As Australian lawmakers debate a national carbon tax, some of the country’s leading climate researchers have been moved to secure locations after receiving threats of physical violence and death.
The Australian National University in Canberra, along with universities in Queensland and New South Wales, are tightening security for scientists who study climate change, the Guardian newspaper reports. Scientists are being moved to high-security buildings in which their names do not appear on staff directories or office doors.Researchers have received a reported stream of emails threatening violence, sexual assault and even attacks on their children, according to the Canberra Times. ANU’s vice chancellor said some researchers have been threatened with assault if they were spotted in the street.
The recipient of one such threat co-authored a recently published report for Australia’s Climate Commission. The report calls for “urgent action to avoid sea level rises of a meter or more over the course of the next century,” the Guardian says.
Another scientist reportedly received threats of violence against her children after her picture appeared in a newspaper story about a community tree planting day, which was promoted as a way to mitigate climate change, the Canberra Times says.