As Australian lawmakers debate a national carbon tax, some of the country's leading climate researchers have been moved to secure locations after receiving threats of physical violence and death.
The Australian National University in Canberra, along with universities in Queensland and New South Wales, are tightening security for scientists who study climate change, the Guardian newspaper reports. Scientists are being moved to high-security buildings in which their names do not appear on staff directories or office doors.
Researchers have received a reported stream of emails threatening violence, sexual assault and even attacks on their children, according to the Canberra Times. ANU's vice chancellor said some researchers have been threatened with assault if they were spotted in the street.
The recipient of one such threat co-authored a recently published report for Australia's Climate Commission. The report calls for "urgent action to avoid sea level rises of a meter or more over the course of the next century," the Guardian says.
Another scientist reportedly received threats of violence against her children after her picture appeared in a newspaper story about a community tree planting day, which was promoted as a way to mitigate climate change, the Canberra Times says.
Other climate researchers are deleting social media profiles and switching to unlisted numbers, according to the Guardian. The Australian Federal Police is apparently aware of the issue but has not received any formal complaints.
All this comes as Australian political leaders wrangle over a proposed carbon tax, set to be introduced July 1, 2012. Australian actress Cate Blanchett appeared in recent advertisements supporting the tax, electrifying the national debate. But Australians across the political spectrum condemned the recent threats.
To be sure, healthy skepticism is crucial in any scientific field — it drives new questions that can strengthen or shatter a new finding or theory. There's a line between healthy, informed skepticism and outright denial, however. But for the sake of argument, let's set even that aside. It should be universally abhorred when scientists are being threatened with actual physical violence simply because some people do not agree with their findings, or even their chosen profession. There's no place for that in a civilized debate.
Let's all hope this ends where it began, in the minds of an unhinged few.
Surely that can't be true?! How can so many Australians be militant anti-climate change? I thought the U.S. had the most obvious opposition to the issue, and I haven't heard of anyone resorting to violence. I find this article a bit shocking.
Wow, just wow. Being forced into hiding because your job requires you to look at the facts and present them?
Newsflash for those people brandishing these threats,
1) the goverments of the world will always find a way to make money off its' citizens
2) just because you cover your eyes and/or ignore what's going on, doesn't mean it's not happening.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
wow the last time this happened, it was the church who was making the death threats. sadly everyone suspected the Spanish inquisition back then. this is a serious problem, we should look into finding whoever made them and bringing them to justice. the police might not be able to do anything but a healthy mob could get things done don'tcha know.
to mars or bust!
Ahh yes... the "I can't prove you wrong, but I can beat you until you're quiet" approach.
Polluting, buying off goverment officials, mooching off other companies credits, shortening the lives of millions... and I'd have gotten away with it too if not you meddling climatologists!
"It should be universally abhorred when scientists are being threatened with actual physical violence simply because some people do not agree with their findings, or even their chosen profession. There's no place for that in a civilized debate."
But this *isn't* a civilized debate, nor is it about science. It's about philosophy, politics and greed. This article paints a picture of scientists as members of some selfless priesthood that is only interested in finding the truth. Yet, if you dangle a $100,000.00 research grant, there will be entire herds of "scientists" stampeding forward with flawed studies that prove the moon is made of "Third Hand Smoke". My God. Any "healthy skepticism" must be on the right side of the political divide, if that "skeptic" wants to keep a job. The public is beginning to notice, and they aren't happy about it.
You feel obligated to run your Fox News command line even when an article is about innocents suffering the violence of radicals? Do you not have any shame?
let the dipsh#t parade begin, first up Quasifoxmode, here come the rest of the fox news trolls
No police investigation?! "Hate crimes" are never perpetrated by activists...oh no, never! All those nooses and swasticas that were drawn on their own office door or put out on their own front tree by lefty activists? Never happened!
Googling "fake hate crime" is not for us!
Speaking of Inquisitions are you, ghost? Labeling skeptics "deniers" (calling them equivalent of neo-nazi Holocaust deniers) and calling for them to stand trial for crimes against humanity and today calling for them to be tattooed with their beliefs too? That's the Climate Inquisition.
Children of One Earth obey the most famous warmist of all, Dr. Charlie:
-=OBEY CLIMATE COPS=- oi52.tinypic.com/wlt4i8.jpg
-=OBEY CLIMATE CRIMINALS=- oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg
First, let me say that I'm in your camp on climate change, though that shouldn't matter for the point I'm making.
There are two ways to address someone who doesn't believe in climate change (and I refuse to use the word "denier", for fear my Jewish German ancestors would disown me).
One, you can give them the facts and point them to the truth.
Or two, you can insult them and their source of facts.
Where the science and facts are on your side, why would you resort to insults? It's particularly troubling here because (1) the article is about using personal attacks in place of science, so at best it's hypocritical, and (2) Quasimod kept a reasonable tone, which is the hallmark of good skepticism. The Quasimods of the world are the ones we should be reaching out to with information! Don't make the rest of us look so desparate that we result to insults! This is a debate we can win if we just maintain debate!
Surely you can't be serious? I never once mentioned my opinion on the global warming debate. Quasimod did not talk about the issue either. He simply threw a bunch of right-wing sound bites together and blatantly supported violence against scientists since "the public is finally beginning to notice" the conspiracy of academia to steal his money.
Ya, I should not have objected to the copy-and-paste propaganda encouraging violence against those he disagrees with. My bad.
One, I'm rereading the posts, and I owe you an apology. You didn't call him names, that was DrChuck. So my bad.
Two, I don't see that he is blatantly supporting violence. I'm sure you don't mean to equate disbelief with advocating violence. I just don't see what you're pointing to though. Can you highlight the blatant part that I'm missing there?
Three, dismissing it as "right-wing sound-bites" is not an argument, though I understand your frustration. That the public takes more time than the science isn't unique to the climate debate, but that shouldn't lower our standards of behavior. I'm honestly just tired of petty bickering, and I can't ask the other side to knock it off if I see it on our side as well (though I don't point to you with that criticism, see point one above).
The guy quotes a paragraph that specifically mentions scientists being threated by violence, and then proceeds to explain that the reaction is justified. How is it not clear?
As far as my language is concerned, I do not think accusing him of watching Fox News or calling his statements right-wing sound bites are THAT insulting. It is counter-productive, yes. But then again, I never sabotaged the debate. It never existed in the first place.
The same group of popsci commenters have made it their job to litter any right-wing hot topics with provocations. The same people jump on every article on evolution, climate change, and any social study that contradict their beliefs with insults and ridicule.
But its almost to be expected when a plan that obviously won't help but a small pittance of CO2 emissions, and cost the people who can least afford it a large amount of their income. Destroying peoples lives for something that will not help (by design) and will only result in the fantastically rich and powerful getting fantastically richer and more powerful, tends to get under some peoples skin.
It's too bad politicians and scientists too have politicized so many issues especially the scientists should be better than mixing their personal politics with science. That's disappointing to be sure. Making the right decisions would be so much easier without it being tied to global political maneuverings.
Solutions, not cap and trade are needed.
I've bought my canoe and I've stocked up on sunblock. Bring it on climate change!!!!
Siromar makes a good point. Death threats? Really? The linked article says "The Australian Federal police said that it was aware of the threats but had yet to receive a complaint." If a police report hasn't been filed are the people claiming "death threats" really that worried? Or are they confident the threats aren't serious but are using them to win sympathy in the media? I tend to believe the latter until further information on the seriousness of the threats comes to light. The tendency of global warmists to exaggerate the magnitude of the supposed "problem" and cook the data is well documented. Death threats are no joke, but if the police aren't involved, how serious is it? How about some investigative reporting instead of parroting the unsubstantiated claims of those with a history of exaggeration?
Exactly the response I expected. Personal attacks, childish name-calling, putting words in my mouth, accusing me of political views I don't subscribe to, and opinions that I don't hold. Even the obligatory mention of Fox News (shudder). Exactly as I said. This so-called "debate" has nothing to do with science.
I think your argument is off-center. Of course people will claim to be what their not to get money. If a scientist is respectable, he will attempt to find the truth. My main point is your comment is out of place in this article. However, humans are naturally biased for or against something.
Oh, and I think that global warming is a natural cycle that has been moderately accelerated by various conditions, some of which have been created by humans.
@quasimod, correct, the "debate has nothing to do with science" is the smartest thing i have heard on this topic in quite awhile, @paulcrosoft...you are correct, name calling is childish, but with their intelligence level it is about all they understand, the truth hurts, too bad, bringing up facts as an arguement does not work with those that ignore the facts to begin with
I concede that my post wasn't particularly well crafted, but I don't think it was out of place. The article is about crazy people threatening scientists. They are the lunatic fringe of a much larger public backlash against scientists who are perceived to be ethically compromised, to have lost their objectivity, and to have become political activists. There are legitimate reasons for people to feel this way. I think a massive loss of public credibility is relevant to this article. I think it's also an important problem that needs to be addressed, and that should alarm the scientific community as a whole.
I take issue not with your personal opinions about climate change, but with the argument you present.
"This article paints a picture of scientists as members of some selfless priesthood that is only interested in finding the truth. Yet, if you dangle a $100,000.00 research grant, there will be entire herds of "scientists" stampeding forward with flawed studies that prove the moon is made of "Third Hand Smoke"."
For one, you suggest that since scientists do work due to research grants, the sponsors of the studies have a vested interested in the outcome.
Sort of like... if a tobacco company sponsors a study to see whether tobacco smoke is carcinogenic, right?
My first issue with this argument is that it's not accurate. Just because someone paying for the study has a certain interest, does NOT mean that the study itself arrives at "false" conclusions. At best, the study can be said to be "suspect"--this is what a skeptic would argue.
The second issue I have with your argument is the implication that believers in climate change have vastly more funds than non-believers (or maybe just plain non-supporters-of-intervention) in climate change and that they will financially benefit from reduced carbon emissions and the adoption of green technologies--hence they make the investment of "buying scientists" and paying for studies because it's an investment with a payoff.
I believe this implication to be absolute nonsense. The traditional "polluting" and green-house-gas-emitting industries are some of the most well-established and powerful industries in the world. The car manufacturing industry, the oil industry, energy industry, just to name a few.
Who are the industrial powers benefiting from more expensive manufacturing, more fuel efficient automobiles, and more expensive programs for recycling and reusing materials? The fledgling "green industry"?
If there was a bidding war for who can purchase the most corrupt scientists and publish the most falsified studies, I assure you the powers who oppose any legislation having to do with climate change would easily win.
Therefore the "it's all about greedy scientists and grant dollars" argument holds no ground in my mind... simply because the money isn't on the side of the climate change supporters.
I would have to agree with Lord E. this planet has been in a constant flux from hot to cold. yes this flux maybe worse, and yes it maybe some of it due to us, but i have yet to see all the crazy and wild prediction of what are climate will be like made 10-15 years ago about our climate now i.e. ocean rising, massive storms, draughts floods on biblical scales, famine, etc. Yes we have had some bad storms but still nothing outside of a normal scale.
Sing with me!
*sways hands back and forth*
Who can tax the sunrise?!?
Who can tax the trees?!?
Who can tax you to pay for their solutions - then spend up all the fees?!?
Oh -- the government can!
*sways hands back and forth*
If by "normal range" you mean "record levels" then... sure... I suppose...
But I'd also suggest that words mean things for a reason--and that you should use the words that mean the things you are saying.
@B.V. yes big storms do happen, sometiems the break records(kinda of why we have them) but its not record breaker after record breaker, like some "cliamte scientists" have claimed would happen by now. I do see the entire midwest in a desert stage, or new ocean front property in Pennsylvania, Nevada, or entire glaciers gone, some are shrinking but i have heard some are actually growing(source unchecked or validated). what i am trying to say is that some of these doom and gloom climatologist have scared a many good people for no reason. Is there issues to be handled about our pollution, sure but don't tell me the world will end unless i drive an electric car or ride a bike, because its not true. I also have huge faith in the healing ability of our planet, if we try to mess with it, it will correct itself, yes it maybe painful to us but we will learn any lessons we are taught from it.
sorry don't see the entire midwest.....etc.
or all the tornadoes
man made climate change is a huge lie and a scam. Yes the world is getting warmer..but so is EVERY planet in the solar system. Even if climate change is real...how are taxes going to help? Don't bother answering, taxes are used to pay off mother nature everyone knows that.
And who will these taxes go to? The world government. Who elects these scumbags? This is beyond fascism. All you who believe everything the scientific community spews at you, all I have to say is LIMITS TO GROWTH. This was proven laughably wrong and so will all theories of man-made global warming.
P.S All Gore is invested highly in the company that’s organizing the carbon-tax system and will make billions off of it. He is a liar. Man-Made global warming is a lie made to control the populations of the world.
these tornados are what we call in the statistics world an "out-lier" meaning it does not show a trend, just a very bad year for tornadoes, This is consistent with all the "tell-tale" signs of global warming, out-liers, but a consistent trend of biblicaly changing weather resulting in the end of man, just a year of bad luck for people in the tornado belt.
I've never heard any credible climate scientist claim the world was going to end... or any of the things you mentioned in your post:
"the entire midwest in a desert stage, or new ocean front property in Pennsylvania, Nevada, or entire glaciers gone"
For one, climate sciences is relatively new...
For two, the effects of average global temperature rising by 3-7 degrees F over 100 years is hardly "the end of the world in a decade"--nobody made that prediction.
So, what you've done is refused to engage climate change science based on actual facts, and instead have built up a strawman argument.
If you, or anyone, is actually interested in the real claims and evidence from climate change supporters, please see this: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/indicators/pdfs/ClimateIndicators_full.pdf
Here are some quick highlights to discredit your "everything is normal" argument:
- Average temperatures have risen across the lower 48 states
since 1901, with an increased rate of warming over the past 30 years.
-Seven of the top 10 warmest years on record for the lower 48 states have occurred since 1990 and the last
10 five-year periods have been the warmest five-year periods on record.
-Average global temperatures show a similar trend, and 2000–2009 was the warmest decade on record worldwide. Within the United States, parts of the North, the West, and Alaska have seen temperatures increase the most.
-Average precipitation has increased in the United States
and worldwide. Since 1901, precipitation has increased at an average rate of more than 6 percent per century in the lower 48 states and nearly 2 percent per century worldwide.
However, shifting weather patterns have caused certain areas, such as Hawaii and parts of the Southwest, to experience less precipitation than they used to.
-Eight of the top 10 years for
extreme one-day precipitation events have occurred since 1990. The occurrence of abnormally high annual precipitation totals has also increased.
-The intensity of tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean,
Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico did not exhibit a strong long-term trend for much of the
20th century, but has risen noticeably over the past 20 years. Six of the 10 most active hurricane seasons have occurred since the mid-1990s. This increase is closely related to variations in sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic.
There are plenty more examples in the link I posted...