CLICK HERE FOR AN UPDATED BIO OF TIM BALL (FEB.05, 2007)
The plaintive plaintiff Dr. Tim Ball - much rebuked even before he launched his ill-considered lawsuit against Dr. Dan Johnson - is roughed up yet further in the Statement of Defence filed in December by the Calgary Herald.
Without wandering too presumptuously into details of the case, here's a brief synopsis:
On April 19, 2006, the Herald published an article by Tim Ball, whom the newspaper identified as the first climatology PhD in Canada and a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg for 28 years.
On April 23, 2006, the Herald published a response from Dr. Dan Johnson, a professor at the Univesity of Lethbridge, in which Johnson pointed out that neither of those descriptions is true; that Dr. Ball's credential were being seriously overstated.
Ball later threatened Johnson and the Herald and ultimately sued for defamation.
Johnson's response, accords well with the Herald defence: establishing the accuracy of Johnson's letter and adding that Ball, in quite savagely attacking climate change science and scientists, was leading with his chin.
The Herald's concluding paragraphs give a sense of the defence:
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:
(a) The Plaintiff has never published any research in any peer-reviewed scientific journal which addressed the topic of human contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming;
(b) The Plaintiff has published no papers on climatology in academically recognized peer-reviewed scientific journals since his retirement as a Professor in 1996;
(c) The Plaintiff's credentials and credibility as an expert on the issue of global warming have been repeatedly disparaged in the media; and
(d) The Plaintiff is viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.
On a related issue, Dr. Ball has discontinued his action against the University of Lethbridge, which was originally named in the suit. Accordingly, the next major step in the case will be Discovery.