Climate scientist sues newspaper for ‘poisoning’ global warming debate

One of the world’s leading climate scientists has launched a libel lawsuit against a Canadian newspaper for publishing articles that he says “poison” the debate on global warming. In a case with potentially huge consequences for online publishers, lawyers acting for Andrew Weaver, a climate modeller at the University of Victoria, Canada, have demanded the National Post removes the articles not only from its own websites, but also from the numerous blogs and sites where they were reposted. Weaver says the articles, published at the height of several recent controversies over the reliability of climate science in recent months, contain “grossly irresponsible falsehoods”. He said he filed the suit after the newspaper refused to retract the articles. Weaver is suing for libel three writers at the newspaper, as well as the newspaper as a whole and several, as-yet unknown, posters on the paper’s online comment section. McConchie Law Corporation, acting for Weaver, said that the National Post articles had “gone viral on the internet” and were reproduced on dozens of other websites. The lawsuit says the newspaper “expressly authorised republication” of the articles by including online links that invited readers to email the story to others, and share it through tools such as Facebook. McConchie Law said it was seeking an “unprecedented” court order that would require the newspaper to help Weaver remove the articles from across the internet. Media law experts said that such demands were becoming increasingly common in complaints to publishers, but this could be the first time they were tested in court.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/22/climate-change-libel-action-canada-national-post

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