The FBI is investigating death threats against two climate scientists since their stolen e-mails were leaked in the U.K. Climatic Research Unit hacking incident, the U.K. Guardian reports.  Tom Wigley, former Director of CRU and now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, told the Guardian the abusive and threatening messages he and other scientists have received “are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against.”

Rick Piltz note:
I have been told by one of the leading scientists about an ominous threat made against him since his name has been associated with the stolen e-mails.  This whole CRU e-mail incident seems to have become one more instance of a growing toxicity in our politics and culture that brings out an element that appears to have taken leave of rationality and civilized discourse.

The U.K. Guardian reported on December 8 (excerpt; full article is ):

Hacked email climate scientists receive death threats

CRU scientists receive torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails since leaks that began in mid-November 2009

Kate Ravilious for environmentalresearchweb, part of the Guardian Environment Network, Tuesday 8 December 2009 09.28 GMT

…No further information can be revealed about these particular threats at present because they are currently under investigation with the FBI in the United States.

Many other CRU scientists and their colleagues have received torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails since the leaks first began in mid-November 2009. Tom Wigley, previous Director of CRU and now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, US, has been horrified by the e-mails he and other colleagues have received. “They are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against,” he told environmentalresearchweb….

The scientists involved are confident that they can counter all of the claims against them. “None of it affects the science one iota,” said Wigley. “Accusations of data distortion or faking are baseless…In particular Wigley vigorously denies that any data was ever destroyed. “We did not destroy any primary records,” he said. “All these data came from National Meteorological Services, and the originals are still there for anyone to access. Indeed other groups such as GISS [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies] and NOAA [U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] have independently accessed these data and independently reproduced our results….”

“We must continue to do the science,” said Wigley. “As time goes by the evidence mounts – it is already overwhelming – and we must continue to report this through normal channels in peer-reviewed scientific journals. We must continue to strive to understand the complexities of the climate system better and to improve climate models so that we better know how to respond to future climate changes.”

But Wigley fears that time may be running out. “As time goes by, however, we are approaching the point where any actions we might take will be inadequate to protect humanity and the planet from dangerous climate change,” he said. “Those people – the hackers, the sceptics, the luddite bloggers – who are hindering and slowing down the process of response will, I hope, eventually be held accountable. They already have much to answer for.”

See our earlier posts:
Rep. Sensenbrenner projects ‘fascism’ and ‘fraud’ onto scientists, is rebutted at hearing

Ben Santer: Open letter to the climate science community

Phil Jones and Ben Santer respond to CEI and Pat Michaels attack on temperature data record

Open Letter to Congress from U.S. Scientists on Climate Change and Recently Stolen Emails

IPCC statement on stolen emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia