it fairly right. As an overview or quick read, I can agree with Brandon’s point and still firmly conclude, if a newspaper can’t make this implication without risking a defamation claim, you don’t have a free press. If courts fail to see this and fail to dismiss at the pleading stage (never mind granting judgment to Plaintiff), then free speech and press are harmed more than Mr. Weaver could ever be by mere words. As to harm to Mr. Weaver (sarc/ on), I’ll grant this-if NP reports an eyelash of difference between CAGW orthodoxy and Weaver, he’s risking a trip to the Pielke Re-Education Camp. Sarc/ off.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Feb 28, 2015 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

          Paul Courtney, it’s actually not clear what numbers Weaver was referring to. By the way the quote was originally framed, I’d interpret as referring to a variety of numbers, including temperatures of a number of past years. I’m not sure if that framing was accurate or not though.

          And sure, a person could mistake what Weaver’s position is. If this were a single case in a vaccuum, I would never support a libel case based upon it. However, it wasn’t. The National Post has made the same false claim a number of times in the past, with Weaver correctig them on multiple occasions. At the point a paper keeps posting the same falsehood, even when it’s been shown to them to be false, I think a case for legal action becomes far stronger.

          This is especially true since anyone researching Weaver’s views on global warming can quickly find he doesn’t believe we can link specific weather events to global warming. The judge’s ruling cites a number of examples of him saying exactly that, even in a published book (I’m on my phone so I can’t provide quotes at the moment).

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Feb 28, 2015 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

        Steve, I would be fine if details were left out, but that is not the case here. The National Post repeatedly, and falsely, claimed Andrew Weaver links specific weather events with global warming. The judge ruled this latest case was wrong. In doing so, she pointed out the National Post changed a quote from Weaver.

        Whether or not one feels that change was acceptable, the National Post still falsely claimed Weaver linked specific weather events with global warming. It did this by giving the quote in question false context.

        Focusing on the extent of the change of the quote while completely ignoring the false context given to the quote is highly misleading. It makes it appear the judge’s argument on this point is based solely upon the change to the quote, something which is simply untrue.

        Part of what made me pick this example of why I find discussions of this ruling unconvinving is the judge’s ruling spent a significant amount of ink on this issue, only a small fraction of which was devoted to whether or not the quote was changed. In effect, this post has ignored a major issue and instead portrayed a minor issue as the only issue (on this one point, of course).

        • Paul Courtney
          Posted Mar 1, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

          Brandon: Doesn’t seem all that vague to me, but if so, all the more reason for NP to add [temperature] to clarify what Weaver left vague. If vague, it can be read to say “[something related to temp. data] is screaming global warming”, contradicting his many other denials you point to (no need for cites-I don’t doubt Weaver made these denials), the quoted statement indicates he is at least talking out of both sides of his mouth. You may not agree, but newspapers should be free to make the point that his denials are not credible when his other statements can be read to contradict the denials. You can argue that temp. “numbers” not = “weather event”, but there’s a history of AGW folks using such terms interchangeably one day and drawing distinctions on another. As for the “small fraction”, the judge was at best inarticulate on this point (much worse than that on others), and Steve’s quick read is not unreasonable (though I concede you also have a point). So your point is the court’s decision may be more defensible than Steve presents (though he did link to the full decision for you, no?). My point (and I daresay Steve’s) is that letting such activist lawsuits get to second base (nevermind a trial) undermines fundamental rights necessary to a free society. Care to address that?

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 1, 2015 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

          Paul Courtney:

          Brandon: Doesn’t seem all that vague to me, but if so, all the more reason for NP to add [temperature] to clarify what Weaver left vague. If vague, it can be read to say “[something related to temp. data] is screaming global warming”, contradicting his many other denials you point to (no need for cites-I don’t doubt Weaver made these denials), the quoted statement indicates he is at least talking out of both sides of his mouth.

          Sorry, but no. I’m done with this. Andrew Weaver hasn’t just denied making the argument attributed to him like you portray. He has explicitly made the exact opposite argument, on many occasions. You claim he is “talking out of both sides of his mouth” based solely upon a single quote which, at worst, could be interpreted as saying a single year’s temperatures are attributable to global warming (but more likely referred to a trend of temperatures across many years). You then say:

          You may not agree, but newspapers should be free to make the point that his denials are not credible when his other statements can be read to contradict the denials.

          The National Post did not make this point, probably because it is a point there is absolutely no basis for.

          So your point is the court’s decision may be more defensible than Steve presents (though he did link to the full decision for you, no?). My point (and I daresay Steve’s) is that letting such activist lawsuits get to second base (nevermind a trial) undermines fundamental rights necessary to a free society. Care to address that?

          Not with people who continue to misrepresent the case in significant ways and even make things up about the underlying facts. I don’t find the case interesting enough to deal with that sort of nonsense. So long as that continues, I’m just going to walk away from it all in disgust.

  27. mpainter
    Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    “It is deranged to say that Corcoran’s insertion of the explanatory “[temperature]” means that “he changed the quote for his own purposes”.
    ###
    I agree. It is erroneous even to find that Corcoran “changed the quote” since the “[temperature]” per convention is excluded from the quote. The judge invented her own stylistic convention in this ruling, a convention contrary to all manuals of style. Another incompetent judge.

  28. PhilH
    Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    “Seriously, people? Even if what you guys said about my rhetorical styles was accurate (and it rarely is), the behavior you exhibit while criticizing me is far worse than anything you claim I do. Why do you engage in such infantile attacks?”

    Sorry Brandon; I had not realized before that you were so tender. Maybe Mosher pricked you a little. Well, you know Mosh. Join the line, and man up.

    Phil

  29. Steven Mosher
    Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I will notice one interesting thing.. stylistic this time.
    make of it what you will.

    recall the meme of “say my name”

    “this post says:”
    I get this post portrays the issue as unimportant.

    it’s an interesting quirk that I’ve not seen before in particular writer’s styles.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 1, 2015 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

      no sooner mentioned than changed.

      Now note the difference between using full names, first names only, and last names only.

  30. Betapug
    Posted Feb 27, 2015 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Not necessary to deny being a lawyer, Steve. You are much too straight thinking and open to qualify.

  31. MikeN
    Posted Mar 2, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    >The fact that Weaver keeps his lawyer on speed-dial has created a libel chill among the professor’s detractors, making it difficult to round up critics.

    http://www.bcbusiness.ca/people/andrew-weaver-climate-crusader

  32. MikeN
    Posted Mar 2, 2015 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    https://carolcrenna.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/is-climate-change-dead-nobel-peace-prize-winner-dr-andrew-weaver/

    If we maintain greenhouse gas levels at today’s values, in the next few decades the Himalayan, Andes and British Columbia glaciers will be ice-free in summer — affecting millions of humans who depend on them for water.

    • Posted Mar 2, 2015 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

      Wow…in 2013 Weaver said that the Himalayan glaciers will be ice-free in summer in a few decades! It would be one thing if he said that before 2010, but there’s no excuse in 2013.

      Later on, “It’s about the survival of our civilization as we know it. … [H]umans have flourished with little to no fluctuation in climate.” Is he suggesting that humans developed after the LGM?

  33. MikeN
    Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    http://www.examiner.com/article/hurricane-ida-warmer-oceans-could-mean-longer-hurricane-seasons

    “This warm water we’re seeing won’t just disappear next year; it’ll be around for a long time,” said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

    Georgia Institute of Technology atmospheric science professor Judith Curry says the warming oceans “will add extra juice to the hurricanes.” This is because hurricanes draw their power from warm, humid air that is found only over warm oceans.

  34. MikeN
    Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    2012
    Still, they say it’s unfair to blame climate change for Sandy and the destruction it left behind. They cautioned that they cannot yet conclusively link a single storm to global warming, and any connection is not as clear and simple as environmental activists might contend.

    “The ingredients of this storm seem a little bit cooked by climate change, but the overall storm is difficult to attribute to global warming,” Canada’s University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver said.

  35. MikeN
    Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    ‘The results indicate that local sea surface warming was responsible for about 40 per cent of the increase in hurricane activity between 1996 and 2005, climatologists Mark Saunders and Adam Lea of the University College London report.

    The work is “bold” and important, says climatologist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria and chief editor of the Journal of Climate. But he says it is not about to resolve the “highly charged” issue of how much rising temperatures are affecting hurricanes.’
    http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=94c9d26a-ba42-45cb-8dbe-f95a7e3db94a

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

      Check the new issue of National Geographic. They discuss “attack on science”, but supply no real information. A bit of gossip from the Washington Post. One of the things they said is that “sea level rise due to warming” resulted in the large amount of damage. Time to end my subscription.

    • hunter
      Posted Mar 4, 2015 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

      What was responsible for the decrease in activity since then?

  36. MikeN
    Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    This trend will lead to the increased occurrence of extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, the floods in Calgary and the flashfloods in Boulder, Colo. This rapid rate of change will stress the infrastructure we depend on in our communities and our cities and lead to the widespread extinction of species around the world. And so, I believe, we must take action.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/now-that-climate-change-is-beyond-doubt-lets-focus-on-solving-it/article14588647/

  37. hunter
    Posted Mar 4, 2015 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    I would be pleased to contribute towards an appeals fund. This case is bad for anyone on any side who cares about a civil society and free speech.

  38. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Mar 10, 2015 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    I just realized I missed a couple responses by our host earlier. Threaded comment streams can be a pain, especially when responses are out of order or inline. If I’ve not responded to something, it’s not because I’m ignoring it. It’s because I didn’t notice it.

    I’ll try to respond to a couple things I noticed I missed in a bit.

  39. Odd Man Out
    Posted Mar 10, 2015 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    The Post has filed notice of appeal.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/10/national-post-appeals-defamation-ruling-in-favour-of-climate-scientist/

    • Posted Mar 11, 2015 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

      “The case raises some important issues and we respectfully believe the judge fell into error,” said Anne Marie Owens, Editor of the Post.

      We need to work on that “respectfully believe” on places like CA. 🙂

  40. Posted Mar 13, 2015 at 2:55 AM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog.

  41. talldave2
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    So much for free inquiry and free debate.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] of whatevers, readers might find it more helpful to use a pdf version thanks to RomanM via his comment on Steve McIntyre’s post (the first of several he has […]

  2. By How to Downplay an Argument | Izuru on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    […] the false context given to the quote; 2) the changes to the quote. This is how a Climate Audit post attempted to do […]

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