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Climate Hustle

Nil Illegitimi Carborundum

Posted on 1 July 2012 by Glenn Tamblyn

We have probably all heard reports of the abuse climate scientists have been subjected to for just doing their job and reporting what they find; the climate blogosphere has generated a very dark underbelly.

Few people have received more vitriol and unjustified abuse than Dr. Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, but until recently few of us knew just how vile the threats and malice had been.  Recently the content of some of these emails was released by the UEA as a .pdf file here (warning, the content contains very crude language, and the sentiments are far, far worse).

Phil Jones: don't let the bastards grind you down

Nobody should have to endure such abuse just because they go to work and do their job! And such extremely personal abuse would take an emotional toll on any of us.

So the Author Team at Skeptical Science would like to offer Phil Jones all the moral and emotional support we can (and all his colleagues who may have experienced similar abuse).  To this end we will shortly be sending Phil a letter of support from all of us here at SkS.

An Invitation to Our Readership

If you want to add your name to this letter, please do so by indicating your willingness by a simple entry in the comments section of this post (your name and country will suffice).  We will send this letter one week after we put this post up; all reader additions up to then will be included.

If you wish to comment under an online pseudonym, we fully understand why you may prefer to do so.  However a real name is more personal.

If you wish to use your real name but maintain online anonymity (reading the contents of the emails to Dr. Jones clearly shows why one might wish to do so) then simply send us an email at info[at] indicating your willingness to add your personal name and country. We will add you personal details to the email then delete from our system any further reference to who you are.

The letter will be sent privately to Dr. Jones and  your email will not be made public.

The text of the letter will be as follows:

Dear Prof. Jones.


Recently the content of some of the abusive and threatening emails you have received over recent times were made available online. They are utterly appalling!

We here among the author and reader community at would like to offer to you, your family and colleagues our whole-hearted, unconditional and sympathetic support.

The language of the emails was very offensive but the intent of them was far, far worse. It is very telling how limited the vocabulary of cowards can be.

It has been reported previously what the emotional toll upon you may have been. Never doubt for a moment that a supportive and protective community of friends who hold you and your colleagues in the highest esteem surrounds you.

Many disciplines in science advance human knowledge; few disciplines of science are trying to make such a profound contribution to actual human wellbeing at this moment in history as climate science.

The threat of climate change is arousing some very primal and often very dark emotional forces. Never doubt that what you and your colleagues are engaged in is valued, deeply and profoundly, today and into the future.  The words of the cowards who have threatened you will vanish into history's dustbin where they belong.

We at Skeptical Science are trying, as best we are able, to bring reasoned analysis to this discussion. We cannot be there when the next hateful letter appears.  But as far as is possible, you have our support - if there is anything we can do, just ask.

Warmth, happiness and gratitude to you, your family and colleagues.

- The team and readership at

 If you have the stomach for it, go back and read what Phil has had to endure. Then add your support with your name.

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 327:

  1. Graham Coghill, Australia
    0 0
  2. Jan van der Heijden, Netherlands
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  3. I am proud to be the first to apparently add my name to this letter.

    Phil, keep up the good work!
    0 0
  4. ... well, third!

    If you need mt name, it is:

    Toby Joyce, Ireland
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  5. Neil Harris, Australia
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  6. e-mail sent.

    Though you could have made this an opt-out. Send a list of everyone ever registered on SkS with the letter except for those who post here saying that they agree with the barbaric vitriol spewed over Jones et al.
    0 0
  7. Phil Scadden, New Zealand
    0 0
  8. Happy to support you Phil.
    0 0
  9. Caroline Barnard, South Africa. Full support and sympathy. I admire your work and the fact that you have managed to keep doing science in the face of a bigoted, ignorant and hateful assault like this.
    0 0
  10. Gavin Cawley, U.K.
    0 0
  11. Arch Kennedy, Australia
    0 0
  12. Susanne Oates, Australia
    0 0
  13. Peter Muldoon, UK
    0 0
  14. Joseph C. Sauer, Indiana, US
    0 0
  15. Supported via email.
    0 0
  16. Charlie Azzolina, USA
    0 0
  17. Alan Clark, UK
    0 0
  18. John McFadgen, New Zealand
    0 0
  19. Johanna Törnwall, Sweden
    0 0
  20. Richard Sanders, Cambridge, England.
    0 0
  21. Roman Polach, Czech republic
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  22. Dr. Jones, until this morning I thought all this zombie apocalypse stuff was utter nonsense. After reading a few of the dreadful emails you have received I now see I was wrong and that it has already happened. It just turns out zombies are slightly more sentient and have slightly better communication skills than are commonly portrayed. At least the fiction writers got one thing right. Zombies do seek out those with brains.

    Ronald Kent, PhD, Rutland, Ma, U.S.A.
    0 0
  23. Mark Ryan, Melbourne, Australia.
    0 0
  24. John Samuel, UK
    0 0
  25. Łukasz Sobala, Poland
    0 0
  26. Your work has been an important staple of my learning since 1988. I appreciate your commitment to excellence, and your will to not be deterred from science.
    0 0
  27. Thiago Sanna Freire Silva, Brazil.
    0 0
  28. We continue to fight the good fight, weighing evidence against money.
    Jonathan Friedman, Arecibo, PR
    0 0
  29. Tom Curtis, Australia.
    0 0
  30. yves fouquart, France
    0 0
  31. Please keep up the great work Dr. Jones. Jon Clark, USA
    0 0
  32. Jim Eager, Canada
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  33. Bob Lacatena, MA, USA
    0 0
  34. Daniel Bailey, MI, USA
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  35. Backing these brave messengers, Phil Jones, Mike Mann, James Hanson et. al. all I can, as well as the memory of Steve Schneider courageous to the last.
    0 0
  36. Andrew Frenette, Canada
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  37. Email sent.
    0 0
  38. Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jones and the other climate warriors.
    Eileen Kinley, Canada
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  39. More unbelievable than Mike Mann's experience, as he described in his latest Climate Wars book. One more proof for the veracity of Mike's story, as he's been working closely with Phil. Those guys deserve all support they are receiving.

    Chris Koziarz, Denistone NSW, Australia
    0 0
  40. Garry Hemming, UK
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  41. Bob Day, USA
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  42. Lou Grinzo, USA.

    (One nano-suggestion -- can we change the wording from "it is so telling" to "it is very telling"? That use of "so" causes a lot of teeth grinding.)
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    Moderator Response: Lou Done. We can't have any teeth being ground.
  43. Roger Albin, USA
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  44. Richard Black, Australia
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  45. Larry Miloshevich, Colorado, USA
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  46. Martin Smith, Norway
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  47. Daniel Zappala, USA
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  48. Tony Bart

    Perth, Western Australia
    0 0
  49. History will regard these guys as heroes.

    Alexandre Lacerda, Brazil
    0 0
  50. Alison George, South Australia
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