The harassment faced by U.S.-based climate scientists has been well documented in the media—but not the harassment of scientists in Europe, Canada or the rest of the world.
That’s because there hasn’t been much to report.
While outspoken scientists of human-caused climate change in the United States endure torrents of freedom of information requests, hate mail and even death threats from skeptics, their counterparts abroad have been free to do their work without fear.
Jochem Marotzke, managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorologyin Hamburg, said there is “no systematic attempt by a political camp” to target climate scientists in Germany. “I get the odd critical email from a skeptic, but would not classify anything as personally aggressive,” said Marotzke. “Very different from the U.S. scene.”
“I feel for my American colleagues and what they’ve had to deal with,” said
Tim Lenton, an earth system scientist who specializes in climate tipping points at the University of Exeter in the UK. Lenton said he has never had to fend off skeptic attacks against his work or his integrity. “British scientists aren’t immune to attacks, but it is a very different level than compared to what is happening in the U.S.”
InsideClimate News contacted scientists working on climate change in Europe, Canada and Japan and learned that virtually everyone believes that the harassment is specific to the United States. They said that it could have long-term consequences for public understanding of global warming.
“The harassment has an intimidating effect—especially on young scientists,” saidStefan Rahmstorf, head of earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Rahmstorf said that watching colleagues be harassed often deters them from speaking to media or the public about their research, which skews the debate.
I can remember being called a “stupid liberal hippy piece of shit” even in the 90’s because I accepted that climate change was being caused by human activities.
It amazes me how far this kind of cliquish behavior can influence public opinion on something backed by sound evidence.