Climate sceptic commentators and bloggers have taken this decision to mean that climate scientists have not received death threats and, on the face of it, that might seem like a fair conclusion.Readfern gives excerpts from some of the emails he's seen, which are brutal and whose intent is unmistakable:
Except they’ve ignored two key facts which undermine their conclusion.
The first, is that the FOI request only asked for correspondence covering a six month period from January to June 2011. What’s more, the request only asked for correspondence regarding six ANU academics. The report from the Privacy Commissioner made this clear.
Secondly, the original investigation which sparked the FOI request, published in The Canberra Times, found more than 30 climate scientists had received threats or abuse of one kind or another at universities across Australia and that this campaign had been going on for years. It wasn’t news to some of us. None of the emails I published on my blog were from scientists at ANU.
Readfern has more threats here.
Yet people like Anthony Watts, Jo Nova and their minions have exploited the Privacy Commissioner's report and used it only as another opportunity to distort and deny the dangerous situation, and to insult, harass and intimidate even those who call attention to this ugliness -- going so far as to pretend these threats don't exist even though one has been captured on video.
"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."