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Scientists: Resolve to Protect Yourself from Harassment in 2019

Filed under: — group @ 6 December 2018

Guest commentary by Lauren Kurtz

The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor from anti-science attacks. Since our founding in 2011, we’ve assisted hundreds of scientists with issues ranging from invasive open records requests to death threats.

As part of this work, our staff will be at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting from December 10-14, offering free legal services to scientists and leading sessions on how to get involved in the policymaking process and how to be an expert witness.

For those who won’t be at the meeting — and with 2019 around the corner — we put together a list of suggested New Year’s resolutions for scientists. Adopting these best practices will help you reduce your risk of being harassed or attacked.

  1. Separate personal and professional correspondence and activities.

    Do not use professional email accounts for personal emails and vice versa.

    Climate scientists and other researchers have been increasingly targeted via misuse of the legal system. Separating personal and professional emails can reduce the likelihood that your personal correspondence will be caught up in legal actions. For example, many publicly-funded scientists have been targeted under open records laws, which only affect records related to government-funded work. Keeping personal and professional correspondence separate helps ensure that your personal communications stay private.

    It’s also important to be clear about when you are operating in your personal capacity versus your professional role. If you give an interview, post on a blog, write an op-ed, or sign a petition or open letter, make it obvious if you are speaking for yourself and not as part of your professional role.

    In particular, any advocacy or activism that is not done on behalf of your institution should be done on your personal time, on your personal email account and personal devices, and without using your work affiliation (if possible). If you must state your title or employer for identification purposes, clarify that you do not speak on behalf of your institution. This will help to prevent any allegations of misuse of grant funding for non-grant related purposes, and help avoid allegations of employment violations.

  2. Know your rights.

    In general, the First Amendment limits the government’s ability to suppress speech. It protects public employees who speak (i) in their private capacities, (ii) on their own time, (iii) about matters that concern the public, against improper censure by the government; it does not constrain private employers from disciplining employees for their public speech. (Public employees include federal agency workers, public university professors, and sometimes others who receive government funding.)

    To better understand your legal rights, and legal obligations, please visit the resources section of our website, which has a variety of educational materials for scientists. If you would like printed copies of these resources, we’ll have some available at booth 1047 in the AGU Exhibit Hall.

  3. Call CSLDF if you have a legal question related to your work.

    Seek counsel if you’re worried you’re becoming the target of harassment or intimidation (including receiving a legal notice that seems politically motivated), or if you want to better understand the legal landscape as it relates to your work. Your institution likely retains legal counsel that you can contact, but it is important to remember that your institution’s counsel represents the institution’s legal interests, which may differ from your own.

    You can always contact CSLDF, where our mission is to provide free legal counsel to scientists targeted as a result of their work. Call us at (646) 801-0853 or email lawyer@csldf.org.

We look forward to seeing many RealClimate readers at our AGU sessions and booth, and thank you for your continued support of our work.

38 Responses to “Scientists: Resolve to Protect Yourself from Harassment in 2019”

  1. 1
    t marvell says:

    These precautions are a distracting nuisance. Thus, the anti-science lawyers have achieved substantial success, even if they get kicked out of court, by abusing the legal system. The lawyers may well be violating the Codes of Professional Responsibility (e.g. American Bar Association code sec 3.1). I suspect you have tried this tactic. Any results?

  2. 2
    sidd says:

    “Separate personal and professional correspondence and activities. ”

    Yes, yes, yes. I do wish everyone, not just climate scientists would do this.

    Another topic that CSLDF might help illuminate is public/private keys, signing correspondence to protect against falsification, and encryption.

    sidd

  3. 3
    Nemesis says:

    Yes, this is exactly the world we are living in, a world where scientists need to protect themselves. Shame, shame, shame :( I’m really curious what comes next, when shit hits the fan and water and food ect get short. No, THIS is NOT the planet of reason, love and solidarity, so prepare for ever more of that shit in all sphere’s, not just science.

  4. 4

    I’m grateful that the CSLDF exists, but very sad that it needs to. I’ve been following the topic of harassment of climate scientists for some years, and even writing about it here:

    https://hubpages.com/politics/Green-Fascism-Let-The-Facts-Speak

    But since 2014, I haven’t heard much specific coverage of the issue, although some general statements, such as this perspective piece from Katherine Hayhoe on the CSLDF site, lead me to think that the harassment not only continues, but has been significantly normalized. (Dr. Hayhoe: “Any scientist in the U.S. today who’s willing to stick their head outside the ivory tower and simply say that climate is changing and humans are responsible is going to be attacked,” said Hayhoe. “The virulence and frequency of those attacks are correlated with the frequency with which you come to the attention of people who don’t like what you say.”)

    I wonder if there is a research project for a social scientist here: could the CSLDF files be mined for data on the prevalence and salient characteristics of the harassment (both legal and extra-legal) of climate scientists? One of the virtues the CSLDF has is that it seems well-placed to preserve scientist’s privacy from further assaults, while still making general data about instances of harassment known.

    In my opinion, there is real public value in knowing what is going on in this arena. We’re paying many of the victims, after all, and if their work is impeded by frivolous FOIAs and similar tactics, then we are getting less than we paid for. (Probably the most egregious example of waste in this respect was the persecution of Dr. Mann by the execrable former AG of Virginia, in which taxpayers were footing *both* sides of a multimillion-dollar tab, with no possible benefit to the public purse whatever.)

  5. 5
    Tom Sager says:

    I think this line says volumes: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” —George Orwell

  6. 6
    nigelj says:

    I’m a design professional, and I had the misfortune to be dragged into a couple of civil lawsuits, basically I was caught in a fishing expedition, in that my name was on various routine documents, although I had done nothing wrong, but I had to waste time producing evidence etc.

    I had to hire lawyers and I was acquitted of all charges in all cases. It gave me an insight into the law and a couple of points seem relevant to the harassment of climate scientists:

    1) Obviously defend yourself vigorously and get very good legal advice. These people are out for blood. Get good lawyers and don’t be afraid to change lawyers, – because I found ability varies considerably. I got frustrated and successfully defended myself in one case, but this is a risky strategy and I don’t think I would repeat it.

    2) The climate lawsuits are driven by time wasting denialists, but also possibly partly by lawyers. These guys will push cases to earn their fees, knowing all along chances of prosecution are very slim or zero in many cases.

    3) You may be served with huge packages of documents, multiple allegations, and intimidating rhetoric. While you must take it very seriously, all of it may be bluff with no hard evidence to back it up so don’t over stress. The aim is to intimidate you into confessing guilty to at least one of the charges, just to get them off your back. I’ve seen many people fall for this.

  7. 7
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Good ideas.\

    Today in the USA, people are routinely attacked for their political views. There is a reason people don’t:
    1 – Have Trump bumper stickers or lawn signs
    2 – Wear MAGA or pro-Trump hats/clothing
    3 – Talk about their political views

    Do the above in any major metropolitan area in the US, and you may be attacked physically, have your car and/or home vandalized, etc. It’s dangerous and it is unacceptable. If you don’t like my views, fine, tell me why using some kind of coherent argument, not by yelling, hitting me, running me out of restaurants, protesting in front of my home – threatening my family while beating on the door (Tucker Carlson case), etc.

    We have leftist politicians, Hollywood celebrities, etc publicly calling for “get-in-their-face” harassment. Maxine Waters, Barack Obama, etc.
    The list of attacks on conservatives is long; here are just a few:

    https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/1611896/op-ed-for-two-years-democrats-call-for-assassinations-and-hate-here-are-the-facts.html?fbclid=IwAR3arhD5xBptl00pfNcZwXM4U2B5lvmiNLLCwMi9bxydhsT3Nbx1u_StR7M

    Because of the above, I have written to my elected reps pushing for a new hate-crime law against attacking someone because of their political views. I would make it a felony to, without provocation, yell at, touch, hit, steal the clothing from, vandalize property, discriminate against, etc any person or group because of political beliefs or political affiliation. Leftists should love this law – people with a felony record cannot legally buy or possess a gun.

    I will also be pushing for privacy of voter registration records. These are given to political campaigns, political parties, and just about anyone who wants to pay for a CD to get them. Employers have this information and use it against people in hiring decisions.

    Do I expect any progress? Probably not, but if you will join me pushing for these protections maybe we can giterdone!

  8. 8
    Jeremy Grimm says:

    @7 While I can understand your ire and I agree that the acts you described are deplorable I seriously doubt we need to add another felony law to use in filling our already full prisons and jails. Have you visited a prison or jail lately? Do you really believe prison is commensurate to the crime as a punishment for someone yelling at you or touching you for your political beliefs?

  9. 9

    #7, KIA–

    It’s far from one-sided. There are lots of Democrats here who don’t want to put up lawn signs, etc., for the very same reasons.

    But I find it a bit ironic that you are proposing a government-based “solution” to the problem. What you are already doing by interacting with ‘liberals’ is much more likely, IMHO, to make a difference. Of course, it would be more effective in person than online. The more we view each other as real humans, the stronger the blow against polarization.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of structural impediments today to getting out of our ‘silos’–and IMO the pervasive influence of what has been called ‘homo economicus’ is one. But that’s a whole other topic.

  10. 10
    James says:

    Mr. KIA. I totally agree that no one should be harassed for who they are, race, color, origin, benign creed. But what if it’s not benign? What if they are promulgating truly hateful rhetoric? What if these views were causing violent dissension in your community? What do you think should have been society’s response to the rise of Hitler and the National Socialists in the 1930s? If you could go back in time knowing what you know about the guy, what would you do? Would you protest? Perhaps follow him into restaurants with other protestors and harass? Would you try to do everything you can to stop him?

    See, that’s how a lot of scared people view Trump (and his hordes of shouting “LOCK EM UP! LOCK EM UP!” disciples today), a budding Hitler and a bunch of foaming Brownshirts. Do you think people have the right to hound a group that blares divisive racial hate through megaphones? That wears swastikas on their clothing and fly large confederate flags from their antennas.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am not at all advocating such behavior in people who’s target may only hold non-politically correct views that they happen to dislike. In fact, at this early stage any such protests I think is counterproductive because it gives people the impression of suppression of free speech. And what I really object to is the tiny contingent of radicals (who get outsized press coverage) who vandalize other’s property in wild melees. But I don’t think these people are actually leftists protesting somebody’s bad policies. Imo, these are simply opportunistic anarchists latching onto any apparently valid reason to loot and destroy. Surely if they were leftists they would care that their actions are causing people to think, with the help of strident right-wing media, that it’s actually democrats doing these things and the attendant public relations nightmare that follows. But they don’t care because they’re actually unmoored anarchists.

    Anyway, just some thoughts when considering why people are protesting,

  11. 11

    KIA 7: There is a reason people don’t:
    1 – Have Trump bumper stickers or lawn signs
    2 – Wear MAGA or pro-Trump hats/clothing
    3 – Talk about their political views

    BPL: People do all those things. Your whole post is counterfactual, as usual.

  12. 12
    David Young says:

    Certainly the first point is something that should not need to be repeated as its obvious to anyone who has logged onto their institutional computer and read the notice about whose property the computer is. It’s a legal requirement in many cases.

    Conducting institutional business from your personal computer or accounts is also illegal for the US government anyway because of the preservation of records requirements.

  13. 13
    nigelj says:

    Mr Kia complains of Democrats harassing Republicans. I don’t understand why this website even publishes KIA’s partisan political rants, because what has it got to do with the subject? It hugely distracts.

    There’s a place for political discussion, but it needs to be a more at a philosophical level like Nemesis and linked to the climate issue.

    Trump is a bully, and he and his supporters get what they deserve.

  14. 14
    James says:

    A while ago Obama visited Oz and in a speech he asked them to look after the barrier reef so that one day his daughters could visit it.
    Julie Bishop, then a minister rebuked him for interfering in politics (sic) and said the reef was doing just fine, thank you very much.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/03/more-coral-bleaching-feared-for-great-barrier-reef-in-coming-months
    I wonder if she ever looks in the mirror and says “oops”
    I wonder if the hoards of abusers and deniers ever look in the mirror and say “oops”. California and Queensland fires spring to mind.

  15. 15
    John says:

    Nigel – 13. What’s interesting is that I recently traveled through several red states, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho (just skirted the latter). Guess what? I didn’t see so much as a single solitary Trump bumper sticker in any of them. No Trump signs, no maga hats, no nothing, even though it was the election season and people were thinking politics. Methinks the guy is a royal embarrassment all around. Probably he’s still got some pockets of support somewhere, yet my gut feeling was that the only people still vocal in their support of him is right wing media, at the behest of companies like Exxon, and even some of them are having strong regrets.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/06/hes-not-capable-trump-has-achieved-nothing-tucker-carlson-says/?utm_term=.90c5954b1140

  16. 16
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Everyone reacts as if my proposal in #7 would only protect conservative speech. No, it would protect all speech from threats or violence. If you want to go out and march for the elimination of all FF passenger vehicles you have the right to do so without being threatened, harassed, or made to fear for your life. I don’t have a right to get in your face and yell at you, or to steal your “EVs NOW” hat. What I want are harsh criminal penalties for threats and verbal or physical assaults, etc on people because of political beliefs – actions that would make a normal person fear for their safety or their life. I forgot to add in post #7 that my law would give full immunity from civil or criminal prosecution for those who defend themselves against such threats or verbal/physical assaults. Some portion of such a law could be crafted to protect scientists who work on CC, including those who are deniers of CC, (or anyone else) from other kinds of threats (like being fired, for example) because of their political beliefs.

    Offensive speech and hate speech is what the 1A protects – there is no need to protect speech we all agree with. What I want to protect is your right to speak offensive political views without being harassed, threatened, hit, property stolen or vandalized, etc. Your right to speak offensive political views is already protected by the 1A. I just want to codify into law stiff penalties for violence toward the speaker. And, yelling in someone’s face or threatening them is already assault; touching them or hitting them is already battery. I want a specific felony “hate-crime” for those crimes so that they are more serious – same as all the other existing “hate-crimes”, which, were already crimes before they were designated “hate crimes”.

    If counter protesters want to stay away from protesters, and yell at them from say 50 feet away (put it in my new law), perhaps that is OK during a protest. But once everyone goes home, that should be the end of it. You do not have a right to go in front of someone’s home and yell at them and their families or to try to break in as happened to Tucker Carlson; or to harass them at a restaurant, at work or any other place. If you do: hate crime, felony, minimum 1 year in prison, no exceptions. Reasonable? Yes, if you are so violent that you would do these types of things you need to be locked up. We don’t want you on the streets.

    10 – James
    What should people have done to Hitler? Ignore him and don’t vote for him. If the bad acting starts after he’s elected, use the 2A to take your government back. Oh, that’s right only WE THE PEOPLE have the 2A – and we have it for just such a case. Won’t happen again? Don’t bet on it – world stability is hanging by a thread on many fronts; there is no scenario that is off the table at this point.

  17. 17
    Keith Woollard says:

    BPL@11
    Typical strawman as usual.
    KIA did not say “no one does” He said “people don’t”
    KIA is perfectly accurate, your post is counterfactual

    Full disclosure – I care nothing about internal US politics.

  18. 18
    Peter Backes says:

    Thank you (RC and CSLDF) for all the great work you do in these trying times.

  19. 19
    Al Bundy says:

    Keith W,
    I’m not so sure. Assuming one doesn’t go with the rediculon case – 3 people in tin foil hats are so scared that they suppress their support for Drumpf…

    Naw, folks who adore Drumpf by and large would react to threats with a trip to Assault-Rifles-R-Us. Every analysis I’ve read (based on Drumpf’s astounding loss in 2016, where anti-democracy institutions (electoral college) had to be used to install the loser as president) says that folks hid their decision to hold their nose and vote for an unrepent sex-offender with no ethics nor morals because they were ashamed of their decision to vote for the Antichrist.

    So, yeah, BPL is technically incorrect and spot on.

  20. 20
    Gail says:

    What sort of “invasive” requests for openness are you referring to ?

  21. 21
    David York says:

    KIA’s comments are just the same-old right-wing whining. And have NOTHING to do with the subject, which is the harassment of scientists which is carried out by the people he is defending. I find this site refreshing because I can get real science here and not a bunch of political bullshit. Trump and the Republicans are obviously anti-science, and if their ignorant supporters like KIA are allowed to manipulate and dominate the conversation, I will be spending my time elsewhere.

  22. 22

    KW 17, Your distinction is irrelevant. He said “People don’t.” I countered that “people do.” KIA is not perfectly accurate at all, he is complaining that right-wing speech is being suppressed in a country where right-wing speech dominates the landscape. Grow up.

  23. 23

    #17, KW–

    If you’re going to nitpick, please be accurate. Barton is at least as correct as KIA; people do, in fact, do all of those things, just as he said. Unless, of course, you have some alternate theory about the ontological status of MAGA fans?

    (Natural language–not known for precision.)

  24. 24
    Steven Sullivan says:

    Your crocodile tears don’t fool anyone , Mr. KIA. Shame on you for trying to co-opt this post, which is about protecting scientists from right-wing ideologues like you and paid-for media hacks like Hannity and Carlson.

  25. 25
    nigelj says:

    KIA @16, I’m responding because you are being more general and less partisan.

    We already have adequate laws against assault, inciting violence and causing a public nuisance. If theres a problem (and I agree there sometimes is) its more with poor enforcement and sentencing, lack of crime prevention strategies, rehabilitation, etc.

    I don’t think its feasible to have laws against name calling. Waste of police time and impossible to come up with a sensible list because people will just invent ever changing names. I don’t like name calling and try to refrain from it, but it’s more appropriate to leave it up to website moderation policy than the justice system.

    The law can only do so much to protect idiots from themselves. If people want to be racist, mysogenist, unpleasant, anti science, cruel, and dump all over the environment they are going to get a reaction that may spill over into in your face verbal harassment and protest demonstrations. It perhaps shouldn’t, but it does. Don’t beg for trouble.

  26. 26
    Steven Sullivan says:

    Mr. KIA wishes upon a star: “What I want are harsh criminal penalties for threats and verbal or physical assaults, etc on people because of political beliefs – actions that would make a normal person fear for their safety or their life.”

    On the plus side, that would make a certain rabble-rousing President liable to prosecution for his past incitements to violence against critics and journalists attending his rallies.

  27. 27
    Steven Sullivan says:

    Woolard @17

    If “people don’t” do those things, it’s not necessarily because they feel threatened with *violence* or *harassment* as KIA wants you to believe. Disapproval, the ‘threat’ of social awkwardness, or even shame, can be plenty powerful enough all by itself.

    KIA is trying to hijack this discussion, which is not about the plight of the frightened, oppressed, silenced #MAGA hat wearer (if you aren’t American, you may not get the extreme absurdity of that image).

    It’s about scientists protecting themselves against actual disinformation and harassment campaigns. You perhaps have not heard, given your disinterest in ‘internal US politics’: the latest disinformation trope among the Republicans is that climate scientists are just *in it for the money*, which of course gives them a new harassment tack to pursue.

  28. 28
    Jeremy Grimm says:

    I was surprised to see this post because I was under the impression climate change had become a widely accepted fact of life. Even without the studies and findings of the scientific community a little memory about recent past climate — as in a decade or two ago — should inform even the most ignorant of denialists. I believe their further denials reflect a different problem than lack of understanding or an honest disagreement regarding the facts. I thought the next step in the Corporate response to climate change [I prefer to call it Climate Chaos] would be to start pushing various “Market”-based approaches to making failed efforts at bringing down CO2 emissions while — more the point — deriving a new source of profits from the disaster. But from the tenor of this post I suppose the legal industry has determined to get some measure of the profits by attacking the messengers for unhappy news about the climate. I have no idea what motivates the bitter agressions of the free lance trolls. Perhaps that aggression was always there but now has another target … the scientific community.

  29. 29
    Keith Woollard says:

    You guys certainly have trouble understanding when a mistake is made. It seems on this forum that if someone disagrees with the the consensus then everything they say is wrong.
    KIA put a comment up. Much was subjective and I disagreed with it. Other people also disagreed and explained why – that is all good. But BPL (a professional published writer) misrepresented what KIA wrote and used that misrepresentation to negate all further points made by KIA. That is classic strawman I cannot see how any one of you can disagree.

    Have a look at Kevin@23’s response…. this is truly bizarre. We aren’t taking about percentages of people or who is more right. KIA made a statement, BPL said he was wrong. BPL was wrong
    KIA might well be trying to hijack the discussion Steven@27 – deal with that, don’t complain to me because I pointed out a clear logical error.

    And finally to BPL@22. No – you are wrong again. You didn’t counter with “people do” You countered with “Your whole post is counterfactual”

  30. 30
    Marco says:

    Gail @20:
    consider all the requests for e-mails to be released. That’s invasive, intrusive, and clearly meant to harass (see the repeated distortion of such e-mails in the climategate case).

  31. 31
    jb says:

    Gavin, this is a really important thread and is deserving of a clean comment section discussing only the relevant issues. KIA tried to hijack the thread with his nonsense and unfortunately it appears that he succeeded. He is way off topic and you should banish him to the borehole. You should probably throw all of the posts that respond to his post into the borehole as well (including this one – I don’t think anybody who responded to him would mind.)

  32. 32

    JG, #28–

    I was under the impression climate change had become a widely accepted fact of life.

    Well, it has, and I think increasingly so in the last couple of years here in the US, which, though not the most ‘skeptical’ nation about climate change, is nonetheless the epicenter of the denial industry. Most Americans, according to polling, do recognize that climate change is happening, and I think that a majority agree that it’s at least partially anthropogenic.

    But we are coming up against natural language again; “widely” doesn’t necessary mean “overwhelmingly.” And as opposition to the recognition of reality has narrowed, it has also deepened and hardened.

    I believe their further denials reflect a different problem than lack of understanding or an honest disagreement regarding the facts.

    Quite so. I alluded to the existence of what I call a “denial industry,” the entire purpose of which is to push political ideas furthering the economic interests of a class of oligarchs represented by, but not necessarily limited to, the Koch donor network. This effort began in the 1980s–for example, the decision by Exxon to suppress their own knowledge of climate change–and continues unabated to this day, growing, in fact, in power and political reach. (It has now almost entirely suborned the Republican party and its associated organizations.)

    It sounds crazy, perhaps, but the facts are in considerable part on the public record. For example, I wrote this review of James Hoggan’s Climate Coverup back in 2009:

    https://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Cover-Up-A-Review

    But an even better and more comprehensive book on the topic–covering not just straight climate denial, but also the legal and ideological innovations of the denial industry, including the development and nurture of the legal infrastructure of the infamous “Citizens United” decision, for example–has won the Pulitzer Prize. It’s Jane Meyer’s Dark Money, and although it is extremely uncomfortable reading–no fault of her prose; it’s a matter of content–it is more than worthwhile if you want to understand America’s current political/epistemological nightmare.

    https://www.amazon.com/dark-money/s?page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adark%20money

    Put plainly, Trumpism is not an unaccountable fluke; it is a product. (Though to be fair, one with unintended features; the Koch’s guy in the White House is not primarily Trump himself, but Mike Pence.)

    Like all enterprises involving a significant sales effort, the folks pushing climate denial know that making a sale isn’t primarily a matter of rationality. If your mark–sorry, “customer”–can be induced to really want what you are selling, then you don’t need to supply much in the way of rationalization for the purchase; he will do most of that work himself.

    And the denialati have a natural advantage, in that the status quo is familiar and therefore by default perception ‘safe’, while the recognition of climate reality is uncomfortable in multiple dimensions–scary, unsettling, and challenging settled assumption about one’s own moral rectitude and lifestyle.

    What they’ve primarily succeeded at, IMO, is tying denialism to the human desires for 1) superiority, and 2) belonging. Thus the extreme polarization in the US of views about climate along political lines–such a striking feature in the poll data on the topic. It’s become part of a subculture which sees an enlightened ‘commonsensical’ “us” who just wants a good life and a strong economy, versus a delusional, effete “them” who have been bamboozled by an ideological scientific elite, probably in service to political engineers who want to revive socialism from the dust bin of history and impose a New World Order in which all traditional social norms are thrown aside, from economic structure right on down to religious belief and gender norms.

    Inside it’s normal, safe, and affirming of self; outside, it’s a nightmare world of deviance, illusion, and in some cases even a threat to the well-being of one’s eternal soul.

    Perhaps that aggression was always there but now has another target … the scientific community.

    Exactly–though not exclusively: cf., Trump’s “enemy of the people.”

    I linked my “Green Fascism” article above in this thread, and it describes some pretty appalling hate incidents (though thankfully none rise above the level of vandalism and/or threat to the actual exercise of personal violence.) Those incidents are pretty clearly (IMO) comprehensible only as a ‘re-targeting’ of pre-existing aggressive urges.

  33. 33
    Mal Adapted says:

    Jeremy Grimm:

    I thought the next step in the Corporate response to climate change [I prefer to call it Climate Chaos] would be to start pushing various “Market”-based approaches to making failed efforts at bringing down CO2 emissions while — more the point — deriving a new source of profits from the disaster.

    I agree with much of your comment, Mr. Grimm, but let us not throw the market baby out with the corporate-profit bathwater. Some pragmatic climate scientist-activists (notably James Hansen, Katharine Hayhoe and Sylvia Earle) support an explicitly market-based approach, namely a revenue-neutral US Carbon Fee and Dividend with Border Adjustment Tariff.

    Some fossil fuel producers and investors have announced support for some form of CF&D, but want, for example, repeal of the Clean Power Act and immunity from climate-change lawsuits. As we would expect, they’re pursuing every means available to maintain their profits, or at least salvage some of their assets.

    Any further discussion should occur on the Forced Responses thread.

  34. 34
    Carbomontanus says:

    Well, it is advices on how to live a doubble life and be a schizophrene personality, on / and off duty.

    It is the dictatorship of the proletariat and the official, soviet and DDR state religion.

    It is religious war against the cocerned scientist, and against Kekyle & al who dreamt of his fameous cycle in bed at night, and then sood up and screamed: “EVREKA!”.

    And against Archimedes who had filled too much water in his private bathtub, thus stood up and screamed the same, and then run naked through town to his Office…

    It is systematic racisms against most kinds of proper Scientific and artistic work & activities.

  35. 35
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @32, this article may be of interest on how climate science has become so politically tribal, and thus rigidly fixed:

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/7/6/17540154/scott-pruitt-resigns-epa-republicans-environmentalism

  36. 36
    Mr. Know It All says:

    13 – nigelj and 24 – Steven
    In post 16, I proposed including protection for CC scientists. I’m sure CC scientists could propose some decent protections.

    24, 27 – Steven; and 31 – jb,
    I had no intention of co-opting or hijacking the discussion; and I didn’t – I just made a couple of simple posts – and many others had a melt-down (appropriate for a CC website I suppose) – so those who had melt-downs are the ones cluttering the thread! I was just pointing out that harassment is occurring to others, in addition to CC scientists. In post 16, I recommended an anti-harassment law include protection for CC scientists. For political speech, my initial idea was protection against actual assault and/or battery; for CC scientists it would include other forms of harassment; but both types of protection would apply to everyone. Is that a problem?

    4 Kevin
    “(Probably the most egregious example of waste in this respect was the persecution of Dr. Mann by the execrable former AG of Virginia, in which taxpayers were footing *both* sides of a multimillion-dollar tab, with no possible benefit to the public purse whatever.)”

    All I know about that is what I read in the first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_Virginia%27s_climate_science_investigation

    Based on that article, my view is that if the research is funded by government, then it should be made available to the public, unless there are national security issues, and some info about satellites, etc may be national security issues. If everyone on the research project knew when they started that it would be public, a HUGE deal could be made about using research email addresses ONLY for research communications, no jokes, no company picnic emails, no personal data such as phone numbers/addresses/SS #s/DOB/spouse or children names/etc/etc, no vacation emails, blah, blah. Should not be a big deal. They could have specific emails for each project, or, perhaps one other email address for all “non-research” email. Reasonable? In any kind of lawsuit, if you are working for the government, or even private business, your emails/work can be subpoenaed. It’s done routinely.

    5 – Tom
    “I think this line says volumes: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” —George Orwell”

    I agree. Thank you for that reminder. Who is probably the most hated man on earth today; and easily the most hated in the USA? That’s right, DJT, a man with orange hair who speaks painful truth.

    11, 22 – BPL
    I should have been more precise in my wording and said something like: “There is a reason very few people:”
    You say in 22 that right wing speech dominates the landscape. How do you figure that, when the left dominates: movies, TV shows, most TV news, newspapers, most journalists, Universities, Public Schools, Unions, most social media, most urban governments, many churches, most street protests, etc. ;)

  37. 37

    KIA, #4–

    Research is inherently “public” by default, in that papers are supposed to be sufficiently descriptive of their research methods that replication of the work by a peer is possible. And in fact, there was nothing covert or hidden about Mann’s work; for example, it has been obsessively ‘audited’ by a certain moderately well-known skeptic, as well as replicated, cross-checked and extended by numerous researchers since.

    But Cuccinelli wasn’t after research methods; he wanted to troll through every last record, every last email, in search of anything that would prove a non-existent conspiracy. It was an ideologically-driven witch hunt not only in the absence of evidence, but actually flying in the face of it: the justification provided was that since Mann’s ‘hockey-stick’ papers with Bradley and Hughes had been alleged to be fraudulent, therefore *subsequent* work done by Mann at UVA must automatically be suspect. Never mind that the allegations had already been investigated and found baseless!

    Now, in a reasonable world, one would not have to be obsessive about separating work and personal emails. One would be able, for instance, to write a paragraph about calibrating tree-ring data correctly, and to conclude with greetings to a colleague’s family, if one happened to be on such social terms with that colleague. Or, for that matter, make snarky comments about what one takes to be ill-founded criticism. It’s called ‘being human.’

    But we don’t live in a reasonable world; we live in a world where Ken Cuccinellis can waste millions of taxpayer dollars and large amounts of otherwise productive time at the behest of fossil fuel interests–and be applauded by all too many for doing so, because they have already determined on political/tribal grounds that he ‘must be’ right.

    Speaking of which, you ask:

    How do you figure that [right wing speech dominates the landscape], when the left dominates: movies, TV shows, most TV news, newspapers, most journalists, Universities, Public Schools, Unions, most social media, most urban governments, many churches, most street protests, etc.

    I can’t speak for BPL, of course, but I don’t perceive that that is the case. There is ample presence of ‘right-wing thought’ in all those venues, yes, even including urban governments. It may be less evident to you, because for you right-wing thought is normative.

    Most popular media tries to avoid politics as much as possible, because it’s not ‘good box office.’ It often settles on uneasy compromises. For instance, consider the prevalence of dramas (TV or movie) celebrating “law and order”–essentially, glorifying the use and necessity of force, often lethal, to protect “us” from villains very often represented as little more than cartoons of humanity. Holy Richard Nixon, Batman! (But it’s not that ‘offensive’ to lefties, either, who are no more supportive of murder, rape, theft, or arson than are their rightie friends, neighbors and family.)

    But then they’ll insert plot points that show the heroic cops/firefighters/DAs/PIs serving the interests of minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ people, or maybe single moms or their kids, perhaps in defiance of a powerful politician or businessperson. Surprise, surprise! Something for everyone. (But it’s not that ‘offensive’ to righties, either, who are susceptible to human sympathy for attractively-presented underdogs, just as are their leftie friends, neighbors and family.)

    No, if you want real ‘left’ perspective, you must search out alternative media, say, “Democracy Now!”

    https://www.democracynow.org/

    Now, those are folks who know how to be ‘inconvenient’:

    https://www.democracynow.org/2018/12/12/trumps_energy_adviser_runs_away_when

    How ’bout that Wells Griffith and his commitment to openness, honesty and transparency?

  38. 38

    Chill, KIA & Carbomontanus.

    Why send anyone to the borehole for reducation when the Katowice Press will gladly preoccupy them 24-7 as chapter editors for the new soycloth-bound edition of:

    Exposition of the Programme of the Silesian Intersectional Climatist Party for the Improvement of Ideological Activity, Raising the General Level of Scientific Knowledge of the Masses, Grounding Societal Relations on the Principles of Communitarian Ethics and the Structural Equality of Cis, Trans, and Other-symmetried Greenhouse Gas Molecules Encountered on the Path to Isothermal Development.

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