We watched the right wing threaten Democrats during the health care debate, and the tactics are not a lot different in the climate reform, particularly now that the EPA might succeed in regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Smearmonger Marc Marano known for attacking John Kerry and John Murtha about their military decorations, leading climate denial campaigns for James Inhofe, and being Rush Limbaugh’s “Man in Washington,” is keeping the cyber-bullying stakes high by using threatening and inflammatory language against climate scientists. Threats against climate scientists exist and persist today, as discussed in ‘Climate nazis’: Violent rhetoric infects many US debates‘Climate nazis’: Violent rhetoric infects many US debates.

But is it rhetoric? Or are these threats disgused as rhetoric in order to misdirect responsibility for the attack?

Earlier this week, Morano renewed his call for climate scientists to be publicly beaten:

I seriously believe we should kick them while they’re down. They deserve to be publicly flogged.

In spite of requests that he these threats, Morano refuses to change his bully tactics.

Leo Hickman from UK Guardian posted a comment to the “Climate nazis” article linked above:

I would like to add that I saw a direct and clear rise in abusive/threatening emails the moment Climate Depot published my own address in response to my article about the messages Schneider had received. It is an ugly tactic and I for one would dearly like Climate Depot to put an end to it. Over to you, Mr Morano.

@Husq. Yes, 10:10 will obviously come up in this debate. Personally, I think it was a mistake – and have said so in the past – but please let’s not compare an ill-judged parody – for which an apology was issued – with what Schneider and other climate scientists have had to endure in recent times.

More often, climate scientists are reporting threats that seem to be coupled to right wing hate speech directed toward them. After “climategate”, a number of US climate scientists received scathing, threatening hatemail:

The scientists revealed they have been told to “go gargle razor blades” and have been described as “Nazi climate murderers”. Some emails have been sent to them without any attempt by the sender to disguise their identity. Even though the scientists have received advice from the FBI, the local police say they are not able to act due to the near-total tolerance of “freedom of speech” in the US.

This “rhetoric” is analogous to hate speech weaved into a joke — you know they “really didn’t mean it” because it was a joke. The problem is you, if you find offense, because you lack a sense of humor. The Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs of the world are using the same fallacy with their threats. As long as they can call this “rhetoric”, they can threaten with impunity. And they get to insult their target twice with one swipe.

The late Stephen Schnieder, who was a climatologist at Stanford, said he received hundreds of abusive emails, which peaked in frequency during climate summit in Copenhagen, December 2009. He also saw a correlation between inflammatory anti-climate science speech in the media and the frequency/hostility of the threats he received. From July 5, 2010 in The Guardian:

Schneider described his attackers as “cowards” and said he had observed an “immediate, noticeable rise” in emails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing US commentators, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

“[The senders] are not courageous people,” said Schneider. “Where are they getting their information from? They just listen to assertions made on blogs and rightwing talkshows. It’s pathetic.”

Schneider said the FBI had taken an interest earlier this year when his name appeared on a “death list” on a neo-Nazi website alongside other climate scientists with apparent Jewish ancestry. But, to date, no action has been taken.

Professor Phil Jones, the scientist (now exonerated) at the center of the Climategate controversy revealed that the threats were so bad that he considered suicide:

The problem appears less severe in the UK but, Professor Phil Jones, the UEA scientist at the centre of the hacked email controversy, revealed in February he had been receiving two death threats a week and had contemplated suicide. “People said I should go and kill myself,” he said. “They said that they knew where I lived. They were coming from all over the world.”

The uglier amongst the climate denialists keep the venom and violent threats alive — it’s become the American way to some. Toxicity is everywhere in US politics, and it’s been there for a long time. Please enjoy this 1992 skit from Fry and Laurie:

More Climate News

  • 2010 Matches 2005 as Warmest Year in Recorded History “According to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year’s land and water surface temperatures averaged 1.12 degrees Fahrenheit (0.62 degrees Celsius) higher than normal 20th century figures.”

Energy, Technology, Business, and Economic Impacts

  • What exactly are green bonds? UK produces and issues “green bonds” to refinance low-carbon infrastructure such as offshore wind turbines and their grids.
  • Study Evaluates Markets For High-Speed Rail Systems in the U.S. “A new study released today by America 2050 identifies the high-speed rail corridors with the greatest potential to attract ridership in each of the nation’s megaregions.  Corridors connecting populous regions with large job centers, rail transit networks, and existing air markets scored best.”
  • Electric Cars Would Cause Added CO2 Emissions in Certain Countries  One study by Oxford University’s Reed Doucette and Malcolm McCulloch suggests that the adoption of electric cars may actually accelerate global climate change. Because large, developing countries rely on dirty eletricity generation, charging electric cars in India and China and could result in higher CO2 emissions.

Climate Policy in the US

  • The danger of a two-year delay in EPA climate rules Of the bills intended to cripple the EPA’s efforts to regulate GHG emissions under the CAA, the one poised to delay EPA action is most likely to pass. “Losing this fight would be a disaster, and there’s no avoiding it. That leaves winning. Obama would be wise to start building a vigorous case before the American people — starting today — about why he plans to veto it if it hits his desk.”

Water, Natural Resources, Health, and EcoJustice


Crossposted at BPI Campus where our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.