Clive Hamilton describes the hate mail campaign against climate scientists:

Australia’s most distinguished climate scientists have become the target of a new form of cyber-bullying aimed at driving them out of the public debate.

In recent months, each time they enter the public debate through a newspaper article or radio interview these scientists are immediately subjected to a torrent of aggressive, abusive and, at times, threatening emails. Apart from the volume and viciousness of the emails, the campaign has two features – it is mostly anonymous and it appears to be orchestrated.

I’m not a climate scientist nor distinguished, so I don’t get very much of this stuff. And if you use a fake name to abuse me and I figure out your real name, I can post the hate mail under the real name of the sender for everyone to see, like this abusive rant from Joe Cambria.

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    February 22, 2010

    Gad, this Cambria seems typical of the place he works:
    brookesnews.com/index.html

  2. #2 Mike
    February 22, 2010

    I can’t quite get a handle on what makes extreme right-wingers such angry and bitter bullies. Or is it the other way round, and we define such people as “extreme right wing”?

  3. #3 Rixaeton
    February 22, 2010

    #2 : They are angry and bitter because they are out of power. Like some children, they don’t like it when they are not in charge, and start using phrases like “poopy-head” and “ad hominem”… or something… when they cannot get their way.

    It seems that calling them “denialist” is the worst insult to them, so naturally we use it all the time :) Looking through the comments on the ABC website, it is most depressing, but it should be remembered that there are a lot of muppets out there, that shout a lot to seem like they are a majority, when they are only a few misguided or even corrupt persons. Most people that we meet on the street are actually quite polite about global warming, and are concerned and interested. It is really only a very small number that are denialists.

  4. #4 Nick
    February 22, 2010

    They are angry and bitter because they sense their ignorance and are humiliated by it. Someone else is to blame.

  5. #5 Paul Crowley
    February 22, 2010

    It’s nice to think it is, but it isn’t really to do with political position. You and I wouldn’t send such emails, but sadly plenty of people who broadly take our side would embarrass us with emails like this under cover of anonymity.

  6. #6 Ezzthetic
    February 22, 2010

    It’s a pity he ended with an exclamation mark.

    I had this really good joke about the Cambrian Period.

  7. #7 Norman
    February 22, 2010

    Joe Cambria is a seriously ill person. His language gives this away. He projects onto others the repulsion he feels for himself exemplified by his childish use of subjective contentless language such as “disgusting” and “dirt bag” etcetera to describe ideological opponents. It reeks.

    It’s telling (even delicious) that Sinclair Davidson allows him to dominate his blog. Word is that Cambria pays him for that privilege. The plot thickens.

  8. #8 Mark
    February 22, 2010

    >*They are angry and bitter because [...]*

    Many of them have some justification to be angry having *been lied to… eg GFC, Iraq, level of [our] Democarcy*. But some are unfortunately vulnerable to misdirection:

    >I think various interest benefit if that anger is directed towards AGW etc, if the results is to redirect anger away from some other issue; I.e if AGW is a scandle then coverage of financial reform gets less energy, as does focus on corporate consoliation, and analysis of finanical influence in democratic processes.

    >How did the anger about the GFC get so quickly redircted? And where is the coverage and rigerous following of the movement for reforms to protect democracy from subordination to concetrated wealth and power?

    >To cite one combined motive and method look at media consolidation.

    Which is linked to the endless sources of “journalism”-gates that we see.

    And one of the consequence of anger and misdirection is aggression and nasty behavior directed towards the messengers who try and deliver a very important warning. Hopeful that behaviour will not continue for much longer.

    I look forward to reading Hamilton’s follow piece on who is backing the bullies.

  9. #9 Ant
    February 22, 2010

    Indeed Mark. The libertarian bully boys are firmly in harness that much’s clear. But who pays the piper?

  10. #10 Mark
    February 22, 2010

    You people actually believe Clive Hamilton? Talk about gullible. If there are that many abusive emails, why not publish a selection? If you believe Clive then you probably believe SA Attorney General Michael Atkinson when he claimed that he was being abused by gamers, and that they were more dangerous than bikies, when in fact he had apparently received one letter pushed under his door – over a year ago. It seems very convenient that Clive makes such claims of scientists being bullied yet the scientists I work with regard him as a joke and are quite capable of standing up for themselves. Clive The Protector of the scared scientists? Get real!

  11. #11 David Duff
    February 22, 2010

    A ‘hate mail’ campaign against climate scientists? Shockin’, shockin’! I despise that sort of thing almost as much as ‘hate and smear campaigns’ against sceptics conducted via the media:

    Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain

    Headline in The Guardian. I won’t link to it because I know how fastidious you all you ‘Deltoids’ are.

  12. #12 jakerman
    February 22, 2010

    *Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain*

    But David They are

    < http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/feb/19/climate-change-sceptics-science>

    Mark writes:

    >*yet the scientists I work with regard him as a joke…*

    You dont work for a resource company do you, or perhaps with [recycled critics](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=S._Fred_Singer) of controls on tobacco and acid rain?

    Perhaps if your claims are true Mark, then the so called real people who’s views you say you are conveying may be on the records somewhere?

  13. #13 Mike
    February 22, 2010

    David, when someone accuses a “sceptic” like Monckton of lying, deceiving and misinforming, it’s usually because he has been caught lying, deceiving and misinforming.

    When someone accuses a journalist like Akerman of quote-mining or mis-quoting, it’s usually because he has been caught quote-mining or mis-quoting.

    There is nothing deceptive (except in the fertile minds of conspiracy theorists of course) about decades of accumulated, published, and reviewed data and research.

    Call it “smear” if you want to redefine the term, but mother always taught me a liar was a liar, that it was a bad thing, and that my nose would grow very long if I did it.

    There are quite a few long-nosed sceptics out there.

  14. #14 Bud
    February 22, 2010

    Mark writes:

    You people actually believe Clive Hamilton? Talk about gullible. If there are that many abusive emails, why not publish a selection?

    You didn’t actually read the article, did you Mark?

    To scientists:

    “It’s so obvious you are an activist going along with the climate change lie to protect your very lucrative employment contract.”

    “It is probably not to (sic) extreme to suggest that your actions (deceitful) were so criminal to be compared with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. It is called treason and genocide.

    “Oh, as a scientist, you have destroyed peoples trust in my profession. You are a criminal . Lest we forget.”

    “There will be a day of facing the music for the Pitman type frauds… Pitman you are a f**king fool!”

    “F**k off mate, stop the personal attacks. Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT.”

    To campaigners:

    “Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents socialist beliefs and actions?

    “Burn in hell. Or in the main street, when the Australian public finally lynchs you.”

    “F**k off!!!

    “Or you will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f**king neck, until you are dead, dead, dead!

    “F**k you little pieces of sh*t, show youselves in public!!!”

    To journalists:

    “You sad sack of s**t. It’s ok to trash climate change sceptics yet, when the shoe is on the other foot, you become a vindictive, nasty piece of s**t not able to face the fact that you’re wrong about climate change and you’re reputation is now trash.”

    “Your mother was a goat f**ker!!!!!! Your father was a turd!!!!!!! You will be one of the first taken out in the revolution!!!!!!!! Your head will be on a stake!! C**t!”

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    February 22, 2010

    Mark,

    I am a senior scientist and I certainly do not regard Clive Hamilton as a joke, nor do many colleagues I have spoken with. You are way out of line on this one. Clive’s efforts to counter the tsunmi of anti-environmental disinformation, and in particular on climate change, is welcome as far as I am concerned.

    Furthermore, I received a number of nasty emails soon after my co-review of Lomborg’s erroneous tome in Nature back in 2001. The most recent one I got was last year, 8 years after the fact! Given the power of the corporate lobby and their paid-for hacks to distort science, and the huge public relations and media budgets they have at their disposal, it is little wonder that their message resonates with some nutcases enough to spur them to write threatening or abusive emails to scientists.

    As for David Duff’s fatuous remark above, jakerman demolished it. Methinks DD should peruse some of the information on orgasnizations like the “Advancement of Sound Science Coalition” (TAASC, now defunct), which shows a clear link between tobacco funding, tobacco lobbyists, and their involvement in other issues such as downplaying climate change and its effects.

  16. #16 Mark
    February 22, 2010

    Mark @8 and @10 are not one and the same.

    This Mark is read Hamilton and found him to make a reliable and insightful contribution.

  17. #17 Neil
    February 22, 2010

    [i]Recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain[/i] is only a ‘hateful smear’ if you believe there’s something wrong with opposing controls on tobacco and acid rain.

  18. #18 Rixaeton
    February 22, 2010

    #10:

    It seems very convenient that Clive makes such claims of scientists being bullied yet the scientists I work with regard him as a joke and are quite capable of standing up for themselves.

    Heh – Mark, you should read the ABC article a bit more carefully, the last paragraph reads:

    The effect of the cyber-bullying campaign on some scientists-including those I have mentioned-is quite opposite to the intended one. The attempts at intimidation have only made them more resolved to keep talking to the public about their research. Their courage under fire stands in contrast to the cowardice of the anonymous emailers.

    Which is what you have said, so you are agreeing with Clive, which is nice :)

    As for #11 David Duff: Stating the lobbyists and “scientists for hire” anti-AGW science crew are the same ones that were denying ‘smoking = cancer’ etc. is quite factual. So the fact that they were of the same groups in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s that worked for polluting businesses is conflated in your eyes as a ‘hate and smear campaign.’ I guess that shows that you think their activities back then equates to them engaging in hateful and besmearing actions?

  19. #19 David Duff
    February 22, 2010

    The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ keep resonating in my head, can’t think why!

  20. #20 Rixaeton
    February 22, 2010

    #19:

    The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ keep resonating in my head, can’t think why!

    Poor DD. Given the level of nasty emails sent to climate scientists that state that AGW is real (ie: > 90% certain) vs the level of nasty emails sent to denialsts (evidence? anyone?) I agree I can’t think why ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ are resonating in your head either.

    Perhaps it is a pop song that is stuck in there? I know ‘I should be so lucky’ does that. So does [Narwals](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykwqXuMPsoc). Curse you [PZ](http://http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/)!

    Dunno if that helps, maybe another Deltoid can help you?

  21. #21 John Quiggin
    February 22, 2010

    David Duff’s endorsement of the hate campaign as a justifiable response to criticism of the like of Monckton is, I think, pretty representative of the attitude of the anti-science right in general. The rhetoric of people like Miranda Devine, Jennifer Marohasy, Andrew Bolt and others is just a cleaned-up version of the garbage cited above.

  22. #22 mb
    February 22, 2010

    Dear crackpots,
    If you really thought that climate scientists were participants in an international conspiracy among world governments, the last thing you would ever do is send threatening e-mail to one of its members. You’d be so disappeared the total mass of the universe would decrease.

  23. #23 Joseph
    February 22, 2010

    Only emails? Not phone calls with death threats on your kids? The cranks in this debate are amateurs. But it does sound like they are stepping up their tactics.

  24. #24 Rixaeton
    February 22, 2010

    #22. Umm… Maybe for denialists it depends on your point of view?

    If you regard large groups of smart people working together and meeting from time to time to discuss and refine their ideas, to ultimately gain an understanding of how the world works, and then to make assessments and predictions of what the future holds given those said findings. If these people then pass that information to policy makers to then act on the science, then yes, I guess it would be a conspiracy :) Pity the science is all carried out in public, with peer review, and over 120 years of research and understanding behind it. And as for the govt operating in secret… well, apart from published legislation, public enquiries, submissions, draft reports, green papers, white papers, and parliamentary debate, then yes, I guess so… if you squint and look at it just right… :)

    These “crackpots” remind me of [this scene from Eric the Viking](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8IBnfkcrsM&feature=related)

  25. #25 Neil
    February 22, 2010

    Also, if the climate scientists were part of a global government conspiracy, you’d expect it would be the *deniers* who’d have their communications tapped – not vice-versa, as actually happened.

  26. #26 Donald Oats
    February 22, 2010

    A little off-topic, but does anyone (Tim Lambert?) know who it was that originally said “the science is settled?”. My recollection was that they were on their way out of the building where the accompanying news journalist was asking them about the meeting they had attended. At the time I just took it (the news story) at face value, but now I keep wondering whether the quotee was who I assumed, ie a scientist, or someone else entirely. Any ideas, anyone?

  27. #27 David Duff
    February 22, 2010

    Mr. Quiggin,

    David Duff’s endorsement of the hate campaign “.

    Excuse me? I know how careful you are here to remain strictly accurate at all times so could you please point to where I endorsed a hate campaign?

  28. #28 stepanovich
    February 22, 2010

    > And if you use a fake name to abuse me and I figure out your real name, I can post the hate mail under the real name of the sender for everyone to see,

    Failing that, we can always publish the mail headers, IP addresses and all. That’ll teach ‘em.

  29. #29 lord_sidcup
    February 22, 2010

    @ Donald Oats

    I don’t know if this [page deleted from wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley/The_science_is_settled) is helpful. It argues the word-for-word quote can only be traced to ‘sceptic’ fabrications and strawmen.

  30. #30 DavidCOG
    February 22, 2010

    Paul Crowley:

    > …sadly plenty of people who broadly take our side would embarrass us with emails like this under cover of anonymity.

    I don’t believe this. I’ve never seen Watts, Plimer, Monckton, et al make any complaints of death threats or for their “children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured”. No doubt they’ve received plenty of vitriolic emails – they deserve them, but what’s happening to climate scientists is on another level.

    Climate change denial attracts the worst of society: the angry and resentful who need to blame someone else for what they consider societal injustice or their own failure – usually that they have to pay taxes or have their behaviour constrained by law.

    Compare the online behaviour of the realists to the Deniers. Some of us may call them ignorant and half-witted, but the Deniers hysteria is often out of control. And the angrier they feel, the more it reinforces their sense of victimhood – someone is out to get *them*.

  31. #31 Erasmussimo
    February 22, 2010

    Some thoughts on the anger and hate of the denialists and other members of the rabid right:

    First, it has nothing to do with being in or out of power. They were every bit as rabid during the Bush years as they are now. No, hate is one of the fundamental underlying drivers of the rabid right. Their basic world view is that the world is divided into Good Guys and Bad Guys, and all the problems of the world are attributable to Bad Guys, and and that needs to be done to make the world right is for the Good Guys to eliminate the Bad Guys. This is important: they are not driven by any overarching principles of good or evil; their world view is based on good versus bad people, not good versus bad actions. Thus, they haven’t the slightest compunction about treating bad people in the most vicious manner, because, in their mind, bad people deserve to be treated cruelly. Torture and summary execution aren’t a problem to the rabid right, because Bad Guys, in their minds, deserve nothing less than extermination.

    What’s really scary is that the primary means of differentiating Good Guys from Bad Guys is tribal loyalty. It’s not a simple “You’re either with us or against us” — it’s worse. It’s “You’re either 100% with us on every issue, or you’re a Bad Guy.” This is why the rabid right is so Borg-like in its party discipline. Moderate Republicans who deviate from the party line in any manner are vilified as RINOs.

    The denialists sit at the fringe of the rabid right. Because some education is required to appreciate the science, they tend to be more intellectual in tone and will sometimes demonstrate a few sparks of independent thought. But they are still subjected to intense pressure to conform to the party line and most keep their toes fairly close to the party line.

    Liberals bemoan the fact that the Democratic party is anarchic and can’t reach the levels of party discipline that the Republicans have achieved. I maintain that a certain amount of intellectual heterogeneity is a source of strength, not weakness. One-party states the world over have demonstrated again and again that discipline certainly makes it easier to get things done, but sometimes the things that get done are the wrong things. In American experience, the invasion of Iraq was such a thing. Republican political strength was so great that they were able to march straight into war without a second thought. Only in the last year or so have Americans begun to realize just how stupid a decision that was.

  32. #32 Paul UK
    February 22, 2010

    I hope the police are investigating those emails.

    They are clearly open threats of intent.

  33. #33 Andrew Dodds
    February 22, 2010

    Paul UK –

    At the extremely high risk of invoking Goodwin.. one of the interesting factors of the rise to power of the Far right in 1930s Europe was that fact that far-right activists often received little more than token sentences for criminal actions (anything from beating people up to advocating and formnenting revolution), because they were seen as ‘patriotic’, whereas left wing activists who tried anything similar would get the full force of the law thrown against them.

    Although the situation in the US is no where near that far gone, the fact that it is essentially impossible to simply state reality (Global warming is happening; State health care is cheaper) is some areas without being screamed down and threatened is not good.

  34. #34 stepanovich
    February 22, 2010

    Real anger by right-wingers feeling disenfranchised is is one thing; but if the hate mail campaigns were orchestrated, then it must mean that someone was egging these people on. This is scary.

    The question then is, if there’s a person behind all this, then who is it?

  35. #35 Tim's talent agent.
    February 22, 2010

    Hey Tim
    I think cambria has responded suggesting you have sent out hate mail yourself calling someone “a lying sack of shit”. He suggests you sent out 3 hate emails to this person also saying it borders on stalking. Is this true and can you make a statement as an update. He has all sorts of links up there that seems to support the claim .

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2010/02/19/open-forum-february-19-2010/#comments

    I have you covered time. So don’t worry.

  36. #36 Jimmy Nightingale
    February 22, 2010

    Re #15

    Speaking of Lomborg, you may be interested in Howard Friel’s upcoming book “The Lomborg Deception”.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/233942?from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+newsweek%2FTopNews+%28UPDATED+-+Newsweek+Top+Stories%29

    Not that any of the Dane’s gullible followers will actually read it, but it is efforts like this (and yours Jeff) that make a big difference. Perhaps there is scope for someone to publish something similar about Ian Plimer’s nonsense.

  37. #37 Tim Lambert
    February 22, 2010

    Joe Cambria has sent me hundreds of abusive messages. He’s weird and creepy and best ignored. I linked to one of his hate mails because I think it’s likely he’s sent similarly abusive mails to climate scientists.

  38. #38 sidd
    February 22, 2010

    I have seen such mob behaviour on many climate fora. I was recently angered enough to post to the Mr. Revkin’s dotearth blog at the New York Times. I enclose a section of the comment below:

    “I would like to add a comment addressed to Mr. Revkin: Sir, this forum has become a cesspool of lies and misinformation, apparently with your tacit consent. When scientists write here of their research, they are vilified and shouted down. This may sell newspapers, sir, and may generate copious advertising revenue, but does not speak well of you or of the New York Times. If you continue to allow this forum to be dominated by liars, you may soon discover that no real scientist will participate here again. Of course, this might be exactly what you and the newspaper desire, in which case, good day to you, sir, and the company you choose to keep.”

    sidd

  39. #39 Steve Reuland
    February 22, 2010

    They are angry and bitter because they are out of power.

    The act that way when they’re in power too.

    This seems to be part of the psychology of conservatism, which includes the following attributes:

    * Fear and aggression
    * Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity
    * Uncertainty avoidance
    * Need for cognitive closure
    * Terror management

    You can see how having these traits amped up can lead someone to 1) be 100% confident about something they’re wrong about, and 2) act like a jerk about it.

  40. #40 Katharine
    February 22, 2010

    If these idiots are so sure they’re right (of course, we know they’re not), why do they feel the need to make threats of violence?

    They just end up being angry villagers with pitchforks and torn overalls. It’s kind of like Deliverance.

  41. #41 Katharine
    February 22, 2010

    “Failing that, we can always publish the mail headers, IP addresses and all. That’ll teach ‘em.”

    I recall it got a dude fired when PZ posted abusive mail.

    Publish that stuff!

  42. #42 Katharine
    February 22, 2010

    “”It’s so obvious you are an activist going along with the climate change lie to protect your very lucrative employment contract.”

    “It is probably not to (sic) extreme to suggest that your actions (deceitful) were so criminal to be compared with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. It is called treason and genocide.

    “Oh, as a scientist, you have destroyed peoples trust in my profession. You are a criminal . Lest we forget.”

    “There will be a day of facing the music for the Pitman type frauds… Pitman you are a f**king fool!”

    “F**k off mate, stop the personal attacks. Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT.”

    To campaigners:

    “Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents socialist beliefs and actions?

    “Burn in hell. Or in the main street, when the Australian public finally lynchs you.””

    Ooh, a lynching and a public rape and torture session! Sounds awfully medieval. Are they going to have a guillotine too? And turkey legs?

    “F**k off!!!

    “Or you will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f**king neck, until you are dead, dead, dead!

    “F*k you little pieces of sht, show youselves in public!!!””

    You forgot the pitchforks.

    “To journalists:

    “You sad sack of st. It’s ok to trash climate change sceptics yet, when the shoe is on the other foot, you become a vindictive, nasty piece of st not able to face the fact that you’re wrong about climate change and you’re reputation is now trash.”

    “Your mother was a goat fker!!!!!! Your father was a turd!!!!!!! You will be one of the first taken out in the revolution!!!!!!!! Your head will be on a stake!! Ct!””

    The villagers are getting uppity. What would this be, America’s Islamic Revolution? America’s Crusades? Because this would be a step backward, not a step forward.

  43. #43 MarkB
    February 22, 2010

    Rixaeton has it right in #3.

    The percentage of folks who are hardcore denialists is quite small – about 7% in this survey. A much larger percentage are unsure, or are soft skeptics.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/05/pdf/6americas.pdf

    Of those 7%, a smaller fraction would be engaged in the persistent anti-science hate speech we see regularly on any blogs or articles on global warming. In only takes a few thousand cultists (or less) out of hundreds of millions of people with internet access to give the appearance of widespread denialism.

    I do admire the courage of climate scientists to speak out publicly, when there truly are fanatics out there personally threatening them.

  44. #44 John Quiggin
    February 22, 2010

    @David Duff: I took your “shockin'” to be ironic rather than literal, indicating that you saw no problem with these attacks and that sending hate mail is no different from accurately describing the funding of some “sceptics” by the tobacco and oil lobby. But if you actually meant to condemn the hate campaign, rather than to excuse it by comparison with allegedly similar attacks undertake by the other side, please say so, and I will happily retract.

  45. #45 sailrick
    February 22, 2010

    “Liberals bemoan the fact that the Democratic party is anarchic and can’t reach the levels of party discipline that the Republicans have achieved. I maintain that a certain amount of intellectual heterogeneity is a source of strength, not weakness”

    I agree with you. A few months back, I read a book called “The Republican Noise Machine”. The author knew his subject well, because he is a journalist, who used to be a writer for one of the Wash DC newspapers, churning out right wing talking points. One of the points in his book, is that all the right wing talking points come from a handful of corporate connected wealthy people who disseminate those points through the conservative “think tanks” and the mostly conservative mainstream media, talk show hosts etc. The Koch family comes to mind, with their Americans for Prosperity, which is their own little private “grassroots” organization.

    On the other hand, liberals have no such central source of talking points. Liberal issues by their very nature are usually grassroots and based on the interests of the populace in general.
    Labor, the environment, healthcare, minimum wages etc. Oh sure there is networking and shared liberal websites like dailykos and CAP, but no top down making up of talking points on all issues.

  46. #46 Dave Andrews
    February 22, 2010

    Tim,

    Hate mail is, of course odious, but for Clive Hamilton to say the following in his article is just ridiculous –

    “Some MPs were spooked into voting for Tony Abbott”

  47. #47 jakerman
    February 22, 2010

    Dave Andrews writes:

    >*for Clive Hamilton to say the following in his article is just ridiculous -*

    >>*”Some MPs were spooked into voting for Tony Abbott”*

    Dave Andrews is a great judge of the ridiculous.

    The denialist bombardment campaign was completely bamboozling to some MPs. After a coordinated campaign of angry denialist emails, Liberal MPs voted in a leadership ballot, and what was the rational used to support some of the vote?

    >*A friend of mine was waiting outside the Liberal Party meeting room when Tony Abbott was elected. As politicians trooped out, one quipped something like this: ”It was the right decision. Even Tim Flannery is a climate sceptic now.’*
    ([Tim Flannery](http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/climate-sceptics-and-the-liberals-negotiating-in-bad-faith-20091203-k8pr.html))

  48. #48 QrazyQat
    February 22, 2010

    They are angry and bitter because they are out of power.

    I don’t think that’s it. We just got through 8 years with them in charge in the USA, for years having control of all 3 divions of the federal government, and they were just as angry and bitter then.

  49. #49 Rixaeton
    February 22, 2010

    #47 jakerman is on the ball (as usual)

    The denialist bombardment campaign was completely bamboozling to some MPs.

    It appears to me that MPs are too easily swayed by a variation of [Pharyngulation](http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pharyngulate), whereby a relatively small number of people swamp an unsuspecting MP with truckloads of emails, making the “public opinion” seem very different to reality. Of course in the context of decision making the proper understanding of the weighting that these emails should be the same as an online poll – as it is something that is easily manipulated, it is not credible as a statistically significant source of weight of opinion.

    Some MPs are not that technically savvy (having worked in ministerial offices I have seen first hand how 19th century they are :)

    The US equivalent is, as sailrick says in #45, the Republican Noise Machine. Astroturfing is a newish term (to me anyway) from our US cousins, but an apt one. An artificial grass-roots campaign is a sad thing to see, where people try to “win” by deceit instead of the quality of their arguments, based on facts.

    I was hoping that we would see the last of the denialism when the governments of the US and Australia voted in the adults for a change. Denialists have nothing of interest to say in the matter; the science is robust, the economics of the solutions are understood. Anyone that claims otherwise without basis, or worse by making threats, make themselves irrelevant to the discussion and just plain deserve to be ignored. Presentation of credible, verifiable and even just plain interesting contrary views should always be welcome; I would be one of the first to celebrate if there was no AGW, and then get on with my normal life.

    I much prefer living my life with the knowledge of what is real, and make decisions based on that. It is a far better, more ethical way to go, rather than cloud my judgement with falsehoods and self-deceptions, which is what the right-wing, denialist crowd seem to want to do.

  50. #50 Happy
    February 22, 2010

    DavidCOG , quoting Paul Crowley’s

    …sadly plenty of people who broadly take our side would embarrass us with emails like this under cover of anonymity.

    I don’t believe this…

    David, believe it.
    While your faith in “our side” is lovely and all that, I’ve personally witnessed it – plenty of “back to the trees” types are full of vitriol.

    It doesn’t matter a jot to the science, but makes a lot of difference to the politics.

  51. #51 John
    February 22, 2010

    I know of many, many abusive emails sent out by Joe Cambria, who is very touchy about his real name being linked to his online activity (I wonder why?)

  52. #52 Mark
    February 22, 2010

    Clive Hamilton’s follow up on “**Who is orchestrating the cyber-bullying?** is now online < http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2827047.htm>

  53. #53 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 22, 2010

    The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ keep resonating in my head, can’t think why!

    Maybe it’s an echo?

  54. #54 Anon
    February 22, 2010

    Joe Cambria blogs at Catallaxy from which vantage point he abuses a wide range of political personages including MPs, media workers, scientists, academics and other bloggers and swarms a range of other blogs with abusive messages particularly against environmentalists and women that are often derogatively sexually explicit.

    He is a most peculiar character and easily the most toxic presence in the Australian blogosphere. He is well-known across a range of blogs and easily identifiable by his sneering gutter-level abuse regardless of his chosen moniker du jour.

  55. #55 Lotharsson
    February 23, 2010

    Erasmussimo wrote (amongst a lot of other perceptive stuff):

    What’s really scary is that the primary means of differentiating Good Guys from Bad Guys is tribal loyalty.

    At the risk of boring people through repetition, I’ve been pointing people to Altemeyer because I think his work illuminates some of these dynamics.

    …it must mean that someone was egging these people on.

    And possibly repeating myself again, Dave Niewert at Orcinus (well worth spending some time) often talks about different roles in stovepiping and amplifying eliminationism and other nasty memes into popular culture. IIRC he talks about radical views being normalised, not just through Overton window maneuvers, but also by being discussed as if they were reasonable ideas to consider by “transmitters” who generally have significant audiences (typically with a significant number authoritarian followers). He is based in the USA so he tends to report on cultural transmitters such as Glenn Beck, O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter rather than our home-grown variety.

    He also has done a lot of reporting on hate crimes, hate crime laws and the like…and makes similar points to someone above. Hate crimes are intended to send a message to an entire subset of the population; token punishments indicate that the behaviour is a minor transgression, thus failing to discourage more of the same; for that very reason hate crime laws are intended to send a message that the behaviour is not going to be tolerated.

    His co-blogger Sara Robinson wrote a couple of excellent series there (“Cracks In The Wall” and “Tunnels and Bridges”) on how authoritarian followers (sometimes) break out of their mould, and what environmental factors can be put in place to make that a little more likely.

  56. #56 Lotharsson
    February 23, 2010

    He is well-known across a range of blogs and easily identifiable by his sneering gutter-level abuse regardless of his chosen moniker du jour

    So…John Archer is a wannabe Joe Cambria? ;-) Doesn’t sound like he’s in the same league to me.

  57. #57 David Duff
    February 23, 2010

    Mr. Quiggin,
    I am happy to reply to your courteous comment in similar mode – phew, what a relief!

    On a subject as interesting and possibly as important as global climate I would prefer a calm and reasoned exchange of views. If I admit my paucity of knowledge in scientific matters, I do claim considerable expertise in human nature even if it is based mostly on having lived fairly long. Therefore, I know that controversy is the very stuff of disagreements and, let’s all admit it, the cut and thrust can be rather enjoyable. For example, Daniel Andrews, #53 up above, provided a very witty riposte which made me chuckle this morning even though it was aimed at me! But, of course, in this as in every other field of human activity, from climate science to ‘footie’, one has to put up with the lunatic fringe and I deplore their interference from whichever side they attack. But let me emphasise my final sentence as boldly as I can:

    Both sides of this dispute have their own lunatic fringe and it behoves us all to give them a smack whenever and from where-ever they appear.

  58. #58 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    >*Both sides of this dispute have their own lunatic fringe and it behoves us all to give them a smack whenever and from where-ever they appear.*

    David give us some counter examples to compare and contrast. From my experience you are claiming a false equivolence.

  59. #59 Tim's talent agent.
    February 23, 2010

    Tim:

    Cambria has now challenged you to produce these 100’s of abusive emails saying he will bet $20,000 to your $5,000 they don’t exist. He also says that you skirted your own abusive hate mail issue to this “Jason” by not owning up.

    As your (as yet un-contracted) talent agent you should take him up on this bet and escrow the money with a trusting party.

    You can also clear up the matter of your own hate mail issues if you did send it or not.

    Can I take a cut of say 10% of your winnings post-GST?

    (By the way, I’m negotiating a debating tour of the continent and the US for big bucks. I presume you’re free over the ed holidays?)

    *[By messages I mean both emails and comments posted here and directed at me. I didn't bother saving them and even if I had, Cambria's offer is not genuine. Some time I agreed to a $5,000 bet with him on temperatures in 2006, but he weaseled out of it. You'd be more likely to get money out of a Nigerian 411 scammer. -- Tim]*

  60. #60 Katharine
    February 23, 2010

    Regarding the anarcho-primitivist ‘back to the trees’ types, I think it is our duty to occasionally give them a verbal punch to the gut.

  61. #61 David Duff
    February 23, 2010

    Jakerman,

    “From my experience you are claiming a false equivolence.”

    But not from mine, although I must confess I do not possess a library list of them because, by and large, you can spot the signs in the first sentence or two and I simply move on.

    Also, let me add, that when I became interested in this topic about 5 years ago I approached it in a slightly sceptical mode because I have lived through so many ‘end of the world’ scares in my lifetime and they all proved to be grossly exaggerated. Similarly, the subject only came to my attention when I saw politicians eager to climb aboard and I’m sorry but expereince tells me that anything those rapscallions are keen on is unlikely to be true but will definitely be expensive. But that apart, like anyone else of moderate good sense, I was keen to see if this particular phenomenon had a more serious base than others I had come across. So, I started reading the blogs, both pro and anti. I have to say to you, and please accept that I am being absolutely honest, the general tone of the sceptics was infinitely more appealing than that of the ‘warmers’. To provide but two examples, Steve McIntyre always made efforts to tone down any of his supporters who overstepped the mark by using gratuitous insults. RealClimate, by contrast, simply banned and censored anyone, including experts in the field, who disagreed with them. Also, the actions of Jones and Mann ‘et all’ in using every pretext in the book, and some not in the book, to hide their raw data was a disgrace by any scientific standard, so disgraceful that even George Monbiot condemned it. Of course, none of that ‘proves’ a case either way, Monbiot, for example sticks to his ‘warmist’ beliefs – and quite right too if that’s where his evidence leads him. I can only tell you that as a man who was about as neutral as you could get on the subject, bearing in mind the late Mr. Kruschev’s words to the effect that there are no neutral men, I was very put off by the tone and practice of the ‘warmers’ whilst recognising that certainly in the comments sections there were a fair number of sceptic fruit ‘n’ nut cases, too.

    Too late now, but what a pity the science can’t be open and free-flowing and let the ball fall where it may.

  62. #62 dhogaza
    February 23, 2010

    Beyond the attacks on scientists, we also have the phenomena of folks like Watts and McIntyre “outing” people who post on their blogs, or in some cases their own blogs, anonymously.

    This is a bit OT, but I’m posting this here, anyway. I just posted this to dot earth, Andy Revkin’s NY Times blog. It is still in moderation:

    Andy Revkin:

    Who do I contact at the New York Times to lodge a protest against my personal information being posted here on your blog without my permission. The blog is moderated. You are fully capable of deleting messages that contain people’s personal information.

    As you know, people who work in science, or who support science, have been harassed and in some cases have even received death threats.

    Do not let people post other people’s personal information. Mine, or anyone else’s, no matter what their position is on climate science.

    My name, profession, and a past contractual connection with Greenpeace have been posted there. In addition, someone has started posting using my real name as their handle (my real name is “Don Baccus” for those who can’t figure out how to type “dhogaza” into a google search box).

    It’s getting very slimy over there.

  63. #63 David Duff
    February 23, 2010

    Hmmmn! Sorry, ‘Dhoggie’, but you fail to convince me. Of course, it depends what you mean by “personal information”. If it’s real name and connected organisation then surely it’s ‘caveat blogger’, or in plain English, if you don’t want your name published then don’t blog. If it’s personal address, office address, telephone number and that sort of thing, then I agree that is too far. By and large, and with certain but very few exceptions, I do not like the use of ‘nom de keyboards’. If you own the words, put your name to them!

  64. #64 JasonW
    February 23, 2010

    David Duff, shouldn’t it be the evidence that sways you – not how smooth a talker the messenger is?

  65. #65 dhogaza
    February 23, 2010

    I would not expect David Duff to respect another person’s privacy …

  66. #66 luminous beauty
    February 23, 2010

    >Steve McIntyre always made efforts to tone down any of his supporters who overstepped the mark by using gratuitous insults.

    HAhahahahahahaha!

  67. #67 Katharine
    February 23, 2010

    It boggles me why people make death threats over this.

  68. #68 Joseph
    February 23, 2010

    It’s well known that cranks hate anonymity. Without anonymity, they can dig up information they can use for ad-hominems and genetic fallacies. Another thing they do is contact your employer and complain.

  69. #69 dhogaza
    February 23, 2010

    Andy Revkin apologized for that stuff slipping through. The post(s?) made using my real name as a handle have been edited to reveal the true author (if it were my blog, they’d have their account revoked, but I’ll accept that).

    The other, linking me to Greenpeace International, has been removed.

    Bitching helps, apparently.

    Another thing they do is contact your employer and complain.

    In my case, I’m self-employed, They can call me and complain all they want, at my usual hourly rate, of course! :)

  70. #70 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    Duff writes:

    >>>*Both sides of this dispute have their own lunatic fringe and it behoves us all to give them a smack whenever and from where-ever they appear.*

    To which I ask:
    >>David give us some counter examples to compare and contrast. From my experience you are claiming a false equivalence.

    To Duff responds:

    >*But not from mine [experience], although I must confess I do not possess a library list of them because, by and large, you can spot the signs in the first sentence or two and I simply move on.*

    I’m not asking for for a library list, I ask for some simple examples of what you think is equivalence on the other side, eg. death threats.

    How about it David? What is equivalent from the science based side. I put it to you that this is not a normal distribution, it is very skewed with one side having many more loons and conspiracists, and the other many more scientists and empiricists.

  71. #71 Dave Andrews
    February 23, 2010

    dhogaza,

    Why couldn’t you have posted under your real name from the start and been transparent about your Greenpeace connections? Is there something embarrassing about the latter – I doubt it since it was pretty easy to infer from following your posts on a number of blogs.

  72. #72 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    >*Steve McIntyre always made efforts to tone down any of his supporters who overstepped the mark by using gratuitous insults. RealClimate, by contrast, simply banned and censored anyone, including experts in the field, who disagreed with them.*

    Cos this isn’t a normal distribution, most of the crazies are anti-science.

    P.S. How would you know who others do and don’t filter out and whether or not Steve McIntyre filtered out many of those who disagree with him?

  73. #73 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    >*Why couldn’t you have posted under your real name from the start and been transparent about your Greenpeace connections? Is there something embarrassing about the latter – I doubt it since it was pretty easy to infer from following your posts on a number of blogs.*

    Dave Andrews, what is the topic of this thread again? Oh That’s right, it about the crazies hacking, abusing, bombarding and threatening people who use their real names.

  74. #74 David Duff
    February 23, 2010

    Now here, is a very tiny and certainly not an extreme example of what I have been trying to hint at. I wrote a perfectly courteous comment to ‘Dhoggie’, disagreeing with him on a point which is a matter of individual opinion and he comes back with this:

    “I would not expect David Duff to respect another person’s privacy …”

    Now I would suggest, no, I would absolutely guarantee, that I would not ever knowingly disrespect another person’s privacy. ‘Dhoggie’ has absolutely no evidence to support his uncalled for and bilious remark which immediately poisons the atmosphere.

    See what I mean? Hmmn, take that as a ‘no’, shall I?

  75. #75 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    Duff writes:
    >>>*Both sides of this dispute have their own lunatic fringe and it behoves us all to give them a smack whenever and from where-ever they appear.*

    To which I asked:

    >>David give us some counter examples to compare and contrast. From my experience you are claiming a false equivalence.

    To which Duff responds:
    >>*But not from mine [experience], although I must confess I do not possess a library list of them because, by and large, you can spot the signs in the first sentence or two and I simply move on.*

    To which I emphasized:
    >I’m not asking for for a library list, I ask for some simple examples of what you think is equivalence on the other side, eg. death threats.

    >How about it David? What is equivalent from the science based side. I put it to you that this is not a normal distribution, it is very skewed with one side having many more loons and conspiracists, and the other many more scientists and empiricists.

    To which Duff replies:

    >*Now here, is a very tiny and certainly not an extreme example of what I have been trying to hint at. I wrote a perfectly courteous comment to ‘Dhoggie’, disagreeing with him on a point which is a matter of individual opinion and he comes back with this:* “I would not expect David Duff to respect another person’s privacy …” [...] *See what I mean?*

    David thank you, that is consistent with my point. Would you agree?

  76. #76 David Duff
    February 23, 2010

    Sorry, ‘Jakers’, I wasn’t actually talking to you in my last comment. I’ll try and get round to you tomorrow, it’s pst my cocoa time already!

  77. #77 Katharine
    February 23, 2010

    I was hoping someone would say something about why people make death threats about this, but I’ll say it anyway:

    Why do people make death threats about the veracity of global warming? This is like people threatening to kill each other because of religious differences. It’s stupid.

  78. #78 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    Duff writes:

    >*Now here, is a very tiny and certainly not an extreme example of what I have been trying to hint at.*

    then;

    >*Sorry, ‘Jakers’, I wasn’t actually talking to you in my last comment. I’ll try and get round to you tomorrow*

    David, should be easy to clear up and verify, who were you talking to?

  79. #79 jakerman
    February 23, 2010

    Kathrine,

    I suggest it could be mental ideological disorder?

  80. #80 Neil
    February 23, 2010

    Katharine – they must believe being wrong *but* issuing death threats in the process is less embarrassing than simply being wrong.

    Make of that what you will.

  81. #81 Katharine
    February 23, 2010

    They don’t realize that they look dumber issuing death threats than sacking up or ovarying up and saying they were fucking wrong.

    The average emotional age of America is about 2.

  82. #82 Bernard J.
    February 24, 2010

    [David Duff says](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_hate_mail_campaign_against.php#comment-2297321):

    Now I would suggest, no, I would absolutely guarantee, that I would not ever knowingly disrespect another person’s privacy. ‘Dhoggie’ has absolutely no evidence to support his uncalled for and bilious remark which immediately poisons the atmosphere.

    Duff, whatever your noble morals, you are one person out of hundreds of millions connected to the internet. Your point is an especially spurious strawman.

    I myself vehemently protect my identity after the use of my full name caused so much spam and vitriolic email to be directed to my institution account that it was rendered useless and had to be discontinued.

    I am sure that there were many people who respected my right to privacy and to freedom to pursue my own business using my own professional resources, but they’re not the ones about whom I have had to be concerned. It’s the amoral numpties who think that it’s clever to harrass a target, or to instigate a spam attack against them resulting in a denial-of-service type of circumstance, that I am guarding against.

    As I have said several times previous in this context, and as [JasonW](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_hate_mail_campaign_against.php#comment-2296723) notes above, it should be the scientific credibility of my arguments that count, and not my identity.

    I am on record for my opinions where it counts: I have often written to Federal politicians on matters I hold to be significant, and I happily put my names to petitions I believe represent good causes, but as far as the anarchy of the Interweb goes, I am not going to point a big red target on my chest for the benefit of the ideologically rabid, conservative fundies who wouldn’t know a real fact from their own poop, even though they roll in the latter every day, and who have no respect for the personal freedoms of others no matter how hard they insist upon the right to their own.

  83. #83 Mike
    February 24, 2010

    The exchange between David Duff and jakerman is fascinating.

    Sceptic Duff implies that there are abusive ranting loonies on both sides and, upon being asked for an example, quotes science-friendly dhogaza:

    “I would not expect David Duff to respect another person’s privacy …”

    Gotta hand it to dhogaza – that was a vicious and scary rant, and yes, dhogaza clearly has terrible anger management issues. I would not want to come across him in a dark alley when he displays such violent thoughts as those.

    Compare this to the meek and mild sceptic Joe Cambria conversing to science-friendly Tim:

    “….what is really nauseatingly disgusting about you….you fucking creep….scum like you….all the I find loathsome about you….a lazy, loathsome dirtbag like you….You are too fucking lazy and stupid….corrupt and dishonest about the truth as you are….So fuck off ….you make me sick!”

    Yes, yes indeed. Upon reflection I can see the equivalence of both sides there.

  84. #84 sdfc
    February 24, 2010

    Tim

    There is a turd here using my moniker to bag Joe Cambria. Joe and I have a running argument going about almost everything, but I prefer to give him shit to his face.

    It’s way out of line for this git to use my alias to bag another commenter, can you have him erased?

    [I changed the attribution to something else. -- Tim]

  85. #85 David Duff
    February 24, 2010

    ‘Jakers’, at last, sorry for the delay but ‘she who must be obeyed’ had orders for me today.

    Look, I am not going to be a judge and jury in the never-ending task of deciding who is being the biggest ‘Mr. Nasty No Brains’ on the block. To do that I would have to read and count each and every insult and threat from every mouth-breather on the internet. All I am saying is that over the last 5 years I have read (and some I have enjoyed) ruderies and insults from both sides. I’ll go further and ‘fess up that I, too, have lobbed one or two but in mitigation I would insist that I only did so after provocation (“Please, please, your Honour, I beg you, don’t send me to Australia!)

    Again, I will repeat that on the whole my impression is that the ‘warmers’ are more vituperative than the sceptics, but that is a personal opinion and you are free to disagree with it.

    Yet another “very tiny and certainly not an extreme example” of the incipient discourtesy and dishonesty I frequently find on ‘warmer’ blogs comes from Mike, immediately above at #82, in which he makes a point based on a quote from me without adding the limiting factor I put in deliberately which reads: “very tiny and certainly not an extreme example“. He then compares part what I instanced to the rantings of a ‘monster raving loonie’ and then makes a snide, and as it happens false, comparison. All quite unnecessary. Did he feel pleased with himself after all that effort?

    And incidentally, not a word from ‘Dhoggie’ for the implied smear in his original comment. Cat got your tongue, ‘Dhoggie’?

  86. #86 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    Stoopid question: is “Joe Cambria” real? Looks a bit like GMB (I’ve not read enough “Cambria” to compare anything subtle).

  87. #87 TrueSceptic
    February 24, 2010

    83 Duff,

    Again, I will repeat that on the whole my impression is that the ‘warmers’ are more vituperative than the sceptics, but that is a personal opinion and you are free to disagree with it.

    Your opinion here has been shown to be extremely unreliable. Just post some examples to support your “impression”. Can’t be too hard, can it?

  88. #88 dhogaza
    February 24, 2010

    . If it’s real name and connected organisation then surely it’s ‘caveat blogger’, or in plain English, if you don’t want your name published then don’t blog.

    That’s what you said, David, and that’s why I said what I said.

    You’re OK with people outing my name and, more importantly, part of my client list just because I choose to post on a blog.

    Dot Earth agreed that it violated their terms of service and deleted it. It’s their opinion that counts, and I agree with them.

  89. #89 Holly Stick
    February 24, 2010

    A denialist posted this link in some comments:
    “…There’s a matrix-moment coming for Clive Hamilton. Skeptics are now the grassroots activists against big-money and big-lies, fighting for the poor, and for the environment. He’s doing his damnedest to suppress community participation, promote intolerance, and effectively fight for banker profits, corrupt scientists, and plundering bureaucrats…”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/the-global-gullibles-shift-to-high-gear-smear/

    Typical rightwinger transference.

  90. #90 jakerman
    February 24, 2010

    David Duff, again thank you for [your examples](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_hate_mail_campaign_against.php#comment-2299715).

    To sum up; based on David Duff’s [assertion of equivalence](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_hate_mail_campaign_against.php#comment-2297357) on both sides of the ‘debate’, I requested some counter examples from Duff, to compare and contrast with the distressing and threatening examples discussed here.

    David Duff has not produced equivolent examples but instead provided what are, by his own sensible admission, *”very tiny and certainly not [...] extreme example[s]“*. To butress his argument he remind us his personal opinion is an:
    >*[impression](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias) [...] that the ‘warmers’ are more vituperative than the sceptics…*

    David, I’m not surprised you have a different experience to scientists who have been attacked and threatend by so called “skeptics”. Which is why I was interested compare the example you could provide.

    David you lack evidence to support any assertion of equivolence on both sides. Your lack of supporting evidence in the face to the evidence presented by Clive Hamilton is consistant with my assertion that:
    >you are claiming a false equivalence;

    And I again put it to you boths sides are not divided along:
    >*a normal distribution, [the distribution] is very skewed with one side having many more loons and conspiracists, and the other many more scientists and empiricists.*

  91. #91 jakerman
    February 24, 2010

    >*Skeptics are now the grassroots activists against big-money and big-lies, fighting for the poor, and for the environment. He’s doing his damnedest to suppress community participation, promote intolerance, and effectively fight for banker profits, corrupt scientists, and plundering bureaucrats…”*

    So why are they disproportionately voting for the worse of all evils in the very limited democratic opportunities avaliable to them?

    If so called AGW skeptics really what to be the *”grassroots activists against big-money and big-lies, fighting for the poor, and for the environment*”; then great!

    All they have to do is judge everyone of the issues of the day according to how it maximises benefit towards these goals. Then throw their weight into acheivement of these goals.

    They could start with the first one: *activists against big-money*. If they were serious they would look at this problem is a system/structural way not in an ad-hoc way. I lookforward to reading how they make this a priority.

    Then I look forward to their development of a truth seeking process to decern the big lies.

  92. #92 Lotharsson
    February 24, 2010

    Why do people make death threats about the veracity of global warming?

    Hmmm, some related food for thought here and here. Not exactly death threats, but perhaps useful insight to build upon.

  93. #93 jakerman
    February 24, 2010

    Very interesting articles Lotharsson. And thanks also for your prior link to RC’s comment on the [Guardian disappoints](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/the-guardian-disappoints/).

    Interesting to also contrast those protecting their conservative individualist values by rejecting the science, with those trying to make their narative fit the humanitarian communinitarin values in [Holly's post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_hate_mail_campaign_against.php#comment-2300593).

  94. #94 jakerman
    February 24, 2010

    Here is the cop out:

    >*”The goal can’t be to create a kind of psychological house of mirrors so that people end up seeing exactly what you want,” he argues. “The goal has to be to create an environment that allows them to be open-minded.”*

    >*And Kahan says you can’t do that just by publishing more scientific data.*

    And ends there- you so bailed on us Kahan!

    ;)

    I’m trying resist the image of diversity training, where a kindly spoken moderator gets us to play a few ice-breaking games before we each introduce ourselves to the circle.

  95. #95 David Duff
    February 25, 2010

    Oh no, please, Dhoggie’, say it ain’t so, I’m distraught, I’m ashamed, how will I ever dare to appear at Deltoid again, I apologise, I grovel.

    Did I really write the possessive “it’s” thus? I shall give myself a hundred lines instantly!

    Even so, ‘Dhoggie’, nothing I wrote justified your assumption, and accusation, that I, personally, would ‘out’ anyone, I simply pointed out the undeniable fact that, as you found out the hard way, other people almost certainly would. Anyway, I have given you my assurance that I never would so I would appreciate you acknowledging that.

    ‘Jakers’, as you appear to possess a pedantic streak, may I remind you that nowhere did I suggest an “equivalence“, just the opposite, I told you that in my experience the ‘warmers’ were more vituperative than the sceptics!

    You keep insisting that I produce some ‘evidence’, as though one or two examples would prove my case which I already pointed out it would not. However, as you insist, how about Mark Lynas, Paul Krugman and James Hansen calling for ‘deniers’ (a despicable epithet in itself) to be put in jail? You might answer by saying that is nowhere near as bad as some eye-ball swivelling loon sending a death threat. However, in considering the likelihood (both tiny) of either threat coming to fruition, I would suggest that the words and influence of people in the top scientific and political echelons with a former vice president of the United States as a supportergives their threat greater weight. I mean, just suppose for a moment that the Chairmen of Exxon, BP and Shell came out with a suggestion that all ‘warmers’ be transported to Australia – surely a fate worse than death – imagine how you lot would leap about!

    oh alright then, what about Mark Lynas, Paul Krugman and James Hansen calling for “deniers” (a despicable word for anyone to use) to be put in jail?

  96. #96 David Duff
    February 25, 2010

    Ooops, sorry for that last sentence which I forgot to delete. Well, it’s 10.30 in the morning and I’m not used to getting up this early!

  97. #97 P. Lewis
    February 25, 2010

    David Duff: you seem to be perpetuating others’ lies or perhaps you subscribe to the Leake school, when you say:

    However, as you insist, how about Mark Lynas, Paul Krugman and James Hansen calling for ‘deniers’ (a despicable epithet in itself) to be put in jail?

    What did they actually say?

    Mark Lynas said:

    I wonder how future juries might view the actions of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who, in full knowledge of the realities of climate change, continue to preach their gospel of denial in the service of Big Oil dollars. I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put this in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial – except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don’t will one day have to answer for their crimes.

    Paul Krugman said:

    And as I watched the deniers [voters on the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill] make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

    … we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?

    Well, sometimes even the most authoritative analyses get things wrong. And if dissenting opinion-makers and politicians based their dissent on hard work and hard thinking — if they had carefully studied the issue, consulted with experts and concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus was misguided — they could at least claim to be acting responsibly.

    But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

    Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

    Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

    Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.

    Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.

    Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.

    James Hansen said:

    Special interests have blocked the transition to our renewable energy future. Instead of moving heavily into renewable energies, fossil fuel companies choose to spread doubt about global warming, just as tobacco companies discredited the link between smoking and cancer. Methods are sophisticated, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions of global warming.

    CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.

    But the conviction of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal CEOs will be no consolation if we pass on a runaway climate to our children. Humanity would be impoverished by ravages of continually shifting shorelines and intensification of regional climate extremes. Loss of countless species would leave a more desolate planet.

  98. #98 Lotharsson
    February 25, 2010

    However, in considering the likelihood (both tiny) of either threat coming to fruition…

    There’s far more likelihood of a death threat being carried out than people going to jail. The jail idea is designed to bring issues into public debate, and politically one can see Buckley’s chance of it ever coming to fruition.

    On the other hand, risk assessments carried out by the US government recently identified domestic terrorism and intimidation as a significant concern, particularly from the far-right of the political spectrum. A few days ago a disgruntled programmer crashed a light plane into an IRS (tax office) building killing himself and a couple of employees. The level of animus shown in the death threats to climate scientists made public thus far is on the same order of magnitude, and similar to the guy who recently killed one of the few remaining abortion providers in the US, and similar to some of the militia movement. Frequently that animus against climate scientists seems to stems from a similar political and sub-cultural perspective as those other examples appear to spring from – including people like Beck and O’Reilly and several other Fox News personalities in the US embracing nakedly eliminationist language and concepts. Dave Neiwert at Orcinus is the go-to guy in this area of study.

    You are positing a false equivalence here – both in terms of likelihood of occurrence, and severity and legitimacy of outcome.

  99. #99 P. Lewis
    February 25, 2010

    There’s far more likelihood of a death threat being carried out than people going to jail.

    Might you change that view in light of Inhofe’s latest pronouncement? ;-)

  100. #100 P. Lewis
    February 25, 2010

    Oops! Forgot the link. Chase the Rabett and Climate Science Watch.

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