Weaver: “I do not lobby for more climate funding”

J Burke’s decision contains a chronology of prior interactions between Weaver and National Post, much of which, when closely examined, is highly misleading. In today’s post, I’m going to discuss one small but interesting issue: Weaver’s claim that he “did not lobby for climate funding”. J Burke referred to this when she said that Weaver “sought to correct a number of factual errors” in an earlier article by Corcoran. J Burke did not mention that National Post had published a rebuttal contesting Weaver’s claim. In today’s post, I’ll review the sides of the dispute. I plan to get to more central issues in the case, but wish to first clear up some smaller issues (in part to avoid accusations of ignoring them.)

The National Post Article, Aug 23, 2006
Corcoran’s opinion column of August 23, 2006 was largely responding to a Globe and Mail article by Charles Montgomery on August 12, 2006, which prominently featured critical comments about Tim Ball by Andrew Weaver.

“What Ball is doing is not about science,” Prof. Weaver says. “It is about politics.”

Corcoran’s column began with an examination of Montgomery’s link to David Suzuki and his associates, later quoting Weaver’s above comment about Ball:

Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, and a lead author of a chapter in the upcoming IPCC report, gives a frustrated sigh at the mention of Tim Ball’s cross-country tour. […comments about Ball] “What Ball is doing is not about science,” Prof. Weaver says. “It is about politics.”

Corcoran then made the following comments about Weaver. He also included a comment about the hockey stick, which I will discuss separately) and more comments about Ball, but these are the ones that prompted Weaver to write a letter of complaint:

When it comes to politics and climate science, few beat Andrew Weaver as a player. His agency, a division of Environment Canada, builds climate models and has more riding on the business of climate change than perhaps any other science group in Canada. Among Mr. Weaver’s notorious political statements is the following: “God help Canada if the Conservatives get in,” he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding. If that’s not politics, what is? These days, apparently, federal civil servants — which is what Mr. Weaver is — apparently have absolute freedom to wage partisan politics.

Weaver and the Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Before discussing the dispute further, let me comment briefly on the complicated institutional structure of climate modeling at the University of Victoria.

Unusually, a federal agency for climate modeling (the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis – CCCma) is located on the campus of the University of Victoria. The center is a division of the Climate Research Branch of Environment Canada, a department of the Canadian government. Its employees are federal civil servants, though some/many of itseaver employees have cross-appointments to the University of Victoria.

Although Weaver works intimately with the center and is a coauthor of papers describing the CCCma climate model e.g.here, Weaver is/was a professor of climate modeling at the University of Victoria (as clearly stated in Corcoran’s article which described Weaver as the “Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria”.) I do not know how the CCCma ended up at the University of Victoria: it seems possible that Weaver might have had something to do with getting this institution at the university (since the 1990s, I think), but I don’t know that.

Corcoran’s opinion column was somewhat wrongfooted on the complicated relationship between Weaver and the Canadian modeling center as the University of Victoria. While Weaver’s professional career has been closely/intimately connected with the CCCma at the University of Victoria, including the privilege of being a coauthor of articles about the CCCma model, Weaver is not a federal employee. Nonetheless, substantively, he has an obvious interest in the CCCma continuing to flourish with federal funding. It would have been easy to cooper up the language in the above paragraph to correctly state that Weaver was a university employee with intimate working relationships with federal employees, colocated on the University of Victoria campus.

Corcoran’s substantive point about the unique dependence of the climate modeling group at the University of Victoria on continued federal funding of climate modeling is surely unarguable. The University of Victoria group – including both Weaver’s group and CCCma – are Canada’s designated entry in the climate modeling world. If it were decided that their model was surplus and no longer worth maintaining, they would be the ones most directly impacted.

Weaver’s Complaint
As was his custom when mentioned by National Post, Weaver promptly wrote a letter of complaint (published at National Post on August 31 here, together with National Post’s rebuttal here). Weaver stated (I have elided, for now, his comments about McIntyre-McKitrick dispute as I plan to review that separately):

I thought I would correct a number of factual errors in Mr. Corcoran’s piece.

1) I am neither a Government of Canada employee nor have I ever been. I am not a civil servant and do not work for a division of Environment Canada. I am a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria.

2) I do not lobby for more climate funding. If you ask anyone who has actually interviewed me, they will say that what I say is: “We don’t need more research money to deal with the issue as to what needs to be done.”

3) I have never been a member of any political party and I have criticized Liberal policy as much as I have criticized Conservative policy. In fact, I have not passed any public judgment on the current administration’s climate policy, as I have publicly stated that I take a wait-and-see position on what this “made in Canada” solution is. I also pointed out how unimpressed I was with Liberal “accounting games” in trying to meet Kyoto targets (buying credits, trying to get credit for forests, etc).

4) [comments about hockey stick]

Note that the third paragraph here cannot reasonably be described as a “factual correction”. In this paragraph, Weaver did not contradict or rebut anything that Corcoran had actually said.(“Among Mr. Weaver’s notorious political statements is the following: “God help Canada if the Conservatives get in,” he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding. If that’s not politics, what is?”) Weaver has the right to try to spin this comment and was given space by National Post to do so, but hat doesn’t make this assertion a “correction” of a “factual error”.

Corcoran’s Response, August 31, 2006
Concurrent with Weaver’s letter, National Post published Corcoran’s detailed response – a fact omitted by J Burke.

Corcoran wrote:

Regarding Andrew Weaver’s letter, surely no one would take literally my comment on his being a “civil servant” at a division of Environment Canada. It was a reference to the tight funding and research links between governments, especially Ottawa, and Mr. Weaver’s university position and research. As a 2001 Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, Mr. Weaver’s office receives $200,000 a year from Ottawa over seven years, for a total of $1.4-million. Other government funding includes hundreds of thousands for numerous climate research projects.

Mr. Weaver’s biggest project, with colleagues, is the development of the Earth System Climate Model with federal help. Also located on the University of Victoria campus is the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, a division of Environment Canada and a collaborator with Mr. Weaver, his group and others who developed one of the world’s most sophisticated climate models. It’s impossible to know exactly how much government money supports the elaborate climate structure around Mr. Weaver and the University of Victoria, but it is certainly in the millions.

“I do not lobby for more government funding of climate research,” Mr. Weaver says. This seems at odds with his role as a signator of a 2004 advocacy paper from a group of government and academic scientists calling for more government funding of, among other things, climate research. “Individual university researchers … lack the resources to produce the elaborate, leading-edge computer models that are at the core of climate change research,” the paper says. It calls for the government to increase funding to university research and for building more government-based research.

The 2004 “advocacy paper” cited by Corcoran was an Open Letter to Canadians and their Elected Representatives”, entitled “Beyond the Breaking Point: why Canada must have a strong government infrastructure to address environmental threats such as climate change, air pollution and severe weather” (pdf), to which Weaver was one of the signatories. Its call for more funding commences as follows:

Atmospheric research is hardly a common topic of conversation among Canadians, but it is nevertheless a matter of vital importance to all of us. It is important because atmospheric research underlies our capacity to provide reliable weather forecasts and climate information as well as our ability to respond to pressing environmental issues. Without continuing research in atmospheric and climate science, our ability to improve weather forecasts and give earlier warnings of tornadoes, blizzards, and other dangerous events is diminished. So too is our capacity to develop policies and programs to minimize the impacts of climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, smog, and other environmental problems.

On its face, Corcoran’s production of Weaver’s signature on the above Open Letter seems inarguable support for his passim reference to “more funding”.

Corcoran was also correct in his surmise that Weaver’s federal funding was “in the millions”. The following year, one of the primary citations, in an award to Weaver by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia, was that Weaver had “attracted” “over $7 million in research funding” to the University of Victoria:

he is one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change. A fact attested to by his armload of academic awards, and the over $7 million in research funding he has attracted to the University of Victoria

Conclusion
J Burke touched on this incident as follows (again, leaving statements about Weaver’s characterization of Mc-Mc for later) as follows, but failed to refer to Corcoran’s rebuttal to Weaver’s claims.

[50] On August 23, 2006, Mr. Corcoran published an article in the National Post entitled “Hockey sticks and hatchets: Inside the Globe’s 4,200-word hatchet job on climate skeptics”. The article made a number of factual assertions about Dr. Weaver…

[51] Dr. Weaver sought to correct a number of factual errors made by Mr. Corcoran in that article. By email, Dr. Weaver noted he is not a Government of Canada employee, does not lobby for more government funding, had never been a member of any political party,…

As noted above, Weaver’s assertion that he had “never been a member of any political party” is not a correction of a “factual error” made by Corcoran, but simply Weaver spinning an anti-Conservative statement that he did not deny. Second, Weaver’s claim that he “does not lobby for more government funding” was disputed by National Post with documentary evidence to the contrary; again it is not evident that it is a “factual error”. Third, Corcoran had incorrectly called Weaver a federal employee, but this was not relevant to their substantive point that the federal climate modeling agency, located with Weaver at the University of Victoria, was completely dependent on continued federal funding for climate modeling, as Corcoran had said.

Ironically, subsequent to the 2006 article, Weaver not only joined the Green Party, but ran for provincial parliament, later becoming deputy leader and has announced plans to run for leader of the B.C. Green Party.


139 Comments

  1. hunter
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    It is amazing that cliamte scientists get to redefine the law as well as the science, and now reality. Is there going to be an appeal against this apparently aberrant ruling?

  2. observa
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    “Ironically, subsequent to the 2006 article, Weaver not only joined the Green Party, but ran for provincial parliament, later becoming deputy leader and has announced plans to run for leader of the B.C. Green Party.”

    As any true, unbiased, computer modelling climatologist in search of the scientific truth naturally would, unlike dogmatic, skeptical scientists in the thrall of Big Oil, the Koch Bros, Conservative Parties, etc, etc.

    • Michael Jankowski
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

      Seems like you missed the relevance here.

    • Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

      So where are these “true, unbiased, computer modelling climatologist in search of the scientific truth” to be found?

  3. DCA
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Maybe OT but:
    From the link above I found one of the model outputs http://www.ec.gc.ca/ccmac-cccma/default.asp?lang=En&n=40D6024E-1 .

    How well have Weaver’s models performed against the measured temperatures?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

      Weaver’s most recent work has been on his EMIC. The Canadian GCM is one of the two hottest in the IPCC inventory and, to that extent, especially contradicted by the hiatus.

      • kim
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

        Pour after! He’s over the top! I don’t mean the weaver of webs.
        ===============

      • DCA
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

        Perhaps because his models have performed so poorly is the reason why he denies lobbying for the funding of them.
        Although I’m not a Canadian, it seems like a waste of tax money to me.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

          As I’ve said elsewhere; these models have much utility. They show that sensitivity is too high, or that heat is being shunted where it can’t hurt us, and may help us some day.
          ===============

      • Beta Blocker
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

        If the Burke decision is used as a precedent for setting a legal standard, could any criticisms of these climate models be construed as defamatory statements against the professionalism of Dr. Weaver’s work as a climate scientist?

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

        I am not certain but I have heard that this model is used by Environment Canada to produce the seasonal forecasts presented in the media, usually by Dave Philips. In my experience these forecast have been warmer and drier than the subsequent reality.

      • Clark
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

        “The Canadian GCM is one of the two hottest in the IPCC inventory and, to that extent, especially contradicted by the hiatus.”

        If I lived in Canada, I’d also dream of, I mean model, warmer weather.

  4. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    He is getting out of modelling in time before verification and going into model parliament

  5. Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    In the tropical troposphere model-observation comparison that Tim Vogelsang and I published last year, looking at the post-1958 radiosonde record, you can clearly see that two models (#2 and #3) have warming trends that consistently lie way up at the hot end of the scale, warming faster than the real world (blue circles) and faster than all the other CMIP3 ensemble members (red circles). Those are the UVic models: CCCMA3.1-T47 and -T63. I guess these days the prizes are given out for how expensive your research is, not for whether your results are correct.

    • Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

      Or for how scary your results are.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

      Colorado NCAR’s (Kevin Trenberth’s) Community Climate System Model 4 (CCSM4) seems to run hot, too. Maybe it’s something about them living in those chilly northern temperate latitudes — inside the Polar Vortex and all — they’re reflexively coding visceral desires for a warmer future.

  6. JD Ohio
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Thanks for your multiple posts on Weaver. His suit provides a perfect illustration as to why Slapp laws are needed and why Canada should consider revamping its defamation laws. From a legal standpoint, the the most striking thing to me is that, apparently, he made no effort to show that any of what the defendants’ published harmed him in any material way. See paras 288 through 291 of the judge’s decision where she discusses damages and there is no mention of any particularized harm to Weaver. http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/15/01/2015BCSC0165.htm (I realize that legally speaking damages are presumed under his allegations, but it is still amazing to me that she would award him $50,000 in damages even though she can’t identify any specific harms that he suffered. In light of the fact that she didn’t refer to specific harms, I strongly suspect that no evidence of specific harm was offered.)

    Second, the consequence of the circumstance that no particularized damages or harm was, in all probability, identified by Weaver is that the suit was not filed to remedy a wrong; rather, it was filed to intimidate critics. In my view this is very wrong on both free speech and scientific grounds.

    JD

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

      For the sake of accuracy, I would slightly amend my previous comment that stated: “there is no mention of any particularized harm to Weaver” the additional phrase *** other than he was, in a way not specifically identified ‘deeply affected.'”

      JD

      Steve: I’ve got a detailed post on the fossil fuel industry responsibility issue in the works. It wasnt as though the National Post opinion columns originated the idea that Weaver thought that the fossil fuel industry was responsible for the break-ins. Such ideas had already spread widely through the green faction blogosphere and Elizabeth May and James Hoggan held them. So it’s hard to see how this particular assertion would have pained Weaver. As far as I can tell, it only became painful to him when the idea was ridiculed – ridicule that was well deserved.

      There is a strand of reasoning in some Canadian libel decisions that is similar to the pre-NYT line of reasoning in the US that you can’t have libel per se in comments about people in their public sphere capacity. Indeed, Weaver’s lawyer successfully argued this in Lund v Black Press Group 2009 in B.C. J Burke purported to distinguish Weaver on the grounds that the inferential meaning of the posts went to character – a huge and unwarranted stretch in my opinion. It would be interesting to closely parse McConchie’s arguments when he was on opposite sides of this issue.

      • Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

        Phew. You just got that in before Brandon.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

          Seriously? Since you guys have decided me pointing out errors in posts, errors you can’t even be bothered to try to challenge, is unacceptable, I’ll go ahead and jump in to point out the obvious problem with this post nobody seems to care about. It’s not like I could be working on the follow-up to my eBook or anything else.

          (I’ll point out the problem in a comment below.)

        • Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

          Joke in fact. But worth adding in passing

          a) I strongly agree with JD’s “Thanks for your multiple posts on Weaver”

          b) I appreciated his attention to detail in refining his original post.

          YMMV on all three.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

          The finest cuts, most brilliant jets,
          Flash facets best when less lens lets.
          ===============

    • ianl8888
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

      … no evidence of specific harm was offered

      … and clearly not needed

  7. betapug
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Weaver, (“arguably the top mathematical paleoclimatologist in the world” as U.Vic. has it) http://www.uvic.ca/science/home/home/news/news/archive/weaver-selected-as-lansdowne-chair–april,-2012.php certainly has the ability to attract research funds.

    DeSmogs Richard Littlemore, in a 2011 article on the “climate crusader”, notes a figure of $35 million in 20 years as well as his outside consulting and business activities, such as The Carbon Solutions, Personal Carbon Offsets tracker. http://www.bcbusiness.ca/people/andrew-weaver-climate-crusader

    After spending a chart topping $110,180 to win election, he “took a huge salary cut to take this job”, his UVic salary and expenses of around $190,000 falling to $20,000 to supplement his MLA’s paltry $101859. http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/andrew-weaver-walks-into-history-as-b-c-s-first-green-party-mla-1.314849

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/public-sector-salaries/external.html?&cbResetParam=1&Agency=University%20of%20Victoria&Name=Weaver,%20Andrew&Version=6

    Greens do get free advertising at UVic for their efforts though. Networking is vital. http://www.climate.uvic.ca/people/weaver/weaver.html

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

      Interesting profile. Weaver has some characteristics that are very similar to me: someone who played competitive sports but was also a top math student. In another world, we might well get along quite well. In my early correspondence, he wasn’t like the CLimategaters. I wish that Weaver had not gotten involved in these libel suits.

    • Jan Christoffersen
      Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

      Back in 2010, I checked out Weaver on Wiki and came across an article that claimed that UVic’s climate research group had received $123 million in funding over the previous decade. That seemed like a lot but UVic got a lot of research funding from the BC government of Gordon Campbell in addition to other generous sources. So I checked it again a couple of weeks later and the article was gone. Was it a plant???

  8. knr
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, or

    snip- please do not make this sort of over-editorializing comment here.

  9. Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    I am somewhat taken aback by the number of factual errors J. Burke committed in her findings. As bad or worse than the Mann/Steyn situation in DC. Many thanks to SM for sorting this through for the NR appeal. Easy to understand why, given Weaver’s previous treatment of MM and CA. Looks like it should bear fruit.
    When handling poisonous snakes, best to know what you are doing and keep a firm grasp just behind the head. As here with the signed 2004 advocacy letter.

    • DCA
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

      IF you mean this above referrenced 2004 letter http://www.meteo.mcgill.ca/lin_group/Lin_publications/Breaking_point_MSC_04May.pdf

      On page six there are 19 names along with Weaver and only 11 of them autographed but no Weaver autograsph. Does that still mean him one of the “signatories”?

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

        DCA, the document lists Andrew Weaver in its Signatories at the end. I’d say that makes it clear. What isn’t clear to me is whether or not the signatories of the letter are signatories for the entire document. I don’t see why that would necessarily be true, but this would be a weirdly structured document if it isn’t.

      • kch
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

        Weaver’s autograph is there, it’s just next to David Wardle’s name. If you look closely, all of the signatures have been shifted to the previous name.

  10. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    I can hear the groans already, but really, did anyone try to verify the National Post’s argument? We’re told it is fine to say Andrew Weaver “lobb[ied] for more climate funding” because he said:

    individual university researchers … lack the resources to produce the elaborate, leading-edge computer models that are at the core of climate change research

    But that’s absurd. Of course “individual university researchers” don’t have the resources needed to make leading-edge comptuer models. That’s why they work in groups and organizations. Well, that and the fact making an entire GCM on one’s own would be an enormous task so working with other people makes sense.

    Nothing about that statement even hints at anyone lobbying for for increased funding. This is abundantly obvious if one reads the paragraph the quote is taken from:

    As a case in point, the substantial contributions that Canada now makes to international research on climate change would not be possible without a government component. Individual university researchers, of course, can and do provide insights into important aspects of climate behaviour, but they lack the resources to produce the elaborate, leading-edge computer models that are at the core of climate change research. These models, which simulate the interaction of the numerous elements that comprise and affect the global climate system, are essential for assessing our current understanding of climate change and identifying further research needs. Their complexity is such that fewer than 20 exist in the world at the present time – and all of them, significantly, are the products of government-affiliated research centres.

    Not only did the National Post simply misrepresent this in an obvious way, nobody here seems to have noticed or cared. We’re what, supposed to believe Weaver was not misrepresented because the people accused of misrepresenting him misrepresented a quote to claim they didn’t misrepresent him?

    Or is it because he signed a document which said:

    Atmospheric research is hardly a common topic of conversation among Canadians, but it is nevertheless a matter of vital importance to all of us. It is important because atmospheric research underlies our capacity to provide reliable weather forecasts and climate information as well as our ability to respond to pressing environmental issues. Without continuing research in atmospheric and climate science, our ability to improve weather forecasts and give earlier warnings of tornadoes, blizzards, and other dangerous events is diminished. So too is our capacity to develop policies and programs to minimize the impacts of climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, smog, and other environmental problems.

    I get this post says that quote seems to provide “inarguable support” for the notion Weaver called for more funding, but why? How does saying something is important translate into lobbying for more funding? Couldn’t the authors feel it is important and already well-funded? Or, couldn’t they maybe just be saying, “Hey, don’t cut our funding”?

    Whether or not Andrew Weaver did in fact lobby for more funding, neither the National Post nor this post has provided a shred of evidence that he did. And even worse, the National Post misrepresented evidence in an obvious way to support their claim. This post makes a point of the fact:

    Concurrent with Weaver’s letter, National Post published Corcoran’s detailed response – a fact omitted by J Burke.

    But maybe the reason the judge omitted this fact is the Post didn’t present it. That would have been a wise decision as the judge would not have looked favorably on them defending themselves against charges of misrepresenting Andrew Weaver by relying upon obvious misrepresentations.

    Steve: Brandon, please. The point did not rest on the statement in the Open Letter that “individual university researchers … lack the resources to produce the elaborate, leading-edge computer models that are at the core of climate change research” but on calls in the open letter for more funding to government research than the government had planned.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

      “Whether or not Andrew Weaver did in fact lobby for more funding, neither the National Post nor this post has provided a shred of evidence that he did.”
      ——————————–
      ” This seems at odds with his role as a signator of a 2004 advocacy paper from a group of government and academic scientists calling for more government funding of, among other things, climate research. “Individual university researchers … lack the resources to produce the elaborate, leading-edge computer models that are at the core of climate change research,” the paper says. It calls for the government to increase funding to university research and for building more government-based research.”

      It is difficult to understand why Brandon says, “not a shred of evidence”

      I see a Stokes type of response here. He signed the letter, didn’t he? And he did not refute it. Or are we now disputing the meaning of the term lobbying?

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

        Gerald Machnee, I demonstrated the quote the National Post provided in no way supports their claim. That they pointed to a document and misrepresented the one part of it they quoted does not constitute providing evidence.

        This point should have been obvious to anyone reading my comment. Despite that, you’ve somehow quoted what I demonstrated to be a misrepresentation, and rather than acknowledge it is a misrepresentation, you’ve asked how it does not count as evidence.

    • gober
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

      Brandon: “How does saying something is important translate into lobbying for more funding? Couldn’t the authors feel it is important and already well-funded? Or, couldn’t they maybe just be saying, “Hey, don’t cut our funding”?”

      Perhaps it’s because those authors also said, later in the same open letter:

      “As members of the Canadian atmospheric science community, we want to be able to deliver a level of expertise that meets the highest world standards. That will only be possible, however, if the federal government provides the stable long-term funding needed to maintain a high quality advanced research organization within MSC.”

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

        I’m not sure you’ve thought this through gober. I asked how one would conclude some text was lobbying for more funding. Specifically, I asked how we know it wasn’t just saying, “Hey, don’t cut our funding.” You answered by providing another quote which calls for “stable long-term funding.”

        Now, I don’t agree a later quote could somehow force the first quote to mean what it was claimed to mean. Even if the document makes the argument it is said to have made, the quote provided does not. That said, I don’t see why you think calling for “stable” funding is lobbying for increased funding. If the document were just asking for their funding to be kept at current levels, that would be calling for stable funding!

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

          Looks to me like they are asking for something that they feel they don’t already have, Brandon. If they already were satisfied with their funding, why write the freaking letter, Brandon? It could have been a short note: “Thanks for the stable and quite adequate funding,guys.”

          You are wasting your time on a lot of silly nitpicking, Brandon. You should “move on” from carrying Weaver’s water. What has he ever done for you?

        • gober
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

          Brandon: “I’m not sure you’ve thought this through gober.” Right back at you Brandon.

          Brandon: “I don’t see why you think calling for “stable” funding is lobbying for increased funding. If the document were just asking for their funding to be kept at current levels, that would be calling for stable funding!”

          Fortunately we don’t need to deal in hypotheticals. We can go to the letter itself.

          “As a result of cost-cutting pressures, however, MSC’s ability to sustain leading-edge research is deteriorating. After peaking in the first half of the 1990s, funding for government research in atmospheric and climate science has declined steadily. In 2002 lack of funds forced the closure of one of MSC’s most important research assets . . . .”

          And ending the letter with:

          “The research arm of the Meteorological Service of Canada is one of this country’s most valuable scientific assets. It should not be allowed to decline gradually into insignificance as a result of continued underfunding.”

          How much plainer can they make it? They say funding peaked and has been falling steadily. They think it’s being underfunded. They want to stop the underfunding. They’re not asking for funding to be kept at current levels, because they think it is being underfunded. That means they’re asking for more funding.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

      Steve, please. The National Post provided a quote to go along with its claim. The quote had no bearing on the claim. By pretending it did, the National Post misrepresented it.

      I’ll note you don’t challenge any of those points. Instead, you ignore them because, I guess, they “don’t matter.”

      Puh-leez. Even if the errors I point out don’t change any conclusions of these posts (something I dispute), it is ridiculous people refuse to acknowledge them.

  11. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    A commenter mockingly suggested I would argue about what lobbying is. While some people may look on such with scorn, I think it is actually an important issue. The National Post, and the people here, rest their argument Weaver lobbies for more funding on a single document. That does not fit the claim being defended. Andrew Weaver complained about this:

    Among Mr. Weaver’s notorious political statements is the following: “God help Canada if the Conservatives get in,” he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding.

    Now, I pointed out problems in this post because they are problems. I haven’t sought to argue what the “truth” is. However, I have to say I can’t see how anyone would believe this single document justifies what the National Post said. No matter what it says, it cannot show a series of “lobbying pleas.”

    It seems disingenuous to frame Weaver’s complaint the way this post has. The framing is notably different than what Weaver complained about, and as such, the defense this post offers is off-base.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

      Brandon, you say:

      The National Post, and the people here, rest their argument Weaver lobbies for more funding on a single document

      that is untrue. The question of whether lobbied for more funding was not litigated in the lawsuit. It was subject only to a back-and-forth in 2006. Corcoran adduced the 2004 document in his rebuttal at the time. Weaver did not take issue with their rebuttal at the time. There was no reason at the time for them to produce more examples. I”m sure that they could have.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

        Steve, you claim what I said is untrue, but you don’t actually do anything to show it is. Whether or not people could find and present other examples, the reality is nobody has done so. As such, the arguments currently rest on this single document, exactly as I said.

        • geronimo
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

          Brandon, I spent quite a number of years working with senior academics from various universities in the UK. One of the things I like to believe I learned from this experience was that the major part of the job for any academic head of department was raising money for his/her department. I don’t care to go into the actual semantics of how you would describe this, but “lobbying” for funds would certainly fit the bill in my view. Moreover, I don’t see how anyone could see that there was a specifically damaging implication in a head of department being said to have “lobbied” for funds. That’s his/her job.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

          geronimo, you say:

          Moreover, I don’t see how anyone could see that there was a specifically damaging implication in a head of department being said to have “lobbied” for funds.

          But this issue wasn’t raised in the libel lawsuit. Andrew Weaver didn’t claim it was defamatory. He simply said the National Post was wrong.

          On the issue of what is and it not “lobbying,” I don’t think that is how readers of the paper would interpret it. Whether or not people agree with me, the National Post’s defense doesn’t offer your interpretation, so it would appear it wasn’t their intended meaning. That’s not surprising given the sentence refers to one of Weaver’s “notorious political statements” and then follows it up with a question asking, “If that’s not politics, what is?”

          It seems Weaver and the Post were on the same page as to what the intended meaning was. I’m content to go with them on it.

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

          geronimo, yes this is my experience too.

          It’s hardly damaging to senior academics reputations to be perceived as being lobbyists for money, since most are. In fact it would be more damaging if they were guarded as being ineffective at bringing money in.

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

          * regarded not guarded. autocorrect sux.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

          Carrick, I could also say a child lobbied his mother to let him attend summer camp. That a word can be used in many ways doesn’t mean we should assume the broadest definition if convenient. What we should do is look and see if we can determine the intended meaning. The National Post’s original remarks and response to what Andrew Weaver claimed seems to make it clear they did not mean it in the sense you two are discussing.

          When you talk about politics and lobbying at the same time, you create a particular picture. That picture is one of a repeated efforts to influence the actions of some official(s). It’s not just, “He signed one letter which called for more funding.” That’s especially true if you say “lobbying pleas,” specifically drawing attention to there being a number of them.

          If I publish a single open letter calling for my state to lower the legal drinking age, that doesn’t justify someone coming along a couple years later and referring to my “lobbying pleas” to get the legal drinking age lowered.

          I get our host may be “sure” the National Post could have found more examples, but given they blatantly misrepresented a quote for the example they gave, I’m not going to take it on faith. If people want me to believe Andrew Weaver lobbied for increased funding as claimed, they’ll need to do more than show he signed onto a single letter.

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

          Brandon, in my experience group heads (chairs etc) specifically meet with political officials in relationship to their funding level, especially if their funding is coming directly from the government. If they didn’t, the group wouldn’t last very long—even if all they are trying to do is retain their current funding level.

          I personally think that falls squarely under the broad definition of lobbying “seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue.”

          Perhaps Weaver didn’t regard this as lobbying, but it’s fair to see how other’s might.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

          Carrick, if the National Post had turned around and said that was all they meant, I’d have accepted it. I’d chalk it up to the difficulties of language. Sometimes people will misunderstand the intended meaning of things. (In this case, it would be Andrew Weaver.)

          But it didn’t. It didn’t say it was merely discussing the normal process of a group head seeking funds. Instead, it drew attention to an example to support the idea Weaver was engaging in a different type of lobbying. That means the National Post intentionally made a case for a position other than the one you describe.

          When the National Post and Andrew Weaver both agree the intended meaning was one thing, I don’t see why people would suggest a different meaning.

          This is especially true when the different meaning you propose would require assuming the National Post made a point of drawing attention to something you call perfectly normal. That would mean in the middle of their criticisms of Weaver, while discussing his (supposed) political advocacy, the National Post decided go draw attention to the fact as a group leader, Weavers tries to secure funding for his group. And when challenged, it decided to just not tell anyone that’s what it was doing.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          Well, it seems Andrew Weaver considered the fund-raising part of his job easy. Perhaps he thought the climate modeling was a similar piece of cake.
          ==========

        • Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

          You just keep it going up in both cases. Job done.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

          The synergies whirl faster,
          Weave on the loom disaster.
          ================

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          Brandon, I don’t see the statement in the Post article that Weaver was supposedly correcting said much more than what I said above:

          Among Mr. Weaver’s notorious political statements is the following: “God help Canada if the Conservatives get in,” he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding.

          Actually pretty much exactly what I said.

          People say other things later perhaps about author’s intent, but this is what is published.

          If you want to discuss “damages” it is the perceptions of what was mean as it would be interpreted by an ordinary reader, rather than the author’s intent, that matters.

          I’m not even sure in a case like this how you can forensically determine what the original authors intent was (even if it actually matters, which I doubt it does).

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

          Carrick:

          If you want to discuss “damages”

          I don’t. As I’ve pointed out to several people here, Andrew Weaver did not sue over this issue. That means “damages” were not raised in relation to this issue. As such, I see no reason to discuss “damages.”

          This issue came up in the lawsuit as background, not as an alleged case of defamation. That means the question is merely one of whether or not what the National Post said was wrong. The disagreement on that issue was between two parties, and as such, the interpretations used by the two parties is highly relevant.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

          “JD Ohio, we have both the legal complaint and the judge’s ruling. As far as I am aware, neither of them mentions the National Post article this post’s discussion is about, Andrew Weaver’s letter regarding the article, nor the response the National Post published along with his letter.”

          You are right about this. I filed 26 property tax appeals today and I guess I can’t do that and file an accurate post here. Para 23 dealt with a December 2009 posting.

          I still feel that Weaver is claiming that he is not motivated by funding (which could contain an element of lobbying. However, I raised this point in the wrong manner.

          JD

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio, no prob. We all make silly mistakes from time to time. I’ve certainly made my share.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

        Brandon: “But this issue [lobbied] wasn’t raised in the libel lawsuit. Andrew Weaver didn’t claim it was defamatory. He simply said the National Post was wrong.”

        Please look at para 23(g) of the complaint. It state that defendants defame Weaver by claiming that “The plaintiff is so strongly motivated by a corrupt interest in receiving government funding that he willfully conceals scientific climate data which refutes global warming in order to continue alarming the public so that it welcomes inordinate government regulation.”…

        Each of these meanings is false, malicious and defamatory.”

        The lobbying issue was part of the lawsuit.

        JD

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio, we have both the legal complaint and the judge’s ruling. As far as I am aware, neither of them mentions the National Post article this post’s discussion is about, Andrew Weaver’s letter regarding the article, nor the response the National Post published along with his letter.

          Am I mistaken? If not, I don’t see why we should take the quote you provided as having anything to do with the issues discussed in this post.

          That is especially true since the quote you provide doesn’t even mention lobbying. It refers to Weaver having a corrupt interest in receiving government funding, but plenty of people who have an interest in receiving government funding do not lobby for such funding.

          Would you care to clarify why we should believe the quote you provided in any way rebuts what I said? I have no idea why you think it does since you didn’t bother to provide any explanation of your reasoning.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

          Did you actually read the post that you have been commenting on, Brandoon? Particularly the conclusion?

      • Carrick
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

        Brandon:

        I don’t. As I’ve pointed out to several people here, Andrew Weaver did not sue over this issue. That means “damages” were not raised in relation to this issue. As such, I see no reason to discuss “damages.”

        It does not matter whether anybody actually sued for damages or not. It’s whether they could have.

        Clearly Weaver thought the issue was important enough to address. What matters for a printed document with respect to “correcting the record” is how any reasonable member of the public will see it, not hypothetically how it was intended to be interpreted by the original author.

        My problem is I just don’t see, based upon plain language interpretation of the word, how Weaver’s activities could not be seen as “lobbying for funds” in the plain language sense of the words.

        Perhaps Weaver thought the way they characterized his behavior was unfair, but it doesn’t look to me like Weaver’s complaint that he wasn’t actually engaging in lobbying is truthful, if we use “lobby” in the sense I used it”, a sense I maintain is a fair and plain language meaning of the word “lobby”.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

          Carrick:

          It does not matter whether anybody actually sued for damages or not. It’s whether they could have.

          Why? As far as I know, the judge didn’t discuss the issue in terms of whether or not Andrew Weaver could have sued over it. Neither did Weaver or the National Post. Nor our host. Why would something nobody even talked about be what matters?

          How do we decide one idea the discussion wasn’t about doesn’t matter while another idea the discussion wasn’t about does matter, and the idea the discussion was actually about doesn’t matter? (Yes, I know that’s a confusingly worded sentence. That’s sort of the point.)

          Clearly Weaver thought the issue was important enough to address.

          That in no way indicates he believes he could sue over it. It doesn’t even indicate he believes it was defamatory. People can feel mistakes are important enough to address without feeling those mistakes are defamatory. Just a little while ago, I pointed out what I believed to be a mistake in what someone said about me. I didn’t think what they said was defamatory. I thought it was too generous.

          Perhaps Weaver thought the way they characterized his behavior was unfair, but it doesn’t look to me like Weaver’s complaint that he wasn’t actually engaging in lobbying is truthful, if we use “lobby” in the sense I used it”, a sense I maintain is a fair and plain language meaning of the word “lobby”.

          I believe I’ve already expressed my disagreement on that point, but to be clear, I don’t believe the average reader would interpret what the National Post said in the way you suggest. When placed in the context of politics, I don’t think people would take the claim Andrew Weaver lobbies for funding to merely refer to the normal process of a group leader trying to get money for his group.

          But I really don’t care to worry about the semantics of that issue when I still don’t get why you insist on discussing this in the context of defamation. Nobody was doing that, and I don’t see any reason discussing alleged errors in a National Post article requires using the context of defamation law.

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

          Brandon, I’m not sure how you’re missing this, but the point seems pretty obvious to me.

          Conceptually if somebody publishes something you find to be harmful, what matters is how the causal reader is going to interpret the text and not the what the original author’s intent was.

          If you read

          Among Mr. Weaver’s notorious political statements is the following: “God help Canada if the Conservatives get in,” he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding.

          I submit it has a very simple interpretation, in line with what I suggested above.

          Weaver’s comment:

          2) I do not lobby for more climate funding. If you ask anyone who has actually interviewed me, they will say that what I say is: “We don’t need more research money to deal with the issue as to what needs to be done.”

          certainly was driven by the plain English reading of that original quote.

          We don’t need to go what was or wasn’t decided by the court to parse this.

          I figure the way he gets around admitting he’s involved in lobbying is via the words “We don’t need more research money…”.

          From my perspective this statement of yours

          I believe I’ve already expressed my disagreement on that point, but to be clear, I don’t believe the average reader would interpret what the National Post said in the way you suggest.

          is the only part that is relevant. I really think Weaver is parsing words here. He is concerned with maintaining current levels of funding, so what he’s really objecting to is the use of “more funding” not “lobbying pleas”.

          I don’t see that you’ve made a good case that anybody would have read “lobby” in other than the causal, dictionary level meaning of the word,

          seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue.

          The sentence “he said in 2004 during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding” certainly creates a vivid impression of somebody trying to “seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue”.

          I think this is a good place to stop. Last word to you.

        • Carrick
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

          I meant the text to read:

          I figure the way [Weaver] gets around admitting he’s involved in lobbying is via the words “We don’t need more research money…”. He is concerned with maintaining current levels of funding, so what he’s really objecting to is the use of “more funding” not “lobbying pleas.

          Obviously Weaver isn’t really “objecting” that he’s just trying to maintain current funding levels. I think it’s the dodge he’s using to make what he is saying appear truthful, even when in reality he actual was involved in lobbying efforts in the plain English meaning “seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue” as part of his Chair position.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

          Carrick:

          Brandon, I’m not sure how you’re missing this, but the point seems pretty obvious to me.

          Conceptually if somebody publishes something you find to be harmful, what matters is how the causal reader is going to interpret the text and not the what the original author’s intent was.

          You may feel this is “pretty obvious,” but you’ve still done nothing to establish why we should be discussing whether or not there were “damages” or if this was “harmful.” I believe I’ve made it clear I don’t understand why you think we should. That’s not what any of this was about.

          I think this is a good place to stop. Last word to you.

          Too bad. You may not find my explanation to be “a good case,” which you’re free to believe (though it seems strange to do so when you didn’t argue against my reasoning), but at least I’ve offered one. You haven’t even tried to explain why you insist on using the framework of libel issues even though I’ve repeatedly pointed out there is no apparent reason to do so.

          Oh well. Since this is to be the last word, I’ll make this simple. You put a bumper sticker on a car which supports a particular policy. You put a sign up in your yard favoring a candidate. You yell obscenities at a politician you see crossing the street. You threaten a government official with violence if he does not award your company a contract. All of these actions are ways you could:

          seek to influence (a politician or public official) on an issue.

          But no newspaper would report any of them as lobbying. They wouldn’t because their readers would never think of those things when they hear “lobbying.” That is true even if those things would fit the dictionary definition of “lobbying.”

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

      So, Brandon, give us a clear definition of lobbying. While you are at it, compose a sentence that clearly would be interpreted as lobbying. Because no matter what anyone says here you suggest they did not answer the question or your Stokian replies. We wait.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

        Yeah, Brandon yammers about misquoting and taking quotes out of context, but he disingenuously boils the issue down to one word:

        “stable”

        “That said, I don’t see why you think calling for “stable” funding is lobbying for increased funding.”

        You are not fooling anybody, Brandon. They speak English in Canada just like we do.

        “As members of the Canadian atmospheric science community, we want to be able to deliver a level of expertise that meets the highest world standards. That will only be possible, however, if the federal government provides the stable long-term funding needed to maintain a high quality advanced research organization within MSC.”

        They “want to be able”, Brandoon. That “will” only be possible “if” the federal gubmint blah…blah…blah.

        They did not say “if the federal government continues to provide” blah…blah…blah. Just stop it, Brandoon.

  12. Don Monfort
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    “As members of the Canadian atmospheric science community, we want to be able to deliver a level of expertise that meets the highest world standards. That will only be possible, however, if the federal government provides the stable long-term funding needed to maintain a high quality advanced research organization within MSC.”

    They are asking for more funding. Period.

    “we want to be able”

    “we want more funding”

    End of story.

    • AntonyIndia
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

      Since at least 1994 Dr. Weaver is “heavily involved in the coupling process” between climate & models plus UVIC & the CCC(MA). http://climate.uvic.ca/projects/
      Lots of money involved of course.

      Already in 1995 UVIC & CCCMA were “thicker than water”: “CCCma: As detailed in section 10, the relationship between CCCma and my research group is unique and very stimulating. The CCCma has little internal expertise in ocean modelling/dynamics and this is one of the main reasons they relocated to Victoria from Toronto. Researchers in my group interact with CCCma researchers on a daily basis. My research group undertakes research into improving our understanding of the ocean and ice components of coupled models whereas their group focuses mainly on the atmosphere and ice components”….. “The CCCma has provided me with computational resources when we undertake sensitivity analyses for them with our models. I provide library facilities for the CCCma. One of my students is also co-supervised by F. Zwiers (CCCma) and I am on the committee of one of J. Fyfe’s (CCCma) graduate students. CCCma researchers conducted a course on numerical methods which was almost exclusively filled with my students.”
      http://climate.uvic.ca/projects/NSERC-strategic-review-May-98.html

  13. Ron Graf
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Brandon gave the man a good defense. Everyone deserves that (except ex-dictators).

    Good counter-point Don.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

      Ron Graf, I’m not sure why you think anything he said was a good counter-point. He says:

      “we want to be able”

      “we want more funding”

      To claim the quote in question was a call for more funding, but that’s wrong. That phrasing makes sense if one is worried about losing what they want. It works whether the phrasing refers to a current or future problem. To judge which is intended, one would need to look for context. Interestingly, doing so provides a better quote which shows there’s no need to examine the wording of that quote:

      The research arm of the Meteorological Service of Canada is one of this country’s most valuable scientific assets. It should not be allowed to decline gradually into insignificance as a result of continued underfunding.

      This provides a clear call for increased funding. Given that quote exists, I don’t know why people would choose to focus on a quote which requires reading “we want to be able” to mean “we want more funding” or a quote which merely says the group’s activities are important. Why use those quotes rather than the quote which says the group is underfunded and that shouldn’t be allowed to continue?

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

        You are making a fool of yourself, Brandon.

  14. betapug
    Posted Mar 18, 2015 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Weaver asserts that maintaining his part-time $20,000/yr UVic employment (while a full-time MLA) keeps grant funding flowing for his associates.

    “He said he only decided to stay on at the university to preserve several research grants that employ colleagues working on climate-change projects.”

    “This is only being done for the other people who are up there (at the university),” said Weaver. “I owe it to them to make sure they’re not losing their jobs just because I get a whim to run for politics.”
    http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=4ab8005c-46a9-47a9-a641-6c17bc519337

    This probably counts as “manouvering” rather than “lobbying”. His lobbying is more indirect..calling for the overthrow of the current government, presumably to have it replaced with one more genorous to “scientists” who are not remotely involved in policy.
    http://www.desmog.ca/2013/01/25/canadian-scientists-must-speak-out-despite-consequence-says-andrew-weaver

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

      It wouldn’t be surprising if an academic quitting his job would cause some grants to fall through. If the grant was given based upon him working on whatever, him not working on it would be a problem. That could harm other people who rely upon those grants.

      It seems a reasonable thing for him to do. I’d probably do the same. Rather than quit overnight and run the risk of harming colleagues by causing promised funding to be withheld, I would phase myself out over time (and not pursue additional grants, of course).

    • Ron Graf
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

      If one quits working on something that one is taking money for based on contract it is just one of several reasons why the contract might legitimately be discontinued. Another would be lack of results. Giving or saving jobs is only clear thinking from a politicians point of view. The true common good is more complex in that if people are not freed up from unproductive work there will be less chance a new an very productive project will be filled. It is true, however that Weaver is not doing anything new. We call it the revolving door. Private interests moving into public positions that regulate their own fields and the reverse.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

        Ron Graf, it is not remotely surprising an academic suddenly quitting his job could affect the job status of people who are depending upon grants that researcher obtained.

        You have to be trying really hard to find reasons to criticize Andrew Weaver to believe his behavior on this issue merits any criticism. Otherwise, all you’d see is a guy phasing himself out of a position because quitting abruptly would cause problems for people.;

  15. Sven
    Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    I have to say that Brandon is really good at what he’s doing. But he’s like a bulldog, once he bites, he never lets go. And sometimes it might get tiresome for many.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

      Sven, it wouldn’t need to be tiresome if people would just do what you’re supposed to do when someone posts criticisms: Examine what they say, seek to clarify any points of disagreement and make any appropriate corrections.

      Imagine if people on the Team refused to admit obvious mistakes, mischaracterized people’s arguments, falsely painted their critics as making extreme demands and cherry-picked some points to address while ignoring they have no response to. Now realize you don’t have to imagine that; it’s exactly what the Team does on a regular basis. And like one might guess, they paint dealing with their critics as tiresome.

      Nobody here accepts this sort of behavior when it comes from the other “side.” I speak against something here, and suddenly it becomes okay? Our host has often said what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Apparently that’s only true if you’re not the gander.

      And that’s leaving aside the idiotic abuse people have been leveling against me. I won’t bother arguing idiotic abuse is a pathetic way to contribute to discussions. Instead, I’ll just point out it lowers the level of discussion, making the discussion more tiresome.

      I get it may be tiresome to have to address mistakes when many mistakes are made, but if that bothers you, you probably shouldn’t respond in ways guaranteed to make things more tiresome.

      • Sven
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

        I actually see your point, Brandon. And I admire your attention to detail (as the best example, I rember your tireless debate (I don’t remember on which site it was) with Gavin about whether the hockey stick is robust without dendro proxies and Gavin’s weasel approach if not outright deception). But if you pay attention to detail then you should also not write “…but if that bothers you, you probably shouldn’t respond in ways guaranteed to make things more tiresome.” because if you read what I wrote, it was not criticism towards you. I also did not say that it bothers me. I just stated the facts how I see them and trying to give one hypothesis why it bothers people. Being like a bulldog and not letting go is not negative (nor always positive). At least in my world. But it is a thing that might frustrate people. Wright or wrong. And for me the abuse you get for that (be it here or Lucia’s blog) is not only unjustified but should also be unacceptable.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

          i haven’t seen people abuse poor little Brandon, when he makes a substantive argument about something substantive. It’s the mindlessly tenacious nitpicking that rubs people the wrong way.

        • Sven
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

          Yes, I agree, some of this might be considered nitpicking, but what happened at Lucia’s was quite clearly also abuse. And quite often one creates the other no matter which is first.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

          Thanks for your comments Sven. It’s good to see at least some people hold views different than the ones being expressed by most people. I know one can believe the silent majority is different from the vocal minority, but sometimes it’s difficult.

          A few quick remarks on your comment. You say:

          But if you pay attention to detail then you should also not write “…but if that bothers you, you probably shouldn’t respond in ways guaranteed to make things more tiresome.” because if you read what I wrote, it was not criticism towards you. I also did not say that it bothers me. I just stated the facts how I see them and trying to give one hypothesis why it bothers people.

          I agree wholeheartedly with you. I don’t have a problem with anything you’ve said. When I said “you probably shouldn’t respond in ways guaranteed to make things more tiresome,” I meant it in a general sense of “you.” As in, if people are bothered by something, they shouldn’t do things which cause it. I didn’t mean to imply you yourself do that when I said “you.” If that’s how it read, I apologize. It was not what I intended to say.

          I actually see your point, Brandon. And I admire your attention to detail (as the best example, I rember your tireless debate (I don’t remember on which site it was) with Gavin about whether the hockey stick is robust without dendro proxies and Gavin’s weasel approach if not outright deception).

          I’m not sure I deserve the credit you give me. I don’t remember ever having any exchanges with Gavin Schmidt. I know the user Amac did what you describe at Keith Kloor’s old site, Collide-a-Scape, but I only remember discussing their exchanges after the fact. I might be forgetting something, but if not, you’re giving me more credit than I deserve.

          And for me the abuse you get for that (be it here or Lucia’s blog) is not only unjustified but should also be unacceptable.

          Thanks! Abuse generally doesn’t bother me because I’ve gotten used to it, but I’ve never understood it. Even if people don’t find it unacceptable, I’d be too embarrassed to behave like so many people do. I’m not five years old anymore. And if I were, my abuse would at least have the redeeming quality of being funny/cutish.

        • Sven
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

          Oops, sorry for the confusion. My memory serves me … let’s say … differently … these days.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

          Sven, no prob. I may not have been the one involved in that discussion, but discussed it a number of times, including with people who repeatedly insisted I was wrong. I can see how memory would mix the nuances of that up.

          I’m just happy your mistake was flattering. I consider being mistaken for Amac to be a good thing.

      • Sven
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

        And I also think that it all shows HOW damn polarized the whole thing has gotten. For too many participants one side is ALWAYS right and the other side is ALWAYS wrong. And I agree, if you act like a bulldog with Gavin then it does not bother people over here. And if you act like a bulldog in defence of, say, Weaver, on, say, Real Climate, it would not bother people. That’s terrible, in fact.

        • Sven
          Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

          “it would not bother people OVER THERE” is what I wanted to say

  16. gaelansclark
    Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    AndrewWeaver is quoted below from http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/researchers-fear-stagnation-under-tories/article22509301/?service=mobile .

    Governments have always had a say in research, but this is getting down to micromanagement, this is really specific,” said Dr. Weaver.

    What is worse, he said, is that academic researchers must have an industrial partner to qualify for the grant, “so the taxpayer is being used to subsidize Canadian corporate research.

    “They’re cutting the [basic research]funding system and also stipulating what you can do,” he said. “This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”

    “Of our total budget, we have about 70 per cent that is open,” she said. “That is a good percentage.” But Dr. Weaver argues other G7 countries spend more on basic research, making a 30 per cent restriction too large a chunk of a small funding pie.

    Brandon…..S T F U already. Yes, Andrew Weaver DOES LOBBY FOR MORE RSEARCH FUNDS.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

      gaelansclark, the article you quote shows nothing like what you describe. Andrew Weaver did not complain about funding being cut. He complained about the government taking greater control over how the funding it gives is spent but cutting undirected funding while replacing it with directed funding. That he expresses a dislike for the changing ratio of discretionay/undiscretionary funding (so to speak) does not somehow morph into him saying the total amount is too low. You could double the total amount, make all funding directed funding, and Weaver would be even more upset.

      Besides which, that article was written in 2009, three years after the National Post article. It cites a change in government administration in 2006 as being the source of what bothers Andrew Weaver. Even if Weaver lobbied for funding in that article (which he did not), it would have been years after he denied lobbying, in response to a (perceived) problem which may largely have not existed at the time he denied lobbying.

      TL;DR: Calling for less government direction of funding in 2009 in no way demonstrates Andrew Weaver was lobbying for funding in 2006.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

        Are you going to write a 99 cent e-book on Weaver’s virtues, Brandoon? Don’t forget to mention that he in no way has, or ever would, lobby for increased funding. He is only interested in stable funding that is in the proper ratio of blah-blah-blah. He don’t care if it’s only four freaking Canadian dollars and twelve cents a year, as long as it’s stable and discretionary.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

        I am surprised that Brandoon did not chastise the globemail for misquoting Dr. Weaver:

        “They’re cutting the [basic research]funding system and also stipulating what you can do,” he said. “This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”

        Those damn brackets, again.

      • Don Monfort
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

        How do you explain this, Brandoon?:

        “gaelansclark, the article you quote shows nothing like what you describe. Andrew Weaver did not complain about funding being cut. He complained about the government taking greater control over how the funding it gives is spent but cutting undirected funding while replacing it with directed funding.”

        From the article:
        “They’re cutting the [basic research]funding system and also stipulating what you can do,” he said. “This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”

        How is that NOT complaining about funding being cut?

      • gaelansclark
        Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

        Dr weaver is arguing that only 30% of the funding pie is TOO SMALL.
        So brandon….is weaver suggesting that he doesnt want MORE OF THE PIE?
        Bc if he is crying to a writer about not getting enough of the pie….HE IS LOBBYING FOR MORE MONEY.
        Oh wait….I think you think he just wants more raspberry pie….how convenient and utterly ignorant of word meaning

      • gaelansclark
        Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

        Brandon…”I do not….” is an absolute statement speaking for past, present and future….do not sift meaning through what was flatly stated. Dr weaver said “I do not lobby….” AND YOU ARE WRONG ON BOTH COUNTS AS HE DID LOBBY and it is obvious to everyone but you when someone says they didnt get enough of the pie that rhey want more pie….errrrr climate science funding.

        stop being ridiculously obtuse.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

          gaelansclark, for all your abuse, it’s remarkable how obvious the mistake you’re making is. You say this is the “money quote”:

          But Dr. Weaver argues other G7 countries spend more on basic research, making a 30 per cent restriction too large a chunk of a small funding pie.

          And claim:

          Dr weaver is arguing that only 30% of the funding pie is TOO SMALL.

          But this makes your position a total non-sequitur. The non-sequitur is best demonstrated by your remark:

          So brandon….is weaver suggesting that he doesnt want MORE OF THE PIE?

          The pie is the funding. Wanting more of the pie does not mean you want funding increased. Wanting funding increased would mean wanting the size of the pie increased.

          That quote doesn’t show Andrew Weaver calling for more funding. It shows him calling for the funding to be divied up differently. To him, a 70/30 ratio for unrestricted/restricted funding is unacceptable. He thinks the piece of the pie which is restricted should be smaller. He thinks the piece of the pie which is unrestricted should be larger. That’s all he said.

          How you cut up a pie does not change the overall size of the pie. That is true even if you keep making comments like:

          stop being ridiculously obtuse.

          Which seems to be about the only form of argument anyone on this page has to offer when saying I’m wrong.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

          Brandoon is either being ridiculously obtuse or he is being transparently disingenuous.

          Weaver is quoted:
          “They’re cutting the funding system and also stipulating what you can do,” he said. “This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”

          I removed the part in brackets, which was added by the author of the article.

          Clearly, Weaver is complaining both about the size of the pie being cut and that the uses for the money are being stipulated. Watch this, Brandoon:

          1.”They’re cutting the funding system” (translated for Brandoon-THEY ARE CUTTING THE SIZE OF THE PIE)

          “and also”

          2.”stipulating what you can do,”

          Any questions, Brandoon?

        • gaelansclark
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

          Yeah…because it is not ridiculously obtuse to argue that while dr weaver does in fact claim that a 30% threshold on funding being too small he really thinks that overall that 30% is an okay amount of funding.
          Oooooooooookay then.
          Yeah, and it is not ridiculously obtuse to overparse exactly what dr weaver said to claim that what he really meant was what you think you thought he said.
          I get a great pain laughing this hard at you brandon!!

      • gaelansclark
        Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

        Brandon and Glacier completely flew by what Drweaver said……
        “But Dr. Weaver argues other G7 countries spend more on basic research, making a 30 per cent restriction too large a chunk of a small funding pie.”

        Why didnt you notice the money quote?

        • Glacierman
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

          I provided the entire quote that backed up what you were saying. Read much?

        • gaelansclark
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

          Sorry glacierman….I read your comment as being dismissive of my findings.

    • Glacierman
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

      gaelansclark didn’t describe much, he provided quotes from Dr. Weaver. The entire quote is:

      “Andrew Weaver, a world leading climatologist at the University of Victoria and Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis, points to new competitions run through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence. These are to provide $5-million grants over five years for very particular projects, such as “Energy Production in the Oil Sands,” Dr. Weaver said, or “New media animation and games.”

      “Governments have always had a say in research, but this is getting down to micromanagement, this is really specific,” said Dr. Weaver.

      What is worse, he said, is that academic researchers must have an industrial partner to qualify for the grant, “so the taxpayer is being used to subsidize Canadian corporate research.

      “They’re cutting the [basic research]funding system and also stipulating what you can do,” he said. “This is unbelievable – this is Orwellian.”

      • gaelansclark
        Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

        Glacier….did you even notice that the man was saying that he wanted MORE of the “pie”?
        Read a little bit buddy….if someone cries about a sliver of pie do tou really think they are moaning to get less than the sliver they are getting?

        • Glacierman
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

          Read a little buddy. I was agreeing with you.

        • Glacierman
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

          Brandon said the linked article was not at all like you described. I didn’t see much of a description by you, but understood that you were indicating that Weaver was advocating for more funding.

          Not sure what you think I said.

        • kim
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

          Eddies of violent agreement,
          Twisters off powerful arguments.
          ====================

        • kim
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

          alt: ‘turbulent’ for ‘powerful’. Can’t fit both, darn.
          ================

  17. Ripantuck
    Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    The problem I have with Brandon’s arguments relates to the context. If Canada had a criminal prohibition against government employees or contractors lobbying for increased funding, Brandon’s points would be valid defenses during a hypothetical trial. However, I can’t imagine that a newspaper is required to have that level of proof to avoid a libel judgment when they print an editorial or even a straight news story. If that level of proof is really required Canada will not have anything like a free press and , if it is extended to blogs and other public comments, free speech would also be severely compromised

    What I am saying is I am satisfied that the Post’s statements are probably true, but that they haven’t proved them beyond a reasonable doubt.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

      Ripantuck, I actually agree with you. I don’t think this issue would merit a libel lawsuit. I don’t think it’d even be particularly relevant to such a lawsuit. It might merit some attention as a background issue, but that’s it. However, Andrew Weaver didn’t sue over this. All Weaver did about this is send the National Post a letter claiming they got some facts wrong. That’s perfectly reasonable. Even if you’re wrong, it is okay to point out what you believe to be mistakes. (Well, judging by the responses I’ve gotten, maybe it isn’t. It should be though.)

      As I’ve said above, I’d have accepted it if the National Post had responded to Weaver by saying, “We just have different things in mind when we say ‘lobby.'” I’d be skeptical about what their intended meaning really was, but I wouldn’t have found it worth remarking on. It was only because the National Post defended the interpretation people are now distancing themselves from that this merited comment.

      Even then, I’d probably have said nothing except the National Post flagrantly misrepresented a quote, and nobody seems to care. That boggles my mind. The misrepresentation may not have changed anything about their argument, but I don’t see how a fair-minded analysis of accusations the National Post misrepresented things can possibly ignore the National Post flagrantly misrepresenting a quote.

      This post could have easily criticized Andrew Weaver for the exact same reasons without ignoring the National Post’s screw-up. It would have been easy to say something like, “It’s weird/troubling/whatever the quote the National Post provides does not support what they say, but other quotes from the same document do so their position is still correct.” But no. Reading posts on these lawsuits, one could believe the National Post has done practically nothing wrong. And that is what is what leads me to comment, because the National Post certainly did wrong.

      In a case like this, you can acknowledge neither side of a dispute is perfect but side with one side as being better, or you can just refuse to address the wrongdoing from one side in order to… I’m not sure what. I’d prefer to not even pursue that line of thought.

    • Paul Courtney
      Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

      Rip, you have hit the nail. I could say Brandon is right about everything he posts here, and prior. He seems to hate the NP so deeply, he can’t see this-God forbid if Mann sues him for some perceived “misrepresentation” in his ebook, and Brandon finds himself in a protracted 6 or 7-figure-legal-fee battle parsing phrases as he has done here, while Mann parses back, and it all comes down to a Judge who decides Brandon could have intended it per Mann’s parsing instead of Brandon’s parsing, maybe then he gets it. He’ll then realize it won’t matter who wins in the end, he won’t be writing any more ebooks-and we ALL LOSE! Brandon, your manifest animosity to the NP is blinding you.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Mar 19, 2015 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

        Paul Courtney:

        He seems to hate the NP so deeply…
        Brandon, your manifest animosity to the NP is blinding you.

        This made me laugh. I don’t know what makes you think I’m blinded with hatred, but you are way off base. I barely care about this lawsuit. If not for the commentary on the lawsuit often containing glaring mistakes/misrepresentations, I wouldn’t even be commenting on the lawsuit anymore. I’d have quit talking about the National Post weeks ago. It’s true I feel disdain for the National Post on account of it failing to meet even basic standards of communication, much less journalistic standards, but so what? I hold far worse views of many people and groups. That doesn’t make me incapable of seeing matters clearly when I discuss someone like Michael Mann’s deceptions.

        I really don’t get why you’d say what you say. When it comes to hatred and animosity, it’s not like my comments are filled with little but empty rhetoric and petty abuse…

        he can’t see this-God forbid if Mann sues him for some perceived “misrepresentation” in his ebook, and Brandon finds himself in a protracted 6 or 7-figure-legal-fee battle parsing phrases as he has done here, while Mann parses back, and it all comes down to a Judge who decides Brandon could have intended it per Mann’s parsing instead of Brandon’s parsing, maybe then he gets it. He’ll then realize it won’t matter who wins in the end, he won’t be writing any more ebooks-and we ALL LOSE!

        Um, yeah. That could never happen. At all. It’s actually a bit of a shame how impossible that’d be because Michael Mann suing me would probably be the best thing which could happen to me in the climate debate.

        • Paul Courtney
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

          Well, it finally drew a response, and gave you a laugh. I don’t wish to wander into the tall grass with you, others have shown you that the NP calling Weaver a climate activist academic who lobbies for funds is not a misrepresentation, only to see you falling back on a “many serious misrepresentations” mantra. “Um, yeah. That could never happen. At all.” And thank you for proving my point, you can’t (or to be more precise, won’t) see it. You are undoubtedly bright and learned in other fields, but naive here. Progressives like Weaver keep their lawyers on speed dial, not to win or correct serial misrepresentations, but because they see lawsuits as a tool to silence those who would speak or publish an opposing view. This tool will not work if Courts throw them out before defense claims are even necessary, otherwise it can work, particularly well if the judge is a Progressive lightweight (Mann hit the jackpot in DC traffic court, he found two). I sincerely hope you don’t learn the hard way, and that you can keep laughing. I imagine there was a time when Steyn and NR would have said, in effect, I hope Mann does sue, we’ll use it to our favor. If Mann sues you (I say again, God forbid-and he doesn’t sue everybody or M&M would have met the bailiff by now), do you suppose his lawyers will chance being in a fair tribunal?

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

          Ah, Brandon is seeking fame and misfortune as Mann’s next defamation target. Very smart move. Of course, Brandon could save on the legal expenses by representing himself. Brandon is very clever, and mature.

  18. betapug
    Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Brandon, as the key academic player in the British Columbia government’s 2007 Climate Action Team assembled by then Premier, Gordon Campbell in his attempt to build “California North” in collaboration with Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger, Weaver lobbied (advised?) for the spending of more than $1billion in “Climate action” including the largest university foundation grant in Canadian history, the $98 million to establish the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions surely confirms him as a rainmaker?
    http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2014/10/23/bill-2-libs-r-harper-tories/

    http://www.pembina.org/reports/highlights-of-provincial-greenhouse-gas-reduction-plans.pdf

    The fact that PICS major focus at startup was a plan to educate BC’s 40,000 civil servants to the dangers of climate change by producing Climate 101, an online course (to which the general public was generously granted free access) and the main reference link on the PICS website was to John Cook’s Sceptical Science catechism (catastrachism?) https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php suggest this was not a research endeavour. The mood music prompting (presumably lumpen) civil servants to appropriate reactions, confirms.
    http://pics.uvic.ca/education/climate-insights-101

    Weaver had been saying for years that the time for research was over and money should flow to control instead.

  19. JD Ohio
    Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    Brandon,

    There has been a lot of parsing of words used and substantial efforts on your part to discuss the Weaver decision. At Lucia’s on 2/8 you stated:

    “I remember reading discussions about Andrew Weaver. These discussions stemmed from some of these National Post articles. The discussions caused me to form opinions of Weaver I now know were wrong. For a few years, I viewed him in a negative light because the National Post distorted what Weaver said. Had it accurately reported what he had said, I would have held no negative view of Weaver.
    I have no problem seeing why Weaver would sue over this. In his position, I’d have probably done the same thing. And in the judge’s position, I would have definitely ruled in his favor.
    What the National Post did was wrong.”

    Could you now explain the most fundamental basic reasons that you feel that the National Post harmed Weaver in a meaningful way. I originally asked you for the three most inaccurate statements that defamed Weaver and led you to have a negative opinion of him, but you can use whatever method you wish to identify important, practical ways in which Weaver was harmed. (If you choose to answer my question.)

    JD

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      JD Ohio, for what it’s worth, reviewing that comment after having spent more time studying this case (which I hate having done), I’d say “I would have held a less negative view on Weaver” rather than “no negative view.”

      In any event, I’d be happy to answer your question. I won’t do so here, however. The responses I’ve gotten here have been far too infantile and abusive to want to start a new discussion here. I’d be happy to do it via e-mail, at lucia’s place, or I could even create a post at my site if you’d prefer. I won’t be able to do it until Sunday though. I’m going to be out of the house for most of today and tomorrow, and there’s no way I want to try to do it from my phone.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

        Brandon,”“I would have held a less negative view on Weaver” rather than “no negative view.”

        I think your most recent comment shows a good deal of progress has been made. (For whatever my opinion may be worth) Personally, I think that Weaver is a hypocritical, reprehensible, vindictive putz who is a predatory litigator. Obviously, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I do thank Nick Stokes for his comment at Lucia’s for bringing Weaver’s case up and giving Steve and others a chance to shine a light on his activities and background.

        If you wish to comment on your blog, I will check it out.

        JD

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio:

          Personally, I think that Weaver is a hypocritical, reprehensible, vindictive putz who is a predatory litigator.

          I feel like that’s something meriting an explanation.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

          Brandon: “I feel like that’s something meriting an explanation.” I don’t think he has suffered any damages and has used very legalistic arguments (unsupported by practical reasons or consequences) to manufacture a lawsuit as a means of silencing others. From what I can see the point of his lawsuit is to silence others and not seek compensation himself for damages he suffered as a result of the allegedly defamatory statements.

          I will add that one area where I think he has a minor legitimate gripe is claim that he never attributed the break-ins at his office to fossil fuel interests. If that is true, and I was the judge, I would award him $500 to $5,000. If you want to discuss this further, I would suggest that we do it at your blog.

          JD

        • bobdenton
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

          JD Ohio Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 2:55 PM

          “From what I can see the point of his lawsuit is to silence others …”

          But, that’s always one point of a defamation action, and an important component in quantification of general damages. The quantum must be sufficient to deter repetition of the defamation. When it comes to free speech, the law differentiates between “good” chilling and “bad” chilling, and deterrence of repetition of a libel is considered “good” chilling.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

          BDenton, ““From what I can see the point of his lawsuit is to silence others …”

          But, that’s always one point of a defamation action, and an important component in quantification of general damages.”

          The trial court in Weaver only awarded general damages not aggravated or punitive damages. See para. 291. Hill v. Church of Scientology had a long discussion of the place of damages under Canadian Defamation Law. Nowhere did it mention that general damages were intended to silence defamation defendants. see http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1285/index.do

          Here is the Hill court’s summary of the grounds for the award of general damages: “In an action of libel “the assessment of damages does not depend on any legal rule.” The amount of damages is “peculiarly the province of the jury,” who in assessing them will naturally be governed by all the circumstances of the particular case. They are entitled to take into their consideration the conduct of the plaintiff, his position and standing, the nature of the libel, the mode and extent of publication, the absence or refusal of any retraction or apology, and “the whole conduct of the defendant from the time when the libel was published down to the very moment of their verdict. They may take into consideration the conduct of the defendant before action, after action, and in court at the trial of the action,” and also, it is submitted, the conduct of his counsel, who cannot shelter his client by taking responsibility for the conduct of the case. They should allow “for the sad truth that no apology, retraction or withdrawal can ever be guaranteed completely to undo the harm it has done or the hurt it has caused.” They should also take into account the evidence led in aggravation or mitigation of the damages.”

          I would also note that my main point with respect to Weaver’s attempt to silence people was that it is attempting to silence others. For instance, I believe it is ludicrous for him to claim that he, and other AGWers, are immune form the effects of the financial awards that they receive by arguing that a catastrophe is in the future and that their research (funded by the government) can avert the catastrophe. Thus, he takes the comments critical about his funding sources to the extreme and claims in his lawsuit that defendants wrongly asserted that: “The plaintiff is so strongly motivated by a corrupt interest in receiving government funding that he willfully conceals scientific climate data which refutes global warming in order to continue alarming the public so that it welcomes inordinate government regulation.” To me this is a shot across the bow at other people who would criticize his objectivity (totally fairly to me) on the basis that he financially benefits from the belief that CO2 will have catastrophic consequences in the future.

          JD

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

          JD Ohio:

          I will add that one area where I think he has a minor legitimate gripe is claim that he never attributed the break-ins at his office to fossil fuel interests. If that is true, and I was the judge, I would award him $500 to $5,000. If you want to discuss this further, I would suggest that we do it at your blog.

          As I said, I’m a bit too busy to say much on this today. I intend to write a post about it tomorrow. In the meantime, however, I think you do owe more than you’ve provided. Before I get to that though, if you think that is a legitimate gripe, what about the completely false claim Andrew Weaver links individual weather and temperature events with global warming? I get our host argued against this point, but as I showed before, he did so by simply misrepresenting Weaver’s complaint.

          Given Weaver not only does not do what the National Post claimed in this instance, but often does the exact opposite (saying we can’t link specific events to global warming), I’d say that’s a pretty legitimate point to take issue with.

          Anyway, you’re expressing negative views of Weaver and saying things like:

          For instance, I believe it is ludicrous for him to claim that he, and other AGWers, are immune form the effects of the financial awards that they receive by arguing that a catastrophe is in the future and that their research (funded by the government) can avert the catastrophe.

          When as far as I know, you’ve never explained why you believe these things. I get people don’t have to explain the their beliefs, but if you’re going to make specific claims regarding them, it seems appropriate.

          But to be honest, I’m mostly writing this comment to say… huh? When has Weaver said anything like what you claim. I’ve never seen anything which even hints at the idea he believes this. I don’t think I’ve even seen anyone suggest he believes it prior to your latest comment.

          I think if you’re going to insult a guy and make specific claims about his beliefs, you are kind of obliged to provide some justification for what you say.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

          Brandon,

          Please put up a post on your blog. I doubt that our side issue is of much interest to Steve’s audience. I have reasons for my statements which you may or may not accept. I would prefer to do this at your blog.

          JD

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio, I can’t say I understand posting insults here if you think a discussion of your reasons for the insults shouldn’t be posted here, but alright.

          I should point out, however, if you misrepresent a person as it seems you may have just above with Andrew Weaver, and that misrepresentation serves to make him look bad, it is libel 😛

        • bobdenton
          Posted Mar 22, 2015 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

          JD Ohio Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 7:24 AM

          “The trial court in Weaver only awarded general damages not aggravated or punitive damages.
          ….

          ….
          I would also note that my main point with respect to Weaver’s attempt to silence people was that it is attempting to silence others.

          Another can of worms.

          Inhibition of contagion has always been a purpose of compensatory (general) damages in libel. If you’d brought an action for defamation on the grounds that you’d been falsely labelled a paedophile would you not want repetition of the libel, not just by the Defendant, but by all others, to be deterred? It has been expressed thus:

          “In actions of defamation and in any other actions where damages for loss
          of reputation are involved, the principle of restitutio in integrum has neces-
          sarily an even more highly subjective element. Such actions involve a money
          award which may put the plaintiff in a purely financial sense in a much
          stronger position than he was before the wrong. Not merely can he recover
          the estimated sum of his past and future losses, but, in case the libel, driven
          underground, emerges from its lurking place at some future date, he must
          be able to point to a sum awarded by a jury sufficient to convince a bystander
          of the baselessness of the charge.” (Lord Chancellor in Cassel v Broome, formerly House of Lords, now UK Supreme Court, in 1972)

          As well as the cost of putting into good repair, and, in future, keeping in good repair, the reputation of the Defendant, compensation for aggravation which tends, incidentally, to punish the Defendant for his behaviour has always formed part of general damages. There’s an overlap between compensation (giving the Plaintiff what he is due) and making the Defendant pay what his outrageous conduct merits. The latter may exceed the former, but the “aggravated” or “punitive” damages, as a term of art, only refers to the difference between the two. The aggravated and punitive elements are not heads of damage separate from general damages, they’re merely a mathematical excess.

          In Weaver’s case, you’re correct, no mathematical excess was awarded – under Canadian law that would have required a finding of malice. That doesn’t mean that no compensation was awarded for aggravating factors. The list you cite from Hill contains just such aggravating factors.

          “For instance, I believe it is ludicrous for him to claim that he, and other AGWers, are immune form the effects of the financial awards that they receive by arguing that a catastrophe is in the future and that their research (funded by the government) can avert the catastrophe..”

          The Pope rarely prefaces his Bulls with, “Personally, I don’t believe in God but ….”. Now you could opine that he doesn’t believe in God, but pretends to because his job depends on it,however, expect to have your opinions discounted by others. The same applies to Weaver. It’s well known that if John’s living depends of believing X, he tends to believe X. However, if you want to argue the converse, that John doesn’t believe X, the fact that his living depends on it falls woefully short of proof of his bad faith. This is the fallacy you employ against Weaver.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 22, 2015 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

          With it being Sunday, I had the free time to write a post I said I’d write for JD Ohio.

        • JD Ohio
          Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

          BobDenton citation of English case

          Your first mistake was to not read the Hill case closely. It stated on p. 189 that: “These [aggravated] damages take into account the additional harm caused to the plaintiff’s feelings by the defendant’s outrageous and malicious conduct. Like general or special damages, they are compensatory in nature.”

          Next you used a misleading quotation from Broome (which is not binding authority, being a UK case) and left out the next paragraph which makes clear that general damages are supposed to be compensatory: “It seems to me that, properly speaking, a man defamed does not get compensation for his damaged reputation. He gets damages because he was injured in his reputation, that is simply because he was publicly defamed. For this reason, compensation by damages operates in two ways – as a vindication of the plaintiff to the public and as consolation to him for a wrong done. Compensation is here a solatium rather than a monetary recompense for harm measurable in money.”

          Of course, the general thrust of your opinion and your rhetorical excess is that Weaver is a victim. In fact, he is a predatory litigator who uses minor lapses of technical meaning that are difficult to follow as a weapon against those who challenge his world view. This behavior is quite common in the warmist world where the use of the notorious ***word that follows C is used to intimidate people who insist on real science and not advocacy science.

          Also, I doubt that you see the irony of aligning me with the Pope when I am the one defending free speech and you are the one advocating the silencing of opinions. Additionally, you use the absolutely ridiculous example of the false accusation of pedophilia (which is a very serious charge and for which large damages should be awarded when the accusation is falsely made) as meaningful comparison for the harm that Weaver claims he suffered when (in his view) he was falsely accused of lobbying for more public funding. This is absolutely typical false victimhood practiced by warmists as they aggressively try to silence others.

          JD

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

          Brilliant JD.

        • bobdenton
          Posted Mar 24, 2015 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

          JD Ohio Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM

          I’ve looked through our exchange again, and in one place I’ve used the loose terminology of my youth, when aggravated, punitive, exemplary and vindictive all meant the same thing – damages in excess of those necessary to remediate, and intended to punish the Defendant.
          In my previous comment please read,””but the “aggravated” or “punitive” damages, as a term of art”” as “” but the “punitive” damages, as a term of art,”” (“exemplary” is the term used in the Statement of Claim.)
          Aggravated damages, as a term of art, is, indeed, now reserved for mental distress exacerbated by the malicious conduct or intent of the Defendant, and is compensatory.

          So far as your suggestion that the the paragraph following then paragraph I cited from Broome adds something significant, I’m mystified.
          My guess, from your comment, is that the words, “Compensation is here a solatium rather than a monetary recompense for harm measurable in money ”, have caught your attention. All they mean is that it’s an award of general rather than special damages. I don’t see the relevance of that to anything we’ve discussed.

          There are a couple of other cryptic remarks which I’d need further clarified.

          “Of course, the general thrust of your opinion and your rhetorical excess is that
          Weaver is a victim.”

          Where have you seen my opinions? I’m not aware that I’ve ever expressed any opinions on Weaver, I’m not in a position to do so. I’m aware that a judge, after following the protocols for a fair trial in a democratic society under the rule of law, has found him to be a victim, but I give that judgment no more weight than is appropriate.

          “the use of the notorious ***word that follows C is used to intimidate people who insist on real science and not advocacy science.”

          More hints please. A word comes to mind but doesn’t seem congruent with or relevant to the context you give.

          “Also, I doubt that you see the irony of aligning me with the Pope”

          For clarity, perhaps I should have used the impersonal pronoun. My rhetorical excess,
          or device as I prefer to call it, wasn’t a suggestion that I knew your opinions about the Pope or an attempt to attribute opinions about him to you; it was merely a rhetorical device, an exaggeration to make an argument more clearly.

          “when I am the one defending free speech and you are the one advocating the silencing of
          opinions.”

          I like to feel I’m flexible enough to do either, but can you clarify whether you’d like me to defend your right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded cinema, or would you be satisfied with something less challenging?

          “Additionally, you use the absolutely ridiculous example of the false accusation of pedophilia (which is a very serious charge and for which large damages should be awarded when the accusation is falsely made)”

          I’m very familiar with the consequences of a false allegation of paedophilia. I once
          represented a concerned parent who’d emasculated the victim of such a false accusation with his shotgun. He was defending a civil action for battery. But, PaulG23 doesn’t agree with us. He wouldn’t permit any actions for defamation. He, at least, has the virtue of consistency.

          “as meaningful comparison for the harm that Weaver claims he suffered when (in his view) he was falsely accused of lobbying for more public funding”

          Why wouldn’t it be a meaningful comparison? You can argue that it differs in degree of seriousness, but both are representations which injure a person in their reputation, and, of course, I refer here to the allegations in the Statement of Claim and not the characterisation you’ve given them.

  20. Waltheof
    Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    I can’t for the life of me work out what is controversial, beyond weavers denial, about academics lobbying for more funding of their fields.

    If they aren’t then they aren’t doing their job.

    Brandon I have been lurking and reading these pages for years and have high respect and appreciation for your posts.

    Please don’t argue against the bleeding obvious

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

      Waltheof, I’m afraid I’ve reached the point where I just don’t give any thought when people say things like I’m “argu[ing] against the bleeding obvious.” I think any fairminded person reading the responses I’ve gotten in these discussions of the Andrew Weaver lawsuit would understand why. I keep getting remarks like those rather than actual arguments which try to demonstrate why I am wrong.

      Just look at this thread. Not a single person has remarked on the National Post defending itself against an accusation of misrepresenting a person by blatantly misrepresenting a quote even though it is obvious and indisputable they did so. It’s absurd. When people won’t acknowledge even the most obvious mistakes and/or misrepresentations, there is no reason I should place any stock in them crying, “You’re wrong!”

      I can accept I might be wrong on some of the issues related to this lawsuit. However, nobody here is behaving in a way which gives me any reason to believe I am.

      • Paul Courtney
        Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

        Well, I’ve tried to avoid the weeds, but I can’t let this stand. Your point was not obvious or indisputable, and it was disputed in the comments immediately following yours, and throughout the string. You limit it to a single line, but that line can be read as a gov’t funded researcher complaining about a lack of resources so he wants funds he doesn’t yet have (i.e., “more funds” than he has at present). This is obvious. It is bleeding obvious in light of many other examples provided in the string that Weaver in fact did lobby for climate funds, making his complaint letter to NP (I don’t lobby for climate funding) false and specious. NP cannot be blamed if it gave this short shrift, as its original statement “during one of his lobbying pleas for more funding” was accurate, along with its statement that he benefits from the gov’t money he sought in his “business” of climate modelling. These points have been made, so your point is not obvious and has been disputed (quite effectively, in the view of so many of us juveniles). I’m not surprised you think otherwise, as your silly arguments about “more funding” and “lobbying” demonstrate the condition I previously diagnosed-blindness. You say it’s not hatred of NP, but when you tell us you once thought less of Weaver because you read stuff in the NP that you later decided was untrue, you sound like a jilted lover.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

          Paul Courtney, your response is almost unbelievable. I focused on one specific issue, providing a link to a comment which dealt only with that issue, referencing the arguments made in that comment. You responded with a lengthy comment to criticize me because of a different issue an issue I didn’t even hint at in the comment you’re responding to or the comment I provided to support what I said. Indeed, the comment you’re responding to wouldn’t even make sense in the context of the issue you’re criticizing me over.

          You apparently can’t be bothered to even read what enough of what I say to realize everything you’re saying is about a different issue than what the comment you’re responding to discussed, yet you claim I am blinded by my emotions…?

          Um, sure. If you simply ignore what I say, as well as any links I provide specifying which issue I’m referring to, you will find you can make my remarks seem ridiculous. That’s not surprising. That’s what happens when you misrepresent remarks as being about things they are clearly not about.

          What makes this nearly unbelievable is you’re disputing my claim the National Post misrepresented what a quote referred to in an obvious way by misrepresenting what my comment referred to… in an obvious way.

  21. MikeN
    Posted Mar 20, 2015 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    I object to the argument over increase of funding vs more cuts. If you want funding to be maintained at current levels, then you are seeking more funding. If you think the spending should be cut from one billion dollars to one million, then you are seeking more funding.

  22. paulg23
    Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    Debating in a court proceeding the meaning of comments published in a newspaper article, or in a blog, or wherever, in order to determine whether the remarks were defamatory, and damaging, and subjecting people to lawsuits and years of torture and legal expenses and legal rulings, and judgments of a court, judgments enforced by cops with guns,are all the product of a primitive and misguided notion – the notion being that a person has the right to protect “their reputation.”

    What is usually described as “your reputation” does not, in fact, belong to you. Your reputation is what other people think of you, it is their collective or individual opinion as to who you are, your character, your intelligence, your competence, your achievements, your behavior.

    You have no right to control what I think of you, or what the community thinks of you. You have no right to limit the information I can consider when evaluating your reputation. You have no right to interfere with, burden, or discourage anyone from providing me with information that I can consider in forming my opinion of you. You have no right to claim that you are injured by what I think of you.

    Defamation law is archaic and it should be abolished. If there is one thing that should be obvious in this internet age, it is that the flow of information will not be be contained. The proper response to bad ideas, scientific mistakes, unfair comments, attacks on character, etc., is more speech in response. Defamation lawsuits and those who bring them, and the lawyers and judges who further these exercises in nastiness, should be publicly criticized to the point that no one wants to participate in such activities in the future.

    • kim
      Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

      One rule to google them all.
      =====

    • Mooloo
      Posted Mar 21, 2015 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

      Defamation law is archaic and it should be abolished.

      I am a school teacher. If anyone accuses me of a sexual offence on a student merely because they want to get me in a nice easy way I will immediately do them in court for every penny they are worth. No amount of “more speech in response” brings you back from that sort of slur.

      I’m all for defamation law reform, but without it anyone can say anything. Literally anything. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know they had said it until years later.

      Given what rot people say about Steve M when we have defamation laws, imagine how dirty it would be without them.

      • paulg23
        Posted Mar 22, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

        You may wish to have the judge in a defamation suit decide whether you are, or are not, a sex offender. And publish that opinion, including what facts the judge analyzed, in reaching her conclusion. I don’t see that process as helpful, or even as civilized.
        Responsible people won’t judge you based on reckless accusations. The rest don’t matter.

        • Mooloo
          Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

          The point is that the inevitability of losing a defamation hearing when the accusation is both wrong and malicious more or less prevents any such cases from ever happening. So I won’t have to have a judge rule on me because the threat of losing a lot of money stops people before they start.

          The law works 99% of the time, and to throw it out based on some idea of being able to defend yourself is crazy. Even if I can defend myself, I don’t want to have to. For a lot of people the best way to defend yourself from a vicious slur is to inflict one back — and then we really are entering the realms of uncivilised behaviour.

  23. Posted Mar 22, 2015 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Weaver endorsed Mulcair for NDP leadership. (“Victoria climate scientist endorses NDP leadership candidate”, By Cindy E. Harnett, timescolonist.com December 8, 2011. )
    (Bizarrely, the newspaper used a photo of Weaver speaking with a Green party banner clearly visible in the background, I suspect from an earlier event, perhaps a multi-party one, or just an interloper banner effort.)

    That was several months after Elizabeth May was elected as an MP for the Green Party of Canada. (The leadership campaign was needed as the NDP leader died after the election.)

    A year later Weaver announced he would run for the provincial Green Party, and subsequently was elected as an MLA in BC, IIRC in the spring of 2013. (His announcement was a bit odd, it sounds as though he may have believed that the provincial NDP would win the election so it was safe to try to get a Green MLA elected to raise the profile of environmentalism. Wee problem however – the NDP lost badly, perhaps in likely from the combination of veering more green late in the campaign and being viewed as against jobs.)
    (That’s the British Parliamentary system, where the party that elects the most legislators forms the government, with the leader of that part becoming the Prime Minister (federal) or Premier (provincial).)

    Weaver’s endorsement of a federal NDP person was made after Weaver bashed the NDP for climate policies: http://www.desmogblog.com/leading-canadian-climate-scientist-calls-bc-ndp-policies-regressive-and-counter-productive (April 2009).

    Weaver’s loose mouth, definition of science, and ivory-tower attitude are illustrated in http://www.webcitation.org/5wXb0lumt, “It’s hard to be a climate scientist when dinosaurs are making the calls” November 18, 2010

    Weaver used the 2011 event as an opportunity to bash Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    So to me Weaver seems like a politician who takes opportunities he can get.

  24. Posted Mar 23, 2015 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    He is getting out of modelling in time before verification and going into model parliament.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] several topics, including whether Weaver had lobbied for funding (see earlier CA discussion here). In today’s post, I’ll limit discussion to Weaver’s complaint about National […]

  2. By Why I Side With Andrew Weaver | Izuru on Mar 22, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    […] I intended to publish a post today listing a series of problems with the Berkeley Earth temperature record. I had said I would, but a different matter is more pressing. You may have heard about a lawsuit where Andrew Weaver sued the National Post for libel and won. I discussed it a bit just a few posts back. In that post, I was highly critical of some of what has been said at Climate Audit about this lawsuit. That position caused one commenter, JD Ohio, to ask: […]

  3. […] https://climateaudit.org/2015/03/18/weaver-i-do-not-lobby-for-more-climate-funding/ […]

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