Court Orders Climate Deniers To Pay $80,000 For ‘Not Acting Reasonably’

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A group of climate change skeptics in New Zealand was ordered to pay $80,000 in court costs after it brought a lawsuit against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The New Zealand Climate Education Trust alleged that NIWA data on climate change in New Zealand was invalid. The group’s website says they are “ensuring that New Zealanders receive balanced scientific opinions that reflect the truth about climate change and the exaggerated claims that have been made about anthropogenic global warming.”

The group sued stating that NIWA unethically, intentionally misinterpreted their data to make people believe climate change is real. They alleged that the methodology for gathering data was flawed.

“We’re not saying that climatic changes are not happening,” said Trust attorney Terry Sissons, “but let’s at least ensure the evidence gathered for the benefit of New Zealanders is accurate and is done properly.”

Appeals Court Justice Forrest Miller ruled that the lawsuit was simply “mounting a crusade against NIWA and was not acting reasonably.”

A High Court ruling back in September 2012 ruled that NIWA had “acted in accordance with internationally recognized and credible scientific methodology.”

New Zealand High Court Justice Geoffrey Vanning ruled it was “unnecessary for this Court to resolve this scientific debate” and that other scientific methodologies would “still have arrived at a similar result which would strengthen the robustness and validity of the previous results.”

“We never doubted the excellence and integrity of our science,” said NIWA Chief Executive John Morgan said in a statement. “Our scientists and have always rigorously defended the robustness and professionalism of our work.”

Sources: ThinkProgress, Radio New Zealand