Warmist Graham Redfearn defends climate scientists


Step 1: offer up “scary scenarios” (quote Stephen Schneider) by exaggeration and embellishment;

Step 2: turn the debate into simple questions of black and white, believers and deniers, for example, with no shades of grey;

Step 3: tell the public to “trust us”; and finally,

Step 4: criticise and smear anyone who dares ask questions.

Sound familiar? It’s a summary of the warmist mantra.

Graham Redfearn, the warmist blogger, has defended climate scientists and rubbished the claims made in The Australian that the “death threats” story last June was overblown, calling it all “part of the denier spin cycle”.

Redfearn makes a number of claims, all of them easily rebutted.

Firstly he claims that the scope of the FoI request was limited to six individuals. It was, but it included Will Steffen and Andrew Glikson, the two highest profile climate scientists at ANU and by far the most likely target for death threats at that university.

He claims also it only focussed on ANU. That is correct, but the ANU was the first mentioned university in almost all the news reports from June last year. He also claims that none of the emails he published on his blog last year were from ANU. You can read them here – and none of them contain “death threats”. They contain abuse and offensive language, but not “threats to kill” in the proper sense of the phrase.

Just to be clear, “F off and die” is not a death threat. A death threat is “if you do/do not do x, I will kill you”.

Redfearn claims that whether death threats were actually received or not was a “red herring” and that it’s still a hate campaign. Fine. Let’s see an official release of these documents from the scientists concerned, not just selective leaks to sympathetic media organisations like Fairfax, ABC and Redfearn himself. Then the public can make up their own mind.

But when the ANU refuses to back up a media story, that we must assume it released itself, with the documentary evidence to confirm it, even when requested to through a proper Freedom of Information request, and continues to refuse to release the documents and is even considering yet a further appeal, then the public is entitled to be suspicious.

And the hypocrisy is breathtaking – the abuse hurled at “deniers” (even that term hints at Holocaust denial) is just as offensive, but there’s a deafening silence from the warmists about that.

Such emails of any kind are objectionable, have no place in civilised scientific debate, and are condemned by this blog without reservation, but are sadly part of public life, not only in climate science, but in many other areas as well – politics, for example. However, claiming that such emails constitute death threats (a serious criminal offence that carries hefty prison sentences), and then refusing to release the documents that evidence such claims, is unacceptable.

If there are genuine death threats, then they should be fully investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished. But like everything else from the warmist side, we’re supposed to take it on trust.

It appears that the subtle but important distinctions at work here, like so many aspects of the climate debate, are utterly lost on rusted-on warmists like Redfearn.


  1. Redfearn is living proof that “climate change” is a political doctrine that’s nothing to do with science. A young “true believer” who abandoned journalism to work as an advocate of the climate science industry in Australia’s leftwing media — mainly the ABC’s The Drum and Crikey — Redfearn has made himself virtually unemployable in mainstream journalism because he has taken the side of the extreme Left in politics. His output is laughably naive and it is embarrassing to me (as a journalist for the past 43 years) that he still claims the title “journalist”, even though has abandoned his professional scepticism — about everything — to jump on a political gravy train. I’m pretty sure he’ll regret it later in life.

  2. Hang on:
    You say Readfearn’s story can be easily rebutted.
    Yet you do the opposite:

    1) the scope of the request was, indeed, limited to only six individuals. Which you admit. That’s the first point NOT rebutted.

    2). the request only focussed on ANU. Yep, you agreed with that point too. Again, not rebutted.

    Is this the same sort of “rebuttal” you use on climate science?

    I can’t see how a sample covering six scientists over a six month period at one university really be taken to represent a nationwide situation.

    [REPLY – Actually, Patsi, if you actually read the article properly, you would understand the rebuttal is to the claim by Redfearn that, for the reasons he gave, the result of the FOI is irrelevant. It clearly is not, given the fact that the ANU plugged this story for all it was worth back in June 2011 – and it made it all around the world. In any case, third parties shouldn’t have to resort to FOI requests to extract this information from universities when they themselves have happily leaked it to the media to garner sympathy for climate scientists. If there is evidence out there of genuine death threats, then let’s see it, and it should be reported to, and investigated by, the police (which it wasn’t)]

    And I also can’t see why anyone would release such emails to the likes of you lot.

    [REPLY – Your barely concealed contempt finally shines through. It’s because universities are publicly funded bodies and they are obliged to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and respond to requests from “the likes of us lot”. Sorry about that. It’s called living in a democracy.]

    • Patsi,
      It is quite clear there one major thing, that those of you who seek to denigrate us because we don’t believe the hypothesis of AGW. It is avoidance of mentioning the word DEBATE an important tool used by ALL scientists to achieving scientific outcomes untainted by political agenda. It is you are too scared to mention anything to do with it and this shows your hypocrisy. Also just in case you haven’t noticed or don’t want to acknowledge Australia still is a democracy!

    • Patsi, you’re a real patsie as I think Simon’s rebuttal is right on the mark.

      • thats what happens to space biscuits when they play with the big boys patsi

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Green evangelising’s such a tough gig nowdays Patsy.

      So many unbelievers to be converted.

      Perhaps you could try standing on an eco-friendly soap box. Recycled timber of course.

    • OK so how do you explain this then:

      the ANU climate scientist unit was relocated in 2010 after they received threats. They even had people walking into the unit, being aggressive.

      The FOI request covers 6 months in 2011, ie the year after the scientists had received those threats and had been relocated.

      Sorta takes the wind out of the story, doesn’t it?

      [REPLY – I can see how desperate you are to defend the indefensible. Here is a quote from the ABC report of 4 June 2011:

      “Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young says the scientists 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.

      He says it has been happening for the past six months and the situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks.”

      If this is true, why do none of the emails from the last six months reveal death threats?

      Also, if death threats were received in 2010, why did the ANU wait until June 2011 to release the story to the media?

      And further, if they were genuine death threats, why were they not investigated by the police at the time?]

  3. Dr A Burns says:

    It’s interesting how alarmist blogs such as RedFEARn’s always delete any scientific discussion from realists, yet sceptic sites are always open to comments from both alarmists and realists.

    • Graham Readfearn says:

      Yes. Just look at all those “realist” comments deleted. Isn’t that “interesting”.


      [REPLY – Don’t you have any response to the substance of my post?]

    • Skeptikal says:

      I have to say that after reading this blog, I went over to visit his blog and submitted a couple of posts while I was over there. So far, all my posts were accepted. None of them have been censored or deleted. I’ve only been there recently, so I don’t know what happened over there in the past. I can only speculate that either there has been a shift in his policy on how much debate he will allow or possibly that the deleted posts you refer to may have contained abuse or some other objectional content.

      I do know firsthand that scepticalscience routinely clips from posts any content that doesn’t suit their warming mantra, but so far I haven’t experienced this at Readfearn’s site.

  4. Streetcred says:

    Let’s be clear, who is Redfearn anyway … just another warmie punk blogger.

    • AndyG55 says:

      I though they meant Jamie Redfern !!
      A more important member of society by a long shot..

      (That’s relatively 😉

  5. uhavitbad says:

    Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 5.

  6. Streetcred says:

    patsi May 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

    So who’s the patsy now ?

  7. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Surely had there been any substance to these assertions of death threats, any responsible educational institution would have referred them to the relevant law enforcement agency without delay? But no instead we saw the Australian gate-keepers of evidence-free climate science first engage in a grubby spin initiative, then do their utmost to hide the fact that their alleged death threats just didn’t exist.

  8. Rick Bradford says:

    Tell Redfearn that Monckton is on his way over, and he won’t be seen for dust.

    I’ve only just stopped laughing about what happened the last time they met, when Monckton handed the wretched Redfearn his hat in such devastating fashion that it took him years to recover….

  9. Graham Thompson says:

    This is interesting and relevant …

    An internal study by the U.S. EPA completed by Dr. Alan Carlin and John Davidson concluded the IPCC was wrong about global warming. One statement in the executive summary stated that a 2009 paper found that the crucial assumption in the Greenhouse Climate Models (GCM) used by the IPCC concerning a strong positive feedback from water vapor is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative. Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect, not a warming one. Carbon dioxide also causes a slight cooling effect but it so small it could never be measured by man’s instrumentation.

    EPA tried to bury the report. An email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Dr. Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbade him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues. In a March 17 email from McGartland to Carlin, stated that he will not forward Carlin’s study. “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator (Lisa Jackson) and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” A second email from McGartland stated “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”

    McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Dr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to the EPA’s current position. Yet this study had its basis in three prior reports by Carlin (two in 2007 and one in 2008) that were accepted. Another government cover-up, just what the United States does not need.

    Eliminate this regulation immediately. This is a scientific tragedy.

    • The silence from Readfearn and Patsi is deafening .Nothing to say about the above article, no rabid ranting.

    • Laurie Williams says:

      Graham, thank you for sharing this information about the US EPA. Can you provide some links? (That is, if Australia’s National Blocking Network will let them through.)

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