Intimidation Campaign Continues – Climate Scientist Targeted Again

January 4, 2012

The right wing campaign of fear, surveillance and intimidation  against scientists and academics continues.

I’ve reported on the coordinated national campaign of right wing “think” tanks subverting the Freedom of Information act to surveil the correspondence and intimidate those engaged in what the tea party right considers dangerous and un-american practices – research, thought and speech.

A number of viewers were struck by the perfectly-gelled-and-almost-perfectly-tanned “think” tank flack and Fox News misinformer, Chris Horner, from this week’s video.  Mr. Horner, working with the far right wing “American Traditions Institute”, is now seeking to bully climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katherine Hayhoe. 

American Traditions Institute

WASHINGTON — American Tradition Institute, a non-profit research institute dedicated to restoring science, liberty and accountability to the environmental debate, filed on Dec. 10 a Public Information Act request with Texas Tech University relating to collaboration on a book, using public time and resources, between “climate” activist Professor Katharine Hayhoe and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

Texas Tech was to produce responsive records by early last week. To date, ATI has not received a response.

“This is a matter of significant public interest, as Mr. Gingrich’s views and past activism on the ‘climate’ issue receive scrutiny by voters seeking to assess his judgment and compatibility with their views,” said Chris Horner, ATI’s Senior Director of Litigation.

Hayhoe, who preaches that human activity is destroying the climate and that Christian stewardship compels acceptance of the ‘climate’ agenda, had been publicly identified as a contributor to Gingrich’s forthcoming book “Environmental Entrepreneurs.” Hayhoe had gained notoriety for urging evangelical Christians into supporting the controversial, costly and according to all computer models, climatically meaningless ‘climate’ agenda. News outlets now report that Gingrich, under fire for his left-of-center views on the environment from presidential competitors and Tea Party activists, quickly deep-sixed Hayhoe’s chapter last week.

“Nice to hear that Gingrich is tossing my #climate chapter in the trash. 100+ unpaid hrs I cd’ve spent playing w my baby,” Hayhoe posted on her Twitter account Dec. 30.

ATI requested all emails to or from any Texas Tech email account used by Hayhoe (including as “cc”,) and either or both Gingrich and his co-author Terry Maple.

ATI also requested all emails sent or received by Hayhoe citing or referring to one or more of the following: Newt Gingrich (or “Newt” or “Gingrich”), Terry Maple (or “Terry”, or “Maple”), American Solutions (including in the email address/domain), and/or “Environmental Entrepreneurs”.


Mr Horner is also attempting to use the same tactic to surveil the correspondence of Climate Scientist Michael Mann, formerly of the University of Virginia.  A similar initiate,  by another tobacco and oil funded “think” tank, Michigan’s Mackinac Center, sought to obtain any emails containing, among other things, references to MSNBC newser Rachel Maddow.

The intent again is clear. Climate science data is public for anyone to examine. The intent here is not to illuminate – it is to intimidate, surveil, and turn the Freedom of Information act, meant to be a means to shed sunlight on the dark corners of government and bureaucracy, into a new tool of surveillance and oppression, to silence free speech, and curtail thought at academic institutions across the country.

18 Responses to “Intimidation Campaign Continues – Climate Scientist Targeted Again”

  1. Peter Mizla Says:

    this kind of intimidation to ‘protect’ an ‘ideology’- Capitalism is looking more like that of what was used an another right wing extremist state in Europe from 1933- 1945.

  2. Ummm…. scientists/researchers don’t generally punch time-clocks. If they did, then they’d end up burning up all of their grant money on overtime. (Note to deniers: Grants generally pay for 40 hours of salary per week, even when the scientist who is wallowing in all that easy cash works 60, 80, or even more hours per week).

    While your typical climate denier is getting drunk in front of the TV watching Monday Night Football, your typical Mann/Hansen/Dessler/Hayhoe/etc. climate-scientist will be more likely found in the lab, at the library, or pecking away on his/her laptop at home trying to get the last revision of that paper out the door…

    Come to think of it…. this is probably the main reason for those not-so-nice emails in the first climategate dump. Scientists with more work than they have time for were suddenly expected to burn up even more unpaid hours catering to the whims of incompetent jerks who were filing FOI requests simply to waste the scientists’ time. It’s not like scientists can say to their sponsors, “Sorry about not getting the research done; I had to burn up all of your grant money dealing with denier FOI demands”.

    My advice to Mrs. Hayhoe (and other climate scientists)– start documenting all of your after-hours/weekend time that you spend on your job.

    And let me point out once again that the deniers who wasted so much of Phil Jones’ time with their FOI demands haven’t done a darned thing with the raw data that Jones and the CRU released for them *nearly six months ago*.

  3. “Preaches” is the key word

  4. ozonator Says:

    Unable to sue themselves, extremist Republican and Christian master meteorologists failed to predict, warn, and then report the following as a sign of their lack of expertise. “Britain battered by storms, two dead” (by Staff Writers; AFP;, 1/3/12)

  5. […] Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University) who happens to be a Republican and evangelical. She was also targeted by these activists for personal abuse – a tactic often pursued by climate deniers and contrarians. (For a few of the […]

  6. I’m sure Mrs Hayhoe is shivering in fear after all this intimidation. Hasn’t anybody called the FBI yet?

    And I’m sorry for having inspired philip64 in posting twaddle.

  7. […] saputo via stampa che Gingrich aveva cestinato il capitolo per placare l’ira del Tea Party. Climate Crocks ricorda che lei “predica” che l’attività umana sta distruggendo il clima e la […]

  8. Tweetingdonal – if she’s persecuted then so am I (look at the n-th pingback here from the Italian blog of a poor journalist who seemingly blogs only about…me).

    The difference of course is that I don’t preach, and my notoriety is nil, as are my chances of finding sympathetic reporters willing to publish my take on the “persecution” campaign.

  9. Ahr ahr…I’ve been subject of a FOI request already, was asked to confirm it was ok for me to release the correspondence, and of course I’ve said yes.

    Work-wise, I wouldn’t even be asked that. ALL my emails are up for grabs already if the Financial Regulators get interested.

    You’re barking up the wrong tree Peter.

  10. Tweetingdonal – attracting nasty people is a price of notoriety. Surely you’ll agree though there is something wrong when the “nasty people” target the non-notorious?

    I’d be tempted to become famous for the one reason of providing unhinged journalists a.justification for targeting me.

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