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Climategate turns to Climate Hate

Climate scientists have been on the end of death threats and receive masses of email abuse on a daily basis since the Climategate storm in a teacup broke.

And, while Professor Phil Jones, the UEA scientist at the centre of the hacked email controversy, revealed in February he had been receiving two death threats a week and had contemplated suicide over the matter, the problem appears to be significantly worse in the US where right-wing nutters proliferate and where emailers can claim they are only indulging in their 'right' to free speech, the Guardian reports (opens in new tab).

Emails seen by the paper show that scientists have been urged to "go gargle razor blades" and been described as "Nazi climate murderers".

Professor Stephen Schneider, a climatologist based at Stanford University in California said he had received "hundreds" of violently abusive emails since last November. The approach of the Copenhagen climate change summit last year prompted the first deluge, he said, but since the recent publication of a report he co-authored which showed that 97-98 per cent of climate scientists agree that mankind's carbon emissions are causing global temperatures to increase, his in-box is once again filling up with hate.

Schneider said he had noticed an "immediate, noticeable rise" in the number of emails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing US commentators, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

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

He added: "Some of these people are mentally imbalanced. They are invariably gun-toting right-wingers. What do I do? Learn to shoot a Magnum? Wear a bullet-proof jacket? I have now had extra alarms fitted at my home and my address is unlisted. I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists."

The Guardian has many such tales from scientists abused for doing their jobs. One said he'd had to hire bodyguards such is the vitriol flying in his direction. It's a sad state of affairs by any measure. Go here (opens in new tab) and have a read. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.