“Death threats? Why guv, there’s been no death threats”: The Australian claims threats against scientists not real, forgetting it has reported on death threats made against scientists

The Australian ran a story earlier this week implying that threats made against scientists were “manufactured”. Of course the denial movement is all in a tizz, claiming a threat was never, ever made against anyone… honest!

Grahame Redfearn over at Crikey does a masterful take down of this nonsense:

In my view, the campaign of abuse is designed to intimidate climate scientists, discourage them from engaging with the public and discourage them from carrying out their research. Failing to condemn it shows just how low the climate change debate has become.

The Australian disease: pathological denial of evidence

No evidence of threats?


Glen Isherwood of the Australian Citizen’s Electoral Council threatened physicist Hans Schellnhuber with a hangman’s noose in Melbourne in July 2011:

Not at all threatening…

No, not at all threatening. Isherwood boats about is activities in this video:

What is even more ironic?

The Australian reported on this:

Professor Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change member, said he was amazed by the intensity of the political uproar in Australia over a relatively soft carbon-pricing policy.

While he was opening a recent climate conference in Melbourne, a man in the front row waved a noose at him. “I was confronted with a death threat when I gave my public lecture,” Professor Schellnhuber said.

“Somebody got to his feet and showed me a rope with a noose.

“He showed me this hangman’s rope and he said: ‘Mr Schellnhuber, welcome to Australia’.”

Just in case you think I’m making this up, here’s the freaking evidence:

No death threats huh? Even for The Australian, this is a new low…

I’m not sure cognitive dissonance describes The Australian’s approach to reporting on this. It’s borders on the pathological:

The Australian in 2011: Scientists receive death threats

The Australian in 2012: No they don’t… 

If it was at all possible for corporations to develop Alzheimer’s disease, then The Australian qualifies as the first known example.

Campaigns of verbal abuse designed to intimidate

I’ve never received a death threat, but like most of involved in the debate have received by fair share of abuse. When I first started blogging I received a stream of abusive messages from certain well known members of the denial community.

When I publicly demanded they cease on this blog, this is the response I got:

“You are such a f******* liar you stupid c***t.  They are not threatening messages. They are offensive messages.  What a dumb lying c**** you are.”

“So you got that evidence you stupid c***?”

I received this email from one Grahame Bird in March 2010.

Let’s be clear – verbal abuse is threatening. Such activities are designed to intimidate.

Cyber stalking: a denier tracks down details of one my readers

Deniers have also proved to be cyber stalkers. One Pete Ridely in the UK who tracked down the details of one of my readers and ever so subtly hinted at visiting them to “discuss” climate change:

Next time I’m visiting friends in Brighton I’ll pop along to the Maitreya Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Bexhill on Sea for a chat. Is it still Sea Road?

BTW, do you have any scientific or engineering education or training or was it all theology and meditation?

Best wishes, Pete Ridley

They researched my readers educational background, current place of work and other details in order to show they could be reached.

I banned Ridely, horrified that he/she/them would invoke such sinister tactics.

The truth: deniers running a cynical, brutal and nasty campaign designed to intimidate

The denial industry is running a campaign of intimidation in an attempt to silence scientists and activists.

The evidence is abundant.

But of course, true to form they deny the evidence of their own activities.

7 thoughts on ““Death threats? Why guv, there’s been no death threats”: The Australian claims threats against scientists not real, forgetting it has reported on death threats made against scientists

  1. john byatt says:

    I also had Ridley threaten to come around when he was next in Australia.
    would he have got a surprise,

    but no i do not get threats but i get a lot of propaganda, CD’s and other crap in the mail, one sad imbecile who was sending me his nonsense claiming that the Arctic was melting due to undersea volcanoes started sending me creationist propaganda. there is strong link between creationists and AGW deniers in Australia.

  2. I have also noticed the link between fundie Christians and the denialist/confusionist movement. Maybe the fossil fuelled fundies think Mr imaginary carries out the role of global curator, keeping the world hunky-dory for them so they can continue fucking up the planet and the lives of everyone else?

    As for the Australian, I know of a number of complaints made to the press Council that have been submitted recently regarding blatant misrepresentations of fact regarding renewable energy and wind farms. No surprise then that the Australian denies the existence of death threats.

  3. john byatt says:

    My fan club, god they love me,

    a few pages

    soon as they start talking like that they give themselves away as fundies.


  4. john byatt says:

    At Roy Spencer’s blog

    Because God loves, He also has to punish disobedience and disbelief in Himself – as you will find out if you still disbelieve at death. When the tsunami struck down the disbelieving Muslims in Indonesian, He saved thousands of Christians who had celebrated Christmas all day in the mountains and then decided to camp out up there overnight.

    For the Earth to be suitable for human life, countless factors had to be just right. This is no coincidence. Even the Moon is necessary to stabilise wobble and thus climate. The core heat being generated (probably by fission) does in fact play an important role also in stabilising temperatures, as I explain here.

    Statisticians have shown that the probability of the simplest life form developing just once in the whole of known space and in the whole of known time is of the order of 1 in 10^250 – so if you back evolution, then you back that kind of improbable event.

    God knew we would need fossil fuels, and He designed an atmosphere that could handle the emissions without any effect whatsoever on climate. If you, or any reader, can’t see His hand in all this, then that’s sad – for you, because you stand condemned by a God Who will not be mocked – John 3:18.

    See another site of mine. I do know what I am talking about.

    Douglas has a very modest view of his understanding of atmospheric physics, NOT .


  5. No doubt about it, when the fundies get started you can kiss reason goodbye. It seems Douglas Cotton (wool between his ears) has been bitten by the Jesus bug in a big way. He even uses the frequently discredited proof that his imaginary friend made everything just right, just for us – well the believers anyway. He clearly doesn’t understand evolution either.

    No wonder the god squad haven’t got a clue about climate science when they haven’t got a clue about anything.

    For me the most amazing thing is that these people are allowed to wander around unsupervised. It’s almost enough to make me wish the Mayan calendar conspiracy theory was real so that the Almighty might take the nutcases away where they could amuse themselves and leave the rest of us in peace.

  6. astrostevo says:

    @ ^ Blair Donaldson : The “Almighty” meaning what – those bloodthirsty Mayan gods that needed fresh human hearts each day to enable sunrise?

    Yeah, its pathetic and would be comical were the situation not so serious.

    Another thing I’ve noticed about ‘The Australian’‘s coverage is the number of climate crocks and outright lies in so many of the letters they publish on this issue notably the constant repetition of the whole “its not been warming for a decade” rubbish.

  7. […] public contestation can be extreme – protesters brandished a noose at visiting German scientist Hans Schellnhuber in July 2011 – most government .  government reaction is more subtle.   I am sure Hamilton and Karoly are […]

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