Alarmist scientist "receives death threats"

Not much sympathy here

Not much sympathy here

Hypocrisy Alert: Whilst it is deplorable that any scientist should receive death threats as a result of his or her views, it is interesting that the media have picked up so eagerly on this story. The sceptic scientists have been on the receiving end of all kinds of abuse, hatemail and worse for years, and yet no one in the media bats an eyelid, probably thinking secretly “they get what they deserve”. As soon as the boot’s on the other foot, it’s fawning sympathy and acres of copy:

An Australian born scientist at the centre of the East Anglia University email affair says he has received a number of death threats.

Dr Tom Wigley, a former director of the university’s Climatic Research Unit, has had several of his emails hacked and used by climate change sceptics to suggest that he and his colleagues have been distorting data about the evidence of global warming.

He is unable to reveal the details of the threats, as they are now being investigated by the FBI and UK police.

Dr Wigley told Eleanor Hall on The World Today that, while the threats are genuinely frightening, he is not surprised.

“This sort of thing has been going on at a much lower level for almost 20 years and there have been other outbursts of this sort of behaviour – criticism and abusive emails and things like that in the past,” he said.

“So this is a worse manifestation but it’s happened before so it’s not that surprising.

And it all provides the perfect platform to wheel out the “move along, nothing to see here” line on the CRU emails:

He rejects suggestions that scientists have been exaggerating about the effects of climate change and says the emails were simply scientific questioning.

We don’t base policy by what is said in personal emails from people who are just developing some sort of scientific story,” he said.

And unfortunately, this kind of story helps the scientists under scrutiny to take on the role of victim, and victim status is very useful in the propaganda battle to deflect the media away from the real story.

Read it here.


  1. Matt Pearson says:

    Mr. Wigley,
    I think you are taking the threats out of context. Why, in private, my friends and I say much worse. This is how life is conducted in the rough and tumble of the real world.

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