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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 251 to 300 out of 327:

  1. Miriam O'Brien, Victoria, Australia.
    0 0
  2. Dr Richard Milne, Edinburgh
    0 0
  3. Stephan Reed
    Long Beach CA
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  4. When I find myself asking "Why bother?", sooner or later some of Gandhi's words come back. Something along the lines of:

    Almost everything you do may seem insignificant,
    but it is IMPERATIVE that you do it as well as you can.

    Chin up! And that goes out to all of us.
    Mark E, USA
    0 0
  5. Robert Evans
    Boulder, Colorado USA
    0 0
  6. Sent by email.
    0 0
  7. Gary Kunkel, Utah, USA
    0 0
  8. James Lawrence Powell, USA
    0 0
  9. Martin Mathers, Scotland
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  10. It is shameful that this abuse is so extreme and has gone on so long; all as the result of the unsolved crime of stolen emails. I hope you feel the support of your many friends who appreciate your scientific expertise.

    Jon Parker
    Houston, Texas
    0 0
  11. It's a sad world where you have to thank people for doing there job, but here it is : thank you a lot.
    Herwig Regelbrugge, Belgium
    0 0
  12. Long time reader (and learner) here and had to register to show support. Let us hope the increasingly desperate talk from the deniers shows they realise that the end game has arrived for them. No one should have to receive the sort of stuff Professor Jones has so I totally support this show of support for him. Mike Doyle, London
    0 0
  13. Phil,

    I regard you as an honest and brave scientist.
    My children will learn to take you as a role model.
    Their children and those of the fake skeptics will be inspired by your great contributions to the survival of civilization.

    Keep up the good work.

    There are many of us who will stand up for dealing with reality rather than preserving personal interest.

    Thank you for all you do!

    Bill Rumbley
    0 0
  14. Posting on my facebook page. You have gone through hell because of ideological thuggery. I know scientists aren't perfect and science isn't perfect, yet you should never have been subjected to the hostility and paranoid delusions of these people. Your have my sympathy and support, and what you have gone through has strengthened my resolve to do what I can to get the facts as we know them out to the public
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  15. AH.
    Tony Duncan, Vt, USA
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  16. Patricia Hughes, NSW Australia
    0 0
  17. John Donovan, Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  18. I remember Jones' interview on the darkness he felt following the rotten attacks on him. It made me sad and angry for him. There are now 6 pages of signers here and no doubt a number of emails. This is heartening.

    Email sent, full support.
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  19. Keep going,your work is invaluable.
    Ann Owen, Wales, UK
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  20. Phil,
    Your work protects my children. Thank you.
    John Stewart
    Sydney Australia.
    0 0
  21. Catamon: Perth Western Australia

    Hang in. There are many who will abuse, but more who will support you. Thanx for your work.
    0 0
  22. Kirrilee Loudon, ACT, Australia
    0 0
  23. David du Toit

    Pretoria, South Africa
    0 0
  24. Joakim Larson, Stockholm Sweden
    0 0
  25. Jim Prall, Toronto, Canada
    Keep your chin up. The crazies on the internet are not the ones who will decide our collective response to this enormous challenge.
    0 0
  26. Susan Allen, Canada
    0 0
  27. Excellent Letter, pleas add my name.

    David V. Cruz-Uribe, SFO
    Trinity College,
    Hartford, CT, USA
    0 0
  28. Phil Jones: Keep up the good work.
    0 0
  29. Nick Palmer

    Jersey, Channel Islands
    0 0
  30. Chris Golledge
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  31. Wondering how many of these get included in FOI act requests, or were part of the archives stolen from CRU.

    I've seen people claim that there are no threats against climate scientists; that seems just as delusional as the denier claims in general.

    I've said before, people have a tendency to go a bit crazy when threatened, and a changing climate is very threatening. Researchers should indeed put some effort into watching their backs. It is not rational, but there exist many who would kill the messenger.
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  32. Dustin Carey, Canada
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  33. Added my name via email
    0 0
  34. Hear, hear, hear!

    Timothy S. Hanes
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    0 0
  35. Peter Strand Rumpel Calgary Alberta- Just a little south of the Tar Sands...
    0 0
  36. Jason Wood, Canada
    0 0
  37. Jay Kamins, United States
    0 0
  38. Rob Eales
    Melbourne, Victoria
    0 0
  39. Mark Bigland-Pritchard, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
    0 0
  40. I regard you guys as heroes already.

    Don Miller, New Zealand.
    0 0
  41. Malcolm Croft
    New Zealand
    0 0
  42. Larry Lazar, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
    0 0
  43. Simon Peatman
    Norwich, UK
    (PhD student at UEA)
    0 0
  44. Anthony David
    (PhD student RSES, ANU)
    0 0
  45. Peter Watson, UK
    0 0
  46. dave souza, UK
    0 0
  47. D. Bruce Turton, Edberg, AB, Canada.
    Pity we need to take such cowards so seriously insofar as physically threatening, but never admit any intelligence to them.
    0 0
  48. I am deeply grateful for your courage and your work.
    Garry Shilson-Josling.
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
    0 0
  49. Taylor Fleet, Virginia, USA
    0 0
  50. Llewellyn Reese, USA
    0 0

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