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May 5, 2012

Climate scientists get Windsor style ‘death threats’.

H/t: Australian Climate Madness.

Around a year ago independent Gillard backing MP, Tony Windsor was feeling rather friendless, (something he is now used to) and made the rather dramatic claim that he was getting death threats. Rather than accept that his support for the carbon tax was responsible for enraging the electorate, Tony blamed radio ‘shock jocks’ and likened himself to Gabriel Giffords.

This got him sympathy from the Canberra Press Gallery for a time but after being challenged to release the threats he eventually came up with one saying: "You're a f**kin liar, a dog, a rat, a big f***en MP dog doing damn nothing. You wait. You're not going to get voted in again. I hope you die you bastard.”

This is somewhat intemperate but hardly a death threat, unless it came from someone with a bit if influence from the Almighty like Cardinal Pell, Arch Bishop Phillip Aspinall, or Rev. Fred Nile however this is unlikely. Being men of the cloth they would tend to frame it more delicately such as, “I fervently pray for your imminent demise, you bastard.”

Not wanting to be left out of a good drama, our Australian climate scientists, at least the sort who get government grants for their work, decided to claim that they were just like Tony. The public broadcaster the ABC, declared breathlessly:

Several of the scientists in Canberra have been moved to a more secure location after receiving the threats over their research.

Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young says the scientists have received large numbers of emails, including death threats and abusive phone calls, threatening to attack the academics in the street if they continue their research.

He says it has been happening for the past six months and the situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks. …

Professor Young says the outrageous behaviour has left the scientists shaken. "Academics and scientists are actually really not equipped to be treated in this way," he said.
Blogger Simon Turnill from Australian Climate madness submitted a FOI request for the documents relating to these claimed threats, which was rejected. He then appealed this decision with the result that the Privacy Commissioner ruled that none of the documents produced contain such threats:
CLAIMS that some of Australia's leading climate change scientists were subjected to death threats as part of a vicious and unrelenting email campaign have been debunked by the Privacy Commissioner.

Timothy Pilgrim was called in to adjudicate on a Freedom of Information application in relation to Fairfax and ABC reports last June alleging that Australian National University climate change researchers were facing the ongoing campaign and had been moved to "more secure buildings" following explicit threats.

In a six-page ruling made last week, Mr Pilgrim found that 10 of 11 documents, all emails, "do not contain threats to kill" and the other "could be regarded as intimidating and at its highest perhaps alluding to a threat."

Chief Scientist Ian Chubb, who was the ANU's vice-chancellor at the time, last night admitted he did not have any recollection of reading the emails before relocating the university's researchers. "I don't believe I did," Professor Chubb told The Australian. Instead, he said he had responded "as a responsible employer."

"I had a bunch of concerned staff and they thought they should be moved to a more secure place so I moved them," he said.
Curiously, despite the claimed nature of the threats to life and limb of the 'scientists' involved, no complaints were lodged with the police on what is normally considered a very serious matter.

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