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:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-04/death-threats-sent-to-top-climate-scientists/2745536

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:

Quarksoup

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

David Appell

david.appell@xxxx

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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/06/hacked-climate-science-emails-sceptics-abuse

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/climate-scientists-receive-death-threats-10729457

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/08/hacked-climate-emails-death-threats

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t694484/

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/05/hate-mail-climategate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/12/democrat-obama-climate-change-agenda

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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/06/hacked-climate-science-emails-sceptics-abuse

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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Woo

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

Byz

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

Jeff (of Colorado)

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

Rob Z

David who??

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

Daryl M

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

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.”

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

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.

polistra

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

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

gnome

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

Ted Dooley

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

Mindbuilder

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.

As Shub nicely explains here, in Ben Santer’s case the dead animal is a pre-climategate thing, from:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/2/3/josh-72-redux.html
David,
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

cogdissonancedagain

“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

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.

MrX

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.

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.

Mindbuilder,
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?

paulc

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

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

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:
1075403821.txt
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
Mike,
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.
Cheers
Phil
“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

Alaskahound

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

R.S.Brown

Anthony,
At the end of Steve McIntyre’s thread
“Covert” Operations by East Anglia’s CRU at:
http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/14/covert-operations-by-east-anglis-cru/
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
deniers.
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.

R.S.Brown
Leon Brozyna

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

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?

nevket240

((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.
regards

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.
==============================
Agreed.
His picture is worth 1000 words, too.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

TRM

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

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:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/05/snowbound-ushcn-weather-station/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/11/19/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-34/
– Anthony

Pete H

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

J. Felton

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.
HE DIDNT LIST ANY THREATS OR INSULTS DIRECTED TOWARDS THE “SCEPTIC” SIDE.
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

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)

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

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.

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

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

One Appell that fell very far from the Tree of Science

Al Gored

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

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

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

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.

1DandyTroll

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

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

Richard111

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.

wermet

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)

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

Chris Smith

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.