Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:48 PM
hatrack (36,160 posts)
Death Threats, Hate Mail, Frivolous Lawsuits Now Routine For Climate Scientists
Mann directs Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center. Several months ago, he arrived at his office with an armload of mail. Sitting at his desk, he tore open a hand-addressed envelope and began to pull out a letter. He watched as a small mass of white powder cascaded out of the folds and onto his fingers. Mann jerked backward, letting the letter drop and holding his breath as a tiny plume of particles wafted up, sparkling in the sunlight. He rose quickly and left the office, pulling the door shut behind him. “I went down to the restroom and washed my hands,” he says. “Then I called the police.” For someone describing an anthrax scare, Mann is surprisingly nonchalant. “I guess,” he says, “it’s so much a part of my life that I don’t even realize how weird it is.”
“Weird” is perhaps the mildest way to describe the growing number of threats and acts of intimidation that climate scientists face. A climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory answered a late-night knock to find a dead rat on his doorstep and a yellow Hummer speeding away. An MIT hurricane researcher found his inbox flooded daily for two weeks last January with hate mail and threats directed at him and his wife. And in Australia last year, officials relocated several climatologists to a secure facility after climate-change skeptics unleashed a barrage of vandalism, noose brandishing and threats of sexual attacks on the scientists’ children.
Those crude acts of harassment often come alongside more-sophisticated legal and political attacks. Organizations routinely file nuisance lawsuits and onerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to disrupt the work of climate scientists. In 2005, before dragging Mann and other climate researchers into congressional hearings, Texas congressman Joe Barton ordered the scientists to submit voluminous details of working procedures, computer programs and past funding—essentially demanding that they reproduce and defend their entire life’s work. In a move that hearkened back to darker times, Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report in 2010 that named 17 prominent climate scientists, including Mann, who, he argued, may have engaged in “potentially criminal behavior.” Inhofe outlined three laws and four regulations that he said the scientists may have violated, including the Federal False Statements Act—which, the report noted, could be punishable with imprisonment of up to five years.
It’s late February when I visit Mann in his office, almost two years after Inhofe issued his “list of 17.” Though it’s still winter in central Pennsylvania, the temperature outside hangs in the upper 60s, crocus stems poke up from flower beds, and shopkeepers have thrown open their doors along College Avenue. Mann is home for three days between conferences in Milwaukee and Hawaii and West Coast stops on a promotional tour for his new book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.
3 replies, 618 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Death Threats, Hate Mail, Frivolous Lawsuits Now Routine For Climate Scientists (Original post)
Response to hatrack (Original post)
Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:50 PM
villager (21,386 posts)
1. And it will get worse as the planet continues to fall apart...
And the parade of useful idiots look for someone to blame, anyone, other than those actually responsible...
Response to hatrack (Original post)
Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:00 PM
KansDem (26,627 posts)
2. Is it time to round them up yet?
And you thought the planet was getting hotter!
This is sickening. And the media only add to the hysteria...
WSJ Publishes Op-Ed From 16 Climate Deniers, Refused Letter From 255 Top Scientists
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, sixteen prominent global warming deniers with scientific backgrounds — such as tobacco apologist Richard Lindzen of MIT and ExxonMobil executive Roger Cohen — concede that manmade carbon dioxide emissions have a warming effect on the planet, but argue that the effect is “small” and nothing to “panic” about. All the other scientists in the world who believe the science are part of a conspiracy to intimidate people like themselves, they write, just as Soviet biologists who believed in genes were “sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.”
As climate scientist Peter Gleick reports at his Forbes.com blog, those other scientists include 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences who wrote a letter about the scientific threat of climate change for the Wall Street Journal — but were turned down:
The most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal with respect to manmade climate change is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a scientifically accurate essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because 16 so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.