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.