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Emails reveal nature of attacks on climate scientists

Graham Readfearn writes: Climate scientists have long been the target for abuse and so the latest revelations that researchers have been on the receiving end of death threats won’t surprise many people engaged in the issue.

From current and past experience of speaking with climate scientists, I know many have been receiving threatening and abusive communications for years.

In some ways it is seen as a part of their role. A quirk of the job which needs to be tolerated and managed, whether they like it or not.

For some, spam filters remove the need to engage directly with the emails. Some say they just brush off the conflict. Others ignore it. Some have internal systems to guard themselves from the communications.

But none of this makes it right.

The latest unsavoury swag of attacks targeting Australian climate scientists is now being reported in The Guardian and other news outlets around the world.

But just what is the nature of the threats? What kind of language is being used?

Here are some extracts of emails sent since January this year to three Australia-based senior scientists researching climate change and its impacts. Information which either identifies the recipient, or the sender, has been removed.

Please be advised the texts contain strong language:

arfgh shaddup you fckn wanker…go push you your yuppie bllshit propaganda to your useful idiot mates and shut the fck up…
[clipped] how the fck do you know that? how old is our continent? what and how many extreme rain events have their been in the last 250 million years…yr a dckhead-and they made you a professor-wot out  of a fckn cornflake packet?

The clipped section above was removed because it refers to a quote which the scientist had given,and so could be traced back to the individual. A second example follows.

Wouldn’t mind that turds such as yourself spend your time masturbating and collecting grants but you are costing jobs, and billions to the tax payers your filthy piece of lying shit! Die you lying bastard!@

A third example follows:

You lying cocksucker!
How much did you take to blurt out that climate change bullshit?
The IPCC was completely disgraced over a year ago and now you are too..
FUCK YOU SCUMBAG!

A fourth example:

YOU ARE A FUCKING LYING PIECE OF SHIT COMMUNIST !!!!!!!!!
GO FUCK YOURSELF AND DIE YOU CUNT !!!!!!!!!!

A fifth example:

You [clipped] are nothing but a Traitorous Lying Asshole !!
The quicker that Cunts like you and your kind Die the better !!!!!!!

A sixth example:

Fuck off mate, stop the personal attacks. Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT

A seventh example:

…what a joke you wankers are! There will be a day of facing the music for the [clipped] type frauds. What a fucking idiot, the last decade has been the hottest in recorded history….. [clipped] you are a fucking fool!

An eighth example:

If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you. We will not do so if you rightfully argue against our points from a science view. But we will if you choose to stray into attacks on us as people or as a movement. The institution and funders that support you will find the attention concerning.

Whether or not some of these emails constitute a genuine threat to someone’s life is up for interpretation,but there’s little doubt that they are threatening and abusive. These texts are not a full representative sample of all the attacks which climate scientists are receiving. Neither are attacks of this nature isolated.

What cannot be in doubt, though, is that climate scientists are routinely subjected to abuse and threats which are either direct or implied. There is no doubt either in my mind that the conduct of those sending these emails is deplorable and should be impossible to condone. Yet at least one commentator in a newspaper, one of Australia’s highest selling tabloids, not only failed to condemn the actions of the perpetrators but suggested the scientists deserved it.

Earlier today, two government ministers did condemn the attacks, saying they had no place in Australian society.

Commentators engaged in the climate change issue, even those who question the science, have an important role to play in either encouraging or condemning such behaviour among their readers and listeners. As Professor Clive Hamilton explains, they help to set the tone.

You could consider that threats like this are heard in playgrounds every lunch time across the world and this might be so. But those are children trying to win a playground argument. The senders of these emails are, presumably, not juveniles. This is not just friendly banter or sledging at a cricket match.

This is not a playground argument.

This post first appeared on Graham Readfearn’s blog.

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  • 1
    ballarat bogan
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Obviously these climate change scientists were innappropriately dressed and thus brought it on themselves to be harrassed. Either that or by drinking milo at 2am meant they had it coming!

  • 2
    John Ryan
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    What would you expect of Blair,no comments section what a gutless coward,another Murdoch Waste of space

  • 3
    Misanthropic Dave
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Miranda Devine tweets – helpful as ever!
    “Pure gold Blair http://bit.ly/laOA3a
    6 Jun

  • 4
    jimD
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I once worked in an environmental role for a large organization. Political compromise and bargaining with other agencies, NGOs and lobby groups was part of the job, and most participants in the process knew that. Some, however, would become frustrated at not having their arguments accepted (either because their demands were unreasonable, or because their capacities to participate effectively in the vigorous debate environment were limited).

    Many who found themselves in that situation would go back to their offices and instruct large numbers of their constituents to drown us in e-mail complaints. The result was hoardes of responses much like the ones cited above. They were always inarticulate, and frighteningly hostile. We took to sending copies of these to those we knew had encouraged this sort of response (and to those who had not) and gradually the embarrassment at having inspired this uncivilized garbage got to perpetrators, and they eventually abandoned this technique. We stopped talking to these people anyway, and, I am pleased to recall, a lot of our more mature opponents in the debates we were having did the same.

    I suppose this will be small comfort to the scientists who are presently being subjected to this sort of abuse. My only advice would be: keep copies of all of this vile material; send it to the you-know-whos of the Murdoch media and the radio talkback turkeys, without comment: remember,the morons who are sending this stuff aren’t smart enough to generate opinions on these matters themselves; they are getting their rage from somewhere, and I am sure you will have a pretty good idea where. You never know; a few of these media hatemongers might even see the link to themselves and shut up. And take some solace from the fact that in a fairly short time more and more people will begin to see through the uninformed stupidity of their output, and relegate them to the “too dumb to believe” box.

    All the best.

  • 5
    Fool
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I am surprised that some of the people that make these comments are actually able to use email! Particularly as they obviously have no idea, or how to actually think. I could go on about how the same people do not question all the scientific knowledge and breakthroughs that has helped and furthered their lives! Unfortunately they take exception to a particular stream of science that upsets their primitive minds! People that pollute the planet are a threat to all life and humanity, and as such are the real criminals!

  • 6
    twobob
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    There is no doubt either in my mind that the perpetrators of this bile are the same people miss-informed on the subject repeatedly by murdochs minions. Bolt, Blair, Jones and Hadley lead this troupe of idiots and laws should be made to curb the vomitus hate that issues from these puppeteers.

  • 7
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    This is such a non story because everyone on both sides of thsi debate who put themselves out there on this debate cops this sort of bullshit. that is what you have spam filters and the ‘block sender” option in our E mail programs.
    I’m rather sure that there are just as many Warminista idiots who send similar messages to prominent sceptics. I’m only a humble blogger and I’ve had threats of that nature myself because I have taken a rather public sceptical stance on the AGW proposition.

  • 8
    fredex
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    And just a few cms down and to the right [how appropriate] from this article on Crikey’s front page we have this worthwhile comment from Katter.

    “If they don’t vote against Coles and Woolies, they will get their bloody toes cut off with a rusty razor blade”

  • 9
    JamesH
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Iain, are you really claiming that “warmanistas” have threatened to rape your children? That your house, car, place of work will be attacked, as will you? Or are you just trying to excuse this behaviour to create a false moral equivalence?

  • 10
    3578871ea074bdf4ed98dc021da22a9e
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Wouldnt be surprised that they come from LNP supporters that have
    swallowed the Abbott/Joyce/Minchen anti climate change /great big new tax bullshit!

    It wont do them any good as the public hate these sort of dirty tactics.

  • 11
    Brizben
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The lack a denunciation from the right wing blogs on this issue speaks volumes. The fact some them even have taken time to ridicule the besieged is despicable.

    The rhetoric of violence must change.

  • 12
    Competitive Australia
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Are these the same clown economists working on the Carbon Tax?

    “Bureaucratic bungling helped torpedo Premier Barry O’Farrell’s unpopular plan to shut down the solar bonus scheme.

    Mr O’Farrell and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher yesterday revealed the original $1.8 billion blowout had not catered for colder months – with some estimates calculated using Northern Territory sunshine levels”

  • 13
    John Ryan
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Ian crawls out of the woodwork every so often,well come on Ian answer the question about threats to rape your daughters and killing you or is it like most of the stuff you comment on straight BS

  • 14
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    James @9

    Threats implied or ones made directly are a given in any heated public debate but the point of my comment is that the “shock Horror; climate scientists threatened ” type of headlines over this is well OTT.

    That said I have nothing but contempt for anyone who would stoop to such tactics, be they from the left or the right. its childish and puerile and does no one any favours.

  • 15
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    John Ryan
    The specific nature of any particular threat is not the issue, the fact that idiots form both ends of the political spectrum exist and surprise surprise! they do vile and idiotic things should not be a revelation to anyone.
    As any policeman will tell and this piece suggests the question is just how credible or sincere are the threats?
    From the examples cited in the article they sound rather empty to me, more sound and fury than anything else and as the bard told us they signify nothing.

  • 16
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    It would help if Science was shown on a regular basis by the PM et al to be truly respected and worthy of our values of education and progress and truth via evidence. Kevin Rudd’s stimulus went into building science labs in primary schools for the first time, and the kind of uncivil ignorance these emails show might dissipate over time.
    I would like to see a regular promoted meeting between the PM and Chief Scientist – our prominent role-models.

  • 17
    Zarathrusta
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    It is time we had a law against climate change denial, in the same way we have laws against holocaust denial. Both of these things can cause real harm to others by propogating untruths.

    The debate now lies around how MUCH climate change is likely to happen and how to remove humanity’s inputs into this system.

    The dead heads generating this hate have NO understanding of chaotic systems and the dangers of jumping to a new attractor.

    There are times when Australia truly disgusts me and one of its worst traits is its disdain for intelligence, thought and reasoning in favour of self indulgent, ego and fear driven deliberate ignorance.

    And of course the people playing on that have very deep vested interests in the status quo that is wrecking our life support systems in many other ways than just global warming.

    What noone is talking about are all the other reasons why it is in our benefit to become a sustainable society.

  • 18
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    P.S. cause and effect = after 30 years of climate science reporting on ABC Science Show there are still communities who don’t know about the acidification of our ocean and what this means – without a foundation in Science education no wonder some can’t believe it and resist the reality!

  • 19
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Julie
    don’t forget that Robin Williams is the guy who was insisting that we would see a 100 m sea level rise by 2100 so I would not be putting any faith in the ABC science show for truthful science reporting.

  • 20
    Sally
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    At what point do we decide upon censorship? If one single scientist is harmed as a result of this, then the blame goes fairly and squarely on the right wing bloggers.

  • 21
    freecountry
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Let me guess … these threatening emails will now be used as further ammunition to justify the demonization of dissenters as evil mercenary coal-whores, who hate little children and who value their excessive profits more than they value the world’s future.

    I’m sorry that campaigners have received emails like that, but I dont’ think two wrongs make a right. Crikey has played, in my opinion, a very down-market roke in turning this issue into trench warfare and demonizing those who disagree. I wonder what sort of emails Bjorn Lomborg or Ian Plimer are filtering out of their inboxes by the hundreds.

    I trace this back to Kevin Rudd, the most divisive and hate-driven leader we have ever had in this country. When Kevin Rudd first made his speech about “three kinds of denier”, he was facing an opposition which had already committed to climate action with the agreement of most of its leaders. He proceeded to alienate them from this position and we’ve been stuck in bitter trench warfare ever since. Along with his war on economic liberalism, Rudd’s war on people who disagree with him was a precursor to his war on miners, war on the states … basically Kevin Rudd convinced half of you that everybody was out to “ratf*ck” you and you’d better “ratf*ck” them first.

    I suggest that if you want to get anywhere with this, start by repudiating Kevin Rudd’s politics of hatred. Embrace John Stuart Mill’s marketplace of ideas, in which someone who is mostly wrong may still have “a little bit of the truth” worth listening to.

  • 22
    John64
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Really? These are the best e-mails you have? For starters I can tell you that none of those above constitute a “real and serious” threat. Sure, they’re juvenile trollop but at best they express anger of frustration. “DIE YOU SCUMBAG!!!” is not a threat. There is no specific threat of an act. The eighth is about the “best” but even then, is artfully worded that it could equally suggest a well organised campaign – such as a rally or ad campaign (all of which is occuring).

    If we were to ask politicians to show e-mails of their every threat, we would see plenty of e-mails along the same lines. It’s not pretty but I don’t think anyone here really doesn’t expect this sort of thing happens? (Anyone who’s at least been involved in public policy formation on some level would be well aware of the sort of ill-informed crap coupled with threats you received). Sadly, this is fairly stock-standard stuff that comes with the territory these days.

    You’d have a point if you’d raised it as a general complaint about the state of debate but focussing on the “us and them” just makes it political. Much like Labor’s complaint about cat noises being made in parliamet, all it does is bring up the fact that they themselves have been making dog noises for the past year.

  • 23
    JamesH
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Iain and John 64; these are a small sample, not the “most heinous”: that would probably be, as I mentioned, the climate scientist who received a specific threat that her children would be raped and killed. The police take this seriously enough that they’ve recommended installing panic buttons, removing people’s names from lists of “who’s in which office”, checking photo ID for people who come to visit these scientists, that sort of thing. It says something about your degraded moral characters that you both play down the threat and try to claim that “the left is just as bad”.

    Iain doesn’t answer the question, instead he once again tries to claim moral equivalence, much like the Rand Paul supporting head stomper who claimed that the woman he curb-stomped should apologise to him for being a liberal and inciting him.

    He also gets his demonisation of Robyn Williams wrong (surprise surprise); Robyn did not “insist” that a 100 m rise would occur, he said it was “possible”. Which it is – not at all likely, but possible. The sea has been more than 100 m higher than its current level in the geological past, and has risen to that level in less than 1000 years under the impact of natural climate change; as AGW seems to be occurring much faster than most episodes of natural climate change, if it produced a correspondingly fast non-linear melt effect on the antarctica and greenland ice masses, we could all be swimming. Typical of someone who gets his facts from Andrew Bolt.

    Freecountry: Rudd is more divisive than Whitlam or Lang? More hate-driven than Howard or Bjelke-Petersen? I mean, come on, be serious.

  • 24
    dendy
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “…don’t forget that Robin Williams is the guy who was insisting that we would see a 100 m sea level rise by 2100 ”

    Sigh.

    It’s so true that a lie can be around the world before the truth has even got its shoes on, but the crazies can’t be allowed to have it all their way.

    So what is the truth about this quote? This was in an interview by Robin Williams of Andrew Bolt. Bolt asked Williams if a sea level rise of 100 metres was possible by the end of next century, which since he was asked in 2007, is 2200. It was in the transcript of an interview with Andrew Bolt

    Here’s the “100 metre” part of the conversation:

    Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century…do you really think that?

    Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes. The increase of melting that they’ve noticed in Greenland and the amount that we’ve seen from the western part of Antarctica, if those increases of three times the expected rate continue, it will be huge…

    That was it. Note the qualifiers “It is possible…”, “If … increases continue…”

    Jeez.

    While we’re here, this was the interview where Andrew Bolt said that “I’m certainly pretty sure that there has been global warming, 0.7 of a degree over the last century, which is the IPCC’s latest report. I am pretty sure, given the consensus of science, that man has some role to play in that.”

    Have a look at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2007/1867444.htm

  • 25
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    @freecountry

    Yes those poor passive Liberals who were forced into such-and-such an action by the “hate-driven” Kevin Rudd. Kevin Rudd, destroyer of worlds. Kevin Rudd, the alpha and omega. In the beginning, there was Kevin, He saw Hate and He saw that it was Good.

  • 26
    freecountry
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes I’m serious. We’ve had our share of demagogues, hypocrites, stereotypers, despots, bullies, warmongers, r@cists, and brutes. But for sheer all-defining hatred, Rudd left them all in the shade. Every major speech he made was about demonizing some group of people who would “ratf*ck” you if you gave them half a chance. Every major campaign of his was a declaration of war on sector of the community. I can’t even think of a single exception. One thing you could always be sure of with Rudd was whom you should blame for all our problems. I don’t see how we can move on from this, go back to working together, until we recognize Ruddism for what it is and repudiate it.

  • 27
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s shocking that this is how people treat highly educated individuals at one of our most respected institutions for doing their jobs.

    Why do these people find it easier to believe that scientists are cooking the books for the Government’s secret communist agenda than it is to accept that a scientific theory first hypothesised over 130 years ago is correct?

    Oh right – “the climate’s always changed”. Case closed. All scientists can be dismissed now.

  • 28
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    There are deniers, skeptics and a third hard-core class of don’t-carers. These threats and incoherent torrents come from the latter lot. Deniers and skeptics can occasionally claim (or pretend) to have read the alternative 3% view and are clinging to that because that is what they want to hear. But the don’t-carers have not read or understood anything – they are just really frightened and want it all to go away. They aren’t just frightened of this climate business, they are frightened of everything.

    Have a wander about the internet looking at the “organisations” that have now popped up like toadstools claiming to have “proof” that it’s all a lie, a UN plot, an attack on freedom and Life As We Know It… Some of these groups make Alan Jones look rational and impartial. We are talking serious extremists here, who draw inspiration from the Montana Militia and similar far right movements conspiracy movements in the USA. I would put in a couple of site links here but I don’t want to promote them in any way.

    It is perhaps a good thing that the Climate issue is drawing them out into the open… like lancing a boil. It shows that the climate issue is digging deep into the national psyche as it should… and that there are some nasty nasty corners in there.

    But no amount of argument or discussion (the talking cure) will change them, certainly not the don’t-carers or the deniers and even a large proportion of the self-styled “skeptics” at least those whose minds or feelings are already set in stone.

    I’ve stopped talking to them. If a genuine skeptic asks a question or shows some indication of having an open mind or seeking information that I’ll happily provide, but for the rest it’s like talking to a rock. And possibly even less productive.

  • 29
    Mike
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I once met a scientist. He scared the shit out of me.
    He had face full of pimples he picked on and ate.
    I hope to never meet one again ….. truly!

  • 30
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the REAL WORLD, Climate Scientists.

    There will always be asshats in this world who will hate you and your job, no matter what you do.

    I worked at Telstra. We got this type of abuse on a daily basis. My colleague got told by a customer he would find her and r@pe her. He did this to different people every few months.

    I used to write for a magazine. I got hatemail for giving my opinion of a live gig, even though the band leader wrote to me to thank me for being honest.

    I currently work in videogames. I’ve worked on some games that made a terrible mess out of beloved franchises (Star Wars, Hellboy, Transformers) and the amount of hate directed at me and my colleagues far surpasses this.

    But by posting this story and making a big deal out of it, and getting the hand wringing brigade out in support to the point where some are arguing for laws against climate deniers (idiots! Australia is already one of the most oppressively legal countries in the Western World!), you’ve just given power to these retarded monkeys whose opinion and emails should be sent to the trash and forgotten.

  • 31
    JamesH
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Freecountry, how were insulation, the NBN, the stimulus package, building programs for schools, etcetera, “declarations of war on sectors of the community”? Sure, there was political division, but no more so than any other government’s new policies. The left said the same sorts of things about introducing the GST that the right said about the stimulus, and in neither case did any of the horrible consequences manifest, nor were they “declarations of war” comparable to, say, the Howard government abetted dogs-and-balaclavas attack on the MUA, or Jeff Kennett and Sir Joh’s attacks on the rights of public protest and assembly and the independence of watchdog bodies.

    In particular, how were the apology to indigenous australians and the apology to the forgotten australians about “demonising some group of people who would ratf**k you”? Seems to me that those in particular were about healing and bringing people together.

    I’ve always felt that while I often disagreed with your points, you usually make a rational and reasonable case for them; but casting Kevin Rudd as an avatar of Siva the Destroyer is just way over the top. By all accounts he was pretty tetchy and sometimes foul-mouthed in private – I bet that applies to 95% of politicians and people who are in stressful positions, as the PM pretty much is by definition – but drawing a line from that to saying that all his policies were fuelled by hatred is a very long bow. Maybe if Mark Latham had got the top job you’d have a point, but he didn’t, and you don’t.

  • 32
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    The NBN attacked the poor widdle private sector.. K. Hussein Rudd ruthlessly ripped from it the initiative of building a nation-wide broadband network which as we all know was on the very verge of starting.

  • 33
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    The Dark Lord Saurudd, from his base in Mordlodge, driven by the only emotion in his black, shrivelled heart – hatred – launched his most vicious campaign. Insulation for homes!!!!

    No tradie survived. Hatred had won the day.

  • 34
    freecountry
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    JamesH, you’re right to the extent that those programs did not have a hate speech at the centre of them. Also I should have been more precise on what I mean by “campaigns” — I mean major efforts in the media to change people’s minds about something.

    NBN started as an uncontroversial program — a commendable program, actually — not a campaign. It became a campaign when it changed from a $4.5 billion tender to a $40+ billion declaration of abject failure of the private sector to supply the electronic communication needs of Australians.

    In some ways it was the next logical step in Rudd’s war of words against “neoliberals” and “the ideological causes of the financial crisis”. The airwaves became so full of invective against “neoliberals” that many Australians are not even aware today that the causes of the crisis were the subject of some debate and that it has yet to be settled. (See Malcolm Turnbull).

    The stimulus also was a program rather than a campaign. There was some campaigning in defence of it at the time, but the main propaganda campaign came later, when some analysts claimed that China and the mining boom done at least as much good as the stimulus.

    Rudd responded by declaring war on miners, cherrypicking the tax review to hit just one sector and hit it hard. You could argue that this was coincidence, but the amount of anti-mining propaganda coming out of Canberra had a lot of people convinced that mining employed almost nobody, avoided paying taxes, sent most of its profits overseas, and its main contribution to our economy was to raise exchange rate barriers against manufacturers (ahem, mining is one of the biggest customer of Australian manufacturers).

    A pack of brazen lies. All aimed at inciting hatred, dividing our society, and ensuring that voters would thank Rudd, and only Rudd, for saving us all from ruin.

    Rudd’s RSPT then continued the same vicious, divisive theme. Rudd convinced many, many voters that they themselves were innocent of the sin of carbon pollution. It was the evil coal industry — those neoliberal deniers — that made Australian consumers produce so much CO2 against their own will. The neoliberal deniers therefore must be made to pay, not the innocent consumer. Same old method: divide and conquer.

    Health: another war of words. The states had been running on empty for many years, with only 15 per cent of the revenue and 60 per cent of the expenditure responsibility. Rudd knew it, Swan knew it, they all knew it. The solution to hospital funding should have been simply to give back either revenue powers or untied grants to the states. Instead, Rudd declared war on them, raised the blame game to a level I’ve never heard before, and actually threatened to withdraw their GST funding which is the only form of federal grant they get that doesn’t have heavy strings attached.

    When the BER audit revealed problems, Rudd blamed the state governments for their implementation of his minutely detailed program. The overall success of it was all due to Rudd. Any minor problems in it were all the fault of the state governments.

    The apology to the Stolen Generations was an exception, I agree with you. That showed a spirit of reconciliation and togetherness which I hoped would mark the rest of his term. He really did start out very promising. I was less impressed by his Forgotten Australians apology. It was not a war on anybody — so you’re right, that too is an exception to the rule — but I got the impression that when the going gets hard, Rudd could always find somebody else’s actions — something he himself played no part in — for which to apologize. Maybe I’m going too far with that one, but by then I loathed him so much, everything he stood for, that it was hard for me to see his follow-up apology in any other light.

  • 35
    freecountry
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    errata: In paragraph 7 I meant “CPRS” not “RSPT”

  • 36
    JamesH
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Mike,
    Are you sure it wasn’t a mirror you met?

  • 37
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I realise that there are those here who won’t want to admit it because of the source but this piece points out that the whole story is an empty beat up:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/even_those_death_threats_are_a_beat_up/

    Cheers Comrades

  • 38
    kdkd
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Ian

    Does that make the death threats and other abusive emails alright? Does it make Bolt, Blair, Jones, Joyce, Abbot & co’s counter-factual, delusional, short term profits at any cost approach to the topic justifiable?

    The news story is actually something like “Climate change deniers desperate arguments overstep the mark in many different ways”. Personally I liked this mornings article on the Cane Toads of the Air. Bolt, Blair and Jones are clearly memebers of this class.

  • 39
    twobob
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    To the idiots who claim this is life I would say that the way cattle were slaughtered in Indonesia was life too. Until the wider public caught a whiff of what was going on.
    That you can simply say ‘get over it it happens all the time’ shows a lack of moral fibre in you all. I am certain that you are the same type of people who would watch a person beaten to death and not interfere because ‘ its none of your business’ you are pathetic weasels and a disgrace to Australia and humanity as a whole.

  • 40
    43984afa7506d7b5fbaeef7a37c0cf24
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Isn’t abuse like this illegal under the Telecommunications Act.

    Everyone is entitle to their opinion and free to argue a position, ideology or whatever, but abuse like this should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    I would hope the scientists would report this to the police and have these people tracked down and charged.

  • 41
    JamesH
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Iain,
    I may be sticking my neck out here, but News “the Greens must be destroyed” Limited can’t be trusted to report accurately on such things.

  • 42
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    KDKD
    Threats of violence are never “all right” but the point here is that those claiming that they have been threatened are in fact exaggerating both the nature and the freshness of the threats cited

    JamesH

    That is a very poor reason to dismiss the information

  • 43
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Sure lemme just read this Andrew Bolt blog post hahahahahaha

  • 44
    JamesH
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Iain,
    Not really. They can’t report anything else accurately, why should this be any different?

  • 45
    JamesH
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Surprise surprise, Bolt and Blair lied. More than 30 scientists received extremely serious threats. Canberra Times article here.

    An extended quote:
    “Various bloggers have accused us of ”beating up” our front-page story from a handful of complaints. Not so. We spoke to more than 30 scientists, in all states and territories, to ascertain if threats were confined to pockets of high-profile scientists regularly quoted by the media. They were not. It seems anyone speaking up on climate change – however briefly – is fair game in this trolling campaign.

    Two of the most shocking cases involved young women who have had little media experience or exposure. One was invited to speak on climate change at a suburban library. Her brief was simple – talk about everyday things people can do to cut their carbon footprint, talk about climate books available at the library (list provided), leave time for questions, and mingle afterwards. The other woman was asked by a local newspaper to pose with her young children for a photograph to illustrate an article promoting a community tree-planting event. She was briefly quoted as saying planting trees could help mitigate climate change. Two days after the article appeared, she received emails containing threats of sexual assault and violence against her children.

    As for the woman speaking at the library, her car windscreen was smeared with excrement – animal or human, does it matter? – and the words ”climate turd” written (also in excrement) across the car bonnet. Proof perhaps, of a climate dissenter with a Freudian complex indicating arrested development.

    These vile attacks were intended to intimidate. Why not raise a difference of opinion during the half-hour of coffee and chat after the library talk? Why send abusive emails to a young woman whose photograph illustrates a chatty story in the back pages of a regional newspaper?

    Several bloggers who dispute the reality of climate change have disputed the veracity of these threats. Opposition science spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella issued a statement claiming, ”the apparently false allegation of death threats have diminished the individuals involved and reflect poorly on the scientific community”.

    False allegation? Who did she speak to? Apparently not the climate scientist who has been advised by state police to install a panic button in his office after receiving death threats. Or to the scientist who had his house vandalised (hence police advice to install video surveillance), or the researcher who received an email, with a marksman’s target superimposed on his photo. Sorry Sophie, none of this behaviour is acceptable.”

    I’m quite disgusted by the level Mirabella has sunk to in attacking the victims.

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