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Climate change scientists in Australia facing death threats
The Australian National University has confirmed it moved several high-profile climate scientists, economists and policy researchers into more secure buildings, following explicit threats to their personal safety.
Scientists at universities in NSW and Queensland have told of being moved to high security buildings, where their names do not appear on staff directory lists or on their office door.
''If you want to find me, it's impossible unless you make an appointment, sign in with some form of photo identification, and are personally escorted to my door,'' one scientist said.
''That's directly as a result of threats made against me.''
More than 30 researchers across Australia ranging from ecologists and environmental policy experts to meteorologists and atmospheric physicists told The Canberra Times they are receiving a stream of abusive emails threatening violence, sexual assault, public smear campaigns and attacks on family members.
Among the scientists being targeted is Australian National University climate institute director Professor Will Steffen.
Others include University of NSW climate change research co-director Professor Andy Pitman and University of Melbourne meteorology professor and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author Professor David Karoly.
Many scientists spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they feared the email attacks would escalate if they were identified.
Several scientists have installed upgraded home security systems and switched to unlisted phone numbers after receiving threats that their homes and cars would be damaged.
One scientist said he was advised by police to install a ''panic button'' security alarm in his university office after receiving death threats. Others have removed all contact numbers from their work websites, and deleted social media sites after these were defaced with abusive comments and obscene photographs. One researcher told of receiving threats of sexual assault and violence against her children after her photograph appeared in a newspaper article promoting a community tree-planting day as a local action to mitigate climate change.
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