David Appell denies he has any class

David Appell, photo from his webpage davidappell.com
Normally, I ignore David Appell who runs a blog called Quark Soup where he spends a good portion of his time hyperbloviating about things that make him upset. A lot of the time, that’s me and the readers of WUWT. I long ago decided he’s just not worth anyone’s serious consideration. The numbers he gets on his blog demonstrate that he just isn’t an effective communicator, which is sad, because his chosen profession is as a science writer. He lists several science magazine publications on his website. My policy to mostly ignore him changed recently with one over the top headline.

Lately Mr. Appell has been hitting WUWT comments with his favorite M.O., which is to write baiting missives and demand attention to his viewpoint, demand we agree with his viewpoint, and when we don’t, to keep pushing the same premise again and again, ignoring what anyone else says about it. Finally when he doesn’t get his way, he’ll run off to his blog and make a blog in the vein of faux outrage, telling the world how terrible we here at WUWT are. He’s done this about half a dozen times. I’m used to it. In fact, I even predicted it in comments. Like I said, normally I ignore him when he posts angry missives on QS, but I’ll make an exception, just this once.

What he did on Friday was a true thinking outside of the box demonstration that not only does he have no class, he has no scruples either; he brought my deceased mother into the debate.

Yep, he made up a headline claiming that I deny the existence of my own mother. How rude. You can read his desperate cry for attention, archived here.

Now I’ve had far worse things said about me (scroll down to corrections), so in this regard, Appell is pretty much an amateur. I’ve been insulted by professionals.

But from my viewpoint, this particular entry crossed a line, and Mr. Appell, who has almost 100 comments here at WUWT going back to 2008, is no longer welcome here. Feel free to disagree with me and this blog all you want, but when you start dragging my family into it, even in some sort of satirical jest, that isn’t something I’ll accept from someone who was a guest in my home on the Internet, nor do I have to. If you were in my physical home when you made that comment, I’d show you the door.

So what got Appell into this over the top frothing? He’s upset that I didn’t take the recent news of death threat claims against climate scientists seriously enough for his taste in his litany of comments on WUWT here.

My position was that I have yet to see any substantiated credible death threats to climate scientists. I’ve seen lots of taunts, I’ve seen some ugly, foul, and hateful language, and I’ve seen lots of news stories talking about these things. I don’t deny they have been covered by the press, but I haven’t seen anything rise to the level of significant concern. More on that in a bit.

* A caveat, I’m probably over-experienced when it comes to death threats. Having spent 25 years in newspaper, TV, and radio newsrooms, I’ve seen dozens. I’ve taken phone calls, I’ve read letters, I’ve seen death threat and hate email that follows when somebody or some organization has been reported on in the news in less than glowing terms. So, one could say that I’m far more experienced with the subject than Mr. Appell is, having direct hands-on experience with the issue.

The recent death threat row started in Canberra Australia in June 2011 over a story about “30 Australian climate scientists get death threats”. The Australian ABC reported on it here:


I read that story when it first came out, initially, I was concerned, but then I saw this ending sentence:

The Australian Federal Police says it is aware of the issue, but there is no investigation underway.

That was a cue for me, because in all the time I’ve been in the media and seen the threats we got, only once did we call the police to investigate. That was the one person dumb enough to sign his name to it. Later, he backed down saying it was a “joke”. We didn’t press charges, as he was just another ranter and TV stations and public figures must endure these things at a higher level of tolerance than the general public.

So when the Australian police didn’t even bother to start an investigation, I wasn’t concerned that there was anything credible there.

Despite that, the story went like wildfire, Googling phrases “climate scientist” and “death threats” yields about 35,000 results. Some of those results are related to previous episodes from Climategate in Dec 2009 where Ben Santer, Tom Wigley and others apparently got some nasty email. Problem is, they didn’t/couldn’t share it. In the ABC article on Wigley, they state,

He is unable to reveal the details of the threats, as they are now being investigated by the FBI and UK police.

Well that sounds credible, but like the Climategate investigation itself, we’ve heard nothing more about it. So it seems to have evaporated as an issue. There’s been no follow-on public announcements about investigations, no arrests from the FBI or other police units. I figure if the FBI took it seriously, we’d have heard more about it. If I’m in error, somebody please leave a note in comments.

So again, we have a lot of excitement and arm waving and angry blog missives about the issue, but no substance in the long term.

That result is pretty much my entire lifetime experience with death threats as a member of the media. Not one person I’ve worked with that has ever gotten a death threat or threat of any kind has had it acted upon, nor have we ever had a police investigation that brought anything to light that elevated these things from rant level to concern level where some action or arrest is required. People get mad, they blow off steam by writing stupid anonymous letters, and they send it, often later regretting it. We’ve come to expect this in the media. It comes with the territory.

I found it even more difficult to get worked up over these emails in Australia when I learned about some of them from Jo Nova, who pointed out that some of them had been released, but without anything beyond the body of text. Here’s part of her post:


To a climate scientist, *swearing* equals a Death Threat (no wonder these guys can’t predict the weather)

Wait for it, some death threat emails have been released. Number eight is positively sinister with intent (shield your children):

Now several of the abusive emails have been published on a blog by environmental writer Graham Readfearn, after the scientists agreed to release the poison pen letters.

Number Eight:

“If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you. We will not do so if you rightfully argue against our points from a science view. But we will if you choose to stray into attacks on us as people or as a movement. The institution and funders that support you will find the attention concerning.”

God forbid, imagine a member of the public imploring a scientist to argue with science instead of slurs. Well I’ll be!

How chilling does it get? These scientists must get hundreds of emails a week. Here are the worst two Sunanda Creagh could find:

…several correspondents had a more chilling message for the scientists.

“Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT,” reads one email.

“If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you,” reads another.

Obviously we need to protect our scientists against this unreasonable intrusion on their right to issue baseless propaganda and unsubstantiated smears. Imagine the threat of members of the public getting “precise” in their arguments? How dare they?!

The rest of the emails released by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a climate scientist at the University of Queensland, were unbecoming, rude, and full of four letter words. (I strongly advise skeptics not to swear in emails.)


When I read Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg was involved, then read the body of the emails he claims are “death threats”, I was doubly not worried. Generally, for something to qualify as an actual death threat, it must actually contain the word “death” or some variance such as “kill” or “murder”. Searching the email bodies posted doesn’t find those words.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is well known for being overly excitable when it comes to climate debate, I had first hand experience with him in Brisbane where he interrupted our presentation, hogging the micropone and demanding to be heard over all others.

So, given the way he behaves, I didn’t see much credibility in his claims, especially when the “death threats” don’t actually contain the word.

And it gets worse. It turned out the June death threats in Australia were stale:

CLAIMS prominent climate change scientists had recently received death threats have been revealed as an opportunistic ploy, with the Australian National University admitting that they occurred up to five years ago.

Only two of ANU’s climate change scientists allegedly received death threats, the first in a letter posted in 2006-2007 and the other an offhand remark made in person 12 months ago…

The outdated threats raised question marks over the timing of their release to the public, with claims they were aired last week to draw sympathy to scientists and their climate change cause.

The university denied it was creating a ruse, maintaining the initial report, in the Fairfax-owned Canberra Times last week, failed to indicate when the threats were made.

Meanwhile, without checking into that, Appell is getting more upset that I’m not getting alarmed about his original comment which was:

“It is stunning to see essentially no condemnation of the death threats here, ……”

Many commenters pointed out that the article was about PNAS equating FOIA requests to death threats in an NYT interview, and had nothing to do with any actual death threats made. Undeterred by facts, Appell kept at it, becoming more and more “outraged”, which is his style, then he builds up enough responses to blog about it. Basically, he quote mines with language grenades.

I suggested in comments that he show some credible examples. Other commenters kept asking for the same. He kept ignoring that call, and his posts got snipped, with the message to look upstream in the thread, that some action was required on his part to show credible examples. I pointed out that we have not seen any actual emails like we have in Climategate where they could be verified. We have only second and third hand reports.

And predictably, he wrote an interim post, shown below, calling us all demented:


He finally posted a list of what he called evidence: a series of news articles.

David Appell


The death threats against climate scientists have been widely acknowledged by several of them and reported on by many journalists. The Guardian, in particular, has seen them. One scientist had a dead animal dumped on their doorstep, according to ABC News. Some of the threats have been reported to the FBI.

It is pernicious, obnoxious, and dangerous for people here, especially Anthony Watts, to claim that these threats exist do not exist. It is of a kind, and only a step from being complicit.








Well, as any lawyer can tell you, news articles aren’t the same as physical evidence. I’d seen these before, and Appell is keen in his latest post to point out the top link from the recent Guardian story:


If you scan that article, you’ll read a bunch of ugly juvenile rants that are something that looks like the same person authored a majority of them, but once again the key words “death, kill, murder, execute, etc” just aren’t there.

Note to David Appell: a death threat must actually contain the words. Otherwise it is just annoying capitalized hate mail rant with cuss words, like the kind I get here at WUWT every week and put in the bit bucket. It seems Appell’s entire outrage is predicated upon his conflation of rude emails to death threats. In his blog post here, he even goes so far as to contradict himself:

…he won’t even allow evidence of death threats against scientists to be posted in the comments of his blog,

I offered all these articles, especially this article from The Guardian which directly quotes from some of the threatening emails.

Point taken Mr. Appell. Rude threatening emails in this article you highlight are not death threats, especially when they don’t contain the key words. Your argument morphed from death threat, to threatening emails.

So Appell threw up a straw man argument in comments on a story about “FOIA being equated to death threats”, complains that I’m not upset enough, sends “evidence” that doesn’t contain any actual death threats, just foul language, and then claims I’m denying that the death threats exist and makes up a headline that I “deny the existence of my own mother”.

And this guy writes for major science magazines? Stay classy, David Appell, but do it somewhere else other than WUWT.

For the record, I deplore hate mail, death threats, and threats of violence, no matter who might be saying it, and always will. Nobody should have to put up with these to do their job and I wouldn’t wish them on anybody. I hope the day never comes when a credible death threat is delivered, much less acted upon. Any such credible threats should get the full measure of the law.

And as a final note, one issue that Appell got upset about (that he tried to post on WUWT) got snipped because it was from a LaRouche Youth Movement supporter who held up a rope noose saying “Welcome to Australia” during  a speech by Hans Schellnhuber. It was ugly, tasteless, stupid, and full of bad imagery, but again missing the key words that define a death threat. Even so, some in the media (and many in the alarmosphere) are calling it a “death threat” and trying to paint it as being launched by skeptics. For the record, neither I nor anyone who publishes here associate themselves with the Larouche people, and I denounce their actions. I don’t think you’ll find a single mainstream climate skeptic who would say any different.

There are several key words and topics we don’t cover here, such as Chemtrails, HAARP, and yes Larouche rants among others. I don’t want to give these Larouche people any exposure more than I need to make this point. By policy, we don’t post such videos and I won’t even link this one here. That’s not denying the existence of it, as Appell claims, but only exercising responsible journalism by not spreading obviously staged publicity stunts by the Larouche people. If you really want to watch the video, Google “David Appell, Quark Soup, and Death threat video”, and you’ll find the Larouche video on his blog, along with a second video.

But, here’s the key point that Appell and a bunch of other people miss. By Appell’s posting of a second video by the Larouche people, he blows his own case, saying “Here the perpetrator actually brags about his threat:”

I go back to my original issue with why I didn’t get upset back in June:

The Australian Federal Police says it is aware of the issue, but there is no investigation underway.

Yet here on Appell’s blog, we have the very Larouche fellow who held up the noose, narrating a video he produced about the incident after the fact. Clearly, it was a publicity stunt, and if it was as actual death threat, actionable under Australian law, don’t you think the guy would be in the slammer rather than narrating propaganda videos afterwards?

If the police don’t consider it a credible death threat, making no arrests, the only explanation for the constant beating of the drum by Appell and others is that the issue has propaganda value to paint skeptics with a broad brush.

Jo Nova and Willis Eschenbach sum up that problem well in Throwing the Hate Crime Grenade

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July 24, 2011 8:25 pm

Second paragraph: “He’s done this about half a *doesn’t* times.”
That would be “dozen” – yes?
REPLY: Fixed, thanks, Anthony

July 24, 2011 8:31 pm

One less troll in the responses section.
Sounds good to me 🙂

Jeff (of Colorado)
July 24, 2011 8:33 pm

Thank you for your perseverance, honesty, and honorable conduct.

Rob Z
July 24, 2011 8:40 pm

David who??

Jeff Alberts
July 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Let me guess. Appell isn’t appalled about secret science masquerading as propaganda.

Daryl M
July 24, 2011 8:42 pm

Appell is a blow-hard. You have shown more than enough patience with him. Appell has returned your consideration by demonstrating that he is incapable of having an intelligent debate.

Craig Moore
July 24, 2011 8:44 pm

Anthony, life is just toooooo short to put up with Appell’s nonsense. Just let it go and wave goodbye to him with this song:
“Troll. troll, troll your boat gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.”

July 24, 2011 8:46 pm

This is pretty typical – the evidence for any given climatological hypothesis is ill defined or imaginary.
There is evidence of thuggish email – however, it is from climatologists (e.g. Ben Santer) toward scientists (e.g. Pat Michaels):
From: Ben Santer
To: P.Jones
Subject: Re: CEI formal petition to derail EPA GHG endangerment finding with charge that destruction of CRU raw data undermines integrity of global temperature record
Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2009 11:07:56 -0700:
“I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this stuff, Phil. Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.”

Rod Gill
July 24, 2011 8:46 pm

No worries from me. It’s your blog, so your rules. On the other hand never attribute to malice that which can be explained by total incompetence!
You have a fantastic blog and I’ve just made a small donation to show my support.

July 24, 2011 8:52 pm

Anthony mentions that 25 years in various media gave him plenty of experience with the reality of death threats.
Given that it’s a common experience in media circles, you have to wonder why so many in the media insist on making a big deal out of non-serious cussing that isn’t really a threat.
Clearly they know exactly what they’re doing: taking advantage of ignorance by ordinary people to create an intentionally false impression. We don’t know it’s a common occurrence, hence we’re ready to believe that any angry-sounding email must be a death threat.

randall hilton
July 24, 2011 8:55 pm

Just remember, when you wrestle with a pig, you both get nasty but the pig loves it.

July 24, 2011 8:57 pm

To all those unpleasant emailers on the sceptical side- stop it! When you pee in their cesspool it only stirs them up.

Ted Dooley
July 24, 2011 8:58 pm

As his metrics indicate, no one is listening… no reason to give him any further entrance.

July 24, 2011 8:59 pm

I think holding up a noose is clearly a death threat. Maybe not quite enough to get a conviction, but it is fair to call it a death threat.

July 24, 2011 9:08 pm

As Shub nicely explains here, in Ben Santer’s case the dead animal is a pre-climategate thing, from:
The rat thing is actually worse. If you read carefully, the rat and the yellow Hummer happened “many years ago” – in all probability, way, way before Climategate.
Santer introduced the story in his Congressional testimony in front of the Senate in May last year, in the context of the supposed attacks scientists were under in the aftermath of Climategate, the public outcry, and the emails pouring into climate scientists’ inboxes due to Marc Morano’s postings email addresses.
The rat thing happened well before all this. Think about it – is Santer even a central figure in the ‘IPCC report, hide the decline, delete the emails’ fiasco in Climategate? He is not. In fact, it is his private emails – with all their violent fantasies of dark alleys and beating the crap out of Pat Michaels – that are among the unambiguously embarrassing. Why would they evoke any passionate responses – the man’s screwed over himself and climate scientists.
The media outlets did the next thing. Not all of them mention that the rat business has nothing to do with Climategate or the supposed post-Climategate outburst of irrational anger. That part is slyly elided. As far as I can tell, Matt Briggs and even Marc Morano have fallen for this.
Today when Andrew Freedman of the Washington Post approaches climate scientists for a story on “Cooling off the heated climate rhetoric”, Santer has given him with the same rat story.
We don’t know the full details Santer must have provided, but the article is crystal-clear in its flow of conclusions. Post-Climategate, scientists have been receiving insulting emails and death threats, public discourse is worried about violence since Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona, WUWT comments are often violent, many scientists get emails from WUWT and Morano’s website, Santer got a rat several years ago, Santer says – “if something happens, I’ll hold Marc Morano responsible”.
If you are bullied as a kid in school, do you appear at court or in front of the media at every ‘assault and robbery’ interview, and nod, “Yes, I was beaten up too, by people”. That is precisely what Santer is doing. But people now are angry, if they are, because of new reasons, reasons that demonstrably and palpably incriminating against Santer and scientists like him – because of Climategate emails that Santer wrote of his own will, and his data sharing shenanigans with McIntyre.
How the heck is he saying he’ll hold Marc Morano responsible for that?
That a scientist from a prestigious organization like the Lawrence Livermore National Lab would be involved in stories like this, is jawdropping.
Feb 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Shub

July 24, 2011 9:10 pm

“Rubbish sez I”. How ’bout Paul Bouget’s bleat to Mark Twain: ~
“Life can never be be entirely dull to an American. When he has nothing else to do he can always spend a few years trying to discover who his grandfather was”
And Mr Twains response: ~
“Right, your Excellency. But I reckon a Frenchman’s got a little standby for a dull time too; he can turn in and see if he can find out who his father was”

Dave N
July 24, 2011 9:13 pm

Polistra @ July 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm:
“..taking advantage of ignorance by ordinary people to create an intentionally false impression..”
so that it sells their news, regardless of whether or not it resembles the truth. The whole AGW propaganda machine is built on it.

July 24, 2011 9:15 pm

I don’t know who this Appell guy is, but I want to thank you for writing this article. It was very informative on several topics (death threats, propaganda and the lengths some people will go). All very fascinating, yet somewhat disturbing.

July 24, 2011 9:15 pm

The only credible death threat I’ve heard about was James Lee’s attack on the Discovery Channel for not taking environmental issues seriously enough.

July 24, 2011 9:19 pm

Just because you find one idiot like that, you want to tar every one of the milions of skeptics with the same brush who reject the runaway global warming canard?
Appell is a despicable worm who uses the same rhetorical tactics; he’s a worthless nothing, biting at Anthony’s ankles in a desperate attempt to amount to something. Disregard vermin like Applell, and most importantly, don’t emulate his tactics. If it weren’t for ignorant anti-science haters like Appell, climate alarmists wouldn’t have much to say, would they?

July 24, 2011 9:24 pm

I regret that you needed to spend the time to respond to an off-the-wall detractor.
Enjoy the site and please keep up the good work

July 24, 2011 9:41 pm

One wonders how will Appell react to CERN’s Cloud data when its released.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63AbaX1dE7I?rel=0&w=425&h=349%5D

July 24, 2011 9:47 pm

OTOH, I wonder what Appell’s stand is on people dancing on the grave of people who didn’t have death threats against them.
One thing the Climategate Emails gave me was a bit off a look at how John Daly operated. I didn’t get involved until after Daly died, and I appreciate the few Emails from Daly that are saved in the Climategate record.
Then there’s this one from Phil Jones expressing disrepect toward John Daly and open science in a single paragraph:
From: Phil Jones…
To: mann@…
Subject: Fwd: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu Jan 29 14:17:01 2004
From: Timo H344meranta…
Subject: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:04:28 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
Importance: Normal
In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper – just found
another email – is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals
to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.
“It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John
Daly.Condolences may be sent to John’s email account (daly@…)

Reported with great sadness
Timo H344meranta

July 24, 2011 9:52 pm

Good job Anthony,
we all have our tipping points and you lasted longer than most would:)

July 24, 2011 10:04 pm

At the end of Steve McIntyre’s thread
“Covert” Operations by East Anglia’s CRU at:
I posted a full text copy of Ben Santer’s letter “Open letter to the climate
science community” that good ol’ Ben shipped around the world by e-mail
on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, as “his”
reaction to Climategate
and to reassure his poor pal, Phil Jones, that despite getting what he called
“death threats” and other rude and unkind remarks, the climate science
community would soldier on to their inevitable conquering of the barbarian
This was also a point in time when Neil Wallis was managing the UEA/CRU
public relations effort after Climategate.
Folks like Ben Santer and David Appell seem to confuse death threats
with epithets.

July 24, 2011 10:08 pm
Leon Brozyna
July 24, 2011 10:08 pm

Threats? Any loon can send a threat or a tasteless rant in a note.
It’s the threat that’s not sent that’s the worry … and what do we do about that? Spend all our lives locked indoors, never venturing out because someone’s gone off the deep end?
Me? I will continue to live life to its fullest and leave the loons to stew in their own sour juices.

Dr. Dave
July 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Only after reading this article did I recall reading some comments by Appell. I just filed them under “loathsome troll” and scrolled down. I have to admit that I had completely forgotten all about “Chemtrails” and “HARRP” until we were admonished not to discuss these topics. We would be better served with a good discussion about the benefits of phrenology. Have any of you noticed how hard it is to find a good phrenologist these days? I suspect a conspiracy.
In all seriousness, I believe the vast majority of WUWT readers applaud Anthony for ridding these wholesome threads of the troll Appell. I believe just today an overly patient (by my estimation) Anthony Watts gave another noisome troll a well deserved 24 hour “time out”. Mr. Watts if far kinder and more tolerant than I would be in his position, but I guess that’s what makes this such a great site.
Hey…check out this bump on my head. What do you think it means?

July 24, 2011 10:16 pm

((The university denied it was creating a ruse, maintaining the initial report, in the Fairfax-owned Canberra Times last week, failed to indicate when the threats were made.))
FairFax. says it all. The good old “Spencer Street Soviet” as it was called when the Soviets were Red not Green.
The ‘death threat ruse’ was actually timed to increase Gillards ‘the science is settled’ claims when she introduced the Carbon Tax. What a bunch of lice.

July 24, 2011 10:23 pm

Ted Dooley says:
July 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm
As his metrics indicate, no one is listening… no reason to give him any further entrance.
His picture is worth 1000 words, too.
Norfolk, VA, USA

July 24, 2011 10:25 pm

He’s dragging your deceased mother into it? Sad and pathetic don’t do justice to him. I hope the good lady haunts him! No that’s not a threat that’s just hoping he has a sleepless night a la “A Christmas Carol”.

Doug S
July 24, 2011 10:28 pm

Strange fellow, he seems obsessed with you Anthony. I dropped by his Blog and now he’s saying you deny the existence of Crater lake. Be careful with this guy. He may not be emotionally stable.
REPLY: Yeah I’ve “denied” Crater Lake in person, twice:
– Anthony

Pete H
July 24, 2011 10:32 pm

It okay Anthony, I have a daily battle with my Grandson shouting “Look at me, look at me”!

J. Felton
July 24, 2011 10:38 pm

Great post Anthony, as someone who’s worked in the media, you definitely know what you are talking about when it comes to threats and insults..
I’ve worked in law enforcement for almost a decade, and am used to the same thing. There is a big difference from someone with a mouth full of hate then someone actually making a threat against one’s life.
While many of those examples provided are certainly disturbing, ( and contains language I’ve not seen one WUWT poster ever utter, I might add,) to call those ” credible death threats” is stretching the truth.
Some of them did come close, and possibly even cross the line, ( IMO, the noose display should have been investigated, but thats just my thought) the silver bullet is that these WEREN’T investigated.
Obviously if the authorities in the locales these comments surfaced had felt that the words contained had any merit, they would have been investigated. In fact, it even says
” The Australian Police are aware of it, but no investigation is currently underway.”
So even the relevant authorities admit there is not much to go on.
The internet is a double edge sword, one which allows rational debate, but also comments such as the ones provided that lack any intelligence, respect, or common sense all together. Unfortunately, for people like Watts, McIntyre and others, they are experienced in this sort of thing.
I also noticed a significant omission on the troll Appell’s comments, one of which he is certainly aware of.
Doesn’t he remember Michael ” Lets play Hockey….Stick” Mann with his ” Go after the Deniers” quote? This is a publicly funded scientist demanding an orchestrated campaign against those who dont agree with him!
Or what about the IPCC’s Andrew Weaver’s nasty little habit of suing anyone who disagrees with him?
Funny, must of slipped his mind.
Methinks this ” Appell” is rotten.

David Falkner
July 24, 2011 10:49 pm

Is this the guy that showed up at your home/place of business? If not, circulate a picture of him. Obsession is a creepy thing.
REPLY: nope, different person, more local – Anthony

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
July 24, 2011 10:51 pm

Heh, I tried Googling his site to check his site traffic. Turns out it’s only a little Blogspot thing, so no unique registered site name for checking. But I did find his Comcast home page:

I have a B.S. in mathematics and physics from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I’ve also done graduate work in the creative writing department at Arizona State University, but unfortunately I didn’t get the MFA. Sure, it’d be great to have a PhD in theoretical physics and an MFA in creative writing, but after 2+ semesters I realized that I’d rather be spending my time humping up and down mountains on the Appalachian Trail with very little food and my feet feeling like sharpened pegs.
Also, MFAs don’t make writers. Humping does.

I’m sure Ernest Hemingway would agree. Just look at Appell’s picture; so rugged! Can’t you see the resemblance? They’re so much alike!

Al Gored
July 24, 2011 11:02 pm

This was sweet Anthony:
“The numbers he gets on his blog demonstrate that he just isn’t an effective communicator, which is sad, because his chosen profession is as a science writer.”
As for death threats, what was that kid-exploiting shock film that was used as the intro to Copenhagen? Give us money or your children will die!!! Seems almost everything coming from the AGW side has some implied or expressed future death threat… but since it is directed at no one in particular I guess that makes it different.

July 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Good thing is, I’ve never noticed this Mr. Appel before.
I wish green activists stand trial for massive embezzlement of taxpayers’ money based on intentional disinformation of the public, and end their miserable lives in prison.
If this is a “death threat,” so be it.

Dr. Dave
July 24, 2011 11:03 pm

Come to think of it, unless I am mistaken, the renowned skeptic Dr. Timothy Ball has received bona fide death threats and I don’t recall ever hearing any mention of this in the media. It is perhaps fair to speculate that a number of “oppressed”, legitimate skeptics have received very real death threats over the last half a dozen years and these are never mentioned. I’m sure this kind of crap goes on all the time. I once knew a surgeon who received death threats secondary to a bad surgical outcome. The interesting part was that he wasn’t even the surgeon and he was on vacation outside the country when the surgery took place. His great “sin” was being asked to review the case. He reported that based on the information available to him the patient’s surgeon followed all accepted standards of practice. Well…this threw a wrench into the works of a lawsuit so somebody took it upon themselves to apply a little intimidation. If I recall correctly, no arrests were ever made but the threats were confirmed. The surgeon pulled up stakes and moved on about 18 months later.

Darren Parker
July 24, 2011 11:05 pm

One Appell that fell very far from the Tree of Science

Al Gored
July 24, 2011 11:08 pm

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
July 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Thanks for that link. Adds to the picture. Wasn’t some North Carolina Governor supposed to be on the Appalachian Trail too.
And I’m disappointed to learn that “MFAs don’t make writers. Humping does.”
Had a dog that used to hump my leg and I failed to read any of its work. May have missed something truly profound.

Dr. Dave
July 24, 2011 11:09 pm

kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
July 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Also, MFAs don’t make writers. Humping does.
Funny…MFA is the first acronym I thought of.

Victoria Taft
July 24, 2011 11:16 pm

Fired from two blogs in one week! That’s gotta be some kind of record right?
REPLY: what was the other one? – Anthony

David Falkner
July 24, 2011 11:24 pm

Wait a second, I remember this twit. I was in that thread. He had a long time to find evidence. Is that all he could dig up? The threatening behavior is wrong, sure, but the more important question that I believe he never answered (and likely never will) is; how do you attribute the behavior of a fringe to the rest of the population? That was the whole point of the post that got his feathers ruffled in the first place.

July 24, 2011 11:35 pm

Apparently the narcissists are the most likely to be offended by imaginary threats, like the communists who felt ever so threaten after having offed tens of millions of people, but in reality people just wanted to get out from under the shoe and the communist yoke.

Nigel S
July 24, 2011 11:36 pm

What is the air speed velocity (sic) of an unladen swallow?

July 24, 2011 11:43 pm

This seems to be a problem, in western society at least, that anything published in the papers or announced on the TV/Radio must be true. There are agencies that propogate stories to support their own agendas. Veracity is irrelavant. This would apply to David Appell.
Now the Internet is gaining similar notoriety; i.e. “Gosh! Look how many hits when you google ‘crap’! It MUST be true”!
This almost complete lack of need to verify any statement that supports a given mindset is an incredibly powerfull propaganda tool. Modern technology has made this tool available world wide.
I see this as a process of evolution controlling the developement of society. So far the percieved direction does not engender confidence in the future of society.

July 24, 2011 11:47 pm

I have a quick question about the Ben Santer dead animal story. Does he have a cat?
I’ve have a number of friends with cats. These cats have on many occasions brought “presents” home for their owners. My friends have found various dead animals on the front porch, in the kitchen, and even in their bedrooms. As far as I have been able to determine, none of these people ever thought that they were receiving a “death threat”, only an undesirable offering from their pets.
Obviously, I need to immediately correct my friends’ impressions and let them know that these cats are obviously homicidal beasts with evil intentions in their black hearts. (This is why I do not have a cat. They think just like “climate scientists” and CAWG believers!) /sarc.

TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney)
July 24, 2011 11:51 pm

Never heard of him.
Takes a pretty poor picture, too.

Chris Smith
July 24, 2011 11:56 pm

IMO you should not bar him from making comments, even if he does get personal. People put too much stock in the “if he says something about my family then…” it is playground stuff. Get over it. Be the bigger man.
As is pasted on the excellent Jeff Rense home page:
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for
people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
— Noam Chomsky
Real Climate are censoring comments all the time. Let’s not join them.

Rational Debate
July 24, 2011 11:58 pm

I wondered about the ‘dead animal’ threat also…. along those lines, I’d posted the bit below on another thread where Appell was posting & the death threat issue being discussed (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/13/peer-reviewed-paper-2010-russina-heat-wave-mostly-natural/):
Rational Debate says:
July 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Years ago I was I was living just outside a large metro area but in a quasi-rural setting, at the end of a dirt/gravel road. The nearest neighbors had several wild cats living right around their place. One day I was horrified to discover a headless young cat/large kitten in the middle of my driveway, right at the main entry gate. The kitten was quite literally decapitated, almost as if it’s head had just been sliced off. Frankly it was hard to imagine that anything other than a person had done it – but I sure couldn’t figure out WHY anyone would do such a thing.
Over the next few weeks, a couple more decapitated kittens appeared at about the same spot. This was pretty disconcerting, as I had my horses on the property and no one there while I was away at work… not to mention myself there alone when home, and a very beloved dog who was allowed out whenever she wished as long as I was home.
Then I found a mostly skeleton of what I assume was another kitten, hanging over the top of a six foot high fence post that was far closer to my home and the horses than those decapitated ones in the drive… That was REALLY weird.
Finally one day coming home I saw this huge owl sitting in the cedar trees right next to the lane & gate where those kittens had been. Out came the Audubon bird book, and low and behold the owl was pretty much the largest species in the area and is known for sometimes decapitating it’s prey, taking the head and leaving body behind…. including prey as large as a house cat! Even then I was skeptical, thinking there’s no way an owl could decapitate that cleanly. So I looked them up online a bit, and low and behold, found some photos that were proven owl decapitations that were every bit as ‘clean’ and unlikely looking as the kittens I’d found. Believe me, they sure didn’t look like something you would think a wild animal kill would look like, if you hadn’t run into this before.
I hated that the kittens were being killed that way, but have to say it was a huge relief to figure out that it wasn’t some deranged wacko human stalking me or hanging out just toying with the idea of hurting or killing my horses while I was away at work.
Long winded way of giving an example and agreeing that finding a dead animal on one’s step sure doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is threatening you – even when it may seem there couldn’t be any other explanation.
For that matter, it’s amazing what can manage to get inside your house – and it may be either dead or alive when you find it. I once walked into my bathroom, then back out and had the thought cross my mind “I don’t remember leaving a belt on the bathroom floor.” Stopped for a second and thought, “I KNOW I didn’t leave a belt there.” Go back in very carefully, and low and behold it was a very much alive snake, 2 or 3 ft. long. Heck if I could tell what it was and it looked as if it might be poisonous. Got it in a bucket and took it to the right gov. department to find out. It was a young black snake, at which age they sometimes still have markings and their head looks a little triangular (like poisonous snakes), and when they feel threatened they’re notorious for curling up and shaking their darned tails at you & looking like they’re about ready to strike (as this one sure had!). No rattles of course, but believe me, it’s still pretty disconcerting. Apparently they do it because if in dry leaves it can scare off animals who assume they’re rattlers. They get far less aggressive as they get older. I named him something ridiculous (for a snake) like Harold and released him in the run-in shed area.
Heck, if you have a doggy door, even finding something bigger than a snake or mouse inside your house wouldn’t mean someone had done it. Just hope what you find isn’t a live 7 ft alligator! http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/alligator-invasion-reptile-sneaks-doggie-door-bathroom-florida-gator-intruder-13458049

Chris Smith
July 24, 2011 11:59 pm

PS, and like it or not your website is so big now that you do have to address real Freedom Of Expression issues. When you ban somebody it really does curtail their freedom of expression – the same as if google banned you specifically from using their search engine. The argument that he has other outlets does not wash – the MSM say that all the time about stuff they want to censor.
On the other hand, the blog is your property – and you can do with it as you wish.

Chris Smith
July 25, 2011 12:03 am

PPS sorry to bang on, but we see that kind if thing all the time – where a private entity buys up everything, such as Canary Wharf, and then because it if “private property” they can do whatever they want and you have no rights. The problem is with Canary Wharf, is that most of us have no choice but to use the shops and services there (such as the post office) other than to travel for hours. Your “private property”, i.e. you blog, has become so big and influential that it is just like Canary Wharf – when you ban someone, it curtails their ability to do stuff, such as make comments.
But, it is your property and you have the right to do what you want with it. I’m just urging you not to chose to ban people – don’t turn it into Canary Wharf.

nano pope
July 25, 2011 12:27 am

Indeed J. Felton, or you could just read the mainstream Australian media where journalists call for skeptics to be gassed or tied to posts next to the rising seas.
The problem here is that these aren’t closet crazies writing unseen emails, these people are professional journalists writing in major publications. The former is wrong, the latter inexcusable.

July 25, 2011 12:42 am

In the absence of any credible threats might I make one ?
Mr Watts, If you ever allow the exemplary standards of courtesy, tolerance and genuine scientific enquiry on your blog to fall to the level of some other climate and science blogs I will travel to your country and blow a raspberry at you.
Is that threatening enough ? Would it be over the top to add “.. and make a rude gesture.” ?

Paul Deacon
July 25, 2011 12:43 am

Anthony – thank you for your honesty, integrity, persistence and general excellence in what you do. You have permission to treat this as love mail.

Mike Spilligan
July 25, 2011 12:57 am

Obviously Appell is just a juvenile attention seeker and it’s a pity that you had to deal with him in this way when, I’m sure, you’d have preferred to carry on ignoring him and attending to your business and WUWT. Your website is, for me, a wonderful knowledge-expanding facility – so please don’t become too diverted, though that may be part of Appell’s ploy.

Andrew Holder
July 25, 2011 12:58 am

According to his QS site he didn’t mean it literally, I assume he was trying to be clever to insinuate that you do not listen to his comments as he would like. The problem with bullies like David is that they don’t think about their actions before putting finger to keyboard. David is one of those people who are so desperate to get their ideas to the forefront that they will compromise any decent behaviour. Initially I was in two minds about whether banning him from WUWT was the right thing to do, as it will undoubtedly improve his ‘status’ with many people and his website popularity. But thinking again, and looking briefly at the quality of QS and some of the threads/comments, I think that you are absolutely correct. You have to have some basic rules of respect and quality otherwise there is a danger of becoming embrolied with side-issues and nonsenses that degrade the whole climate debate. By removing pen poison like this we can all have more time focusing on the real issues at hand. Thank you for your site and lets all rejoice that in WUWT we have a forum where we can all learn and express ideas with respect.

July 25, 2011 1:13 am

i would wounder if these were the same ones someone did on the gm crop death threats

July 25, 2011 1:15 am

It is so ironic that so-called scientists and science writers are misinterpreting the available evidence once again.
There is a reason that security details do not publicize real threats, it is precisely because of the inevitable increased chatter and copycats, which make the job far more difficult. It results in more hay in the stacks covering the actual needles.
Here is the truth: an actual death threat is a self-correcting situation. They do not require media stories to solve them. 99% of the time the person is not anonymous and will be found. Prosecutors and law enforcement take these things very seriously and are often looking for dramatic slam-dunk crimes to investigate rather than the nebulous he-said she-said conflicts. It makes no sense to publicize an actual death threat. Unless of course you yourself are seeking publicity.
As soon as the stories began getting publicity with the typical theme of poor put upon climate scientists it was obvious to me that it was a mere sympathy play, pure public relations. There is no way that these were reported threats because both the authorities and whatever personal security they employed (remember the canard: ‘some of them need bodyguards’) would not sanction or recommend going public.
Dead animals on the doorstep are not death threats, it is however in bad taste and certainly cruel to the animal, and is perhaps a nod to The Godfather. Cursing foul language is rude and perhaps even intimidating but is not a death threat. Someone threatening to kick your ass is doing just that, but still it is not a death threat. Many of these things cross other lines though, harassment or threatening bodily harm or a plethora of non-felonies. These tactics are not advisable unless you are really intent on seeing your tax dollars at work first hand by exploring the judicial system you paid for.
What most of these drama queens are experiencing is merely angry feedback from the taxpaying public, specifically the public that disagrees with them, the public that they do not want to hear from anyway. They want to be left alone to spend the taxpayer monies and to be kind of an insulated aristocracy or nobility with all the attendant perks and privileges. It’s okay to call upon them when you want to present them an award or for a fabulous getaway in Cancun, or to write a glowing article about hip scientific rock stars in leather coats. But please do not send criticisms. It is disturbing and they’re very busy saving the planet. 😉
I remember there was an earlier story here where a few more trolls were banging their drums over this non-story …
Appell was a no-show in that particular thread though (but this year Appell has been dropping into Steve Goddard’s site a lot). Well he sure got his fifteen minutes of fame today!

Man Bearpig
July 25, 2011 1:23 am

Hmmm a BS in Mathematics, shouldn’t that be BSc ? I thought BS was something else.

Alex the skeptic
July 25, 2011 1:28 am

How about this as an example of a real and present danger?:
Couple Shoot Kids, Kill Themselves Over Global Warming
Monday, March 1st, 2010
A seven month old baby has miraculously survived being shot after the parents killed themselves and their two year old son, citing fears over a lack of government action on global warming.
Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, are said to have shot their young son in the back, killing the toddler instantly.
Neighbours called the police, after complaining of a stench coming from the house.
Police broke into the property and discovered the horrific scene three days after the shooting, the Latin American Herald reported Saturday.
Still alive, but covered in blood, the baby was rushed to the hospital where it was revealed that the bullet from her father’s handgun had somehow missed all the child’s vital organs, lodging itself in her chest.
In a suicide note, reportedly discovered by police, the couple cited their extreme fears over the effects of global warming.
The couple were said to have expressed anger at the government in the letter for not doing more to avert a worldwide environmental crisis.

Alex the skeptic
July 25, 2011 1:33 am

And how about the violent green extremists trying to physically stop power stations, with all the risks involved for the general public, industry, hospitals, opeating theaters, causing misery, financial losses and death?
Green/warmists are the real threat to society with their violent ways of trying to make a point.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
July 25, 2011 1:37 am

From wermet on July 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm:

I have a quick question about the Ben Santer dead animal story. Does he have a cat?

I had read about the event, didn’t take notice who’s doorstep it was.
I Googled “ben santer dead animal step” to try to dig up some specifics, got some seemingly unrelated links from Small Dead Animals blog. Coincidence?
On the main page, I found this story I’m certain people like Appell will gladly tout as “proof” of “skeptics” having lethal intentions. It concerns the tragic recent Oslo bombing and subsequent shooting rampage at that Norwegian summer camp. I strongly consider the last line of the original post to be Not Helpful, even though it was presumably said sarcastically (it really needs better noting as such). That said, the contents are far more abhorrently shocking.

Blood on our hands
In addition to reportedly being a staunch opponent of Muslim immigration, Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik was also a “climate denier.”
Okay, you know where this one is going: from a blog post titled “Anders Behring Breivik: The first climate denier mass murderer?”, this gem:

“Does this mark the day when climate deniers…moved from waving nooses in people’s faces to actual terrorism, from threatening children to killing children?”

Yes. Yes it does. Be afraid. We are as one.
Posted by EBD at July 23, 2011 12:41 AM

Yeah, this nutjob was killing people because he was a “climate denier.” The (C)AGW faithful, already convinced of “death threats” against climate scientists, will now expect “climate deniers” to rise up and commit terrorist acts, including murdering children.
Sound like they might be working up a case for governmental monitoring of vocal climate skeptics, as climate skeptics are now proven to be potential terrorists. Actually, since “everyone knows” that climate skeptics must be mentally dysfunctional since they’re denying the “proven settled science” thus rejecting reality, perhaps gathering them together “to protect the public” is justified. Just put them in some nice camps somewhere, since they’re obviously ignorant of the real science it would help to have some re-education…
I won’t speak for my fellow “climate skeptics,” but personally, going by that reported blogger guy’s statement, I’m even more certain who are the real reality-denying crazies. They sure ain’t us.

July 25, 2011 1:50 am

I’m not qualified to profile violent criminals or Mentally deranged individuals but I find the subject fascinating so I’ll atempt to do so here.
The immediate striking obvious observation is that they all have their own blog that they use to aggressively assassinate the character of their infatuation, and in-turn it brings to life an imaginary figure one in which to actively portray into a bad light detached from reality as an attention seeking exercise of acceptance from their peers for the self gratification and justification to continue to frequently troll that object of an unhealthy obsession that they have, in-turn it begins to cause deep felling of rejection causing depression and therefore illness.
Observable Qualities of a Sociopathic troll:
Pathological Lying, Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
Grandiose Sense of Self, Feels entitled to certain things as “they are right.”
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature, Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
Checklist of observable Qualities:
1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
3. Authoritarian
4. Secretive
5. Paranoid
6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
7. Conventional appearance
8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world
Sending hate mail or death threats apparently isn’t on the Sociopaths to-do list.
But I could mention a fue people that fit the above criteria of the Sociopath almost perfectly and who stereotypically look like one too. Can You?

July 25, 2011 1:50 am

What a loser. Anyone who takes this guy seriously has likewise forfieted their credibility.

July 25, 2011 2:08 am

we all have a right to free speech, at least for the moment (EU permitting), but what Appell did in drawing your family into his rant is reprehensible and I don’t believe any rational observer would disagree with your decision.
I think Mr Appell needs to spend a lot more time up one of his favourite mountains reflecting on what an ass he has made of himself rather than continuing to promote this fact in print on the internet. On the mountain, once he has calmed down he may wish to dwell on how to explain his actions to his own Mother.

July 25, 2011 2:18 am

Oh… I checked out his site. He can’t seem to hold down a job for very long. I checked out his You Tube channel. It has a whole two subscribers. I’m just sorry I increased his view counter.

Brian H
July 25, 2011 2:38 am

Chris S.;
Unmitigated hooey. Putting up with ranters is not allowing “Freedom of Expression”. That right, btw, is Constitutionally provided only for those who are dissing the government. Has nothing to do with interpersonal communications, either one-on-one or in bulk.
Rational D.;
fascinating owl discovery. But would have been a bit more pleasant to read if you hadn’t repeated “low and behold” so many times. Because it’s “lo and behold”. Archaic for “look”.
“Low”, on the other hand, means “moo”. “Moo and behold” is nonsensical.

July 25, 2011 2:51 am

Hmm, well—young Master Appell seems an awfully excitable child, don’t you think?
Perhaps Mr. Appell needs a target identification course:
If it looks like a foot — from every angle — smells like a foot (!) moves like a foot and feels like a foot, perhaps he shouldn’t point his blunderbuss at it and pull the trigger …
Maybe he’ll mellow with age and experience—he needs much more such as you’ve just given him, Anthony, to complete his growing up—if that’s possible. Good on you.

Don Keiller
July 25, 2011 2:59 am

He sounds like he is straight out of the same (lunatic) mould as our Energy and Climate Change Minister , Chris Huhne (currently been investigated by the Police for possible perjury with regards a traffic offence). Anyway this “class act” equates “Ignoring Climate Chanege with appeasing Hilter”
That old “denier” line again….

July 25, 2011 3:01 am

“David Appell denies he has any class”
Superb, Anthony!
(That should be googled into the top result for a search on his name, hint, hint ya’ll.)

July 25, 2011 3:08 am

Not sure about the canary wharf comparison. If i ran a cinema and the same guy kept coming in and shouting during movies and spoiling it for everyone else am i abusing his freedom of speach when I eject him? He’s been given more than enough opportunities to defend his position properly and express his opinion properly. Fine to drop the ban hammer at this juncture in my opinion.
Also if you want to talk about premature banning and censorship I think it’s pretty clear which side in this “war” get up to that the most.

Mark Hladik
July 25, 2011 3:39 am

Trying to recall: didn’t some high-profile politician call for ‘Nuremburg-style’ trials for deniers?

P Wilson
July 25, 2011 3:42 am

sorry to hear that this obnoxious boy has been causing insult. He does sound quite psychopathic

Bill Marsh
July 25, 2011 4:03 am

“If you were in my physical home when you made that comment, I’d show you the door.”
If he said something of that sort in my physical home, he’d get a good deal more than ‘shown the door’, although I will admit you didn’t specify exactly HOW you would ‘show him the door’.
*OMG, there I’ve gone and done it, haven’t I?

July 25, 2011 4:08 am

It seems to me that many of the so-called “death threats” from anonymous sources may not in fact originate with sceptics at all. There is ample evidence for the use of what is termed “false flag” attacks, and it seems reasonable to me to ask whether these “death threats” might not be coming from enthusiastic advocates aligned with the cause of the CAGW alarmists.
That is, the alarmists contrive to make “death threats” against their own team in an effort to a) win sympathy to their cause, and b) slime/smear those of us who remain sceptical.

Rick Bradford
July 25, 2011 4:10 am

You have to hand it to the Warmists. They get their undies in a bunch over these threatening mails, but when it comes to comments in their own blogs, they’re quite happy to carry stuff like this:
“It probably comes as no surprise that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is a climate change denier, and that he cites a Monckton speech as his source:
“Yes, Anders Behring Breivik is the first climate denier mass murderer.”
Those who follow AGW from an Australian perspective will probably know the blog to which I am referring.

July 25, 2011 4:11 am

I only frequent truthful, open, stimulating blog sites. I’ve never been to this David Appell’s blog and never intend to. I hadn’t even heard of him until now. Point, counterpoint, undoubtedly.

July 25, 2011 4:29 am

After you have cut more slack to the guy than a saint, you did the right thing by banning him, although I’m sure his posts made good fodder for the skeptics. Maybe Mr. Appell read Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules For Radicals.” In it Alinsky advocates lying and other nefarious activities to achieve one’s political goals. It is more than apparent that many liberals in the US and elsewhere have taken Saul’s socialist bible to heart. Maybe Appell is a liberal?

John W.
July 25, 2011 5:10 am

Anthony, I don’t care what temptations you put in front of me, I will not click over and read David Appell’s blog!

July 25, 2011 5:12 am

The person you are talking about (I haven’t wasted brain cells on remembering his name) was a nobody before you mentioned him and I predict he’ll remain a nobody for the rest of his life.

July 25, 2011 5:42 am

I have had a couple comments “deleted” by tony watts and friends. My comments were not threats or demeaning but more related to my warped sense of humor. I think this blog goes out of its way to have a fair commentary much more than any blogs representing the AGW side of the issue.

July 25, 2011 5:44 am

David Appell needs to watch the 10:10 video about No Pressure to learn what is acceptable about death threats. If the 10:10 video does not rise to the level, then how can any of his presented email evidence rise to the ‘death threat’ level.

Frank K.
July 25, 2011 6:12 am

I’ve never heard of Mr. Appell, and, based upon his juvenile behavior in this case, will avoid him in the future.
Regarding climate scientists and death threats, it is clear to me that no one should EVER engage in using threats of violence against your opponents in a debate – I wish no ill will for Al Gore or Jim Hansen, and hope they remain in good health throughout their lives. Likewise for others in the climate debate.
I believe, however, that some people are reacting in unfortunate ways because, as I’ve said in the past, climate has now become a POLITICAL debate. Certain people in the climate science community have decided to come out boldly into the public arena and make onerous demands on all of us for the sake of the climate. These demands can (and will) have serious repercussions on our economy and way if life. We in the sane world are pushing back against these climate elites, and are now demanding that they pay their own way for their “research” rather than sponging off the public dole as they have for so long. After all, Greenpeace and WWF both have deep pockets.
By the way – what about climate scientists harassing and threatening the careers of other climate scientists who don’t toe the ideological line? Should these threats be investigated?

July 25, 2011 6:15 am

…and that’s the glamor shot?

July 25, 2011 6:23 am

Good one!
Never heard of the guy before, but reading your “evidence” I see he has your number. So the article talks about you demanding evidence, then refusing to post it…. and has a headline saying you deny your mother’s existence.
This mild (compared to the stuff YOU say about scientists) drives you to ban that guy from ever commenting here again. How convenient. It’s not the evidence he keeps trying to post, it’s the insult! Yeah THAT’S why he’s banned.
Bahahaha! You are so transparent.

July 25, 2011 6:28 am

David Appell appears to be more famous here, than in his own circles. This is not the reason for which I think he sould not be banned from WUWT. Annoying, idiotic, or hilarious, we just need to keep these types around.

Michael Reed
July 25, 2011 6:34 am

Too bad that in today’s world a good @ss-whooping is considered unacceptable violence. In my day, it was considered therapeutic. In my view, David Appell could use some therapy. *Sigh*

charles nelson
July 25, 2011 6:54 am

The ABC radio national, which I have to say is in the main rational and informative, has a news editorial department whose techniques ‘are as subtle as the blitz’.
The Death Threats story was launched quietly on a Saturday afternoon following a week of bad news for Climate Activists and the government organizations that shadow them. It was a little dirty bomb they let off when the sweep of the argument was turning against them.
The ABC radio relentlessy plugs the benefits of the low carbon economy, always boosting or spruiking as they say here the future jobs, or the grants farmers can get to grow trees.
Even in the face of The Big Chill… the coldest winter in many parts for fifty years with half the continent covered in lakes! they bang on about climate change, increasing drought…the old script.
Kevin Rudd legislated a financial boost of 270million Aus$ to the ‘free to air’ broadcasters about six months before he was deposed as PM and replaced by Gillard.
They’re obviously sticking to their side of the deal though. The Propaganda is staggeringly blatant and ubiquitous through their entire output.
I predict this insane pro carbon tax, pro green stance will be the destruction of the ABC SBS etc…their editorial position is absolutely clear cut, they’re up front about it…any Liberal government getting into power will/should/must simply cut their budget to the bone.
That’s taxpayer’s money they’re being paid – to propagandize…I don’t think that was ever the idea.

July 25, 2011 7:10 am

I wholeheartedly support Anthony’s actions here, and I think it’s important to review what the actual legal standard for a “Death Threat” is. (Something I often wish all of these outraged wannabe journo’s like Appell would do once in a while.)
A “Death Threat” Is NOT someone screaming because they’re angry, or staging a publicity stunt, like the larouchie with the noose. Why not? Because that does *Not* meet the standard of being a credible “threat”.
Most US States have similar laws, but here is the standard used by California, which is generally representative:
“Criminal threats are punishable by state action, and fall outside the protections of the 1st Amendment. California’s statute is a useful example:
• willful threat of a crime which would result in great bodily injury;
• specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat, whether or not the perpetrator intended to carry it out;
• the threat, under the circumstances, conveyed a “gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat”;
• the threat actually caused the person threatened to be in sustained fear; and
• the threatened person’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances.
(end quote)
“Specific Intent” is a term of legal art, and in this context it means that in order to consitute a Legal “Threat”, you must prove that the person making it was *not* intending the words or actions as simply an insult but instead intended the person to be in actual fear of their life. That is a very high bar to reach. (Imagine a robber sticking a gun in the face of a store clerk – now THAT is a credible threat.)
Also, “Immediate prospect of execution of the threat” is what rules out the noose as a “threat”, A gun, yes, that would be a credible threat, all one has to do is pull a trigger. But One man in the middle of a crowd of people who think he’s crazy, no, that is not believable that he could actually carry out his threat. A court would find that such a belief was unreasonable. Notice that it depends partly on circumstances – if a deputy sherrif and his pals waved a noose at a man they were taking into custody on a dark country road, then that certainly would constitute a True Threat, since such a man could reasonably believe that they intended to carry out the action shortly. The reasonable belief that the threat can be acted on immediately is crucial, and is what rules out most internet related language.
Absent an appropriate level of intent and ability to execute, harsh language is just that – uncivil, uncouth, and ill-mannered, but no more.

Denis of Perth
July 25, 2011 7:38 am

When it comes to threats I always favour that guy from GreenPeas! Now that is a threat.

July 25, 2011 7:46 am

So the original response to Appell still stands and Appell simply chooses not to see reality.
David, What death threats? Show us credible death threats or frankly S-TF-U with your nonsense.
Oh wait, was my abbreviation of foul language right there considered a death threat against Appell?
Side note, god those angry letters are painful to read, can we send these angry people back to english comp. class?

July 25, 2011 8:12 am

As one of the people who apparently helped drive Appell crazy (maybe a very short drive?), I have to wonder why his powers of critical thinking are so poor.
One of the sub-themes in the AGW community is that skeptics are violent.
I have heard more than once how skeptics have threatened scientists. I have yet to see any proof of this.
All I asked Appell is for proof of these threats: e-mails from real people threatening violence.
His response of claiming that I am beyond the pale and not someone who can be dealt with in a civilized rational way is strange.
Appell could have provided public announcements from prosecutors or police investigators outlining the threat. Arrests. Indictments. You know, the things that involve real crimes and real evidence.
Instead it seems clear that the alleged death threats are at worst case anecdotal heresay, and are likely to be contrived falsehoods or deliberate distortions of reality.
Sort of like the calamities and crisis claims repeated by so many in the AGW community.
So I do wonder if Mr. Appell is showing us, in his non-rational take on the simple question of actually proving the existence of the death threats, a glimpse on why he and so many also believe in the idea the world is facing a climate crisis caused by CO2.

July 25, 2011 8:15 am

Someone once threatened that they ‘know where you live’ and threatened to blow me up with a big red button, but I would not go so far as to say they where death threats.
Funny thing I read a good article explaining people like Mr Appell and how they where never told at a young age the word ‘No’ so when they become adults they still act like children when the word ‘No’ is used. NO there where no death threats, scream, shout, cry, wail, tantrum, mummy says ‘YES’.

July 25, 2011 8:18 am

I wonder how DA feels about the “less than subtle” death threat video that 10:10 put out a while back with the exploding kids??

July 25, 2011 8:19 am

wermet says:
July 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm
I have a quick question about the Ben Santer dead animal story. Does he have a cat?

He did have until someone nailed it to his door.

July 25, 2011 8:27 am

To those who view this as a “freedom of expression” issue:
(1) Moderated blogs are public only in the fact that they are open to all to read. There are standards of behavior that are required in order to respond. Anthony has laid out those standards on his About/Policy page. He is quite clear about not being “rude, loud, or insulting” and in using “civility and courtesy here.” Mr. Appell has clearly broken these rules and his right to respond in this forum has been removed.
(2) Mr. Appell has not been silenced. He has his own blog, websites and magazine article that he writes. He still has a (very) public platform from which to speak and be heard.
(3) If you really think that Mr. Appell has the right to say anything he wants to say in forums such as this, try the following: go to a privately owned “publicly accessible space” (i.e., a store, theater, etc.) and start loudly insulting people there. Unless the management is truly incompetent, you will be asked to stop and/or leave. Perhaps you may even have the police escorting you out.
(4) Even in forums of public speech and debate, not everyone gets to participate every time. Try going to your local city/town governmental meetings and insult people there. You will be asked to stop and if you continue you will be forcibly removed.
BTW Anthony, I love the site. I have learned as much (or more) from the comments as I have from the articles themselves. Please keep up the excellent work and don’t worry about having to expel the occasional extreme uncivil clods from what is a great, civil and tolerant conversation.
Bravo Zulu,

Steve from Rockwood
July 25, 2011 8:32 am

The last time I visited Appell’s blog I got the yawnies. Mentioning him again probably increased the readership of his blog by 15-20% (4-5 new hits).
I don’t think Appell is concerned so much about death threats, rather he is just trying to get more attention for his bland blog posts. Otherwise he would say something intelligent and more people would pay attention to him.
I think Appell would have more success as a climate scientist than a science blogger. The bar seems a lot lower.

t stone
July 25, 2011 8:34 am

Nigel S says:
July 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm
African or European?

Pete in Cumbria UK
July 25, 2011 8:36 am

Good grief, get a load of his website, resumé and photo. What a mess.
At least no-one can accuse him of polishing any turds.
David, get a job/woman/life, son.
As a livestock/grassland farmer, I don’t normally denigrate earthworms. But, compared to the astronauts that populate this and many other blogs, you are that worm.

David CHappell
July 25, 2011 8:58 am

Oh, how I now treasure the first two letters of my surname!

brad tittle
July 25, 2011 8:58 am

I once tried to use momentum as a metaphor to help scientist wake up to the world. When it comes to epidemiology and climate change you see the scientist listening to the train tracks. They hear a rumble and they think “Ah, it must be the water fall at the next pass”, or “I think that might be a herd of deer crossing the track”. They completely ignore the train that is about to smack them.
That was a threatening metaphor.

July 25, 2011 9:16 am

Appell was the first person in the world who force me to learn how to add a filter to Gmail that eliminates trash from the inbox according to the sender’s e-mail. 😉
Of course, I am not going to describe what I think about him on such a decent and polite blog as WUWT undoubtedly is. Not even beeps would help. 🙂
Given the fact that his Alexa traffic is 300 times lower than yours, I estimate that you have just increased the traffic on his blog by an order of magnitude, Anthony! 🙂

July 25, 2011 9:49 am

I am not sure that the noose was a death threat. It may have been in reference to Australia’s carbon tax killing Australia’s economy.

July 25, 2011 9:58 am

Well, I’m always late to the party……. I haven’t read all of the comments, and this has probably already been stated,……
Anthony, obviously, this is your blog and are free to do what you will with it. I respect your decision and is probably the correct one. But, I’d like to point that people like Appell perform a necessary function in the skeptic blogosphere, and we couldn’t have made such in-roads with the public had it not been for people such as he. Sure, they are some of the few that can manage to offend olfactory senses just by typing on a keyboard, but they serve to contrast. They contrast intellectually and morally with what is typically posted here. Without such contrast, one could be left with the impression that places such as WUWT is some type of weighted balance to alarmism, that there is some sort of inverted equality, an ‘opposite yet equal’, if you will. People such as Appell show us this isn’t true. Their type of alarmism has been measured and weighed and found wanting. I just thought I’d throw that in as food for thought,

July 25, 2011 10:37 am

Marcellus: “I’ma get organized and precise on your a**.”

July 25, 2011 11:08 am

I’m going have to agree with most of the people here.
This is the first (and evidently the last) time I have ever heard of David Apple.

July 25, 2011 11:18 am

James Sexton says:
July 25, 2011 at 9:58 am
“”””””. . . .They contrast intellectually and morally with what is typically posted here. Without such contrast, one could be left with the impression that places such as WUWT is some type of weighted balance to alarmism, that there is some sort of inverted equality, an ‘opposite yet equal’, if you will. People such as Appell show us this isn’t true. Their type of alarmism has been measured and weighed and found wanting. I just thought I’d throw that in as food for thought.””””
James Sexton,
I do agree with your well written idea. But loss of one commenter (Appell) of a genre of commenters is unlikely to make WUWT lack in other commenters of the same genre. Appell stepped over a line with Anthony in referring to Anthony’s family. But, there are a wealth of other commenters of the same genre as Appell to provide the kind of contrast here at WUWT that you rightly think is important. Let’s hope not all of them step over a line like Appell did.

July 25, 2011 11:24 am

I’m sort of chuckling as I see this guy as someone who’d be upset if someone revoked his lifetime membership to Star Trek conventions………

Reply to  Brute
July 25, 2011 11:55 am

@ Brute,
Oh good one! LOL.

P Walker
July 25, 2011 11:51 am

More on this from The American Spectator :

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
July 25, 2011 12:31 pm

P Walker said on July 25, 2011 at 11:51 am:

More on this from The American Spectator :

Instant “404-Not Found” error!
Here’s the real link:
Note the extra “c” in “farcical”. How did humanity survive before automated spell checkers? Heck, we’re barely surviving with them!

July 25, 2011 12:43 pm

@Randall, I’m stealing your quote. 🙂

July 25, 2011 12:49 pm

> …a LaRouche Youth Movement supporter … held up a rope noose saying “Welcome to Australia” during a speech by Hans Schellnhuber. It was ugly, tasteless, stupid, and full of bad imagery, but again missing the key words that define a death threat.
In all fairness this could reasonably be construed as a death threat.
I think if I received a picture of a pumpkin with my picture on it and a knife sticking out of it and the word “YOU” written somewhere on it, I wouldn’t need it to include the words “death”, “murder”, “kill” etc. to feel threatened. Nooses, shotguns etc. don’t really need a lot of explanation either, do they?

Rational Debate
July 25, 2011 1:06 pm

re post by:

Brian H says: July 25, 2011 at 2:38 am
Rational D.;
fascinating owl discovery. But would have been a bit more pleasant to read if you hadn’t repeated “low and behold” so many times. Because it’s “lo and behold”. Archaic for “look”. “Low”, on the other hand, means “moo”. “Moo and behold” is nonsensical.

Brian, thanks for the humorous & tactful correction. Spelling has never been my forte (thank gawd for auto-spell correction) & I’m bad about slapping things down in comments without much editing because of time constraints. 3 uses of the same phrase in just a paragraph or two is pretty bad – but Moo & behold is so memorable I’m certainly a lot less likely to make that misteak {sic} again. For that matter, I hadn’t really thought about it before, but lo & behold is a bit redundant – ‘really look and look!’ :0)
Back to ‘death threats’ – it is interesting that a man’s conviction for supposedly threatening to kill the President of the USA was overturned, on the basis that his comments were free speech and not a credible threat. See: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/online-call-to-shoot-obama-was-free-speech-not-a-crime-appeals-court-rules.html

A La Mesa man who posted racial epithets and a call to “shoot” Barack Obama on an Internet chat site was engaging in constitutionally protected free speech, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in overturning his criminal conviction.
Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against a major presidential candidate in comments he posted on a Yahoo.com financial website after 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2008, as Obama’s impending victory in the race for the White House was becoming apparent. Bagdasarian told investigators he was drunk at the time.
A divided panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that conviction Tuesday, saying Bagdasarian’s comments were “particularly repugnant” because they endorsed violence but that a reasonable person wouldn’t have taken them as a genuine threat….

Jeff Mitchell
July 25, 2011 1:17 pm

If you want to be serious and give people like Appell their proper due, ignore them, or if you would mock them, equate them with this fine lady giving us her dissertation on the Rainbow Sprinkler Conspiracy:

The lady is serious. Many commenters on the various threads showing this video think its a joke, but she has other videos in the same vein. Hat tip to my daughter for this one.

Dave Wendt
July 25, 2011 2:14 pm

FerdinandAkin says:
July 25, 2011 at 5:44 am
David Appell needs to watch the 10:10 video about No Pressure to learn what is acceptable about death threats. If the 10:10 video does not rise to the level, then how can any of his presented email evidence rise to the ‘death threat’ level.
Certainly you can’t mean to analogize a video, deliberately and professionally produced by a flock of semi-celebrities with the funding and direction of some of the world’s most prominent climate alarmists, with the semi-coherent rantings of some disgruntled(legitimately?) internet denizens. Such a stance merely highlights the incredible unreasonableness of the entire climate denier community.

July 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Thanks for the link to that video of the organisation that shall not be named. They were present outside and inside Monckton’s presentation in Perth @ UWA. I had no idea who they were but they were clearly quite … trying to think of a polite expression… off their rockers. They interrupted and tried to interject ridiculous questions after the presentations and had to be asked to be silent as Monckton was only taking questions to the science/economics of climate.

P Walker
July 25, 2011 2:37 pm

kadaka – Thanks . I wasn’t wearing my glasses .

David Falkner
July 25, 2011 3:18 pm
Rational Debate
July 25, 2011 3:23 pm

re post by: P Walker says: July 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm
For whatever it’s worth – I think you’ll find it far easier to just copy and past the URL addy into the comment box rather than trying to type it in – plus cut and paste avoids possible typos which are awfully easy for anyone to make when typing in addys.

Brian H
July 25, 2011 3:54 pm

Rational Debate says:
July 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Yes, I’ve considered the redundancy, and think it’s a form of emphasis plus that there’s a subtlety about “behold”; it implies focus and attention. Wikidictionary gives a modern synonym: “get a load of”. So “lo and behold” becomes, “Look, get a load of that!” 😉
As for “freedom of expression/speech”, it originated as protection for those criticizing government. IMO, that’s about as far as it should go (legally).

July 25, 2011 4:00 pm

No knuckle head zone, good, on with real science.

Adriana Ortiz
July 25, 2011 5:26 pm

The talk given by Monckton at Mt gambier was I think his best ever
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/07/25/3277197.htm there are a series of 4 wonder if anyone knows if a video was made?

Jim Owen
July 25, 2011 8:27 pm

Anthony –
I ran into David Appell on a hiking forum 15 years ago. He was an idiot then and he apparently hasn’t gotten any smarter since then. And, IIRC, his Appalachian Trail experience was short lived and disastrous.

July 25, 2011 8:56 pm

Not being the most eloquent of writers here, let me say that in my humble judgment we see over and over again the aggressive, violent behavior of typical Earth First types, that in many cases include the AGW zealots who are unable to contemplate any thought beyond a religious fervor based bias. The pattern of behavior is well documented. They are not interested in a cvil debate. Their real inner desire is to be destructive toward any oposing view.
I have posted this before, where I sincerely believe it is a genetic characterization that disables the brain to function in any open minded thought process. We see them on this blog and other “safe” blogs or on the freeway exhibiting their hate driven mind set. Individuals suffering the inability to reason are not of creational thought, and therefore are never going to discover any scientific discovery and will at a threshold freely burn others at the stake. When confronted with truth not to their capable understanding, they spew hate to those who are outside their collective lack of thinking. I could take the time to gather the postings of individuals at this site and elsewhere who could be used as examples, with hope to then bar them from espousing their hate driven rhetoric they deliver,often delivered in some patronizing song song, but we shall not play the game of censure; but can make an example of what not to tolerate as Mr. Watts has not done.
I see many as significantly kinder. This leads to a situation of leaning toward apologetic stooping; turning the cheek to those who without conscience demonize openly. But now is not the time to set aside our values. The value of truth, regardless of the pain, is noble. Remind at how long the AGW’s have had their condesending way.
Anthony is coming around to the end of his kindness, whereas the David Apells’ of the world are completely self-focused in hate driven condemnation to all that is not of his fervor based bias. Mr. Apell will never be a happy person. His smile wrought with disquise. When the world is frozen he will hate, when the world cooking he will hate. There is only one motive behind his inability to think: Demonizing self-appointed arrogance, blinded by the inability to reason. Those like him line up religiously to the marching orders of unreasoned thought. They have no free will.
It is ok to set them out, invite them to set debate, else expose them, and delete them from otherwise a reasonable discussion of things to talk about that in the world of science intellectual.
Time for some scotch.
Gary Krause

David Ball
July 25, 2011 10:03 pm

” Like school on Saturday, ………….. no class” – Bill Cosby

Pete H
July 26, 2011 12:03 am

Appell should have been in the bar I was in last night. He would have seen the trouble kick off and then he would really know what a “threat” really is!
By the way, the locals cooled it all down so no animals were hurt during the fracas!

July 26, 2011 4:03 am

Stay classy, Mr Appell…..

July 26, 2011 6:12 am

highflight56433 says:
July 25, 2011 at 8:56 pm
I have posted this before, where I sincerely believe it is a genetic characterization that disables the brain to function in any open minded thought process. ……
And I always thought it was because mommy didn’t like them as much. Maybe mommy didn’t like them as much because of the genetic defect…….. in either case, your characterization of such people is spot on.

July 26, 2011 8:15 am

My old Psychology Prof had a knack for packing a lot of message into a few words. After describing Appell’s personality type as psychotic, he said:
“Psychotics build castles in the air; Psychologists collect the rent!”
Anthony, your actions are correct in his case. Mr Appell is unable to tell the difference between freedom and licence; you have been forced to demonstrate to him where the boundaries of reasonable behaviour are.

July 26, 2011 10:39 am

I wish I had not gone over there to visit. People like him are frightening. The most frightening thing about people like him is that they rant and rave about people ranting and raving (he talks about Anthony “raving” which I don’t really see). He means to be talking about someone else and other people in general, but it really sounds as if he is describing himself. Yet, he doesn’t see this in the slightest. Scary.

Larry Fields
July 26, 2011 3:41 pm

Anthony, you’re a true gentleman. It’s inspiring to see a man who always fights by the Queensbury Rules, even when his opponents are using nuclear weapons!

July 26, 2011 10:03 pm

That’s typical of both the left and the warmists. There is no lie they won’t tell.

Scott Covert
July 27, 2011 7:57 am

If a dead rat on your doorstep is a death threat, I should prosecute my cats.
Are there cats in his nieghborhood?

Christoffer Bugge Harder
July 27, 2011 12:40 pm

Mr Watts,
I think you are missing the point and/or downplaying the issue. Maybe it is because you have been hardened by receiving lots of vile emails or reviews while Appell has not, and thus he views the death threats more seriously than you, and if so, I certainly do not blame you.
However, in my humble opinion, the point is that 99,9% of all email and telephone threats are nothing but hot air or publicity stunts from people just letting out steam – in a face to face encounter, many of those people making such threats are completely harmless average Joe´s otherwise being kind to children and animals. However, when you are at the receiving end of such lovely stuff, it obviously gets progressively harder to just think “Oh, thats just hot air”. Lots of people are making all sorts of stupid but completely hollow threats about bombing schools or airports, but I completely understand that after 9/11, it might not be so easy for airport personnel to shake off even transparently hollow threats. The authorities need to take it seriously every time and at least look into it.
Maybe you are quite a tough guy who are able to just shake off the threats you have allegedly received, but I can hardly blame scientists getting scared upon receiving lots and lots of mail from people telling that they are coming after you, and that you should sleep with one eye open; you certainly know that there are people out there who really, really hate you for what you do for a living, and you know that with thousands of hateful loons out there having singled you out, one of those might just be the occasional Anders Breivik, McVeigh or Yigal Amir – those people do not just come out of nothing.
And do you seriously mean that a death threat has to contain some exact verbal phrase like “I hereby threaten to kill you, SIr” or “This is a death threat for Dr. XXX – please pass forward” to be considered a death threat? Come on – waving a noose is obviously an unequivocal statement. And how about Anna-Maria Arabia receiving an email saying she would be “strung-up by the neck”?
I frankly fail to see any difference between “I´ll kill you” and “You´ll be strung up by the neck”, “you will end up collateral damage”, “you will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f**king neck, until you are dead, dead, dead”, “Your head will be on a stake”. Yes, all this is probably just steam being let out, but exactly the same could be true about “I´ll kill you”.
I do not know this David Appell, but if you sincerely want to create a less hostile environment in climate discussions, then I really think you should take these death threats more seriously than you do.

July 28, 2011 6:21 am

“I has first hand experience with him in Brisbane…” s/b “I HAD…”
Spell check sometimes gives you a false sense of grammar security… 😉
[Fixed, thanx. ~dbs, mod.]

July 29, 2011 12:56 am

hot tip: faux outrage = fauxtrage

July 29, 2011 12:42 pm

Anthony, you should have blocked him long ago.
As for needing the word “death” or synonym to qualify as a “death threat”, “collateral damage” is bordering on that given its frequent use in war matters, and holding up a noose is IMJ a death threat.
But I am so sensitive I avoid fully quoting what Jack Welch said should be done to company bureaucracies.
Of course police have to prioritize, but the massacres in Norway recently illustrate why it is important to evaluate people like the Larouche nut case.
BTW, isn’t it skeptics who have more often been the subject of threats?

July 29, 2011 1:46 pm

“BTW, isn’t it skeptics who have more often been the subject of threats?”
Absolutely, probably by at least a 10:1 margin. The incessant wailing by the alarmist crowd is like the wailing of islamists over a cartoon – after they kill thousands. Remember the 10 – 10 video? And: “We be many, but you are few”, etc.?
Their death threat complaints, like so much of their nonsense, is just psychological projection: imputing their own faults onto others.

Rupert in Springfield
August 22, 2011 10:01 am

Appell is an amateur who is horrendous with numbers and tries to compensate for this by claiming more scientific knowledge than anyone else and shouting them down.
EXAMPLE – Appell recently cited a statistic where he claimed $6B represented 2% of the Federal budget. How anyone could take a man seriously who was under the impression the entire federal budget was $300B (which would have to be true for $6B to be 2% of it) is beyond me.
See Appell comment about three quarters of the way down.

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