Even now, ClimateDepot’s Marc Morano reiterates his call for a “hostile reaction” to climate scientists

I have previously written about The rise of anti-science cyber bullying and the role played by Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano “” who believes climate scientists should be publicly beaten:

I seriously believe we should kick them while they’re down. They deserve to be publicly flogged.

Morano has never repudiated those remarks and he’s been widely criticized, including by British journalist Leo Hickman (see “UK Guardian slams Morano for cyber-bullying and for urging violence against climate scientists“).

Hickman posted a comment yesterday on the Guardian website imploring Morano to stop:

I would like to add that I saw a direct and clear rise in abusive/threatening emails the moment Climate Depot published my own address in response to my article about the messages [Stephen] Schneider had received. It is an ugly tactic and I for one would dearly like Climate Depot to put an end to it. Over to you, Mr Morano.

Morano’s reponse was to proudly and defiantly ratchet up the rhetoric:


Even now, Morano cheers on a ‘hostile’ reaction to scientists.  Also, the meaning of the “ground zero” reference in this context seems pretty clear — and quite inappropriate.

Note that Hickman was not linking ClimateDepot to the massacre.  That is an utterly false charge.

And speaking of utterly false charges, Morano posted this on his front page:


First, while Morano wants us to believe this is some sort of independent “reaction,” if you follow the link it goes to a post by the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) Europe.  In DC, CFACT pays Morano $110,000 a year.

Second, CFACT has fabricated the ‘Nazi’ smear in the most perverse way.  The CFACT post claims The Guardian reporter went

so far as to label those he disagrees with “climate Nazis‘ which apparently includes CFACT’s Climate Depot.

But if you were to actually follow the link to The Guardian post, you’d find this:

My colleague Leo Hickman reported last year on the repulsive hate mail received by climate scientists following the “climategate” emails:

The scientists revealed they have been told to “go gargle razor blades” and have been described as “Nazi climate murderers”. Some emails have been sent to them without any attempt by the sender to disguise their identity. Even though the scientists have received advice from the FBI, the local police say they are not able to act due to the near-total tolerance of “freedom of speech” in the US.

[The late climate scientist Stephen] Schneider described his attackers as “cowards” and said he had observed an “immediate, noticeable rise” in emails whenever climate scientists were attacked by prominent right-wing US commentators, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

The Guardian‘s point is that it’s the anti-science cyber-bullies who have been calling climate scientists “Nazis” — not the other way around.

Morano was “among the first reporters to write about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign” and was “previously known as Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Man in Washington,’ as reporter and producer for the Rush Limbaugh Television Show.”  He has never changed or repudiated his tactics and deserves to be widely condemned.

49 Responses to Even now, ClimateDepot’s Marc Morano reiterates his call for a “hostile reaction” to climate scientists

  1. Nell says:

    This is for the ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ department

    Why Climate Science Divides Us, But Energy Technology Unites Us

    Boils down to if the facts don’t support the ideology, then they must be false.

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    More straws in the wind. The Rightwing authoritarian personality thrives on anger, rage and paranoia. They are basically frighted creatures, who hate life because its awful majesty is beyond their ability to comprehend. Their tiny, brief, space in the cosmos affronts their gigantic self-regard. They pile up possessions to insulate themselves from the horror of life and death and their own impotence. Their psychic modus operandi is over-reaction, to intimidate reality into conforming with their desires and projection, where they rule the universe by making it dance to their tune.
    When this sort of frankly deranged specimen is confronted by th reality of their impotence, that nature will not follow orders, their reaction must be rage, inchoate, ever-growing rage. The current upsurge in weather disasters, which the authorities are still, increasingly desperately, attempting to deny have anything to do with climate change, makes denialism more and more ridiculous. The Dunning-Krugerites are, I believe, beginning to feel threatened. Their arrogant rejection of science and rationality is being undermined by reality. In these circumstances we must take the violent rantings, the threatening, abusive, e-mails etc, very, very, seriously. The atmosphere, already tainted by decades of Rightwing hate-mongering in the media, will grow nastier as the climate is rapidly disrupted, peak oil works its destruction and economic inequality and injustice grow. It’s an atmosphere tailor-made for the Moronos of this world.

  3. Wit's End says:

    Mulga M,

    You are a refreshing voice here on CP. Thanks for your candor and pithy commentary!

    I agree, that as extreme weather events validate climate model predictions, the deniers will have to double down. And that is a dangerous and frightening prospect.

    Take this story for example, about the record floods in Australia, being blamed on a normal and periodic La Nina:

    with the usual cowardly scientific disclaimers that extreme, unprecedented events can’t be attributed to climate change, which I thought, I had already conclusively eradicated here:

  4. Ed Hummel says:

    Mulga #1, I don’t have to say a thing about this; your said it perfectly. Thanks.

  5. Andy says:

    No, folks like Marc Marano realize that if you say a big lie and never, ever say anything that conflicts with it, no matter how far off from reality you have to veer; then people will believe you.

  6. Tim says:

    Man, this stuff is depressing. Here’s hoping that Carbon Nation is a big hit. I’m looking forward to your review, Joe.

  7. catman306 says:

    To chime in, Mulga, your writings are spot on and save me from struggling to respond. As a compliment, I compare you to SecularAnimist, another favorite of mine.

    More, please!

  8. LT says:

    Apologies for being off topic, but regarding extreme events, the floods in Queensland (Australia) have taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last 48 hours. The state capital, Brisbane, with a population of about 2 million is about to be inundated by a flood of 1974 proportions, or greater, despite the Wivenhoe Dam on the Brisbane River.
    The dam is now full and unable to provide further flood mitigation. A volume of water equal to TWO Sydney Harbours PER DAY has been flowing into the dam over the last couple of days. Flood levels are expected to peak in the CBD (central business district) in approx 24 hours.

    “A third of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone. Brisbane is preparing for its worst flood in a century with 20 to 40,000 homes likely to be flood affected. Ten people have died and almost 90 are still unaccounted for after flash flooding in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley” Follow here.

    Will this wake up the Australian population ? Unfortunately I doubt it.

    Welcome to the future.

  9. LP says:

    Maybe we’re going about our approach to climate change all wrong. Maybe we should just be concentrating on building a Space Ark.

    It’s probably already too late for Earth anyway. So let’s pack our stuff and get out of here for a few dozen generations, and leave this place for all the extremist conservautomatons to just wipe themselves out.

    The sooner us “crazy eco-nazis” bail, the sooner the Earth actually hits the reset button. In a few thousand years our descendants would inherit not only a relatively refreshed planet, but one where they don’t have to compromise it for a bunch of backward entitled loudmouth idiots.

    The only trace left will probably be some last gasp angry cave paintings depicting “them damm libural yugenesists”.

  10. Lou Grinzo says:

    I was convinced that no one among the deniers could sink lower than Singer. After reading Joe’s post, I see Morano has proved me wrong.

    (Surpassing the Singer Standard is quite remarkable. Again, I urge everyone who hasn’t read it to get a copy of Merchants of Doubt and read it cover to cover. The depth and breadth of denier actions over decades on a host of topics from smoking to climate change is mind boggling.)

  11. connor says:

    LT: I doubt it will wake Australia up, not with the Denialatii gleefully trying to portray this disaster as contradicting AGW – all because Tim Flannery once said that Perth would soon become a ghost city with no water.

  12. Wit's End says:

    LP…where can I sign up for the Space Ark???

  13. From Peru says:

    “The Guardian’s point is that it’s the anti-science cyber-bullies who have been calling climate scientists “Nazis” — not the other way around.”

    Well, the psychology of the anti-people, anti-science crowd is impressive.

    They are projecting their own hatred and paranoia on the climate scientists.

    So next time a denier claim

    “Guardian exploits AZ shooting, calls climate realists “Nazis””

    What they really are saying is:

    “We exploit AZ shooting, and we call climate alarmists Nazis”

    Alike what 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (TVMOB) said in Copenhagen last year, calling youth climate activists “Hitler Youth”

  14. LP says:

    Wit’s End, there will be a simple IQ test to sign up for the Ark.

    You don’t even have to score high to get on, but anyone who scores low – and THEN claims the official answers are wrong (because they’re based on inaccurate computer models etc) will be denied entry.

  15. Chris Winter says:

    I’d like to be drawing down Morano’s salary — but I’d turn down his job in a heartbeat.

  16. Wit's End says:


    I’m a pretty good cook. Could I skip the math and qualify instead with outstanding crepes (plus, I know how to raise the chickens), extraordinarily savory stews – beans and greens for the vegans…otherwise, savory dishes with hapless meats from hare to boar???

  17. DavidCOG says:

    Propaganda 101:

    * never admit to making a mistake

    * never admit to lying

    * never deviate from the script

    * never respond positively to any overture made by your targets – always attack

    Morano is not a particularly skilled propagandist, but he knows the basic rules and sticks to them. He really is one of the most obnoxious deniers in a very strong field….

  18. RB says:

    Morano is a childish hack. He’s all about the rhetoric and has zilch substance. What a headline chaser he is and he’s got subzero credibility. Someday he’ll look back at this with his children and realize he was a pawn is destroying the Earth’s livable climate. What a maroon.

    Like Morano, aren’t you also paid to blog from the Center for American Progress?

    Since it probably is required to be publicly reported on a 990 form, what’s your compensation for running Climate Progress? In the interest of full disclosure I’d post it so nobody could accuse you of not being open with your work after you posted Morano’s salary.

    Keep fighting the good fight Joe.

    [JR: It’s no secret I work for CAP. I just don’t try to pretend that stuff CAP writes is a ‘reaction’ to things I write.]

  19. DavidCOG says:

    @9. LP:

    > Maybe we should just be concentrating on building a Space Ark.

    Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighbouring star, is ~30,000 years away – and there are no habitable planets orbiting it. We’re not going anywhere. This planet is our only chance.

    However, maybe we could persuade the Teabagging denier demographic to hop on board a Space Ark? No need to mention how long it will take to reach a habitable planet…. ;)

  20. MapleLeaf says:

    Just some more thoughts, have a comment stuck in moderation for some reason. Morano is making a mockery of free speech and democracy in the USA and ought to be taken to task by the legal system for doing so. It also disgusts me that he is so glib about abusing his freedoms and that he is so clueless that free speech comes with much responsibility. I cannot speak for my friends in the USA, but Moroano’s attitude and actions seem to be the very antithesis of what the USA stands for, and actually unpatriotic.

  21. Berbalang says:

    Due to circumstances I had to spend a number of years working against a Rightwing Authoritarian type. You don’t work with a person like that, you work against them. Anyway, the last project was the one that forced me to understand what passes for thought processes in his so-called mind.
    In interacting with other people we tend to assume that their thought processes are similar to our own. That is not the case. While they may regard certain things as fundamental, logic is not one of them. If the evidence doesn’t support the conclusion they want, then the evidence must be eliminated or explained away by introducing some other factor, which can only be explained by introducing another factor, etc. In their minds the most complicated explanation is the correct one.
    When talking to them words don’t mean to them what you think they mean and can change meaning without warning, or in most cases, have no meaning. Once you realize that, conversations become more like interacting with an old Eliza or Racter program, devoid of any real communication.

  22. David B. Benson says:

    Gish gallop.

  23. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Wit’s End #3, I saw that typically sneaking bit of Guardian denialism, too. Typically all the denialist verbiage is packed into the beginning and middle, and the rationality left to the end. An old trick, as a certain percentage never read through to the end. Thanks too, for increasingly my now habitual gloom with the stuff on tropospheric ozone. Looking it up I even recognised a 1984 New Scientist article on the same subject, which I’d forgotten.
    Andy#5, a moderately successful Rightwing German politician of the 1930s recommended the Big Lie as a good tactic because the common folk, being honest, would not believe that anyone would have the audacity to confect such a lie. Nowadays it is a prime ideological tool, and one of the Marks of the Beast, of the Right.
    connor #11, Flannery said that, and he is being proved correct, as Perth, on the opposite side of the continent to Brisbane, dries out more and more every year, as precipitation falls and temperatures rise, a process that began in the 1970s.
    Berbalang #21, there is of course a lot of work on the Rightwing authoritarian personality, but little, alas, on how to keep them from seizing power. Unfortunately, market capitalism, which they largely created (civilization in contradistinction, was created by working people, scientific progress and cultural cross-fertilisation)empowers them yet further, a truly vicious circle. This may be the point where advanced societies destroy themselves, when the pathological take over, hence the mysterious silence of the cosmos.

  24. Villabolo says:

    Berbalang @21:

    Good insight into the inpenetrability of the authoritarian mind and the narcissistic/psychopathic one.

    Also, the unfortunate habit of projection that we can’t seem to shake. It is to our injury that we continue to keep assuming that there is any meaningful communication possible with such people.

  25. from Europe says:

    While it’s sad to see right wingers like Morono continue to promote violence against non-violent people, it’s also nice to see writings of people like Mulga M.

  26. Neven says:

    Coincidentally I had just read those comments on the Guardian.

    I think this is the most horrible thing I’ve seen Morano do. Somehow I’m hoping he will retract. I wish I could give him a call and talk it through with him, try to persuade him. It’s just horrible.

  27. paulm says:

    can’t someone sue someone?

  28. Inverse says:

    Three things that create false science:


    Keep science pure…

  29. John Mason says:

    One cannot help wondering if, when things get so obviously out-of-kilter as they will if we do nothing, how guys like Morano & collegaues will try and crawl their way out of the hole they will have dug themselves….

    Cheers – John

  30. Lionel A says:

    Morano will always dig down to through the bottom of the deapest ditch, that is what he is.

    Mulga – brilliantly put.

    As for that Guardian piece Wit’s End, Damian Carrington (Hum! Carrington?) writes in para’ 6:

    A silver lining in the storm clouds brought by La Niña is the relief of the decade-long drought much of Australia has endured.

    what a clot. Can he not appreciate that flooding on this scale and severity is going to lead to much degradation of arable land when much of any useful topsoils finds its way out to sea – and the compromise The Great Barrier Reef.

  31. Peter M says:

    Morano seems to be a favorite over at Forbes Magazine- they use him as a source on climate change. Says allot does it not about Forbes?

  32. kattemann says:

    I am reminded of the creationists’ reaction to the Long-Term Evolution Experiment by Lenski et al. They say Lenski and his team are frauds and liars, because there is no such thing as evolution. What they found in their experiments can not possibly happen, ergo …

    (Also I am re-reading The Skies of Pern, the Abominators therein are good examples of the closed mindset discussed here.)

  33. Mark at the Rally says:

    DavidCOG (#19): Douglas Adams already thought of that strategy. :)

  34. Joan Savage says:

    Regarding extreme speech: Freedom of speech does not protect inciting others to conduct criminal activity such as “flogging.” Not all listeners are able to separate hyperbolic metaphors from advice.

    Regarding deniers: I have seen people die without ever having to acknowledge that they had a terminal diagnosis. It’s not required for dying.

    A steady flow of factual updates can sometimes bring people around, but not always. Following the metaphor, factual updates can help family and friends deal with the changing reality. Climateprogress is a good place to look for those factual updates. Like good hospice care, there is plenty to do. I suppose someone will bridle at accommodation of the inevitable, but we are at this point.

    This morning over at dot earth, Andrew Revkin posted about end of life issues in a populous world, which re-stimulated my recall of hospice care, and its implications.

  35. re: 29

    John, Morano is a coward and will do what cowards do — run.

  36. Mike Roddy says:

    It still amazes me that people can quote Mark Morano with a straight face, and that he shows up as a guest on TV shows. One would think that even Fox would draw the line at stone cold lunatics. I wrote something about him and others a year ago for Buffalo Beast that ended up being pretty popular:

    The scary thing is the size of his audience, even if it only reflects the views of about a third of Americans….

    Relentless and funny ridicule of people like Morano and Watts may be the best weapon. They are, after all, more like badly wired toys than actual humans. It worked when McCarthy was exposed as an idiot on TV in 1954. And if Charlie Chaplin’s Hitler parody had been shown throughout Germany in the 1930’s, he would have been laughed out of office.

    Peter Sinclair does a great job with the deniers in his Climate Crock videos. If they were expanded and shown nationally, Morano, Monckton, and the rest of them would be laughed out of the country, ending up, like McCarthy, as hopeless and forgotten alcoholics.

  37. Kevin says:

    I just visited Climate Depot and it is scary. They think that science is on their side!? They have a lot information or should I say misinformation on the site about climate science. They do not understand that massive snowstorms actually are something that global warming can cause. They think that massive snowstorms prove that the climate is not changing/not warming/not man made! I could not stay at the site very long because it made me sick how much they tried to pass themselves off as the professionals and they try to make sites like CP look like the con artists, even though they do not even use any science to come to their strange conclusions. Keep up the good work CP we need real sites to report the truth about global warming and the impact it will have our the future of the planet.

  38. gary says:

    As I suspected,,, This is just an echo chamber for deluded cultists.

    sadly, your little religion is loosing popular support really fast now.

    what ever will you do when its all over?

    Dream up some other disaster?
    I know. dumb question. Of course you will.

  39. Chris Winter says:


    You’re right about one thing: Our side is “loosing” popular support, and that will continue. You see, we have the facts on our side. “…reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

    As for the rest of your message: Sorry, no. Stick around; you’ll see it for yourself.

  40. Chris Winter says:

    Mark at the rally wrote (#33): “DavidCOG (#19): Douglas Adams already thought of that strategy.”

    …as did Cyril Kornbluth, back in 1951.

  41. Jim Prall says:

    On the topic of the authoritarian personality, I highly recommend the very timely and insightful writings of Prof. Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba:

    He’s made his entire book on the topic available for free in PDF form. I read the whole thing last summer and found it very engaging and insightful. There are shorter follow-up pieces on the 2008 U.S. elections and the rise of the Tea Party movement, tying these in with his previous analysis of the culture of the right in the U.S.

  42. Jim Prall says:

    Also I should add that I too was subjected to a rash of hostile crank emails the week that Morano published my email address in his email blast (widely read by the U.S. right, I understand). This was last June after my paper came out in PNAS on relative credibility of mainstream vs. contrarian climate scientists. This evidently hit a nerve.

    Some of the emails sounded quite hostile, but nearly all were shallow personal attacks rather than relevant responses to the points we tried to make in the journal paper.

    Here’s a link to a PowerPoint I presented later that summer in which I quote some of the emails (and go through what climate denialism is about, citing Littlemore’s Climate Cover-Up and Oreskes’ Merchants of Doubt – both recommended reading!)

  43. MapleLeaf says:

    Jim @42,

    Sorry to hear that Jim. It must be quite unnerving to receive such vitriol. All the more evidence that you are doing the right things I suppose (and underscores the vacuity of their “case”), but the anger expressed in some of the emails does make me concerned for the safety of climate scientists and those working with them.

  44. Lionel A says:

    Jim Prall #42

    Thanks for that link to your PowerPoint PDF, excellent and to the point and good for those with a short attention span which seems to be a growing percentage of the populations of the supposedly educated world.

  45. Anne van der Bom says:

    Inverse #28, make that 4:


  46. Anne van der Bom says:

    Villabolo #24

    It is to our injury that we continue to keep assuming that there is any meaningful communication possible with such people.

    We don’t. At least, I don’t.

    We communicate with the ones that still have a choice. I just hope we can prevent them from painting themselves in a corner where they have no critical thinking, no sense of reality and no choice left.

  47. Louise says:

    Hostility towards Dr Trenberth is reaching sickening levels over at WUWT. I don’t suppose Watts pointing to Trenberth’s e-mail address was designed to encourage people to heap praise upon him either.

  48. Bill Masdaen says:

    @ Mike Roddy says:
    January 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

    “It still amazes me that people can quote Mark Morano…

    The scary thing is the size of his audience, even if it only reflects the views of about a third of Americans….

    Relentless and funny ridicule of people like Morano and Watts may be the best weapon.”

    Ummmmm, is that why their readership is a hundred times the showing compared to here?


    [JR: My audience is MUCH larger than Morano’s. More people probably read my content than his — but it’s hard to tell, given my subscriber-driven strategy.]

  49. We can talk about activists on the political right who have “no credibility” but there’s a danger there. It can be comfortable to not worry about their organizing precisely because — in the scientific world — they really do have no credibility.

    But those people aren’t writing for a scientific audience; they’re writing for the people who similarly have none, don’t want any, see a scientific education as something threatening, and yet manage to convince themselves that they are more educated about science than all the “liberal” PhDs.

    These are the authoritarian personality people who are dangerous to our society and to these people the “no credibility” folks are damn near genius.