Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Satire = death threats, ‘mk?

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On the weekend I wrote about death threats to Australian climate scientists as reported in the Canberra Times, saying:

On blogs maintained under the aegis of media organisations – News Limited, I’m looking at you – this violence is allowed to flourish, albeit in written form. And not as direct threats, which aren’t permitted, but obliquely threatening and thoroughly nasty. This, I believe, gives licence to certain individuals in that “closed room” to take the further step of making direct threats.

Tim Lambert at Deltoid reports it has only taken two days  for this to be confirmed by Tim Blair in the Daily Tele (I won’t link). Apparently, satire in the form of climate raps and Tony Martin’s alter ego Michael Munna’s boganising of climate denial is a call to arms:

Well, that’s not the message we got from their climate rap. “Perhaps,” replied reader George Rock, “they shouldn’t call people motherf … ers if they don’t want to fight.”

Yeah, right.  That’s ok. The death threats have been coming for several years because those making the threats knew that some time in the future, a few scientists were going to make a gangsta rap video, and Tony Martin was going to take the piss.

And the scaredy-cat scientists are frightened “out of their laboratories” by a few emails, according to Blair. As David Karoly said to the ABC on the weekend, research would continue despite the threats. Clive Hamilton spoke about the cyber bullying campaign over 15 months ago. It’s not the generally abusive ones that matter so much. It’s these:

“Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents’ socialist beliefs and actions?” the email reportedly says.

“Burn in hell. Or in the main street, when the Australian public finally lynches you.”

Yeah, right Tim Blair. Tit for tat. A few (thousand) scientists come up with a theory you and your mates don’t like and well, you can’t be responsible for the consequences, can you?

More comment: In addition to Deltoid, a strong post from Joe Romm and HoydenAboutTown.

Update: Clive Hamilton on The Conversation

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Written by Roger Jones

June 6, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Posted in Denialism

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