Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Death threats on climate scientists – a proxy war

Leading Australian scientist Anna-Maria Arabia.
She has received death threats

Climate scientists are being subjected to personal attacks including death threats. The conflict seems at its most intense in Australia. See Australian Broadcasting Corporation story
Scientists hit back amid fresh death threats (20th June).

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has felt impelled to draw attention to a similar situation there. Their statement (28th June) says:

We are deeply concerned by the extent and nature of personal attacks on climate scientists. Reports of harassment, death threats, and legal challenges have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas and makes it difficult for factual information and scientific analyses to reach policymakers and the public.

This links into a story run by Scientific American last year, in March 2010: Cyber Bullying Intensifies as Climate Data Questioned. Researchers must purge e-mail in-boxes daily of threatening correspondence, simply part of the job of being a climate scientist, it reported.

So what's going on? A proxy war is being fought, that’s what. It’s not really about climate. It’s between those who think capitalism has a future consisting of growth, deregulation, business as usual, and those who challenge this (even from a moderate perspective).

A name to look out for is Marc Morano, executive editor at, a conservative lobby group.

The Guardian environment blog focused recently on “peace talks” to end the climate war. I can’t see it myself, but it’s worth reading, and so are some of the comments.

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