Hide the decline emails

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The outdated threats raised question marks over the timing of their release to the public, with claims they were aired last week to draw sympathy to scientists and their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.

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32 Responses to Hide the decline emails

  1. Rabz says:

    These ‘academics’ rival pauly howes for sheer guts and bravery…

  2. James of the Glens says:

    Chubb must be booted out.

    This chicanery, coupled with his rank ignorance of climate physics, is the typical picture of another climate catastropharian with the snout firmly in the trough.

    What a bloody disgrace.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    James – There seems to be some confusion in the story. I think it’s Young not Chubb who was VC at the time.

  4. C.L. says:

    And guess who else was at the forefront of this warmenist lie?

    You guessed it:

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the plunge in debate should be blamed on the Opposition’s preparedness to “abuse scientists”.

    She said some Tea Party-type tactics used in the United States had been imported to Australia.

    And guess who was ultimately to blame for something that never happened:

    Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had created ”hyperventilating tripe” about the impacts of carbon pricing as part of a quest to become the next prime minister.

    ”I think the whole thing is really most unfortunate for our democracy, how it’s been hyped up, the call for the peoples’ revolt …”

    Chubb deplores ‘low’ climate debate.

  5. cohenite says:

    Not only academics getting death threats criticism but also Windsor.

    Apparently people rang up Windsor and expressed their hope that:

    ‘I hope you die, you pig,’

    How is hoping someone dies a death threat? I would think it is the antithesis of a death threat; a death wish perhaps.

    Like every aspect of global warming, from the ‘science’ to the media coverage to the motivation of the politicians, the “death threats” are a lie and a disgrace.

  6. JJP says:

    Sinc, I was a student at the ANU at the time and I’m pretty sure it was Chubb.

  7. Gab says:

    Several climate “scientists” in Canberra were secreted away to a more secure location after receiving the threats over their research.

    Are they still there? Release them, set them freeeeeee!

  8. Gab says:

    Just wondering, do economists ever get death threats? If not, why not? 😆

  9. Sinclair Davidson says:

    JJP – yes. Just got confirmation on the timing.

  10. C.L. says:

    Secreted away?

    No no. The scientists were “rushed to a secure location.”

  11. C.L. says:

    July 2011: American Association for the Advancement of Science vigorously promotes the lie:

    A LEADING international science association has issued an open letter expressing its concern about harassment of climate scientists, saying such tactics could harm scientific progress.
    The letter, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, followed an incident in Australia this month when university researchers were rushed to a secure location after receiving death threats.

    “Scientists should not be subjected to fraud investigations or harassment simply for providing scientific results that are controversial,” said the letter from the board of the AAAS, which publishes the journal Science.

    “AAAS vigorously opposes attacks on researchers that question their personal and professional integrity or threaten their safety based on displeasure with their scientific conclusions.”

    A press release accompanying the board’s letter mentioned that in Australia “top climate scientists have been targeted by an unrelenting email campaign that has resulted in police investigation of death threats”.

    Note that AAAS was opposing fraud cases being brought against scientists – regarding a matter we now know was an orchestrated fraud.

  12. JJP says:

    The scientists were in such serious danger that they had to have an entire building built for their protection!

  13. Louis Hissink says:

    If you watched parts of the Anna Rose/Tim Minchin doco’ – especially the interview of Marc Morano, you get the impression that Anna actually, and sincerely, believes that Marc fabricated things etc etc. In this case the academics also believed etc etc etc.

    This squares with the Plimer debate held in Perth some years back under the auspices of the AIG. Some of the CSIRO/GA people were astonished that mining industry geologists were sceptical of CAGW, the majority comment being, and paraphrasing it, “I thought it was accepted that we have a problem”. The bewilderment was palpable, sort of a culture shock.

    Since then I’ve noticed that CAGW believers actually do, really really, believe some of us are cherry picking, financed by big oil, etc etc.

    Our problem is coping with this entrenched belief system that seems unable to be swayed with any amount of contradictory evidence. Reading the various comments on Bolt’s and this blog confirms this, and it’s a lefty trait.

    In the case here with the death threats, the Fairfax journo’s seem to actually believe it, and probably can’t comprehend what they are writing is fictitious – after all, everyone in their circle of friends and acquaintances concurs, so obviously it must be true.

    So if the perpretators of these “death threat” allegations are unware of confirmation bias etc, are they actually guilty of fabricating the situation, or are they intrinsically so effing stoopid that they remain unaware of their illusions; methinks the latter – stupid is as stupid does, and that could make the situation very dangerous – mob behaviour is essentially irrational but also collective.

    The only response to this situation, then, is to shut up, stand by and let the mob pass by, especially when they start to realise that the carbon tax and etc are imposed basically to pay off the debts incurred by the progressive political parties.

    We live during interesting times.

  14. conrad says:

    If you need the dates, them Ian Young left Swinny in 2011 and started at ANU in March I think. Also, I’m not sure why you don’t believe the academics here — you need to establish the truth value of the three sources here, the academics, Ian Young, and Ian Chubb. Presumably if there were death threats, then it should have been reported to the police. This obviously has a big penalty attached to it if you are caught being dishonest, so if that has happened, my bet would be the threats did occur.

  15. Matt says:

    Also, I’m not sure why you don’t believe the academics here … my bet would be the threats did occur.

    Um, did you read the original post?

    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

  16. Sinclair Davidson says:

    conrad – the Privacy Commissioner who has read the emails, unlike Chubb, doesn’t think so. The police were not notified.

  17. brc says:

    Can anyone actually find a story or prediction put out by the warmist activists that has actually turned out to be true?

    I can’t think of any.

    When fabricating claims of death threats to score better digs is seen as a win I have little respect for the actual work that they do.

    The whole ‘we have death threats move us’ was probably described as a brilliant political ploy, in the same hushed tones as the elevation of Slipper.

  18. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B. says:

    Hey, they got the new offices. Did they get the parking too? Academic nirvana.

  19. val majkus says:

    warmist scientists are such delicate hothouse flowers

    a bit like someone else who claimed to be receiving death threats and the only one he provided as evidence was a message where the caller ‘hoped he would die’

    as Bolt (I think but could have been someone else) said do these people


    have to exaggerate?

  20. Pingback: "ANU death threat claims debunked" - The Australian | Australian Climate Madness

  21. val majkus says:

    debunking of death threats is not going to make the national news tonight
    (not the way alleged death threats would)

  22. Winnedge says:

    Due to the serious and vexatious nature of these reports from the ABC and Fairfax I will now expect a huge expose from Media Watch.

    But then again I expect to see some pink pigs flying around first.

  23. Lazlo says:

    There are two things that really excite academics: office space and parking.

    You forgot air conditioning..

  24. PSC says:

    Rosslyn Beeby, The Canberra Times, June 16 2011:

    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.

    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.

    So either Rosslyn Beeby or Christian Kerr have been telling porkies, or at least shockingly misleading in a major newspaper.

  25. Penndragon says:

    Some years ago I worked as a solicitor in a major university and had to advise on a problem where a student made seemingly serious death threats to a senior academic. We took precautions, but the strong police advice was that death threats are made frequently to people and 99.9% of the time amount to nothing. Apparently the critical thing is not the threat but if the person making the threat takes any actual action to implement the threat. He did take some action but it was more of a defamatory gesture than anything to become alarmed about. We kept it all secret to try to contain it.

    As a lawyer on a pro bono matter I was once threatened by a successful businessman I had never met or heard of that I would never get another job again if I did not withdraw from providing free legal services to my client. For many in the legal profession threats like this are something of a “right of passage”. It comes with the territory and yes, his threat was ignored, so I passed that test of my professionalism. I gave a few minutes thought about what I could do, decided I could not even prove it had been made, moved on and told very few people about it.

    Many years later I met a relation of an author of one of the books pointing out the fakery of the warmist religion and was able to reassure that relation that they should not worry and why and what to look out for. The interesting contrast was that their reaction was to avoid trouble by not making a big public deal of it.

    Consequently I have, for a long time now, suspected that these academics might be “crying wolf” for the cause.

  26. Sinclair Davidson says:

    PSC – that story has been taken down by the Canberra Times.

  27. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Okay – found the story in the Fairfax archive – the events Rosslyn Beeby describes are not the ANU allegation – if they are she too has some explaining to do. Christian Kerr reports in the Australian today that the police did not investigate the ANU threats because they were not informed. The ANU will not say why they didn’t notify police.

  28. dover_beach says:

    What a disgrace.

  29. dover_beach says:

    Chubb did a Shorten.

  30. Pingback: Hate campaign against climate scientists hits the denier spin-cycle « Graham Readfearn

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