Surprising? Probably not. But it’s still absurd. Someone on their own team, an educated Republican, climate scientist Kerry Emanuel (and his wife) have been receiving attacks and threats via email.
“Prominent MIT researcher Kerry Emanuel has been receiving an unprecedented ‘frenzy of hate’ after a video featuring an interview with him was published last week by Climate Desk,” James West of Mother Jones writes. (The video is further down in this article.)
“Emails contained ‘veiled threats against my wife,’ and other ‘tangible threats,’ Emanuel, a highly regarded atmospheric scientist and director of MIT’s Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate program, said in an interview. ‘They were vile, these emails. They were the kind of emails nobody would like to receive.'”
The emails actually contain personal threats of violence.
“Threats are nothing new in the world of climate science. But Emanuel was surprised by the viciousness of the emails. ‘I think most of my colleagues and I have received a fair bit of email here and there that you might classify as hate mail, but nothing like what I’ve got in the last few days.'”
Yes, climate scientists are bullied. Those who drop in the comments here to tell me otherwise are either deluded or flat-out liars (or bots).
It’s presumed that a lot of the emailers came from Climate Depot, an extremist climate denial site that published Emanuel’s email in bold, as it often does… if you have any ability to connect the dots, to encourage harassment and intimidation of climate scientists and their supporters.
Here’s a full interview of Emanuel from West and the Climate Desk, followed by the video that seemed to stimulate the threats:
More Stories of Threats against Climate Scientists
Of course, scientists and supporters involved in the so-called “climategate” story (where a hacker illegally stole emails from over a decade and leaked out-of-context quotes to try to frame the scientists, rather successfully) received many threats and suggestions that they should be flogged, killed, and so on.
Beyond that, West reports: “In June 2011, top Australian climate scientists said they had been targeted by death threats and menacing phone calls, including threats of sexual attacks on family members. Australian National University in Canberra reacted by tightening security, and the police began investigating.”
It’s a concerning time. And some people’s outright hatred science and aggression towards scientists is concerning.
If you’re interested in a more psychological piece on why Emanuel and other such conservatives who don’t deny science are such a threat and, therefore, are so threatened by today’s Republican extremists, you might also want to check out Chris Mooney’s piece over on DeSmog Blog.