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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 201 to 250 out of 327:

  1. Dave Finnigan, USA
    0 0
  2. Philip Cohen, USA

    I registered just so I could show my support for Dr. Jones against the {snip} among the deniers.

    I also donated $AU50 to Skeptical Science while I was at it. This is the best climate sanity site on the Net.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [GT] Philip, thanks very much for the support and the donation. Just watch the language a bit, that's sort of the point
  3. Jeff Cobb, Cincinnati, oh
    0 0
  4. Mel Holloway Montana, USA
    0 0
  5. John L. Clark, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    0 0
  6. Tony Dunlop Warkworth New Zealand
    0 0
  7. Rick McIntire, Oregon, USA
    0 0
  8. Bill Doyle, Adelaide, Australia
    0 0
  9. Craig Miller, Brisbane, Australia
    0 0
  10. Keep it up. Science has never lost one of these fights. It has always been shown to be right in the end. Facts after all are facts.
    0 0
  11. Christophe Danheux, USA
    0 0
  12. Mark Pearce, New Zealand
    0 0
  13. Kevin Ball

    Perth, Western Australia
    0 0
  14. don't let the bastards get to you ... thanks for the hard work.

    steve ludlum

    steve from virginia
    0 0
  15. Thank you for your work! Joyce Lanning, US
    0 0
  16. Erik Ostrom, USA
    0 0
  17. Deborah Danowski, Brazil
    0 0
  18. Keep up your excellent work. We and the world need you!

    WM Leung, Hong Kong, China
    0 0
  19. Lindsay Bussau, Australia.
    0 0
  20. Keep up the good work Prof Jones.
    John Rogers, Sydney, Australia
    0 0
  21. Thanks. And don't let the bar stewards get you down.

    Paul Byard, Australia
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  22. Dear Dr. Jones,

    It is truly saddening that you have to be the recipient of such vile hatred. I am also aware that you are not alone in getting these kinds of disgusting messages.

    Please know that you have the unwavering support of millions of good people who empathize with your situation. I have spent years studying the moral implications of anthropogenic global warming. There is NO coherent moral system that can condone doing nothing about global warming.

    Even the most laissez faire of attitudes would demand that all engage in at least an absolute minimum of no regrets actions. Regardless of what such venom indicates about those who engage in these threats, we can do well to accept our own part in the dilemma. To have people who are so frightened by our desire to do the right thing that they fight even the most modest soultions indicates that WE are doing something wrong.

    There are those of us who are trained and willing to listen to the fears of those who feel so overwrought at the implications of climate change that their denial becomes toxic vitriol. This rage seeps into their daily lives, making it very painful for those around them to be around them.

    If you are one of the people believing that AGW is a giant conspiracy, please talk to someone. Get help. There are those who have been where you are, and have found recovery. We are ready to listen.
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  23. Oh, yes, I do not wish to be anonymous in this. I am willing to stand with you Dr. Jones.


    Vincent Pawlowski
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    0 0
  24. Phil,

    I just don't understand what possesses some people. That they exist is disturbing. At least we know intellectually, that rational, sane humanity outnumber them.

    For the earth
    For humanity

    UncaDoug (aka Doug350)
    Hayward, CA, USA
    0 0
  25. Donald Broatch, UK
    0 0
  26. Keith Hunter, New Zealand
    0 0
  27. Thank you for your work,

    Markus Hanrath
    Hessen Germany
    0 0
  28. Pierre-Normand Houle
    Montreal, Canada
    0 0
  29. Anders Emretsson, Sweden
    0 0
  30. Leigh Thompson Australia
    0 0
  31. The campaign against climate scientists is an attack on science and all that it represents: knowledge and reason. It must not be allowed to succeed.

    Mike Korsch, Australia
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  32. Sky McCain UK
    0 0
  33. Larry Pryor, USA
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  34. As Duke Ellington used to say:
    " I will not let them tear down my magnificent personality "

    Ignore the fools and cowards Dr Jones.
    0 0
  35. Dear Dr Jones,

    I am sorry that you have been the centre of a politically and industrially motivated storm resulting in such dreadful emails. Ever since your own emails were hacked I have wanted to say how appalled I was that you have been hauled over the coals – it should never have happened to the extent that it did. While it has been reassuring to know that your work is sound and that you have been exonerated, the personal cost to you must have been horrendous. You have my utmost respect for bearing this burden in the name of objective scientific research.

    James Pavitt (UK)
    0 0
  36. We all stand beside you Phil, with every new day, comes new strength.
    John Wilby, Australia.
    0 0
  37. Bruce Cooke, Australia
    0 0
  38. Yvan Dutil, Québec, Qc, Canada
    0 0
  39. Kristof Vandoorne, Belgium
    0 0
  40. Adrian O'Hara
    0 0
  41. Jeremy Dawes - UK
    0 0
  42. Not at all an expert in Latin but I think the title isn't right.
    It should be NOLI not NIL
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [Sph] "Nil" is one of several common, valid slang variations (of which none are truly good Latin). The phrase originated during WW II.
  43. Stefan Meier, Switzerland
    0 0
  44. Shawn Brooks, Toronto
    0 0
  45. Richard G, UK
    0 0
  46. Harriet Shugarman
    0 0
  47. Evan Bush, Kentucky
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  48. Prof. Jones,

    You have the deep respect and gratitude of innumerable people, including mine.
    0 0
  49. Sveinn Atli Gunnarsson

    Reykjavik, Iceland
    0 0
  50. Stewart Longman,
    Calgary, Canada
    0 0

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