## Wednesday, May 9, 2012

### ## Threats at ANU - emails released - UPDATE

Update 22 May
As Eli notes on the other thread, Deltoid has posted on the Media Watch report on this issue. This is the investigation trumpeted by the Australian headline:
"Media Watch eyes climate scientist death threat claims"

What did they find? The original Canberra Times reports seem well-based. They emphasised a generally threatening environment, with nasty stuff, and did particularly not emphasise death threats. The ABC amped that aspect up a bit. The V-C was reported as referring to death threats over the six month period of Simon Turnill's report, but it now isn't clear if he actually said that.

But they have independently investigated, and again found a definitely threatening environment for climate scientists. They too have a collection of emails received. And they emphasised that the Turnill six-months six scientists FOI request is very limited, and no basis for sweeping assertions that threats have been debunked.
"11 emails. To six scientists. In one university. In one six month period. How on earth do they debunk the Canberra Times's story?"

Their summary:
"One news outlet comes out of it, in our opinion, almost unscathed: Fairfax Media's The Canberra Times. The ABC doesn't look so great, and The Australian looks worst of all."

Eli has more

I have been involved in blog discussions at WUWT and Bishop Hill.

Indeed at WUWT I was honored with an award of crow pie. And told in no uncertain terms of the error of my ways:
You’ve earned troll bin moderation status me thinks because you’d rather believe this fantasy you’ve concocted than facts of the matter at hand. And, the facts are, that there’s no death threats. Game over. – Anthony

As Graham Readfearn notes, the ANU FOI request, on which the latest fuss is based, covers just six named staff at that one University, with threats that actually entered the email system, over a six month period. And ANU only sent around asking for them after a FOI request was received, so they don't include emails that the recipients deleted. So it's a very limited sample. I've summarised some more background here.

However, ANU has now released the emails. I've put a zip-file here. The Privacy Commissioner noted one particular email as:
“In my view, the exchange as described in the email could be regarded as intimidating and at its highest perhaps alluding to a threat.”

It's in Doc_5.pdf. It describes a conference/seminar organised by the University, at which, on the first day, someone "took exception" to a talk on climate change. Then:
"Moreover, before he left, he came to the Fri dinner and showed other participants his gun licence and explained to them how good a sniper he is."

Now I expect that at WUWT they'll say, well, he could be aiming low, or whatever. But it sure sounds like a death hint, at least.

Update
On the other thread a commenter "Colours" draws attention to a comment here where the poster identifies himself as the person who proffered the licence (in his version, a kangaroo culling licence) and gives an alternative non-threatening version of the circumstances.

Update So now that what was in the emails is known, what do we hear from WUWT and co? Nothing. And Simon Turnill, who demanded the emails under FOI, has not posted them. Not said anything. There is a story in the Australian. ANU "forced" to release emails - no mention of the main content.
Update: Simon Turnill has now (5pm Thu) posted the emails with his interpretation.

1. Anthony Watts is sounding more and more like Joe Bast, i.e., shrill and out of control.

1. Don;t know if this will show up at WUWT where it was more or less posted, but Eli went looking at the ANU website and found the policy for reporting disturbing Email, call IT security and talk to your supervisor. By implication they then make any further call.

Also, is ANU Security a sworn force? For lots of state universities in the US this is the case, and they can arrest and investigate as any police organization.

Finally it seems possible that you know some of the folk who were threatened and talked with them as this was happening. Was that the case?

Best

2. Eli,
No, I don't know any of the people at ANU who were threatened. I do have a friend in Karoly's department, so I hear of things there.

I'm pretty sure ANU security does not have police-like powers. We don't really have the concept of a sworn force.

Policies can be a bit unrealistic. I was looking at the AFP website and they give a phone number (not police) to which you are supposed to report spam.

The emails did clear up one issue. There are two police groupings, AFP (Fed) and ACT Policing (local) which could have jurisdiction here. In the initial reports, they asked the AFP what they knew, and they said they were aware of threats. In the latest rehash (Murdoch press) they asked ACT Policing, who said they had no reports, which excited WUWT et al.

But the AFP site says that threats to Commonwealth officers should go to AFP. And, sure enough, when Steffen in Doc_5 is talking about who security might report it to, it's to the AFP.

3. And even Will Stephan didn't deem the alleged threat serious enough to report it to the AFP. If he was so scared for his life, he would have. More abuse has come from climate scientists abusing sceptics that from the sceptics themselves. Facts are an irrelevant concept to global warmists. They try to sck and dfund anyone who disagrees with them. Most make Goebbels look like a babe in arms when is comes to disinformation. Back to your next funding submission you warmists. Enjoy bludging off the Aussie taxpayer whilst you can.

4. As the email in Doc_5 shows, he forwarded it to ANU Security, in the expectation that they would report it to the AFP. I think it's very likely that they did.

5. Last time I was on the ANU campus Nick, the ANU security guys didn't carry guns, capsicum spray or even have the right to arrest people, other than by citizen"s arrest. If Stefan was serious, he would have gone to the cops. It was a total beat up by him, the journalist at the Canberra Times and the global warming community. Like the fake science from hockey stick, to the Uni of East Anglia climategate emails, or Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth rubbish which was found by the UK High Court to be rubbish, you guys have been caught out with your lies time amd time again. And you wonde why the community has no respect these days ???

6. What Steffen said was:
"Anyway, I've asked ...to brief the VC and the head of security ASAP. The latter will determine whether this should go to the AFP or not."
He wasn't there; he quotes a message from someone who was. If ANU is to report it officially, ANU security is the right level. From that email, I think it is very likely that they did report it.

2. Hi Nick,

You seem to be rather selective in your quoting from Doc #5.

In that document there is an assertion apparently by a university staff member stating,

Dear All,
Looks like we've had our first serious threat of physical violence.

Now this is dated 2nd June 2010. So, aside from anything else, this document is an admission that prior to 2nd June, 2010, there had been no serious threats of violence. The author of this email then quotes an unreferenced secondary source that claims that an unhappy member of the public revealed a gun license and boasted that he was a sniper. This is very weak. I wasn't there, so it's hard to know whether our climate sniper was drunk, mentally ill, quoted entirely out of context, or perhaps genuinely threatening.

I'm sorry, the most disturbing of the emails is Doc #2 although it in no way contains a threat of violence.

In all -

Doc #1 (25/6/2011) is just an upset citizen who accuses scientists of being dishonest.
Doc #2 (24/5/2011) is certainly hate mail by a fairly uneducated writer.
Doc #3 (23/5/2011) is a strongly worded email by another upset citizen who wishes unemployment upon scientists.
Doc #4 (4/6/2010) is an upset citizen who uses some sarcasm on this poor scientist.
Doc #6 (24/5/2011) is almost collegial and simply raves on a bit about the lack of the 'hot spot'.
Doc #7 is a duplicate of Doc #2.
Doc #8 (24/5/2011) is more brief hate mail from another uneducated upset citizen.
Doc #9 (23/5/2011) asserts that the report is 'a load of rubbish'.
Doc #10 (16/6/2011) relates a phone call that the scientist evidently didn't find threatening.

Throughout the correspondence we see that someone was actively keeping a file of these emails as evidence, so your suggestion that juicier ones may have been deleted isn't very convincing.

Nick, there's nothing here. The scientists lied. Their lies were then published in the mainstream media, and I believed them. Personally, I don't appreciate being lied to.

1. Alex,
Firstly it's not surprising that CCI got it's first threat of violence in 2010 - they only started in 2008. As to the nature of the threat - yes, there are possible interpretations that would make it harmless. That's always the case with threats that are ambiguous, as they mostly are. Any threatener who wants to avoid prosecution will see to that. You need proof to prosecute, but not to keep out of harm's way.

The first email seems to be written before the next day proceedings - so there's not much time to grow in re-telling.

"Throughout the correspondence we see that someone was actively keeping a file of these emails as evidence,"
No - look in Doc_11. There's an email, June 11 2011, asking people to send in whatever responsive materials they have. I see no evidence that this trove isn't just the response to that email.

2. Alex Harvey,

your "defense" of the claim that no death threats were made against ANU staff is weak. First, taking the time to show your gun licence and boast of your ability with a gun immediately after taking exception to somebodies comments is a death threat. It may be a veiled death threat, but a veiled death threat is still a death threat. Further, it is irrelevant whether he was drunk or mentally ill. Would the fact that the person making the threat was drunk, or mentally ill, prevent them from being drunk, or mentally ill, on the next day - and hence carrying out the threat?

I would say more, but the denier response to these abusive emails and death threats leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, I doubt I would remain polite.

3. I have to say I am astonished to see this "let's-pretend-black-is-white" reaction from readers. The scientists claimed they received death threats sent to them in email and over the telephone. Have another look here. They didn't refer to a third-hand anecdotal report of a gun-toting hill-billy making a veiled threat at an ANU conference. Why? Because that wouldn't have been interesting or newsworthy. So they've made up a story that is newsworthy based on a grain of truth after assuming that no one could ever actually check their emails. Look, I enjoy Nick's posts and his comments and wish most defenders of the AGW faith behaved as reasonably as he often does - but this defense of the indefensible is just absurd and bizarre guys.

4. Alex,
Well, you object to third-hand reports, and that news report certainly qualifies. But you don't know what phone calls they got. And you don't know what emails were deleted. Some of those that Readfearn listed aren't exactly ones that you'd treasure.

But I object to your "must be black" stance. People in this situation don't think first of how they can prove the existence of threats or abuse to people like you. And indeed, they have no obligation to. The fact that the evidence doesn't come up to your standards doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Readfearn describes some incidents in early-mid 2010. On two occasions people entered the CCI area asking aggresively for named staff members. Then the gun licence incident. Now of course it may have been nothing. But they're not lying if they say they felt threatened.

5. Dear Nick,

I object a bit to you saying 'people like you'. What sort of people are they? :)

Anyhow, this 'dog ate their homework' defence would be more credible if they had actually made this defence themselves. They didn't. They instead made up nonsense excuses to avoid complying with the FOI Act - excuses that the Privacy Commissioner dismissed as baloney. And now you say the real reason they couldn't comply with the FOI Act request is that they had deleted all the real evidence. If so, why change the story? Why not just say at the outset that they deleted all the email evidence?

(Well, aside from the obvious, i.e. that they would have known that no one could be expected to believe that they deleted all evidence of all these threats.)

I suppose I can't be sure of how I would react if I received an email death threat. I agree that I wouldn't 'treasure' it. But I certainly would not delete it either - because the email would be the only evidence of a crime that had just been committed - against me! And I am also certain that I would call the police - urgently. And while you might argue that not everyone is going to react the same way - you want people to believe that every single scientist in the CCI reacted in the same way, to destroy all evidence of the crimes that had been committed against them?

6. Alex,
Yes, sorry about the "people like you" - I meant people not directly involved, no disparagement intended. Unfortunately in this system I can't edit even my own comments.

I actually doubt that people receive convincing death threats by email. There's the "hope you twist in the wind" sort of stuff, and hurtful language, and that I would expect to be often deleted. It's much more the sort of gun license confrontation, or the lady who felt her toddlers were threatened, that scares people. And you'll only get indirect evidence in emails.

7. Though maybe I'm wrong there - I see that the lady with small children did get email threats.

8. So an educated scientist's first reaction to a serious death threat via e-mail would probably be to delete it? Not notify the police or someone?

9. "I enjoy Nick's posts and his comments and wish most defenders of the AGW faith behaved as reasonably as he often does"

If only ANY denier, including you, did so. AGW is not faith, it is science ... but then that sort of intellectual dishonesty permeates all your posts.

3. First let me say Anthony is an asshole and a coward for posting an attack on you above the fold, then not allowing you to respond. I personally think he owes you a guest post where you are given a chance to tell your own side of the story on his blog. What Anthony has done was wrong and he deserves criticism for that.

In any case the question here was was over emails, not anecdotes that were related second-hand in emails.

The argument about r"ecipients deleting emails so we can't produce them" is an old one, but evidence that does not exist is not evidence, and likely the university has a backup of all emails going back a decade in any case. This is shades of UVa making similar arguments about Mann's records being destroyed after he left employment there before being forced to admit they had 12,000 emails of with him as a sender or recipient.

The incident you describe is not itself not an email, it's not a death threat, and the incident itself it only know anecdotally and then second hand. Such things tend to grow in significance with the retelling, and have virtually zero exculpatory value. How about Document 6? I couldn't find anything of a physical threat implied there.

There certainly does not look like there is any evidence for a pervasive pattern of death threats originally suggested.

If you can find incidents where people get upset and say things they shouldn't say, that wouldn't itself be amazing, regardless of the topic. Not the same thing as a pervasive pattern of death threats. The original media story was completely overblown, which is not itself unusual, but that at leas should be admitted to.

1. Carrick,
Again, that email (from Steffen, I think) in Doc_11 clearly shows how the response was gathered. ANU just sent around a request for docs. I don't see any evidence of an electronic search. This is probably partly due to the breadth of the request (phone conversations etc). Also it isn't easy to search for "abuse".

Re Doc 6, remember that ANu is responding to a FOI request for "emails, transcripts of telephone calls or messages that contain abuse, threats to kill and/or threats of harm to the recipient". They can't just choose the ones that sound worst; they have to include those that even marginally qualify. Remember the FOI mantra - err on the side of the public's right to know.

As I said to Alex, the email re the "incident" was written before the next day's proceedings in some urgency, so there wasn't much room for "growing". And yes, it's second-hand; that doesn't make it less unsettling.

The original story referred to threats across Australia, not just at one university. Here are some emails received at other places - yes, also not quite death threats. Here are some other reports from the Canberra Times.

2. Carrick,
To be fair I should say that while being on "troll moderation" at WUWT was disconcerting (your emails just disappear, to appear out of sequence at some future time) in fact the critical responses did get through (except one) without extreme delay.

3. Carrick, why can't any of you people just admit that you have downplayed these threats and abuse for purely political/rhetorical reasons? It isn't enough to say that Anthony is an asshole for posting an attack and not allowing a response, he is an asshole through and through, as is Delingpole and so many of the leading lights of the "skeptic" (not) community.

4. Nick if I was personally threatened and thought I was in any risk, I would at least have filed a police report. Any reports filed?

Note I didn't say there was nothing to the story. What I said is it is completely overblown. Can you get yourself to admit that in public?

I also stand by my comment on Anthony's atrocious behavior.

1. Carrick,
Here police reports are not usually public, especially where threats are concerned. I tried to summarise the info we have here. But it's reinforced by the email in Doc_5, where Will Steffen forwards to ANU security with the expectation that they will decide on reporting it to AFP. I can't imagine they would say no. Although press reports quoted AFP sources as saying that it wasn't reported by ANU, I would not take that as gospel (junior reported rings AFP - do they scour their records?).

Anyway, the AFP said they knew.

2. Nick this is another one of your many dodges. You must realize I can think rationally, right?

Police reports may not be public, but people can report that they filed them. I know of no examples where people filed reports. And by the way that is typically the way you handled a felonious act like a death threat... you don't go running to your dean, you go straight to the police with the matter. If your life is being threatened, your employer being aware of it is secondary. The responsible party for protecting you is law enforcement.

Most people are keenly aware of that. Going to my employer to protect me from a would be killer?

Sorry doesn't meet the smell test. Overhyped story, and you bit hook, line and sinker. Apparently Lindzen isn't the only one with confirmation bias.

3. Carrick,
People can make public that they have filed police reports, but are under no obligation. And I expect here police would advise discretion.

I didn't say anywhere that staff hadn't reported directly to police. I expect they did.

They clearly originally had accommodation that was insecure by normal ANU standards. To get that fixed, you have to go to the dean (or here, the V-C).

4. Nick - the AFP has alrady acknowledged that no complaint was ever lodged. Even the journalist from the Canberra Times acknowledged that in her article earlier this week. You and her maintain that that doesn't matter. For God's sake - there is no evidence of any threat. I receive abusive comments over my views - but I don't run to the police. It appears that closeted leftoid warmists dream up threats in order to justify their lack of evidence. This whole story is a fabrication - as a scientist - surely you can admit there is no justification to claim that one scientist received a death threat.

5. "the AFP has alrady acknowledged that no complaint was ever lodged"
Not true. In the first report they said that ANU had not contacted them, but they were aware of the threats. Someone said something to them.

In the recent reports, someone asked ACT Policing. But it is AFP who is responsible for Commonwealth security, and Steffen in his email in Doc_5 says that he has contacted Security for them to report to AFP.

6. "What I said is it is completely overblown. Can you get yourself to admit that in public?"

It is completely diminished and lied about by garbage like Watts and Delingpole. Can you get yourself to admit that in public?

5. For anyone who has ever worked in a political office, these emails are laughable! Worse comes in every day and is routinely processed/discarded/responded to. Toughen up, you lot, to complain abut this level of abuse is just pathetic! Good on Simon for outing your silliness.

1. These people are not working in a political office. They are trying to do scientific research. And they don't have staff to deal with them.

2. So now your claim is that people in academia don't have staff that can deal with this?

News to me.

3. Nick - I was once a Commerce Faculty rep on Students' Union Council at UNSW. I sued the uni, SUC nd AUS over compulsory student unionism (1978). I was assaulted by the late Sir Rupert Myers, V-C of UNSW, in a students union council meeting where he was discussing my court case. He grabbed my shirt in full view of other councillors when I accused him of being in cahoots with the left as he was the one VC who had never had his Chancellery stormed and he wanted to protect his chance of getting a knighthood. He got his knighthood a year after I lost my case, and his office was never stormed - ROFLMFAO !!!!!

6. Really? Do you have someone to handle your email?

1. What I said was "So now your claim is that people in academia don't have staff that can deal with this?"

I'm not playing games with semantics here. You can read, you know what I asked, and you respond with an unrelated question.

The answer to which is yes, we have people we turn over suspicious emails to. There is a chain of authority that is well defined for such matters. It is covered every six months at the security briefing.

2. "I'm not playing games with semantics here."

You're lying; that's exactly what you are doing when you parse whether these are actually "death threats" and the rest.

7. Try this: Contact the police department and ask them how many death threat complaints were filed by ANU climate scientists.

See what they say.

I'd bet every quatloo I own (which isn't many) the answer is "zero".

1. I'd bet the answer is - no comment. And if you try FOI - exempt.

2. The number of death threats itself shouldn't be exempt. Why not try to contact them? You're down there, stop speculating if it matters that much to you.

3. "You're down there, stop speculating if it matters that much to you."

"I'd bet every quatloo I own (which isn't many) the answer is "zero"."

And you say I'm speculating???
It doesn't matter "that much"to me. I don't own the query of how many complaints were filed. If you want to win your quatloos, you can do that.

8. With Bastardi the payroll , 'Roid Rage may be a hazard of the course at Heartland

9. I don't follow these discussions very closely but my understanding was the the following claim was made

'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."

This was followed by somebody doing an FOIA on the mails.

Looking through the mails, I find no emails that support Ian Young's comment.

What I do find in document 5 is a third hand report of what somebody claimed somebody else said at a conference.

It is easy to see how the vice chancellor may have misspoke and referred to the story about this threat in an email
as a "threatening" email. To be sure, if the real world event happened as described, it was a threat. There is no reason to doubt that it happened. But the description, in an email, of a threat made at an event, is not a threatening email. It is the story about a threat
and not the threat itself.

. It looks like Ian Young wasnt being particularly exact in his description. What he probably meant to say was that people had recieved death threats, abusive emails and abusive phone calls. But he said emails and I suppose people who like to parse the exact meaning of things do have a small point. makes one think about the hazards of parsing exact meanings.

If universities and institutes dont have a policy about this they should. any and all abusive or threatening mail should be turned over to authorities. As worker I have an obligation to my co workers to report all threats against
me. If people were targeting me when I worked in defense, my co workers were also at risk. destroying these mails, failing to report these threats is not acceptable. If a threat was made at an event or conference and it wasnt reported that is especially bad. Again, when I worked in defense if anybody ever threatened me because of what I did, I was obligated to report it. Again, I have an obligation to protect my fellow workers who are similarly situated.

1. "It looks like Ian Young wasnt being particularly exact in his description."
It's a newspaper paraphrase - you probably can't parse it too closely. For example, I doubt if the reporting would have distinguished between that and
"have received large numbers of emails and abusive phone calls, including death threats,"
And yes, he may also have been inexact.

But as I said above, the FOI process seems to have been just to send an email asking people to send in what they currently have. The Commissioner didn't criticise that. I guess death threats would have been passed to security, but a lot of abusive emails would have just been deleted. Yes, that's probably in violation of some policy.

2. "I guess death threats would have been passed to security"

Is that how you approach your scientific findings - guess ???

Do you use any quantitative data, or do you just rely on dreamtime qualitative third hand reports from someone who could have been inebriated at a work function ???

3. I'm not proving a scientific proposition. You guy's are claiming there were no death threats. In the face of this evidence, you have some proiving to do. The people who were there saw what they saw. The head of CCI was properly concerned. He can't just say not proved, not proved, until someone gets harmed.

4. "You guy's are claiming there were no death threats."

That is because too date no one has produced evidence of any.

5. "Moreover, before he left, he came to the Fri dinner and showed other participants his gun licence and explained to
them how good a sniper he is."
That is a statement from someone who was present, directly quoted by Steffen. It would undoubtedly not convict someone. But it is evidence, and no-one who really wants to know the truth can ignore it.

6. It is not evidence. It is hearsay. The police would laugh you out of the station. Let's see if the person alleging the comment was made is willing to put it in a Stat Dec, naming who the alleged shooter's licence holder was. Would they be willing to risk prosecution for swearing or affirming a false declaration. And what BS about being a sniper - no one uses that terminology - a good shot maybe, but not a sniper -ROFLMFAO !!! There is no evidence - just a beat up by a well known global warming journalist who refuses to provide any proof to back up her story on the grounds that scientists she can't name told her so. It's all a fabrication. Where is the proof - next you'll reckon that Julia Gillard is the greatest PM since Ben Chifley.

7. "It is not evidence. It is hearsay."

Don't you so-called "skeptics" know *anything*? Hearsay is in fact evidence.

10. I'm disgusted at the reaction from Watts and climate science deniers generally on the internet (and the Australian). I don't know what they are trying to say. People on denialist websites give out email addresses and write vitriolic articles urging people to write to climate scientists. What do they expect to happen? I think they are probably trying to abdicate any responsibility by pretending such threats aren't real. But they have to take their share of the blame.

In my work with government and government Ministers I've seen and come across death threats and intimidation to politicians and public servants. They are not to be taken lightly as is shown by what happens when threats are carried out (recall the murder of the Family Court judge - and the wife of a Family Court judge).

Here, for example, is an old article from June last year:

Andrew Macintosh, associate director of the ANU Centre for Climate Law and Policy, said the scientists had been targeted for years but it had worsened. ''I received a few a couple of years ago. It was three letters, with pictures of dead animals and print cut out from newspapers. There was a variety of ways I was going to die. They were going to shoot me, gut me and so on. Since then I've had lots of abusive emails and phone calls.''

1. BTW, that centre was not included in the FOI application.

2. God give me strength. I doubt you ever read Andrew Bolt, because the truth would send you into a state of apolexy. But here are some words by Professor Clive Hamilton:

"Discredited ... rat-bags ... denier ... conspiracy theorists ... hatchet men ... cyber-bullies. . s--t-spreaders ... shock jocks ... bulls--t ... insidious ... grubbier ... distortion ... cowardly ... artistic wanking ... poison ... slippery falsehoods ... travesty ..."

Abuse is a two way street. I refer to you guys as "global warmists". You call us deniers, attributing some Nazi appelation to us. The only Nazis are the warmists who fake data, produce reports and documentaries that are easily disproved and who rant and rave in hysterical voices whenever interviewed on TV or radio. It's the science - the science is settled - rubbish - science is never settled.

3. "attributing some Nazi appelation to us"

That's one of many denialist lies.

"science is never settled"

As is that. As Galileo said, "it moves". What is true is that science is always *open*, but that's not the same thing at all.

11. Occam&#39;s Blunt RazorMay 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

You'd think it was in the interests of the beleivers in catastrophic climate change to actually provide proof of the alleged threats.

Plenty of claims.

One possible, third hand "death hint".

My 4 year old is better at framing up his older sister than this lot.

1. They are not trying to frame someone. Or prove something to you. They are trying to keep their staff safe.

2. "They are trying to keep their staff safe."

From what? Nothing you have produced so far would produce more than giggles and deletions in any office I have ever worked at. I wasted 10 minutes thinking my system wasn't displaying the emails correctly, or that the relevant text had been truncated. Seriously dude, give it up. These ANU fellows have made fools of themselves, there is no need to crowd that stage.

3. Occam&#39;s Blunt RazorMay 10, 2012 at 11:39 PM

Exactly Nick, they aren't 4 year olds trying to fit up their 6 year old sister. They are academic scientists and administrators who deal with evidence and levels of proof required to make valid arguments. And from what has been demonstrated here it is a big Time Out for them because they have told a lie which in my house is unacceptable Behaviour.

4. John Coochey is the "good shot" with a gun licence mentioned in dispatches in what seems to be the most 'serious' 'threat'; this is what he says:

"I feel I can throw some light on this matter as I am undoubtedly the person who is alleged to have shown my gun licence to people at the dinner. That is not accurate. At the mediocre dinner on the first day I was approached by Dr Maxine Cooper, then the Commissioner for the environment, who recognized me as someone involved in the kangaroo culling program in the ACT which occurs each winter. After politely asking if she could sit next to me she asked me how I had gone in the recent licence test which is challenging. I told her I had topped it with a perfect score and showed her my current culling licence, not gun licence, to prove it. The conversation around the table then drifted around the benefits of eating game meat v the poor fare on offer."

12. Just read the emails, is that all, is that it?
I thought you Australians were a rough bunch of straight talking blokes. Those emails contained NO death threats just a rehash of a story told by one academic to another. Is that ALL you've got? If it is then you've got nothing!

1. Anon,
It's certainly not all there is. Here is one of the original Canberra Times reports. The thing is, this is an investigation within a frame soecified by Simon Turnill. And yes, he may have been guided by incorrect statements attributed to the V-C. But there is a whole situation there, and an FOI for specific emails is a limited investigative tool.

So when you probe the gun license incident, people claim it's third hand. Well, it can't be first hand. Simon asked for emails to or from six specific people, and that's where you first find the story. Anyone who really wanted to know what happened would follow it up.

13. Anon, can you confidently say that Steffen should have ignored the report? Nothing to worry about?

14. Nick, unlike climate change, this is a simple case of physical evidence, that Joe the public understands. Did ANU scientists receive death threat emails as they and ANU admininistration claimed or not?

Unlike changing from Global Warming to Climate Change to Disruption, you can't change the goal post here, from death threat emails to "they felt threatened" or there were reports of threats.

Unlike giving earh the benefit of a doubt, you can't apply the precautionary principle here and claim there might have been some emails, some might have been deleted or some might come to light in the future. Either you have the evidence or you don't, in which case the claim was 100% wrong.

Unlike keeping climate change data secret and reversing the onus of proof, you can't hide behind privacy laws and claim that there might be police reports of death threat emails, but they are somehow secret and it's for sceptics to prove otherwise. Either you have the evidence you claim you had or you don't.

And finally, unlike with climate modelling, you can't claim the privilege of scientific expertise and dismiss claims of mere non-climate scientists and the public. Any lay person can tell if an email is a death threat and if appropriate action was taken like calling the police in or not.

If you defend the clearly indefensible here against all logic, how can you expect the public to believe your scientific pronouncements?

1. Michael,
I have not claimed that all details of any particular report are correct. In fact, I think it is unlikely. The reporters probably got things wrong; the V-C probably got things wrong; I even suspect the AFP did not do an exhaustive search before replying to the journalists who wrote the first report.

What I am doing is resisting claims that no threats of harm occurred. You can call that moving the goalposts if you like, but I don't believe I have ever claimed to the contrary. And I think that is the key question (were there threats), and what Joe Public really cares about. Not whether the threats came by email, phone or in person. Or who made a formal police report.

And in the face of what we have, to say there were no threats of harm requires proof. For my part I have no special knowledge - I rely on the same imperfect evidence as you do. I simply query your case.

ps sorry your comment went briefly into the spam filter.

2. Oh for God's sake:

"What I am doing is resisting claims that no threats of harm occurred."

Do you actually have a degree, even if it's from an Arts faculty ???

You expect us to prove that what you claim may have occured is incorrect, even though all evidence todate, proves that it never happened. Your logic astounds me.

Just acknowledge it was an unsubstantiated beatup by employees of ANU aimed a discrediting anyone who disagreed with their views or statements. Nazis and communists are well versed in attempts of this type.

It is a shame that a Vice-Chancellor of a university would demean his office by not even reading allegations that were made, before making a public statement. No wonder the general community has little respect for academia. This is the quality we are paying for as taxpayers.

3. "Unlike changing from Global Warming to Climate Change "

Is there anything at all that deniers either know or tell the truth about? The IPCC isn't the IPGW. The major change of terminology from GW to CC was by U.S. Republicans due to a memo from their message meister Frank Luntz.

15. "I hope you lose your job" is not a death threat and is in no way "threatening". I, too, in reading through these emails thought I had the wrong batch. Where were the threats?

The possible exception is number 5. The gun story sounds threatening but it also sounds fake. I can't prove it is fake but it's second-hand hearsay and sounds implausible. Who would start showing a gun license and talking about being a sniper in a public meeting? You might do that among friends but, seriously, in a public meeting? Without knowing exactly what was said I'm skeptical. For the exact reason these emails show: one person's characterization of an incident can be wildly different than another's. If the same person who says theses emails represent "threats" related the gun incident, then there's no reason to believe its credibility.

1. kcom
What you see in doc_5 is a direct cut-and-paste by Steffen from an email from one of the organisers of the meeting, who was present at the incident. So it isn't second-hand. I agree that different people might perceive such situations in different ways.

2. Thanks for the reply, Nick. I do appreciate it.

And speaking of perceiving situations in different ways, have you read the following yet? Again, I don't know if the person is right (perhaps there was a completely different "incident" aside from the story he relates) but it is exactly what I was referring to above. I'm completely unsurprised. You don't really know what happened when you rely on secondhand information and, for me, the information as related lacked plausibility. This story make more sense under the circumstances (although, again, I don't know if it's the same incident).

http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/05/10/the-dog-ate-my-death-threats-ii/#comment-478546

and the quote:
I feel I can throw some light on this matter as I am undoubtedly the person who is alleged to have shown my gun licence to people at the dinner. That is not accurate. At the mediocre dinner on the first day I was approached by Dr Maxine Cooper, then the Commissioner for the environment, who recognized me as someone involved in the kangaroo culling program in the ACT which occurs each winter. After politely asking if she could sit next to me she asked me how I had gone in the recent licence test which is challenging. I told her I had topped it with a perfect score and showed her my current culling licence, not gun licence, to prove it. The conversation around the table then drifted around the benefits of eating game meat v the poor fare on offer.

Note he makes no mention of being a sniper at all.

3. kcom,
Yes, I saw that yesterday (a comment on another thread) and added an update to the post. It's clearly a case of how "different people might perceive such situations in different ways". It's clear that as he recounts it, no threat was intended. I expect at some stage we'll hear from Maxine Cooper.

4. Back to the comment of why anecdotal evidence is completely useless. There's a reason it doesn't get used in courtrooms nor should ever get used in scientific inquiry or any other inquiry trying to determine truth.

5. Carrick,
So do you think Steffen should just have ignored the report?

6. "So do you think Steffen should just have ignored the report?"

What about this then Nick. Should the employee who made the false allegation be sacked from his position, and be forced to repay the extra security employed by ANU for his fraudulent statement and should the current Vice Chancellor of ANU make a public statement stating that no death threats were made to any staff or students at ANU ???

How does that grab you ???

7. "fraudulent statement"? The facts match up well. Someone found the situation alarming. We don't yet know why.

8. Maybe their own conscience is the reason why they found the situation alarming.
As based on evidence there is nothing.
If Steffen gave credibility to the story she should have followed-up and clarify if it was a thread checking with other staff members present there.
Somebody told me that someone... is not a credible story. And it was specifically said "email death threads".
Nick you are not doing yourself and your own credibility a service if you try to defend the indefensible, twisting and twisting reality to suit your own story.

9. "If Steffen gave credibility to the story she should have followed-up and clarify if it was a thread checking with other staff members present there."
I think people are over-rating Steffen's role here. It's not clear that staff from CCI were present. It wasn't their conference. On receipt of such a message he has to tell his staff, and that is what the email is doing. He also has to make sure the V-C and security know. But otherwise he has no direct responsibility.

It's a problem with this FOI approach that you only get a small part of the story, that found its way into Steffen's emails. It's likely that whoever mailed Steffen also informed the V-C and Security. From there, it would have been between those parties. But that is not covered by the FOI request.

10. Nick, he should have followed up with the individuals involved, and not taken the report as gospel truth.

11. Carrick,
Again, he didn't take it as gospel truth. He took it as sufficient reason to alert his staff.

I've pointed out elsewhere that this FOI request cannot be expected to yield the full story of this incident. It is out of the time period, and concerns primarily people outside CCI, whose emails were not requested. This single mention is only included because it was quoted in another email that came within the period.

12. " why anecdotal evidence is completely useless. There's a reason it doesn't get used in courtrooms nor should ever get used in scientific inquiry"

None of you deniers seems to have any understanding of science and its methods.

16. You know what most of these posts remind me of? They bring to mind those mindless people who pick a time period, like 2010 to 2012, and say - average global surface temperature hasn't risen since 2010 - that proves global warming isn't real. Or people who look at four months of Arctic ice - from November to March - and say the Arctic ice is growing, we're heading for an ice age.

Too many of the posters here show they have little regard for the lives and safety of scientists, and place no value on knowledge. I find it a sad and disgusting reflection on the worst side of human nature.

(People don't up and move office for no reason at all. Scientists should not be subject to any form of abuse or intimidation for their work - as they've obviously been subject to. Any decent person would be appalled at the situation. I find it hard to believe anyone would post the sort of comments I've read here.)

1. People don't up and move for no reason ???

Try better views or bigger office space or closer to the car park !!!!!!

17. Have you ever argued against global warming on a science site like Physorg?

I get actual death threats at least once month.

Some guy with the initials VD trolls dozens of sites making regular death threats.

http://phorums.com.au/archive/index.php/t-234702-p-9.html

1. Vendicar Dacarian, check usenet aka Scott Nudds Eli thinks.

2. Anon,
Yes and that's why you're Anonymous. One of the things that regularly causes fuss on the internet is when someone get's "outed" - home address published etc.

These people aren't names on the internet. They are people whose faces and location are known. And the spookiest incidents are those involving personal confrontation. If the man with the gun licence had really planned to shoot someone there, he could have.

3. Nick, there is no anonymity in the internet, only dreamers think there is one.

4. Then why are you Anonymous? They haven't located FOIA yet.
I'm sure you're right that a big enough effort to track someone down will work.

5. Oh yes, if I post under Tom, Joe or Nick I am less anonymous? But we digress...

6. If I post under Tom, Joe or Nick am I less anonymous to you?

18. I read those emails this morning. I found not a single death threat amongst them. None, nada, zilch. It worries me that anyone can even begin to infer a death threat from them....but certainly does seem to prove that the ANU scientists (and you Nick?) are just Drama Queens.
BTW, I've had threatening phone calls and the FIRST thing one does is report them. To anyone and everyone.

19. Well if this is how Steffan and Chubb conduct themselves then god help whatever science they are doing. If they have to embellish and fabricate these rumours to draw attention to themselves or to use the msm to get better offices it tells me their work is rubbish.

It must be embarrassing being a climate scientist. Real embarrassing.

20. "It looks like Ian Young wasnt being particularly exact in his description."
It's a newspaper paraphrase - you probably can't parse it too closely. For example, I doubt if the reporting would have distinguished between that and
"have received large numbers of emails and abusive phone calls, including death threats,"
And yes, he may also have been inexact.

##############

yes. it was just a newspaper paraphrase and so one should not parse it too closely.

However, in the begining some wanted to parse it closely enough to claim that there were death threats
in emails. It was close parsing that started the mess. it was taking this quote at face value that started the mess
That parsing was challenged by a request for those emails. Why ask for mails? simple. a claim of death threats

So it would appear that one set of people took the claim literally : there were threats in
mails. Another group wanted to challenge that parsing and see the mails.
Now that we see the mails some people want to re parse the parsing that put us
down this road to begin with.

In the begining people wanted to believe the man spoke exactly about threats in mails.
Then when the mails show that interpretation to be wrong
people want to suggest that it was just a paraphrase.

I gather that the lesson about parsing has not been learned yet.
I gather that if people had responded to the news by saying "its just a paraphrase"
to begin with that some people would have argued that he was being exact.
So, if you didnt take him as speaking exactly to begin with, you'd be criticized
and if you did take him exactly and ask to see the evidence, you'd be criticized.

When there are threats officials should turn the matter over to the police and let the police
do their job. Instead, they speak to the press, either in exactly or they let the press screw up
the story. Some people might interpret this as a less than optimal way of handling a serious problem.

It is a serious problem. Report all threats. Let the police do their job.

1. Yes, I guess so. Still, we haven't heard from others at the dinner.

Meanwhile here is one that isn't paraphrased. On Youtube. Schellnhuber's visit to my local university, last year.

21. Tom Curtis - "First, taking the time to show your gun licence and boast of your ability with a gun immediately after taking exception to somebodies comments is a death threat."

Well Tom, now that the true version of that event is known would you like to add anything?

"I would say more, but the denier response to these abusive emails and death threats leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, I doubt I would remain polite."

Well the 'denier response' is to release the truth. Does that really leave a bad taste in your mouth?
How about apologising for spreading halfbaked gossip, maybe that will taste better.

1. "the true version of that event is known"
One side's version is known. Someone found it scary. We still haven't heard why.

2. You don't know anybody even found it scary. That story that says somebody found it scary is itself just hearsay.... meaningless nonsense that deservers to be ignored.

Has anybody actually tried contacting any of the other principles involved in the conservation in question?

( I suspect none of the media have bothered... too much like work, and it would chip out part of their happy hour.)

3. The conference organiser, who I'm sure was there, sent SZteffen the messsage Steffen quoted intact.

I hope the media will ask the others involved. Christian Kerr sought John Coochey's version - it would be correct journalism to seek the version of Maxine Cooper at least.

4. You know it's a direct quote... how?

5. Because he said so. Email 5:
"XXX's exact words were:"

22. Louis HooffstetterMay 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM

I love teachable moments. Anyone & everyone still unsure about whether or not humans are destroying our climate should read the ‘death threat’ emails for themselves:

Now ask yourselves the following questions:

1. How much have these climatologists over exaggerated the impact humans are having on our climate?

2 Are these people capable of objectively evaluating scientific data and drawing rational conclusions?

3. Do you still believe CO2 is destroying the planet?

23. nick, you keep hanging your hopes on vanishing points.
now they twist in the breeze.
this is an interesting moment. your choice on how to proceed is a defining act.
i'm not completely sure what your choice will be when the spinning stops.
here's hoping you prefer to live with a self who is not a fraud.

1. It's a variation on "my dog ate my homework". Nick is making arguments that seem to have as a foundation the lack of ability to verify them. When you point out that some verification is possible, he resorts to arguing why they can't be verified instead of seeing if they can. As I said above, if this is important to him, and he believes in the verity of the position he's been arguing, he should follow up on this, see how many of his speculations turn out to be true.

I'd be interested in knowing whether a single police got filed (all of the evidence suggests none were filed). I'd be interested in hearing other accounts from the meal that the kangaroo culler, including the quality of the food served. (Seriously, it serves to address the accuracy of the recollections of the culler.)

2. Carrick,
I haven't been speculating - I've been trying to hose down speculation. Initially as to the contents of the emails, which I eventually answered by posting them. Then as to the alleged misdeeds of climate scientists on this occasion - by pointing out their marginal role.

I'd be interested in hearingf other accounts of the dinner too. Unfortunately, I doubt if we will. Blog folk sometimes forget that they just aren't that important. Mr Coochey is part of this world and was keen to come forward with his account. But why would, say, Maxine Cooper want to get involved in the controversy?

3. Nick: But why would, say, Maxine Cooper want to get involved in the controversy?

That wasn't the point of my comment at all.

What I asked was whether anybody had tried to contact e.g. her to find out her recollection of the events.

Seriously arguing that there is no counter evidence because of her not wanting to "get involved" isn't much better an argument than (paraphrased) "probably they deleted any emails that actually contained real death threats". It's an unprovable assertion on your point until she is contacted (which she should be, if you and others really think there is any credibility remaining in the original story), at which point it can be announced that "Maxine Cooper has declined to be involved in the controversy".

Using your speculation as the basis for not probing further makes it seem like you know what the answers are going to be when you turn over any additional rocks.

4. Carrick, I am not an amateur gumshoe. It's not my job to go and knock on her door. I observe that a report came from the dinner indicating that someone was alarmed. That's all - I don 't know why, and it's not my job to find out. I don't speculate that there was no reason, as many seem to.

Still, I would point out that I have already done more investigating than any of the loud folk in this debate. I wrote to ANU and got the emails that others were speculating about.

5. You've probably done more investigating than was done for the original reporting. I'm certain of that.

I also see like me, you don't care enough to follow up on the remaining issues by e.g. taking a few moments to write an email any of the principles at the party, or perhaps its that you don't want to turn over any more stones, being uncertain what you would find there.

As I said before, I never said there wasn't anything there, just that the story had gotten badly overblown, and that you yourself have been a victim of confirmation bias on this story.

I'll check back in if there is new information, otherwise signing out of this thread.

6. Carrick,
here is Christian Kerr's report. He didn't get a response from Maxine Cooper.

24. Wow. What a waste of time. So the big takeaway here is that the food sucked at the dinner. And someone talked about kangaroos.

25. Everyone should celebrate this cooked-up controversy. A discussion on kangaroo culling has been turned into death threats against the sainted disciples of the cause. When asks to provide supporting documentation, they dig in, delay and divert. When presented with evidence that shows how absurd their initial claims were, the alarmists squirm and insist these are not the facts they were talking about. Then they dance from unsupported item to unsupported item as avoidance to face the music (sorry, that may be construed as a threat). This episode is a microcosm on how they do science.

26. "When asks to provide supporting documentation, they dig in, delay and divert."
That's an odd one. This is the post in which I made the emails available.

27. along with speculative apologetics, nick. you never had anything but speculation.
you speculated abundantly in the absence of the emails. you speculated about events; you speculated about motives. you had no facts; you had only hearsay.
after the adjudicant kicked the stool out from under your speculation that there were death threats in 10 of the emails, you backed up into hanging your hopes on that 11th email.
when the author of the 11th email came forth with first hand testimony, you backed up into speculation about the inferences of other parties you don't even know and make no attempt to contact or verify - yet you put yourself forward as apologist with more speculation.
this is dishonesty, pure and simple evasion of reality. that's hardly benign. more like 12 by 12. i don't need to speculate as to the reasons for your dishonesty. it is self evident. it's up to you to testify as to your own motivations. but i can certainly remark on the act of lying and evading. it's a defining act. you are what you do.

1. gnomish,
I haven't speculated at all. If you think I have, quote it. I have resisted speculation.
"after the adjudicant kicked the stool out from"
That's absurd. My first posts on this matter were in response to the Commissioner's report. Not speculating; just pointing out that the Commissioner was not, as some were saying, decreeing that there was nothing in the emails. I didn't speculate about what was in the emails - I posted them.

I don't speculate on what went on at the dinner - I simply point out that we don't know. If you think there is something I've said that is dishonest or whatever, then point to it. Quote it.

28. all righty - but i can't give the time for a proper fisking.
"Nick Stokes says:
May 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm
Anthony,
That’s not news – it’s exactly what was said before, in the very first reports. ANU did not itself contact the police, but someone told AFP about it. ANU may well have been aware that it had been reported."

someone... may have... this is your subjunctive netherworld. it does not even pretend to represent fact - it was speculation.
every verb in the subjunctive tense is speculation - that's what the subjunctive is all about.
i read an alleged quote from the afp denying any such report - however, the pretense of a death threat campaign was announced by the university.

"Nick Stokes said...
"The commissioner's exact wording in section 10 is:
"10. Having inspected the documents, I have determined that 10 of the documents,..."

Yes, but there were 11."

we have now heard from the fellow who says he was the subject of the 11th email - which he did not write, correct? no threat there, either.

"Nick Stokes says:
May 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm
...
No, very unlikely. In Australia, such reports are not usually released outside court proceedings. Particularly with the AFP, which is rather secretive. And it would be exempt from FOI."

but in the real world:

“The Australian Federal Police division responsible for law enforcement in Canberra, ACT Policing, said it was not contacted by the university over the matter. “As no complaint has been received, no investigation has taken place,” a spokesman said.”

so much for the speculation about secrecy and policy and oh- n/m... must narrow the focus...

it's for you to decide for yourself how is innuendo designed to obfuscate facts that contradict the fallacious sympathy campaign and which does not correspond with reality qualify as honesty? i've made my evaluation and won't belabor it. it can make no great difference to anybody but possibly to you.

i don't own you and it's not my job to change you. your rights, i respect - even your right to self harm.

the death threat story was a lie. that's the lesson and the end of the story as far as i care.

29. gnomish,
OK, I'll counterfisk:
gnomishMay 14, 2012 1:46 PM

"That’s not news – it’s exactly what was said before, in the very first reports. ANU did not itself contact the police, but someone told AFP about it. ANU may well have been aware that it had been reported."

In that statement I linked to the initial Canberra Times report, which said
“The Australian Federal Police says it has not been contacted by the university although it is aware that threats have been made.”
It was the first report, so AFP didn't read about it in the press. They were aware; I think it is a fair inference that someone must have told them.

"i read an alleged quote from the afp denying any such report - however, the pretense of a death threat campaign was announced by the university."
I think you read a much later report quoting ACT Policing, which is a diferent police group. The AFP of the first quote is the one responsible for C'wealth Gov't security (and the one mentioned by Steffen as the one to be contacted).

"Yes, but there were 11."
Can't see how that's supposed to be dishonest. There were. And at that stage all we had was the Commissioner's summary, which did indeed say it could be seen as a threat.

"No, very unlikely. In Australia, such reports are not usually released outside court proceedings. Particularly with the AFP, which is rather secretive. And it would be exempt from FOI."
but in the real world:
“The Australian Federal Police division responsible for law enforcement in Canberra, ACT Policing, said it was not contacted by the university over the matter. “As no complaint has been received, no investigation has taken place,” a spokesman said.”
so much for the speculation about secrecy and policy and oh- n/m... must narrow the focus...

No, I said they would not release a report. And they didn't. But in any case, as I have been saying as nauseam, and emphasised here, the AFP and ACT Policing are not the same. And AFP are the people to ask.

And if you want the full statement there, ACT policing is a business unit of AFP which provides local police services under contract to the Territory Gov't. There is another section of AFP that is responsible for Commonwealth security, and specifically deals with threats to Commonwealth officers. Steffen expected that ANU Security would contact AFP.

30. I try to read everything here but I am more confused than before. Did a denier threaten to cull ANU kangaroos?

Dieter Niederbrunnsulzen

1. No. Kangaroos used to sometimes appear on the ANU campus, but I think it's fairly urban now. As I understand, ANU staged an event which brought together sceptics and social scientists (why, I don't know). Mr Coochey was invited, and it seems may have been quite outspoken in the talks. He describes circumstances in which, in conversation, he produced a culling licence, which is a licence to shoot kangaroos, and he seems to have spoken of of his shooting prowess. It seems someone saw this as threatening, and this was reported back at ANU as a possible threat to climate scientists. The head of the Climate Change Institute communicated this report to his staff. A copy of this CCI email appeared in the emails ANU produced in response to an FOI application.

2. "he produced a culling licence, which is a licence to shoot kangaroos, and he seems to have spoken of of his shooting prowess. It seems someone saw this as threatening"

Wow, just wow !
So someone else saying he is skilled enough to get a hard-to-get licence to shoot roos is reported as threatening. No wonder AGWers are wetting their pants with the "threat" of globull warming.

31. Nick, I find your parsing exercise too Clintonesque. Next you'll be saying 'I tried CO2 - but I didn't exhale!'

The story was a lie, wasn't it? You believed it, didn't you? You put yourself forward to discourage the examination of the lies, n'est ce pas? You were misled and on the basis of zero facts proceeded to promote the lies. You put forth your time, effort and energy in support of a lie. You bent over backwards to mislead and deflect - at no time did you stick to facts, rather you constantly sought to rationalize by creative parsing and speculation.

Truth matters.
If one is misled and foolish enough to promote an unconscionable lie - then those whom he afflicted with his gratuitously duplicitous protestations are entitled to demand apology, correction and even compensation, if not punishment. Nobody is obliged to be generous or forgiving to those whose agenda is to deprive them of their rights.
You owe. You repudiate the debt. Not the sort of neighbor one can tolerate.
Polluting innocent minds with falsehood, protecting these falsehoods from exposure, passing these things off as honest endeavor - smells like kangaroo.

1. gnomish,
Not parsing - it's just accurate. You characterised 3 statements as dishonest, but they are simply true.

You say the story was a lie? We don't know. It does sound to me as if someone was unduly panicky, initiating a report that caused understandable precautions to be taken. I haven't affirmed any such statements (where?). I'm just being duly sceptical of claims they are faked. I don't generally assume that people lie - I think if they say something is worrying them, then indeed, they are worried. Fears can be unjustified without being faked.

As to discouraging the examination - no, certainly not. I put the emails online when no-one else seemed to be keen to do so. That's enabling examination, not discouraging.

32. "No, I said they would not release a report. And they didn't."

well golly - there was no report, now, was there?

1. I said that police would not release such a report. gnomish said that was dishonest, quoting the ACT Police statement that they didn't have one. But that's doesn't show what I said is dishonest - it remains true. Police would not release a report of a threat, at least not without good reasons of public safety. And the ACT POlice is not the right group to ask for reports of threats to Commonwealth staff. That's the AFP.

33. This comment has been removed by the author.

We are writing the story for the next issue of our Vorwärts, Klimajugend! newsletter of the Naturwissenschaftliche Sozialistische Klimajugend (Forward, Climate Youth! of the Nature Science Socialist Climate Youth) and we need it to be absolutely accurate. We need our youth to understand the mortal danger these climate deniers represent to science, progress and social justice. We apologize that we must ask more questions but we are not native English speakers and this seems such a complicated story:

We were told by a visiting Australian that "kangaroos" is an Australian English expression for scientists but we don’t know if we can trust him (he also said that an Australian man can throw a bowling ball at 160km/h, that he can drink 1.5 liters of warm beer in 11 seconds and that Australians didn’t cause global warming).

1. But if he did not lie to us that in Australia you call scientists kangaroos it would be a perfect proof that climate researchers were threatened with death by Mr. Coochey, the kangaroo killer. Is it true? We are surprised that nobody connected these dots on your blog.

2. Were there real kangaroos present on the ANU campus during the conference when Mr. Coochey bragged about killing them? Your response is not clear in that regard.

This is a big story. We need the information for our next issue due on May 20. Thank you for all your hard work and thank you in advance for your response.

Dieter Niederbrunnsulzen, Editor

1. "We were told by a visiting Australian that "kangaroos" is an Australian English expression for scientists but we don’t know if we can trust him (he also said that an Australian man can throw a bowling ball at 160km/h, that he can drink 1.5 liters of warm beer in 11 seconds and that Australians didn’t cause global warming). "

Sounds like a sceptic :)
But no, Australians don't drink warm beer. Not even at climate dinners.

35. *phew* i will simply resist quoting appel at you for that but i have to disengage.
there were no death threats.
there was no police report.
there was a publicity stunt similar to jones' 'i considered suicide' act that came after cru hired a professional PR agency to rescue their reputation.
i'm bereft of sympathy for the liars or their apologists.
there is no possible knowledge of what police 'would have done' - it is irrelevant and you know it because it didn't happen. it pertaineth not to the topic. it's an evasion, and obfuscation. therein lies the lie. proposing things that are not as arguments against what is represents an attempt to delude.
yet i'm not interested in semantic analysis of your propaganda efforts.
i only wanted to see how dedicated you were to your team, my enemy.
they have stated explicitly that they mean me harm and have specified an agenda to accomplish it. they have uttered unambiguous threats to my life and liberty. so they don't need to actually declare 'this is war' for me to get it.
so put me as ace of spades on your deck of denier cards and come burn my house, nick. come tattoo my arm. come put me on trial for crimes against humanity.
oh- and be sure to issue a press release accusing me of threatening you.
Nick - there is a point where all the lies must end. Now is good. Think about it.

1. Wow - and you call the ANU folk drama queens!!

36. No, that was me........I called you all Drama Queens.
You don't even see the difference, do you. The "death threats" in question were lies, made-up nonsense whereas the "burn the houses of", "deniers should be tattooed" and "put on trial for war crimes against humanity" are actual printed statements by climate hystericalists. See the difference yet?

1. OK, a bit of substantiation please. Who exactly has been threatened with house-burning? Tattooing? Being "put on trial"? Has a report been made to police?

37. I came here from WUWT to see for myself what Nick had to say on this matter. That you cannot admit you were conned does nothing for your reputation and simply makes me think that no matter what, you will try to spin it.

I'll help a bit with the substantiation, just to save you the trouble. The house-burning one I haven't heard.

Tattooing

"Surely it's time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies."

Why not just a symbol? It makes people so much easier to round up later.

Gassing.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/sideshow-around-carbon-tax-must-stop/story-fn56az2q-1226079531212
"I'm prepared to keep an open mind and propose another stunt for climate sceptics - put your strong views to the test by exposing yourselves to high concentrations of either carbon dioxide or some other colourless, odourless gas - say, carbon monoxide.

You wouldn't see or smell anything. Nor would your anti-science nonsense be heard of again. How very refreshing."

SDo nice to see a reporter finds it "refreshing" to have all those who disagree with her gassed to death. Nice.

Threats of violence from Greenpeace
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/04/greenpeace-are-coming-we-know-where-you-live/

Both James Hansen and David Suzuki have expressed support for the jailing of climate sceptics. Suzuki because he thinks they are committing a crime, God knows against what law and Hansen because he says they are committing "Crimes against Humanity".

Joe Romm asked a few years ago if it would be alright to strangle climate sceptics in their beds.

Will the above do as a start?

1. And John, do you actually think you are personally threatened by these extremesa of rhetoric? Do you think they are really matters you could take to the police? Do you think the monotonous procession of blog calls for climate scientists to be jailed etc constitute threats?

I see even gnomish saying
"we still need a head on a post – via criminal prosecution."

Threat? Of course not.

38. Me personally? No. But by the same token I'm not a high profile sceptic and I also have the means and will to defend myself.

However an international organisation that has committed violent acts in the past has called on its members to break the law and finishes that call with "WE know where you live...". I'm simply reacting the same way that I would if the calls came from a different international organisation based in Sicily. And for all the talk of non voilence, the author of that piece was arrested on weapons charges shortly afterwards.

Frankly I don't see many blog calls for climate scientists to be jailed. I do see such comments made downthread by readers, but that's all.

However I can't see how "If they have broken the law they should be jailed" constitutes a threat, unless soneone has broken the law. AFAIK the only person who should have been prosecuted and can't be is Phil Jones for requesting the deletion of FOI relevent files. Similarly I expect Gleick to be prosecuted for the various offences that he has admitted to.

However, to get back to the topic at hand. The release of the emails shows that there were no death threats. Why is it so hard for you and Redfearn to admit this simple fact?

If you continue to contend that there is/was a campaign of death threats then all I ask is that you supply some evidence for this contention. If there is no evidence, then there is no campaign. Game over.

1. John,
Sorry this went into the spam filter; I don't know why. But just one thing.
"The release of the emails shows that there were no death threats. Why is it so hard for you and Redfearn to admit this simple fact?"
It shows that this rather limited search (emails to/from six people over six months) showed up no death threats. That's not quite the same.

Still, it does seem that the V-C's statement, if correctly reported, was inaccurate, and possibly exaggerated. Death threats get the headlines, but misplace the focus, which is stress on scientists. In fact death threats are rather theoretical - I think it's pretty rare that killings are preceded by explicit threats. Hate mail can certainly create insecurity.

I think GHG's are a real problem, and we really need good science to deal with it. We all do; ignorance doesn't help anyone. And discouraging good people from entering or continuing with research in the field hinders good science.

2. "However an international organisation that has committed violent acts in the past has called on its members to break the law"
OK, I'll respond to that one too. The author called for non-violent resistance. Greenpeace apologized for the heady rhetoric, criticized the author and withdrew the piece. So it's not "Greenpeace calling on its members".

39. Nick, on a slightly different tack, I think that calls for prosectution are sometimes due to a difference in background.

A number of things done in climate science reports would, if they had been done in business financial reports, have resulted in criminal prosecutions. "Hide the decline" is a good example here.

What I read into many of the calls for prosecution is really a case of "If I did that, it would be illegal, how the hell are they allowed to do it?" You could write books on the nonexistent IPCC conflict of interest policies and similar.

It leads to the interesting question as to why the various checks and balances required to keep business dealings above board and honest are not deemed needed for scientists. Are they supposed to be a higher mortal and not afflicted by the corrupting sins of us lower beings?

There is often talk about a loss of trust in scientists and the answer is very simple. If you want my trust then you have to meet my standards for recieving that trust. Climate science especially is run to such a p*ss poor standard that if a corner shop tried it the ATO would close them in a week.

1. John,
You say people think that prosecution is an appropriate remedy for science they disagree with. After all, accountants who are at variance with the Tax Office can get prosecuted.

But accountants can't do scientific research. Science is about understanding aspects of the physical world that weren't understood before. First efforts are imperfect. There's no one right way. People try different things, and eventually we get a handle on it.

"Hide the decline" is a case in point. There has been much blog criticism of some graphs which do not display proxy curves after 1960.

But there is no failure of disclosure here. Divergence has been very prominently discussed. Briffa has written papers in the very top journals, explaining why he thinks what they are measuring is not a climate response. Showing a non-climate response on such a plot would be misleading.

Now you may think he's wrong about divergence. Or you may think he should show it, and over and over explain why he's shown it but you shouldn't think it's real. Or show with dotted lines, or whatever. All these are reasonable responses, and you can argue about what is best.

But prosecution is out of place. Ultimately, your judgement is not better than Briffa's. A lawyer's would not be either. The fact is that Briffa makes his judgements, and people find that his work gives them the best understanding. That's why he's a famous climate scientist and you aren't.

People say that the work of Briffa et al has huge economic consequences. It actually doesn't. The decisions made by governments about climate change will have huge economic consequences. They have a heavy responsibility to get the best advice they can. They don't have to go to Briffa; there are many climate scientists working on it, who don't currently attract blog attention. They go to Briffa because they believe his work is the best. Getting a lawyer to tell him how to do it (or else) would not improve it.

40. Nick, no problems, these things happen. I noticed it went up and then disappeared and I figured you'd fish it out of the filter.

Greenpeace did not apologise for the "heady rhetoric" or criticize the author. I watched that little episode unfold and GP rep after GP rep came on to defend the author and what he wrote. Constantly telling people that they had it all wrong and the author was really a nice guy who would never hurt a fly. I don't know if the full thing was preserved anywhere but the truth is easily seen from a reading of the 500+ comments.

I did not say that prosecution is an appropriate remedy for science that people disagree with. Prosecution is an appropriate remedy for people that break the law.

What I want to see is scientific reports being held to the same standards as business reports. If you want to play in the big business sand pit, then play by the rules and don't go whining about wanting special treatment.

In the case of hide the decline a composite graph was put together that was presented as a complete composite of a number of studies. One of those lines, Briffas, didn't agree with the others and was truncated. It is the truncating that was wrong. All that was required was the complete line and a comment that it diverged and the reasons for this are unclear.

In comparison, if an accountant prepares a complete graph of the finances of the various depts of a company where 9 depts are showing rising profits and 1 is showing a loss (diverging if you will) and the accountant truncates the diverging line.....He goes to jail, he does not pass go and collect $200. Get it? You either believe in the principle of full disclosure or you don't. This is not a difficult moral question and is not a legal question. If you wish to give proper and full advice then you must adhere to full disclosure, anything else is advocacy. Do you realise that the fine for non disclosure when an insurance agent talks to you about life insurance is$2,000 and 1 year in jail? But you think a scientist can advise, while leaving out any bits he finds inconvenient.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_act/iaba1984273/ Have a quick look at thie list and see all the things that a salesperson has to keep up with just to visit you and sell you $200k of life insurance. Why on earth should people advising governments about policies and actions involving millions of lives and billions of dollars be held to such a much lower standard? As a general rule I'm absolutely disgusted at the attitude of many in the climate community that data is "theirs" and everybody else has to beg. That we got to the stage of needing to use FOI laws is insane. The data is not theirs, it belongs to the people who paid for it. I'm happy for any researcher to have first dibs and publication rights etc, but if they want to keep it ad infinitum, then they can go and pay for their own bloody satellites and stop using the ones I paid for. Oh, I've been meaning to add. I'm JohnB at a few places, but I'm not the one at WUWT. 1. John, Science is the attempts people make to describe abd analyse the physical world. It isn't what they do that has big budget implications; it's what they see. And there isn't really any point in trying to regulate the process of looking; everyone will see it soon enough. A question for people who want science to be done by business style, auditable reports is, what would this embrace? Everyone who tries to describe the real world? Blogs like Tallbloke's, say? Or, indeed, Moyhu? I suspect you'll say, maybe just people who get big grants. But that is really an issue of grant management. Sure, you can do it, but would it really improve the outcome of the grant? Shouldn't the grant administrators be the best judges of that? 2. On Greenpeace, here is their statement about it. No, they are not calling on their members to go after "the few". 41. What would this embrace? How about simply the archiving of the data the report is based on and full disclosure in the report? Why is this considered to be just so hard in some sectors of the scientific community? To write a report (or publish a paper) then you must have collected data and stored it in a reasonably logical fashion so that you could work with it. So archive it when the paper is published. Most of us had drilled in during high school the priciple of "Show your work", doesn't it bother you as a scientist to realise that your colleagues are writing papers that would get a fail mark in the local high school? The above isn't just about climate. I've noticed some extremely poor reports being prepared for government. Anecdotal evidence combined with lack of references was endemic in the Murray Darling Water Management Report. On GP. They published a post calling for people to do "whatever is neccessary" and to "break the law" if that helps them achienve their goals. The post also points any nutters out there directly to the preferred targets "We know where you live, etc". They then spent the next 5 days excusing Gene as a really nice buy and telling everybody how it was being misinterpreted because it didn't fit their claims of "non violence". Come on mate, the only bit missing was asking if your daughter still attends the same school. After that it was pure damage control. I don't know what field you are in but I would suggest to you that if representatives of an organisation with a record of property destruction sent you a note pointing out that you are getting in their way and finishing with "We know where you live,..." you would be under no misapprehension at all. Or do you think that if they drop round it will be for tea and bikkies? 42. heh- ask green peace ingrid how her CloFu project is going. if you had any doubt they were nutters - google it - tofu made from george clooney's sweat - green as you can get. 43. Nick knows about all the explicit threats from Goodman, Zwick, etc - because he lurks at WUWT where they are all discussed as the outrage envelope is expanded by the propagandists for the cause. His coy act is strictly for evasion. He has to play seriously back-breaking Twister to present a contorted argument that explicit threats against whole categories of individuals is 'rhetorical' while 'rude language ('get a real job!')' must be regarded as a death threat requiring press releases, police reports, security adjustment and so forth. Nick, you see, is a committed apologist for fraudsters. That makes him a collaborator in the damage. I have to wonder what kind of reward he gets that can be worth the sacrifice of reason and integrity. Usually a liar has something to gain or something to avoid losing when he pulls the big boners. But maybe I just don't have an understanding of 'arguments of the demented', as Appel calls it when he's at his most argumentative and demented...lol. Nick is not innocent or mistaken. He's a deliberate liar. Because he leaves a crack to squeak out of admitting it because of precious parsing and legalistic technicalities, is proof that it is premeditated. 44. As Eli has pointed out on the other thread, the Media Watch report trumpeted by the Australian has now arrived. And no, the origibal Canberra Times reports haven't been debunked. See the update above. 45. Help me out on this one, Nick. The original FOI fails to substantiate the Canberra Times reports. No new evidence is provided that substantiates the Canberra Times reports. None. Yet we conclude from this only that "the origibal Canberra Times reports haven't been debunked". Why don't you feel that the Canberra Times has some obligation to demonstrate a basis for their claims? It seems that you can never prove that there factually wasn't a threatening letter hiding somewhere. So what you are asking for is an impossible level of proof before you will accept that hyperbole was engaged in here. 1. Well, they haven't. The FOI information covers a very limited subset. Even the licence incident didn't come within the FOI ambit, and only showed up because one email from that time was quoted in another email that did. The Canberra Times story is a normally reported story - the basis for it now is as it was then. Media Watch did some more reporting, which in their view supported the CT story. And they added some more emails to our collection. What they also emphasised is that "death threats" were not a big part of the CT story - that came with the re-telling. The emphasis of the CT story was that people associated with climate research were being intimidated. The technicality of whether a specified execution is proposed is just a quibble. 46. Carrick. I further note that the FOI request was based on a radio interview with the V-C. Media watch says that the audio (or transcript) can't now be located. But the original report in the Australian (now chief "debunker") of that interview didn't quote Young talking of death threats at all. So this FOI timing is narrow, based on something possibly said ex tempore on radio, but which he might not have said at all. 47. I'm OK with the statement that the FOI had a very narrow scope and implications of that. I guess my point is that you and others have gone from "the FOI provides support for the presence of death threats" to "it's too narrow of a scope to be exculpatory". So it seems like there's a different tune being whistled each week on this story. The FOI evidence provides no confirmation that death threats were made. I'm also suggesting the onus here is on the Canberra Times to produce evidence that supports their version of the story, which as you say is that "climate scientists were being intimidated". Intimidated in what respect? Intimidation implies a change in behavior in response to the threats. Evidence that this occurred? And sorry, swapping war-stories by emails doesn't qualify as intimidation. Not performing research, or giving presentations does provide evidence of actual intimidation. Even the simple act of filing a police report would be evidence as far as I'm concerned (I've filed police reports before, and I get a copy of them when I do... don't you get a copy in Australia? Couldn't one of the principles produce a police report from the period in question, and if they haven't, the fact they haven't points to this not being that important of an issue to them now, or not that big of an issue then. You can't have this both ways.) I'm also not clear what new information was provided by Media Watch, from a cursory reading, it seems to be a rather one-sided and sloppy and poorly reasoned recounting of things we already know. They/he can't find a transcript? ("Let me check my desk. No, no transcript, sorry. Oh, time for happy hour! Laterz." My skepticism of journalists runs pretty deep.) Yes I accept there were disturbing emails and other communications from "disgruntled" members of the public. I've yet to see any evidence produced by CT that substantiates the more serious of their claims. The idea that you get threatening letters as a scientist, unpleasant as it is, isn't that new. Just ask anybody working in animal experimentation. I've worked in that area, I've never received personally a threat of other than via an innuendo one time (which didn't bother me, but I do know people who have... and it can be very upsetting (happened to one of my colleagues who was very upset by the threat (it doesn't help that she had just gotten out of an abusive relationship with another man, long story). Sad thing was she wasn't even doing destructive testing on the animals... they were unharmed and released into the wild after completion of the experiment, demonstrating just how unhinged some wackos can be I've not know anybody who has received such a threat to not file a police report on the incident. At least in one case, I believe charges were filed (I think they were later dropped on the promise by the perp that he would discontinue this behavior). As I've said now for the zillionth time, there is certainly substance to the story, but it's getting played way out of proportion by advocates, who as usual overplay their hand and get made to look foolish down the road. I'm completely sympathetic to the researchers, including the bit of a bind media miscoverage and incompetency has apparently put them in. I've seen enough examples of that for the sympathy to be very real on that matter too. 1. Carrick, "So it seems like there's a different tune being whistled each week on this story. " I can't agree with that. If you look at the first substantive in this post (not the update), it's the narrowness of the scope. And the earlier debate was my disputing Anthony Watts claim that "And, the facts are, that there’s no death threats. Game over." I pointed out that that was not what the Commissioner said. And it wasn't. At that stage we didn't even know what was in the emails. Then I got the emails and reported what they said. Before we heard from Mr Coochey, I said of that: "As to the nature of the threat - yes, there are possible interpretations that would make it harmless." 48. And, the facts are, that there’s no death threats. Game over. facts: Lies about death threats from liars and their worshipful admirers. 49. Do I think there were death threat? Yes. Die you @#** is a death threat. No need to open the Clue game. It isn't necessary to specify time, place, weapon, murderer- Die is a death threat.Deniers down under must have been badly hurt by their own number to deny these threats. The tactic however is a new twist on denier misuse of FOI. We have had old Steve council harassment by FOI ( as a Canadian I am so ashamed). The usual suspects have selectively edited emails till no trace of the original meaning was left. Mobs armed with torches made from burning FOI application forms are pursuing Mike Mann. Now we see FOI being deliberately framed to prevent finding the imformation the FOI was purported to want. After asking for info for one time period they are bleating that because no information exists for 2009 this proves that no information exists for 2008. Then it was time for the march of the Trolls. Yipping and yapping that 2008 was indeed 2009, this greasy chorus has again proved how desperate the denial movement has become and how embarrassed they are. What will the next misuse of FOI be? John McManus 50. John, back to reality, if there were a credible threat of harm, there would have been more action on the part of the researchers. You don't go to your dean you go to the police with those, from experience. Your example I think was not a credible threat of harm and it was not taken as one, though as I mention it is disturbing to receive this type of garbage. The claim that the FOI was deliberately miswritten and that's we don'e have real evidence I find amusing. If you think that's true write your own FOI and get the truth out. I don't see the FOI process being nearly as abused by the people writing the letters as I am by the people both distorting the FOI process and withholding information that should have been public without the need for an FOI to start with. 1. Carrick, FOI simply wasn't intended as an aid to amateur investigators, and is an ineffective tool for the job. Particularly in Australia, where our FOIA (C'wealth) is thirty years old, and is clearly designed for people wanting to go to the planning office and look at freeway plans etc. It specifies photocopy charges ($15, IIRC) etc.

There is a glimpse of its practical application here. Steffen simply sends an email around to staff asking if they have anything. There's no search of email servers. Staff who are away or just don't have their emails readily searchable (or who delete offensive stuff) don't respond. Maybe it shouldn't be so, but that's what a FOI application nets.

Again, wearily, there's no reason to suppose that people did not go to the police. There are plenty of cases where people said they did. In the ANU culling matter, Steffen clearly expected that ANU Security would inform the AFP. And the AFP said they knew.

The misinformation here has come from people who don't know the difference between AFP and ACT Policing.

2. Nick: FOI simply wasn't intended as an aid to amateur investigators, and is an ineffective tool for the job

Can you document that it "wasn't intended as an aid to amateur investigators. " In which case, if this was not intended, there would need to be a legal definition of "amateur" wouldn't there? Suppose we have a guy working at a patent office instead of a university and is poor enough he has to ride his bicycle to his job. I'd guess you'd call him an amateur, right? ;-)

Again, wearily, there's no reason to suppose that people did not go to the poli

If you have evidence they went to the police, you should produce it. If you don't have evidence, you should recast your statement to the more factual "we have no evidence that anybody went to the police." Speculation is pointless. If you want to speculate, invest in gold, it has relevance here.

3. And I think I'm out of this thread again. I don't see any point in arguing over which speculation might be reasonable and which might not be. I've been in too many situations where people's memory was involved, and have seen just how unreliable that is, that I personally require more substantiation that "we don't have proof that they didn't go" before I can accept we have proof they went.

Out of here.

4. Carrick,
I'm not going to personally chase up the police reports, which here in any case are not made public. But Media Watch did some chasing:

"That's what we did. We got these from just two scientists, one in Melbourne, one in Brisbane, received in that same six month period. They're on our website, and they are not pretty reading and yes they were reported to police."

And as I say, yet again, the AFP said they were aware of the threats at ANU. And they didn't get that from press reports.

It's not speculation.

5. What I saw more like abusive language than threatening, but I could see somebody passing those on to the police (I probably would too).

All I can say is from my own experience (a driver tried to hit me with his car when I was riding my bicycle) I did receive a copy of the report. I'm a bit surprised that nobody has come forward to confirm this with physical evidence. People can claim anything they want, as long as there is no evidence either way.

Again (and really my last comment on this topic, we hit bedrock along time ago)... I don't doubt that negative things happened. I just find it pretty screwed up you guys can get yourself to admit how overhyped the original story is.

6. * "I just find it pretty screwed up you guys can't get yourself to admit how overhyped the original story is"

51. * ... and that's why we don't have real evidence ...

52. We all know about the threats. I have been threatened with a shotgun , had the police deal with the guy, but got no paperwork. The next week, as he was choking his son , his wife shot his kneecap off. The police came around to tell me.

The people you so vigourously defend have waved a noose, a "kangaroo hunting" liscene, written "die you *\$^**" and burst loudly, threatinly and rudely into private offices. Nice friends you have. No-one, and I include you Mr. Carrick believes there were no death threats.

My interest lies with the misuse of FOI legislation. Specifying a time frame to specifically eliminate any evidence of the crimes was cute. Too bad it backfired. There is now a stronger narrative about the bullies than before.

About your concern about witheld information: I was able to find the information where Phil Jones said it was. Please contact me if you need help using Google. We also have the sad story of Steve who had the data for years while yelping that Briffa was being mean to him. In Virginia, millions are being wasted trying to spy on Mickael Mann. More denier futility. Deniers have also edited all information out of stolen CRU emails showing how poor the WTF crew's case is.

It is nice however to see the latest FOI ploy blow up in the deniers face. Now that it has been used once it can't be used again. Too bad its use weakened the denier case.

John

1. John, all I can tell you is belief has nothing to do with anything. That should be left for church or other faith-based activities. If you have evidence of credible death threats, you should produce it.

As to how the "FOI ploy" is blowing up in anybody's face, I guess I need a better explanation of what you're talking about.

As to the rest, you're full of more heat than logic, so I don't see any point in engaging you on that.

53. Carrick:
You believe that if the police did not send you a report nothing happened. Remember Bush Jr. and the neo-con magical thinking.

I'm sure you understand the FOI ploy. By requesting information for a time period the requester knew had nothing to do with the question, a report of " nothing to see here" was assured. Then tyhe trolls could parrot the lie that no death trhreats were uttered ad nausium. Clear enough for you.

The blow up is obvious over at ELI#'( and elsewhere) where the threatener's quotes are there to shame all deniers. Thus the ploy was unsucessful, damaging to the denier cause and, being outed, cant be used again.

John

54. John I never said "nothing happened". Abusive language was used and abusive emails were sent. What I said was there isn't evidence for credible death threats and that the original story was overplayed, based on the physical evidence available then.

I think you have a tin-foil hat theory about why the FOI was worded the way it was. Adjust it, the mind-warping rays are getting through.

I invite you to send your own FOI if you really think there is more to the story, see what you get.

As to the other, you think the people on the any given side don't put out offensive sh*t occasionally? It doesn't matter what their cause célèbre is. Ideology makes people stupid, and that always shines through, like with Joe Bast still defending that idiotic billboard, or with the Eco-Group's exploding children "pro-climate" film. They are the gifts that keep on giving. Tin foil hat theories... not so much.

55. Carrick, you have doubled down and walked yourself into a very tight corner here. Your denial on this issue is obvious and lame attempts by you to obfuscate the issue at hand look incredibly desperate. You will probably deny that, but the truth will be obvious to the rational reader. Give up this charade already-- even some of the regulars at BH managed to summon the gumption and morality to call a spade a spade.

Now I'm sure you'll have some or other retort to my post, that is your nature it seems, but I expect whatever you opine to be every bit as uncompelling as the rest of your above musings on this issue. Additionally, by continuing on this chosen path you are simply helping this matter blow up in the face of those who alleged the threats were fake even more.

It is odd to hear you speak of "ideology makes people stupid, and that always shines through". By saying what you have on this issue, it is unfortunate that you fail to realize that your very own words quoted above might actually apply to your own behavior and your own words on this issue. Think about it.

Anyways, feel free to argue and debate and rationalize more, but you have long ago lost this particular argument.

MapleLeaf

56. Shorter MapleLeaf (for those not interested in all of the blather):

"you are a poo poo head".

57. Carrick,

Really, that is your response; that is the best you could muster? Last time I checked, this forum was above such schoolyard antics as portrayed by you. This is a very serious matter, but you have chosen instead to resort to childish antics.

For the record, I neither said nor suggested what you claim in your petulant retort.

Nice own goal Carrick. Goodbye.

ML

58. As a case in point, above I predicted that:

"...but I expect whatever you opine to be every bit as uncompelling as the rest of your above musings on this issue."

Now read Carrick's posts at 1:02 and 1:59. LOL indeed :)

Maybe Carrick can come back when he is able to hold a mature and intelligent discussion ;)

ML