After Death Threats to Climate Researchers, Australian Universities Take Tough Protection Measures
In Australia, the climate for climate-science researchers has deteriorated to an alarming state.
At least a dozen university climate scientists have in recent months received messages threatening death or violence against themselves and, in some cases, their families. The threats—which came as Australian lawmakers prepared to debate imposing carbon taxes in an effort to discourage the emission of climate-altering greenhouse gases—appear considerably more serious than those against researchers at American universities, and Australian authorities have reacted accordingly.
Scientists at several Australian universities have been moved to secure buildings after security personnel concluded the threats were credible enough to warrant heightened protection. Their names have been removed from telephone and online directories, as well as from signs outside their office doors. They reportedly can meet only students and visitors who have made appointments, shown photo identification to security guards on the premises, and been escorted through the building door to door.
Australian National University "takes the safety and well-being of staff very seriously," Vice Chancellor Ian Young said in a written statement, adding that climate research had become "an emotive issue" recently. "It's completely intolerable that people be subjected to threats like this."...