FOI reveals nasty hateful emails sent to Phil Jones right after Climategate

Bishop Hill is reporting that some ugly emails have been published due to FOI requests. He writes:

In the wake of the death threats that weren’t at ANU, several people sent FOI requests to the University of East Anglia asking for copies of the death threats that they said Phil Jones had received. The relevant emails have now been released and can be seen here

Be warned, this is very, very ugly stuff, and there are several messages in there that seem to me to be criminal.

Colour me disgusted

I agree, they are vile and disgusting. Nobody should have to endure these. And, no credible climate skeptic would send them. These are the work of cowards.

From the perspective of these mild mannered scientists, I know these sorts of things come as a complete shock to them. I can see how Dr. Jones would have been driven to depression right after Climategate broke.

From my perspective, having been in television and radio newsrooms for 25 years, this is pretty run of the mill stuff. I’ve also gotten emails like this in my work on TV and radio, as well as during my publication of WUWT. I described my experience with this sort of stuff previously when I took the overly excitable David Appell to task for bringing my deceased mother into the argument in David Appell denies he has any class.

Note that all of the email sender addresses have been redacted. That probably wasn’t necessary, as it is highly unlikely any of these vile little cowards that wrote this stuff used a real email address. In my experience, people generally don’t write such things when they have their real name attached to such vile prose.

As I’ve always said about the Internet and electronic communications in general, anonymity breeds contempt.

This doesn’t change the ANU argument, which has been clearly and completely debunked. No death threats were sent there. I suppose that there will be another round of the story now that these have been published, because small minded people like Appell have a driven need to paint skeptics in the worst possible light, so I’m sure all sorts of associations will be made. He’s gone silent since he came out on the wronger than wrong  side of the ANU argument, expect a fresh set of hateful prose from him now.

As for this thread. I’m not going to tolerate much in the way of off color commentary. Moderators – snip at will anything that doesn’t meet policy.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John Whitman

The ~26 released emails had dates on them range from the period 22 Nov 2009 to 17 Feb 2010. I did not see the FOI request for the emails, so I do not know if the requestor only asked for threatening emails from Nov 2009 to Feb 2010. The distribution was 16 emails in Nov, 2 emails in Dec, 1 email in Jan , and 5 emails in Feb. There were 2 emails with no date.
The 16 released emails which had times on them appear to be from random times of the day. One had a PST time zone indicated in the time stamp, US pacific west coast zone.
I saw no pattern noted on occurrence during the days of the week. The days of the week were represented: 6 emails on Mon, 3 emails on Tue, 4 emails on Wed, 1 email on Thur, 4 emails on Fri, 4 emails on Sat and 4 emails on Sun.
I am still thinking about the distribution of the types of linguistics shown in the various emails. I am a US citizen, for me many have a tone that seems to be American-ish. But since I am not very familiar with how Canadians, Brits, Aussies and NZers use violent and foul language, I abstain from saying if emails are from those countries.
PS – also posted this on BH’s thread.

I find these emails very, very suspicious. Terrible spellings and punctuation coupled with correct spelling of a more difficult word. Lack of capitalisation coupled with unusually broad vocabulary. Similar typing conventions on multiple emails (double space after a full stop). A lack of variation in the style of the abuse.
I’d have an expert look at them…

Oddly, UEA produced documents as a result of this FOI request.

D.R. Williams

Seeing the pattern of Phil Jones behavior and that of the Team in general as exemplified in the Climategate emails, cowards attracting email from cowards is not surprising. It’s clearly a case of “vile and disgusting” begetting the same.


I don’t have any sympathy for Phil Jones. You make your own bed of nails, you lie in it. Some of you think the emails he received are disgusting. To me, what is really disgusting is that global warming alarmists continue to label AGW skeptics as “deniers” and the mainstream media continues to accept and promote this–this is hate speech, plain and simple.
Just because my opinion of AGW doesn’t conform to the views of our political masters, it doesn’t mean I am a holocaust denier. As a Jew whose father fought in WWII, I find this continued use of the term to label AGW skeptics doubly offensive.
I was especially offended when Barack Obama used this “denier” term to label AGW skeptics in one of his speeches–isn’t it ironic that it’s ok for the first black POTUS to promote hate speech, but a few angry e-mails to scientists falsifying their research gets blown out of proportion. Even the Australian prime minister Ju-liar Gillard used this “denier” term to slander AGW skeptics in Australia.
This is the true meaning of post-normal science: it’s ok to lie, cheat, and commit fraud because those in power says it’s ok to do so. Just like it’s ok for Peter Gleick to commit wire fraud and not get punished. Just like it’s ok for Phil Jones and Michael Mann to “hide the decline” and not get punished. Just like it’s ok for Al Gore and the IPCC to demonize C02, a harmless gas plants need to make food, and not get punished. But if your views go against the political orthodoxy, you will lose your job in a heartbeat. This is the new post-normal science world we live in now.
However, history is on the side of truth. Nazi’s came and Nazi’s lost. Dictators all eventually fall. Eventually, all these AGW scammers are going to get caught in their own web of lies and charged for serious crimes against humanity. It will be a long struggle but make no mistake, once the global public awaken to the massive lies and fraud going on in the name of AGW alarmism and carbon taxes, a few angry emails will pale in comparison to what these AGW charlatans are going to receive.

Jimmy Haigh.

Not very nice. It was not unlike reading the comments at the likes of Huffpo. Or Romm’s on a bad day.

>These are the work of cowards.
The email header might provide information on the origin, and it would be extremely interesting if these were published. The wording seems repetitive and American…(which don’t always go together!). Perhaps another FOI is in order.

Latimer Alder

@john whitman
Definitely a US feel to my British eye/ear. Some of the constructions just aren’t used in UK. Neither do we assume that a sudden death will be by shooting.

Came across this sort of script from time to time in the low socio economic school where I taught for many years. It’s inexcusable behaviour but teachers copped it regularly in it’s verbal form. A scientist leading a sheltered academic life would find it harder to deal with, but as teachers we just had to laugh it off. Considering the importance of climategate to the world the number of abusive emails is in actual fact very very low, in my opinion.

Well, there’s not as many as I expected, and some writers almost have cogent thoughts. One even alluded to Jones’ Climategate message about John Daly’s premature death, but spoiled the moment with the death threat. Some aren’t even death threats, e.g. “May God punish you severely for your untruthful actions.”
On the other hand, I have little use for people who think they’re communicating when every phrase has a vulgar word. Give ’em a copy of Strunk & White! Heck, start a genre of hate limericks to get a little humor to the threats!
I can almost feel sorry for Phil and his team. It must have been nice back when they had a nice, quiet academic environment where they wrote papers, get them published after pal review, and not bother to file the data someplace because no one bothered to reproduce the work. Then Daly, then M&M, then a flood of interested amateurs, then people screaming that CO2 is a trace gas and therefore can’t have an effect, then Climategate, and then these.
On the other hand, they managed to set themselves up for the fall, so forgive me if I can’t feel too sorry for them. Who knows, maybe God is punishing Jones for what he said about Daly. Well, probably not, your faith may vary.


As I said at the Bishop’s place:
Of course they are vile, but once again I am amazed at the preciousness of people who want to drive major changes in the way we live without any consequences. I have said before, and will keep saying, that Ministers get this stuff all the time, precisely because people think that they have the power to affect the way we live.
The quoted examples are typical of what a powerful politician gets all the time. No, they are not ‘death threats’, and yes, there are some angry and disturbed people out there.
It should be noted that these sorts of unpleasant communications are not limited to any particular kind of scientist, professional or politician. It is the perception that these people have the power to influence events that generates the hate mail. Judges get this stuff as well, as do doctors and lawyers, and public servants.
Judges, lawyers, public servants, doctors and politicians all manage to keep doing their jobs despite the rantings of temporarily or permanently deranged members of the public. What is so special about snowflake climate scientists, whose only crime is to promote policies that make people poorer (at best) based on questionable premises, data, and conclusions?
They, and their defenders, need to get out more. I’m afraid I don’t share the revulsion of previous commenters, having read this sort of garbage very day addressed to Ministers. Boo-bloody-hoo. An old saying about heat and kitchens comes to mind.
I suspect that Anthony has been very low-key in his description of the stuff that he gets all the time, especially since the lowlife Appell released Anthony’s personal email details to the blogosphere.
I deplore abusive or threatening communications from whoever to whoever. But, it is unrealistic to be an advocate of major political and economic change and expect that no-one will notice your name on the justification document. And, no, they weren’t just scientists doing their job, as the Climategate emails demonstrated.

michael hart

Anthony, how do you feel about this comment, posted at the BBC yesterday on Richard Black’s article [comment 68]? I won’t reproduce it here.
REPLY: Well other than the commenter is too stupid to spell my name correctly, the correct response is to report the comment and see if BBC deletes it. – Anthony


From my perspective, having been in television and radio newsrooms for 25 years, this is pretty run of the mill stuff.
Anthony, you’re a hardened warrior from the front-lines, yet sympathetic to the sheltered academics. Not sure I’m that magnanimous.


Vile, of course. But I wonder how many of these type of emails Phil Jones and the others received before Climategate. In other words, I’m suspicious that his depression and thoughts of suicide had more to do with the damning and potentially incriminating content of the emails than the hatemail trash sent by these morons.
Color me cynical. He’d been in the limelight a long time. Remember his comment to the effect that he’d spent his career collecting the data and why should he release it when all his correspondent wanted to do was find something wrong with it? I’m sure he’s gotten some nasty flak for that over the years.

This is SO obvious. These Emails were created by “the team”. This is STRAIGHT out of the “left’s” playbook. Have someone create VILE, disgusting attacks in a public venue. Attribute them to your opponents. Beatify yourself…you are a saint. Your opponents (correctly) deny any connection. BINGO, you’ve won! It is an ADVANTAGE which completely corrupt people have over honest ones, who think that “proper” behavior always wins.
I have no solution, only an insight.
PS: The “catch” that they are written in a pseudo neanderthal style but the creators “slipped” and used vocabulary that is not typical of “neanderthal conservative/skeptics” is marvelous.
The one thing we can count on is that EVIL ALWAYS OVERPLAYS ITS HAND in the poker game of life.

As I’ve always said about the Internet and electronic communications in general, anonymity breeds contempt.
Anonymity eliminates the necessity for someone to take responsibility — or consequences — for his words. I’ve never said anything in print that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
That said, I agree with Steve T’s assessment. The e-mails are suspiciously akin.

David Ball

How many “victim” cards are in that deck?


Anyone save the pdf? The link to the emails is not working at this time.
As for comments I have read about how ‘shocked’ people are (I read comments from Bishop Hill’s site) … try being a conservative blogger. From what is described, these are relatively harmless.


Given the contents of the Climategate emails, I’m surprised there weren’t more nasty emails. Phil Jones and his CAGW co-conspirators have caused immeasurable economic damage and untold human suffering.
Jay Davis


Dono if I want to read them. D/L seems to have quit?
Bob Tisdale says:
June 13, 2012 at 6:49 am
Oddly, UEA produced documents as a result of this FOI request.
UEA…you seem, Quick and willing to point to a person who punched your arm….but not quick to admit that you did some arm punching?


One can only hope for Gleick’s sake that he isn’t getting fingered for writing these, too.

Steve C

Dear God, I felt dirty just reading them. Has the UEA never heard of Bayesian filtering? – If I try sending so much as one ‘questionable’ word to my local council offices – even if not aimed at them – it bounces straight back. Ugh.


I’m sorry, but I’d put most of them, based on their similarity to each others, and the odd style, intio the category of “self-generated” sympathy magnets. In other words, I doubt they came from anyone but Phil or a supporter. Glieckenspool, anyone?

more soylent green!

Max Hugoson says:
June 13, 2012 at 7:24 am
This is SO obvious. These Emails were created by “the team”. This is STRAIGHT out of the “left’s” playbook. Have someone create VILE, disgusting attacks in a public venue. Attribute them to your opponents. Beatify yourself…you are a saint. Your opponents (correctly) deny any connection. BINGO, you’ve won! It is an ADVANTAGE which completely corrupt people have over honest ones, who think that “proper” behavior always wins.
I have no solution, only an insight.
PS: The “catch” that they are written in a pseudo neanderthal style but the creators “slipped” and used vocabulary that is not typical of “neanderthal conservative/skeptics” is marvelous.
The one thing we can count on is that EVIL ALWAYS OVERPLAYS ITS HAND in the poker game of life.

If created by “the team” means written by useful idiot lackeys who decided to help out the cause by creating fake threatening emails, then you’re spot on.


Some of them may be from the US , but ‘f*ck face’ is a British insult, probably older generation
I just dont understand how it got past the sweary filter

Jim Clarke

The emails are vile and ignorant. As a climate change crisis skeptic I completely renounce the views expressed in these emails. There is no place for these ad-homs-on-steriods, or any ad hominems at all, in the debate.
(sarc) Almost all climate change crisis skeptics agree with the above statement, creating an overwhelming consensus. Therefore, the issue is settled and should not be brought up by David Appell, or any other warmist, ever again! (sarc off)
Seriously…I do have one question about this that I believe would be of interest. How long did it take for the UEA to comply with this FIO, compared to requests for climate related data and emails?

Kevin Kilty

Perhaps I am completely jaded, but I am skeptical of these e-mails. Twenty-six emails over seven days of the week works out to an expectation of 4 per week day. But the actual distribution is so peaked at four per day that I’m suspicious. I’ll bet Hugoson is right–these are straight from a certain playbook.

Aidan Donnelly

Cannot read them as it wont DL at the moment.
But already some are taking them as genuine, others are (with good reason given the Climategate etc), taking the position tha these are ‘false-flag’ attacks by ‘The team’
So around and around we go, still trying to get the truth to the public in a believable way – truly it was said that the first casualty of war is Truth .. and this is quite definitely a war

michael hart

Anthony, I was the person being responded to in the post mentioned above [in my BBC username of many years standing]. Being in the UK and not the person named, my response was to let it stand, as I later said. I had second thoughts when I read the Bishop Hill post, but if you’re OK with it…

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer

Anthony, you’re correct about this sort of garbage being all too common for public personalities. My observation is that female bloggers, journalists, etc get it the worst. You kind of expect this sort of thing from the Left, but it’s a damn shame when skeptics or people on the right do it. Whether in science or in politics, there are mountainsful of good honest criticisms to be made. Why do the hateful garbage, when you have perfectly legitimate arguments to make? I’ve said for some time that for all the good teh interwebz has brought, the anonymity, or at least non face to face contact, bring out the worst in people, on all subjects and all political flavors. Commenters, when you shoot off an email, or make a phone call, be logical and calm. No place for the hatefulness that goes on.
/rant off


not nearly as gripping as the videos of blowing up schoolchildren and soccer players, the suicidal animals or little girls clinging the the last tree on earth.
much less credible than agenda 21
however, they indicate that at least a few people got mad about being screwed.
apart from those few, the perpetrators of the fraud and the robbers of your rights have no resistance that matters.
but talk is just talk.
40% of american income down the tubes in the last 3 years isnt’ enough to get a true believer to doubt the system he supports. doesn’t even get him mad. that indicates that he agrees that he’s suitable as fodder and has no claim to rights.
I watched a tsunami vid yesterday. there were some who could not be so undignified as to run like hell. they walked as if they were balancing books on their heads – gracefully. they died.
i’d hate to have to depend on anybody like that in the trenches, but that’s all there is.
that’s why a ussr is all but assured.
the meek shall inherit the grave.
that’s justice. darwin says so.

John Whitman

Because just the pdf of these allegedly real emails has been disclosed at BH’s blog and nothing else related to the FOI request, then I am skeptical of the pdf file containing the emails. I will remain skeptical until I see:
1) the original FOI request made to UEA/CRU by the person who made the FOI request
2) the original UEA/CRU acknowledgement of receiving the FOI request that they are required to send to the FOI requester.
3) any response by the requestor to UEA/CRU receipt acknowledgement notice
4) the actual UEA/CRU transmittal letter/email sent to the requestor which contained the release of the requested emails/info.
Also, I would like to see the Information Commissioner in the UK (I sorry if I got the title wrong) review the credibility that these are real emails.

mrmethane said: onJune 13, 2012 at 7:52 am “… Glieckenspool, anyone?”
How about Gliechendoof? seems more apropos.


“From the perspective of these mild mannered scientists, I know these sorts of things come as a complete shock to them. I can see how Dr. Jones would have been driven to depression right after Climategate broke.”
Really? You suggesting his actions (lying and theiving) had nothing to do with driving him to depression? Are you saying that those who defraud the public should not have to endure any pushback by those about to lose their money and liberty?
Mild mannered or not, the fraud must be exposed and those who committed it, Phil Jones included, should pay a very heavy and expensive price.

The emails are vile. But I had to laugh at the illogic of the one that said…

“I hope you f****rs die slowly and painfully. You are the scum of the earth and should be put in front of a firing squad.”

So which is it, “slowly” or “firing squad?”
Holy Cow!

Titan 28

These emails just don’t ring true to me. Two, three groupings that have similarities, as well as really stupid inexplicable misspellings, the deliberate kind of misspellings you see in letters designed to make the sender appear to be an idiot. I think the Team is perfectably capable of generating this sort of stuff to make themselves appear rightfully aggrieved. I could be wrong. Best thing would be for someone with access and the requisite tools to follow these emails down the rabbit hole, see where they lead.


A lot of the emails will be from teenagers. This the norm in many modern sub cultures.
e.g. Anyone who does online gaming will be exposed to similar constant abuse.
Personally I can’t take it seriously, and so can find it somewhat funny. Although I wouldn’t post anything like that myself for fear of job security. Kids don’t have that worry, I kinda envy them for their freedom in this respect.


Hell, I’ve heard worst from my mother-in-law.
And all I did was take the last chicken leg.


I think the emails can be broadly divided into three categories.
There’s one set which is clearly the work of a loon, or several similar loons. Crack-head, meth-head, or merely unfortunately mentally ill, but, whilst distasteful, not subject to rational analysis beyond saying that if you’re in the public eye, you’re likely to attract rants from the odd nutter. Essentially, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the debate. Of course they’re deplorable, and possibly even the highest risk as far as someone actually putting them into action, but they’re not politically motivated in any way that makes sense to sane people. Some of the long rambling rants contain actual threats, but they’re buried in lunatic babble.
There’s another set which expresses the wish that the recipient would die, or kill themself, but which aren’t actually threatening. There’s one which ends by wishing Phil would crawl away and rot in a ditch, and then adds ‘(Please don’t take the black humour to heart.)’, which whilst not a threat as such is a bit like saying ‘no offence’ instead of avoiding giving offence…
The third set is the one consisting of the emails which are relatively short, relatively coherent, and have a clear, unambiguous threat. It’s a small minority, but they’re certainly there. As Anthony Watts points out, such things are almost always merely venting, but that doesn’t mean a recipient of them isn’t entitled to call them death threats. Personally, I don’t find receiving death threats to be particularly serious when they’re of this unspecific nature and in this quantity, but there are some there.

cui bono

Where’s Sherlock Mosher?
Seriously, whoever these people are, they need help beyond anger management courses.
And why is it assumed they are right-wingers? Several of the mails refer (vaguely, in between the expletives and the spleen) to the economic damage done by the AGW crowd, including “dead children”. This is a common complaint by both right- and left-wing critics of The Cause.
Ironically, none of this would have happened if the CRU crew had paid attention to FOI requests in the first place.
Still, utterly sick.

James Ard

I call bs on this. Your typical person who is interested in climate issues generally knows how to spell. These are false flag attacks. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from the team. Like has been said upthread, I’d look for Glieks fingerprints on this.


Max Hugoson says:
June 13, 2012 at 7:24 am
David Ball says:
June 13, 2012 at 7:37 am
How many “victim” cards are in that deck?
Kaboom says:
June 13, 2012 at 7:47 am
One can only hope for Gleick’s sake that he isn’t getting fingered for writing these, too.
mrmethane says:
June 13, 2012 at 7:52 am
John Whitman says:
June 13, 2012 at 9:23 am
As to the comments noted above, count me in this camp. What I would say has been said.
I agree that this type garbage is out of order. I would also say that if these emails are in fact real and were fabricated for political purpose by someone for the purpose of garnering sympathy for Jones, then heads should roll (this is a figure of speech and not a threat).

John Greenfraud

Death threats are over the line, however, calling for these people to be jailed because of their participation in outright fraud, is not. People will be held accountable, regardless of some unverifiable ‘hate’ mail from dubious sources. I have no sympathy for scam artist who have (IMHO) brazenly committed scientific fraud and malfeasance in pursuit of political power and/or self-enrichment. The cost of this scam to the people of this country is incalculable. We won’t forget or forgive, and they won’t be let off the hook so easily.


After resorting to cussing and threats; the debate is lost. Either some really stupid people sent the emails, or they are scam emails designed to gain sympathy for Mr. Jones.

I think the well-known pro-AGW troll Vendicar Decarian posts similar messages in tone and quantity every day.

Disko Troop

I have had a Chief Petty Officer stand one inch from my face and hurl expletives and abuse at me for 5 solid minutes and then make me lie face down in the mud while he stood on me and hurled abuse at the rest of the squad. That’s abusive. Three large Gentlemen carrying an axe amongst other things pursued me for about ten minutes in West Wego before I lost them. That is a death threat. A Captain friend of mine was a protestant living in a particular area of Belfast in 1973. Two well dressed men came to his door one night and told him to leave. He moved to Scotland the following day and left everything except his personal effects behind. That was a death threat.
If a few abusive e-mails from loonies is the worst that these wussy “scientists” have ever had to worry about then pardon me for not feeling at all sympathetic.


Are there any death threats in this stuff?

Put me in the “false flag” camp as well. As stated earlier, I also see 3 different writing styles, There is a definite American feel for the emails.
But, these are definitely not the work of the typical skeptic. Recall, that after Climategate emails, skeptics weren’t angry, heck many were darn near euphoric!
In spite of the content of some of those emails, I had to “LOL” at some of them….. one signed “Chaos Deathwalker”. Aparently, that’s a reference to a Babylon 5 episode?
But, here’s what really jumped out at me….. bottom of page 7, “dodgy emails that were hacked…“. Uhmm….. oops! That’s not how us skeptics term the “release” of the emails.
BTW, Anthony et al, the comment referenced earlier at the BBC has been removed.

Yep, the left would never stoop to such levels.


The AGW people are in the business of faking data! Probably an inside job.