Intimidation of Climate Scientists

(c) 2016 by Barton Paul Levenson

AGW deniers often claim they are terribly persecuted by the "climate establishment." In fact, nine times out of ten, they are the persecutors, relying on everything from internet baiting to firing, threats of prosecutions, and death threats. Here are some examples.


  1. A non-scientist Bush White House aide rewrote scientific papers without the authors' consent to make global warming look less threatening.

  2. Anthony Watts and others tried to get NASA to fire James Hansen.

  3. Written requests to Naomi Oreskes's employer asked that she be fired after she published work showing the widespread consensus among climatologists that AGW is true.

  4. Oil CEO Harold Hamm tried to get several University of Oklahoma scientists fired for publishing work tracing local earthquakes to fracking operations.

  5. Ben Santer was personally attacked for his satellite work.

  6. Joe Barton called Michael Mann up before a congressional committee, HUAC-style, demanding to see all his notes, communications, and emails.

  7. Fred Singer threatened to sue Naomi Oreskes and Science magazine for her review of Mooney's book.

  8. Singer silenced Justin Lancaster with an industry-funded SLAPP lawsuit Lancaster couldn't afford to fight.

  9. An alumnus tried to have Penn State dismiss Richard Alley for "crimes against the scientific community, Penn State University, the citizens of this great country and of the world."

  10. "The founder of the Weather Channel wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping a legal debate will settle the global-warming debate once and for all. [paragraph] John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits."

  11. The conservative think tank CEI is suing NASA and Gavin Schmidt to obtain all their emails.

  12. "When former London financial trader Douglas J. Keenan combed through the data used in a 1990 research paper Jones had co-authored, Keenan claimed to have found evidence of fakery by Jones' co-author. Keenan threatened to have the FBI arrest University at Albany scientist Wei-Chyung Wang for fraud. (A university investigation later cleared him of any wrongdoing.)"

  13. When Jim Lippard published a list of climate deniers on his blog with a succinct description of each, climate denier Lubos Motl immediately filed suit against him for defamation.

  14. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) tried to get Dr. Michael Mann fired or thrown in jail.

  15. ExxonMobil got Bob Watson fired as IPCC Chairman to the Bush Administration.

  16. the New Zealand government fired Jim Salinger.

  17. A hacker stole emails from Phil Jones and others, then distorted them to make it look like they were withholding and manipulating data. Professor Jones received so many threats afterward, local law enforcement had to assign him police protection. AP reports Dr. Jones "will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented." So the deniers got what they wanted--a monkey wrench thrown into the works at CRU. Intimidation works.

  18. Rush Limbaugh told New York Times climate reporter Andrew Revkin, "why don’t you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?"

  19. Glenn Beck suggested the climatologists at CRU kill themselves: "There's not enough knives. If this, if the IPCC had been done by Japanese scientists, there's not enough knives on planet Earth for hara-kiri that should have occurred. I mean, these guys have so dishonored themselves, so dishonored scientists."

  20. Rush Limbaugh called for scientists involved in the global warming "hoax" to be "named and fired, drawn and quartered, or whatever it is."

  21. Australian climate scientists have been threatened with everything from having their children "brutally gang-raped," to being burned alive by lynch mobs.

  22. Andrew Breitbart tweeted to his entire audience, "Capital punishment for Dr [sic] James Hansen. Climategate is high treason."

  23. Australian and UK news report the FBI and Scotland Yard are investigating death threats to "two prominent scientists" named in "Climategate."

  24. Climate scientist Ben "Santer... received death threats after his work on climate change in 1996..."

  25. Lubos Motl suggested environmentalists who press deniers with awkward questions should be shot as trespassers, to make the survivors less "annoying."

  26. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli threatened to subpoena and, if possible, indict Michael Mann.

  27. The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition is suing the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research for tampering with official weather records to make the case for global warming.

  28. Kevin Trenberth was "bombarded with e-mails containing “filthy language” and suggestions he go back to his native New Zealand. A small protest was held at the entrance to his NCAR lab, and the lab increased security."

  29. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, climate advisor to Angela Merkel, gave a lecture in Melbourne, Australia in 2011. Afterward Larouche Youth Movement member Glen Isherwood approached him dangling a noose. AGW denier Lubos Motl has called for the German intelligence services to assassinate Dr. Schellnhuber.

  30. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) repeatedly tried to get personal emails from NOAA scientists, accused them of deliberate fraud, and succeeded in pushing a 40% cut in NASA's climate studies budget.


  1. Revkin AC 2005. Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming. New York Times, 6/08/2005.

  2. Watts WA 2009. Note to NASA: Fire Dr. James Hansen, Now. Watts Up With That, "If you feel the same way, your recourse is to write to//Michael D. Griffin/Administrator//c/o NASA Public Communications Office..."

  3. Dreifus C 2014. A Chronicler of Warnings Denied. The New York Times 10/27/2014, p. D6.

  4. Elgin B and Phillips M 2015. Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed: Dean's E-Mail. Bloomberg Business., accessed 5/19/2015.

  5. Chesser P 2009. Dear Ben Santer: Resign. 12.3.09 @ 12:59PM The American Spectator., accessed 8/22/2010. "Ben should further face criminal prosecution for his avoidance of the FOI request."

    Mashey, J 2010. Comment, Deltoid: "Ben heard noise downstairs, went down and opened [his] front door, saw an SUV speeding away, and found an eviscerated rat on his doorstep."

  6. Schmidt G, Rahmstorf S 2005. Scientists Respond to Barton. RealClimate 7/18/2005., accessed 8/22/2010.

  7. Appell D 2013. When Scientists Get Sued. Yale Climate Connections, 12/13/2013., accessed 6/15/2014.

  8. Connolley WM 2007. The Real Truth About the Revelle-Gore Story. 11/09/2007. STOAT--TAKING SCIENCE BY THE THROAT... CLIMATE, ROWING, AND MISC TRAILING STUFF., accessed 8/22/2010.

  9. Masters J 2010. The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History. Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog, 3/24/2010. Weather Underground., accessed 8/22/2010.

  10. Fox News 2008.,2933,337710,00.html, accessed 3/29/2016.

  11. Horner C 2010. CEI Suing NASA Over Climate Stonewall. 5.27.10 @ 10:57AM The American Spectator 5/27/2010., accessed 8/22/2010.

  12. AOL News, Science, 2009. Report Says E-Mails Don't Disprove Climate Change. AOL News, Science, 12/13/2009.

  13. Lippard J 2009. Who Are the Climate Change Skeptics? The Lippard Blog, Comment by Lubos Motl: "Commie,/I urge you to instantly remove the libels and lies from this blog, otherwise I will start to work on the legal liquidation of the criminal that you are./These things may be common among the green trash in which you seem to live but I won't tolerate it against myself./Cheers/LM/December 23, 2009 3:46 AM".

  14. Official Correspondence, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK) to NSF Inspector General Allison C. Lerner, 2/03/2010.

  15. ENS 2002. Watson Out as IPCC Chair Following ExxonMobil Memo to Bush--Watson Loses Chair of Climate Panel. ENS 4/19/2002. The Heat is Online., accessed 8/22/2010.

  16. Dearnaley M 2009. Niwa man fired for media talk. NZ Herald 4/25/2009., accessed 8/22/2010.

  17. Connor S 2010. Climate emails hacked by spies. Interception bore hallmarks of foreign intelligence agency, says expert. The Independent, 02/01/2010. "A highly sophisticated hacking operation that led to the leaking of hundreds of emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, according to the Government's former chief scientist. Sir David King, who was Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser for seven years until 2007, said that the hacking and selective leaking of the unit's emails, going back 13 years, bore all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated intelligence operation - especially given their release just before the Copenhagen climate conference in December. ... "In an interview with The Independent, Sir David suggested the email leaks were deliberately designed to destabilise Copenhagen and he dismissed the idea that it was a run-of-the-mill hacking. It was carried out by a team of skilled professionals, either on behalf of a foreign government or at the behest of anti-climate change lobbyists in the United States, he said."

  18. Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/20/2009.

  19. The Glenn Beck Program, 2/10/2010.

  20. Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/24/2009.

  21. Cowie T 2010. Climate scientists 'under cyber attack.' ABC News 2/22/2010.

  22. Breitbart, A 2009. Capital punishment for Dr James Hansen. Climategate is high treason. 11/29/2009 12:05 pm ET by Media Matters staff. Media Matters for America,, accessed 8/22/2010.

  23. ABC News 2009. Climate Scientist Receives Death Threats. Dr. Tom Wigley, CRU, Australia-born E Anglia U former CRU Director. Now at NCAR, Boulder CO.

  24. The Guardian 2009. Hacked email climate scientists receive death threats.

  25. Motl L 2010. Comment, Open Mind., accessed 6/17/2010.

  26. Stuart C 2010. Oh, Mann: Cuccinelli targets UVA papers in Climategate salvo. The Hook (UVA student newspaper) 4/29/2010., accessed 8/22/2010.

  27. McDonald P 2010. Sceptics to challenge climate science in court. ABC News 8/06/2010.

  28. Appell D 2013. When Scientists Get Sued. Yale Climate Connections 12/13/2013., accessed 6/15/2014.

  29. Omidi M 2012. The life of a climate scientist., accessed 3/29/2016. Motl: "It may be a good idea for the German – or other intelligence services to physically deal with Herr Schellnhuber and his thugs before it is too late."

  30. Sinclair, P., ed. 2016. Surveilling the Scientists., accessed 4/26/2016.

Page created:03/29/2016
Last modified:  03/29/2016