There are two things that really excite academics: office space and parking. From the sounds of things the ANU Climate Institute managed to score themselves new offices last year. Here is how the ABC reported the move.
A climate change scientist who has been targeted by death threats says the science community must still continue to release the latest research.
A number of the country’s top climate change scientists, including several at the Australian National University (ANU), have been targeted by death threats and abusive phone calls for months.
But the situation has now worsened, and ANU has moved its scientists to a more secure location and introduced other security measures.
So brave in the face of adversity.
This is how the ANU VC Ian Young described the emails.
ANU vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young says scientists at the university in Canberra 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.
“I think it is totally outrageous and the vast majority of Australians would think it is totally unacceptable for anybody in society to be subjected to this sort of behaviour.”
Indeed – it is completely unacceptable. Except it never happened. It is a lie. This is what former VC Ian Chubb told The Australian yesterday.
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.
“With hindsight, we can say nobody chased them down. What do you do?”
He never read the emails? Never. Unbelievable. No wonder he was so popular with the staff. I wonder if they tried to argue for danger pay and just settled for new offices?
The story went cold very quickly with the Daily Telegraph reporting just days later.
Only two of ANU’s climate change scientists allegedly received death threats, the first in a letter posted in 2006-2007 and the other an offhand remark made in person 12 months ago.
Neither was officially reported to ACT Police or Australian Federal Police, despite such crimes carrying a 10-year prison sentence.
The outdated threats raised question marks over the timing of their release to the public, with claims they were aired last week to draw sympathy to scientists and their climate change cause.
Now Christian Kerr reports
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”.
The same emails that Chubb didn’t read the ANU doesn’t want anybody to read. That I can understand – the point being that it has gotten to the stage that everything climate change advocates say has to be checked.
The other point to consider is whether the ABC reported read the emails before writing the story. If so, why were they reported as being death-threats and if not, why not?
Update I: To clarify the timing – Ian Chubb was VC at the time of the incident but it was reported after he had left to become Chief Scientist.
Update II: Australian Climate Madness has more. He did the FOI work that the Australian reports.