Chubb on ANU: 'no death threats except when journalists picked up the story'

FOI request

The death threat saga has reached parliament, with questions being asked at a Senate Estimates Committee of Prof Ian Chubb, current Chief Scientist, but Vice Chancellor of the ANU until March 2011. Most amazingly, Chubb confirms there were no death threats until the journalists got hold of the story!

The Australian reports that Liberal senator Scott Ryan questioned Chubb, who responded that, in 2010:

A senior member of his staff came to him with concerns from the institution’s climate scientists over emails they had received and said they had also had “a couple of visits from people who had walked in off the street”.

The staff member expressed a desire to have the climate scientists moved from their then-location, Professor Chubb said. “We looked at what we could do and we moved them. Senator, we did not make a fanfare, we did not go public. We simply moved them and got on with our business,” 

Basically they were given swipe card access. So does this incident refer to the “kangaroo cull” incident, or another? He goes on to confirm he never read the emails:

They were at least abusive but let me be clear . . . I didn’t read the emails. I trusted the man who came to me, he was a senior member of the staff and he represented concerns of the staff to me,” Professor Chubb said.

Yes, it has been accepted all along that the emails were offensive. However, Chubb saves the best until last:

“For the record, there were no alleged death threats except when journalists picked up the story.”

So is this a media beat up? Can we now assume that this means that during Chubb’s watch as Vice Chancellor, which ended in March 2011 with the appointment of Ian Young, there were no death threats to climate scientists at ANU? If so, why are the ANU still insisting, through the ABC correction, that they did, in fact, receive such threats?

The window during which such threats must have been received is closing rapidly, and is now restricted to the period March – June 2011. I am still awaiting a response to the questions I sent to the ANU’s media office on Friday, seeking clarification.

Time, I think, for the ANU to finally come clean on this mess.

Full Australian article here.


  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    The moron activists at yAyBC are only preaching their pathetic and sickening leftist doctrine to an already converted minority. No one with any scrap of intelligence or independent thought takes their bullshit preaching seriously.

  2. thingadonta says:

    But they didn’t then question the media’s reporting, except when in their interests….

  3. Thanks for exposing these false claims of death threats.
    My guess is that these scientists weren’t happy with the facilities of their work accomodation at the ANU, so they used grossly inflated threats, as a reason to be moved to a more comfortable workplace.
    I would be interested to compare their old and new accomodation.
    Or ask the new occupants, of the scientists old accomodation, what they think of it.

  4. Anthony Watts says:

    For all the alarmists that bought this hook line and sinker, then proceeded to tell us how “terrible” we all were because we didn’t take it seriously, there aren’t words that can appropriately describe the magnitude of FAIL they represent.

    Don’t let them off the hook, demand apologies.

  5. Hmmm

    On 24th May 2012, (5 days ago) professor Ian Chubb unequivocally led the National Press Club of Australia to believe that the “Death Threats” were real and he had acted properly by relocating the scientists concerned. See video of Ian Chubb’s address and in particular question put to him by Christian Kerr of the Australian at 30mins 40seconds of the video.
    Ian Chubb’s address

    On the face of it, having regard to his reported evidence to the Senate Committee Ian Chubb fair and square and carefully mislead the National Press Club not knowing that he would be required to address the question under oath 5 days later.

    [REPLY – Link fixed as requested!]

  6. Hi Simon,

    Has it occurred to you that your 11 FOI emails were for a 6-month period a year or so after those “couple of visits from people who had walked in off the street” in late-2009 to early-2010? Those ANU guys were relocated in Feb 2010.


    [REPLY – Yes, of course. I have a number of follow-up questions in at the ANU clarifying the position, and am awaiting a response.]

  7. thingadonta says:

    According to the alarmists, you dont need ‘evidence’ of death threats, you just need a vague inflated suspicion, which is then exaggerated.

    The same thing goes with the actual data for dangerous AGW, you just need a vague inflated suspicion, which is then exaggerated, and you get, wella, dangerous global warming.

  8. The reason I asked is that your approach to all this seems pretty slapdash. You’ve conceded the emails you’ve FOIed were from the wrong timeframe, yet it doesn’t seem to have twigged that they therefore don’t prove anything much.

    You ask here “does this incident refer to the kangaroo cull incident?”

    a) Chubb is very clear that there were two incidents and other sources corroborate this.

    b) The kangaroo cull incident occurred end-May 2010 at an off-campus event fully 4 months after the ANU guys were relocated.

    Just saying. Cheers.

    [REPLY – I have further questions in at the ANU – I await their response (if I get one at all). The ones being “slapdash” here, as you put it, are ANU, who are desperately avoiding telling the whole truth about this important matter.]


  1. […] Well that’s the end of that. Simon Turnill has more at Australian Climate Madness. […]

  2. […] doesn’t change the ANU argument, which has been clearly and completely debunked. No death threats were sent there. I suppose that there will be another round of the story now that […]

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