“I DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING. THEREFORE I’M GOING TO HURT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.” That sounds like you’ve pretty much given up winning the argument.
It’s desperation time for the climate denialists. We know this. Unfortunately, it’s shoot-the-messenger time — almost literally.
Prominent MIT researcher Kerry Emanuel has been receiving an unprecedented “frenzy of hate” after a video featuring an interview with him was published recently by Climate Desk.
Emails contained “veiled threats against my wife,” and other “tangible threats,” Emanuel, a highly-regarded atmospheric scientist and director of MIT’s Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate program, said in an interview. “They were vile, these emails. They were the kind of emails nobody would like to receive.”
“What was a little bit new about it was dragging family members into it and feeling that my family might be under threat, so naturally I didn’t feel very good about that at all,” Emanuel said. “I thought it was low to drag somebody’s spouse into arguments like this.”
Climate Desk has seen a sample of the emails and can confirm they are laced with menacing language and expletives, and contain personal threats of violence.
Emanuel began receiving emails “almost immediately” after the video was posted on Jan. 5, and the volume peaked at four or five emails a day. The threats have now petered off.
Threats are nothing new in the world of climate science.
But Emanuel was surprised by the viciousness of the emails. “I think most of my colleagues and I have received a fair bit of email here and there that you might classify as ‘hate mail,’ but nothing like what I’ve got in the last few days.”
“This was a little more orchestrated this time,” he said.
There are times when it becomes dangerous simply to assert that two plus two equals four, to tell the truth as you see it, to state simply what’s in front of one’s nose.