At DeSmogBlog, Richard Littlemore reports:
The self-styled Canadian climate change expert, Dr. Tim Ball, has abandoned his libel suit against University of Lethbridge Professor of Environmental Science Dan Johnson. Ball dropped the suit without conditions, but also without acknowledging that Johnson's original comments were accurate and were reported in good faith.
"This is great news," Dr. Johnson said today, "but it still leaves a cloud over my name that I would like removed. Even though I can now demand that Ball pay what the court calls 'taxed costs,' that won't begin to cover the actual legal bills, to make up for lost time or to repair the damage that Ball has done to my reputation."
Now anyone can write about Ball's faked credentials without fear of being sued.
Very nice to see a measure of success for the good guys for once. Here's hoping Johnson takes some kind of response legal action concerning Ball's apparent misuse of the system. Libel suits are a tool for protecting against libel, not a weapon to bully people with.
Since it is over, I can answer the question that has topped my hate mail (including one, sadly, from a member of Ball's family): did I make up my information
(a) in order to guard my climate research grants (?),
(b) because I can't refute Ball's science (?),
(c) because I can't take the truth,
(d) for political reasons, or
(e) just a character flaw, as in "You write letters without having any evidence to back it up.", blah, blah, blah.
(I am, however, sorry to report that I did not receive death threats. Apparently this means a great deal to the media and neocon bloggers.)
Common claims against me is that Ball "has never had a website" (aha, gotcha!), and this even appeared in a letter from Ball to the Calgary Herald about me, a letter to me, a document filed in court, etc. ... so, why would I imply in a letter that he had a website. The source should be shown at least for the educational benefit of those who think that when a website is updated from time to time and then deleted from the internet, it is gone forever. Here is what I was looking at while writing the obvious, unimportant, but costly letter in April, 2006. The website disappeared the day after I was sued, which could be a coincidence.
Dan: Congratulations on your victory over Dr. Ball (truth prevails over ego for a change).
Ball never intended to bring the suit all the way to court. It was intimidation, pure and simple. The next time he writes some lies about climate science, scientists will hesitate before correcting him. Barton can't haul working scientists in front of his commitee anymore, so all they have is L. Ron Hubbard tactics.
Which is why it is important that Dan get a whole lot of Ball's balls.