The recent meme being propagated by global warming alarmists is that they are under siege by skeptics, physically at risk for their selfless service to science, and to the world. So far as I can tell, the very serious claim as advertised either speaks more about those making facially misleading assertions, or otherwise remains not fully baked. That is, the specific bandied about is some Larouchie outburst in Australia about "the British Empire", or something, according to the source... though the recipient gravely intones that, to our surprise, the US is the epicenter of threats to climate scientists. That darn media, covering for climate skeptics!
As with AAAS's panic over our FOIAs -- who wouldn't see them as akin to death threats? I mean, other than those who don't confuse death-by-transparency of a movement with the real thing -- this is clearly prompted out of desperation over our transparency campaign (see, e.g., the successful effort to compel production of University of Virginia's "Hockey Stick" and other Michael Mann records here, and seeking the ethics file -- if it exists -- governing James Hansen's lucrative extracurriculars here).
In execution, this is also rather pathetic.
More disturbing is the hypocrisy, including among the warming industry's media cheerleaders. Remember, these people said nothing as the (now-)supposed horrors of FOIA requests, and actual intimidation and assault were visited on those who dared continue plying science -- that is, skeptical, critical analysis -- to anthropogenic global warming theory. I wrote a book about it, it was so pervasive in the global warming industry's modus operandi (a book that also detailed what was affirmed, not 'revealed', in ClimateGate, a year before there was a ClimateGate). Not quite as pervasive as their default plays of no time to discuss! and argumentum ad Hitlerum. But far too common.
For example, consider the following excerpts, aptly titled Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed. (citations omitted; if you want 'em, buy the book).
C H A P T E R 6. Fear and Loathing: Alarmist Scare Tactics, Demonization, and Threats
At various Kyoto Protocol negotiations that I have attended, Greenpeace posted around the convention hall a "Field Guide to Climate Criminals" with photographs of me and a few others on the enemies list, so that the unwashed children of privilege flocking to these meetings couldn't miss us [NB: I admit to suffering only stalkers, and having Greenpeace steal my trash each Sunday night]...
Take this one from "environmental author" Mark Lynas who describes his blog as "something of a debating hall about climate change."
I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put this in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial-except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don't will one day have to answer for their crimes.
David Roberts, writing for the popular green website Grist went into more detail:
When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards-some sort of climate Nuremberg. ...
Academic and activist Ross Gelbspan (who for a long time portrayed himself as a Pulitzer Prize winner, which he isn't) has attacked scientists (which he also is not) as "criminals against humanity" for questioning his apocalyptic future scenarios. One cowardly green-activist website calls a Harvard astrophysicist an attempted mass murderer for discussing the Sun's role in the earth's historical temperature record, and labels other dissenters "felons." ...
Canada's first PhD in climatology, Dr. Tim Ball, relates that he's received death threats for his apostasy [NB: Ball is also being sued by two alarmists so, using their logic, there's two more death threats]. Yet the threats of an early grave (when not acted upon) have big shoes to fill living up to the rhetoric of the premier darlings of the alarmist industry. Consider the comments from George Monbiot, star columnist for The Guardian, that "every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned," and Gore advisor James Hansen, that "a certain shock treatment is needed, but it would best be delivered with a two-by-four as a solid whack to the head of politicians who remain oblivious to fundamental physical facts." Referring to these gems, climate scientist Roger Pielke Jr. [NB: who also went public with a crystal clear professional threat for his apostasy] opined:
Allusions to murder and beatings kind of puts a chill on discussing options for climate policy, doesn't it? Maybe that is the point. It certainly makes me think.
... It is all too easy for leaders to incite people to actual violence on issues that they are passionate about. Mr. Monbiot and Dr. Hansen (and others, again on all sides) may not have that outcome in mind as they write such statements, but if they don't watch out, that may be what they get.
The Wheels Come Off
Pielke is right. Noted skeptic, physics professor, and former head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo Tom Segalstad related to me an annoying series of pizzas delivered to his home which, although he did not order them, did ensue once he came out in criticism of the environmental alarmists. Oh, those clever greens. Or, maybe not so clever. It seems that, subsequently, the wheels of Segalstad's automobile up and fell off on two separate occasions, including once while his young daughter was in the car. Apparently the lug nuts had been loosened. Of course, his claim is anecdotal [NB: though the incidents later resumed]. Sort of like the global warmists' purported harbingers of catastrophic climate change.
I then detailed the vastly more numerous professional threats, or implicit admissions of having received or known of them (just like all of those global warming alarmists whose funding and advancement has suffered as a result! I kid.). How one terrified citizen beat another to death for supposedly violating a restriction on lawn watering (he was wrong). Of UK schoolchildren widely exhibiting signs of having been terrorized by their educators, and a teenager committed to psychiatric care in Australia, refusing even water, having been convinced he was contributing to an extant environmental catastrophe. All the logical outcome of alarmist rhetoric.
This wretchedness comes with leading, or letting one's self to be led by, a cadre seeking a political agenda and/or to preserve a gravy train, or otherwise their professional futures, all first secured on exaggeration and ideological abuse of a scientific credential, perpetuated by bullying, threats and often dishonesty. Now claiming to be victimized. Please, cut your losses and stop laboring to construct a moral high ground for yourselves.