Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel....
and has a good set of lawyers on retainer. Richard Littlemore has the Calgary Herald's statement of defense against Tim Ball suing them because they called him Tim Ball. Having received the Ball from Dan Johnson's lawyer, they bounce Tim against the wall a few times, then ask for costs. Go read Richard and the statement. As he points out the best is...
50. The Defendants (the Calgary Herald) state that the Plaintiff (Ball) never held a reputation in the scientific community as a noted climatologist and authority on global warming. The particulars of the Plaintiff's reputation are as follows:...but the ticking time bomb is the one right before it
(d) The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.
49. The Defendants deny that the Plaintiff suffered any loss to his reputation or income earning capacity, and put the Plaintiff to strict proof thereof.The Herald (not the most environmentally conscious rag), really lays it on thick that Ball is a paid agent of the oil and gas industry. It's time for Tim to pay off and fold unless he wants all of his financial records to appear in Queen's Court along with those of Foes of Science and the Needy Reprehensible Scientists and Publicists AND their funders.
The CH also figured out, again as Rabett of the Bailey pointed out, to the chamber bunnies, that there had not been proper notification by Ball to the Herald and Johnson before the suit was filed.
Eli observed (sagely as you will agree, you ARE reading this, yes?) back in September that, Ball will soon find that discovery is not just a cable TV channel. Oh yeah.
But more seriously folk, the denialists have long used SLAPP suits or the threat thereof to hold down opposition. In doing so they counted on the support, financial and otherwise, of the think tanks, oil and gas industry and their rather rightward crowd. The most infamous of these was S. Fred's suit against Justin Lancaster. Lancaster had called Singer out for doing a number on a dying Roger Revelle.
Another example was Singer's letter to the Washington Times, in which he made a thinly veiled hint that the ACS was "courting one or more libel suits" after and article by Bette Hileman had appeared in C&E News
"Global warming is target of disinformation campaign." In it, Hileman described "a systematic campaign of disinformation" being conducted by a small group of scientists calling themselves the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) whose work is funded by coal, oil, utility, automobile, and chemical companies --the corporations whose profits might decline if Congress took global warming seriously.After describing how Pat Michaels was going after Ben Santer, Hilleman concluded with
...Either Michaels does not understand Santer's work or he is deliberately distorting it.What has changed is that there is now an infrastructure as willing to defend against such shuck and jive and since it is shuck and jive, we may look forward to award of costs.