A prominent University of Victoria climate researcher says he's been repeatedly defamed by the National Post and has launched a lawsuit against the national newspaper.Why would he sue? West Coast Environmental Law has pointed out the benefits of a lawsuit against climate change deniers.
Discovery – Under the rules of court the defendant could be forced to disclose the sources of their funding and to explain where their information comes from; Climate change deniers have historically been reluctant to reveal their funding sources.Let us hope Dr Weaver is quickly successful in court.
Court ruling on the credibility of attacks on climate change science – A court is likely to hold that the climate change denier cannot prove his/her statements on a balance of probabilities or is actually misleading the public.
Potential for a damages award – In addition to damages to the scientist’s reputation (likely nominal, if no financial loss was suffered), the court could award aggravated damages. While the amount of the award, at least in Canada, would probably not be huge, the message sent would be priceless. In other jurisdictions there may be potential for more significant damages awards.
Targeting the funders – A conspiracy claim could name funders of climate change deniers, drawing them into the spotlight – which is where they do not want to be.