Katherine Bagley of InsideClimate News has an interesting commentary on the idea that only in America do climate scientists face organized harassment.

She notes:

The harassment faced by U.S.-based climate scientists has been well documented in the media—but not the harassment of scientists in Europe, Canada or the rest of the world.

That’s because there hasn’t been much to report.

While outspoken scientists of human-caused climate change in the United States endure torrents of freedom of information requests, hate mail and even death threats from skeptics, their counterparts abroad have been free to do their work without fear.

That may well be so, but it is interesting to note that much of this harassment seems to come from Britain.

She goes on to note that one compelling theory as to why this happens is the lack of strong leadership vis-a-vis science and science policy in the US compared to the UK and various European countries. Here article is very much worth a look.

Two other factors may relate, IMHO: 1) Americans are jerks and 2) This:

While we’ve had our share of anomalous warm in the US, we are not the hardest hit region. Well, we may be catching up now, but there have been many times in the last several years when other regions are much warmer. This is one of the things that annoys me (annoys me = makes me livid) about Americans who claim that there is no effect of global warming, or even those who agree that global warming is real and important but dumbly ask “well, what will be the consequences?” Go look at other regions of the world suffering anomalous dry periods. To so so don’t fetishize the most anomalous numbers… moderately anomalous warm periods over regions with 200-600 mm of rain a year turn potentially usable land into unusable land. In places like the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, modest warming over a series of years kills tens or even hundreds of thousands of people. A few dry weeks at the wrong time in the Sudan or Ethiopia kills the seeds, in the Upper Plains in the US we irrigate that problem away. Big difference.

Comments

  1. #1 Cameron
    NZ
    September 12, 2012

    We recently had a minor setback down here in NZ:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832396

    I think a good portion of the population is skeptical about AGW due to news coming from US/UK about climate denial and the fact that there were a few NZ scientists caught up in that email thing a few years ago. I think our media is largely to blame for a lot of the denialism. It’s not that they have an agenda like FOX or CNN, but that they care more about headlines than information and “NZ scientists in global warming email scandal!” draws more readers than “NZ scientists contribute towards evidence for global warming”.

    That being said, I’m pretty sure we have legislation about climate change that says it is largely human induced and we need to reduce carbon emissions. So I don’t think it is too controversial here in the sense that it isn’t taboo politically (probably because we like to think of ourselves as a clean and green country like Norway/Sweden) and not too many people are bothered about the carbon emission schemes.

    Ask your average joe on the street and he/she probably lacks the information to make an informed choice: “global warming? we still have winter don’t we?”

    Just some thoughts in case you were interested.

  2. #2 Cameron
    NZ
    September 12, 2012

    Check out the comments here:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/crime/news/article.cfm?c_id=30&objectid=10833373

    Far too many of the deniers just guess as to why AGW is false (paraphrasing below):
    “scientists receive billions in funding, therefore, AGW is not real”
    “science has been wrong in the past, it could be wrong about this”
    “here are four scientists who don’t believe in AGW, therefore, AGW is not true”
    “only scientists can submit scientific papers to scientific journals, therefore, there is a bias and AGW is wrong”
    “I saw a YouTube documentary and the person made the claim that there is AGW but did so without listing sources! Therefore, AGW is a hoax”
    “there is no peer-reviewed evidence for AGW…”

    This is actaully making me quite frustrated. Lay people making judgements about scientific research that they probably aren’t qualified to talk about. With this I mean that many people lack the education to understand why some research does this instead of this, or why data needs adjusting or transforming or why a particular sample was chosen. In regards to only 7 weather stations being used as representitives of NZ, for all I know 7 stations may be all that is required for the particular data collection to make inferences about a country as small as ours. Hell, it’s probably explained in the research but I doubt you’ll see most casual skeptics bothering to read that instead of watching a youtube video. To be fair, most research isn’t easily accessable to the public and most people don’t know that you can access it at many libraries.

  3. #3 George
    September 12, 2012

    It’s not that climate change skeptics hate you. We just get annoyed when you push your global UN mandated pagan earth woship religion on everyone. However, this is AmeriKa, s you are free to practice all religions except Christianity. Well, not entirely true. You can practice Christianity as long as you don’t mention sin and Christmas, Easter, Jesus, the resurrection, or Hell or the Bible. As long as your church accepts sin as normal, you can practice your religion freely. Welcome to AmeriKa.

  4. #4 elspi
    September 13, 2012

    When a major part of your religion has historically consisted of burning heretics, then yeah, you aint free to practice it.

  5. #5 somedude
    September 19, 2012

    That irrigating thingie can only be done if there is still water in the aquifer to irrigate. So oh, ten or twenty years or so.

  6. #6 RockyRacoon
    Ontario Canada
    September 24, 2012

    Canadian Scientists have undergone a pogrom of late here from mass layoffs to not being able to discuss their work with the press without first running it past the Ministry or whatever dept they work for and have been followed around at conferences to shutting down of institutions. Canada land of the tarsands where AGW doesn’ t exist or if it does horray the rapture us coming the rapture is coming