Update 22 May
As Eli notes on the other thread, Deltoid has posted on the Media Watch report on this issue. This is the investigation trumpeted by the Australian headline:
"Media Watch eyes climate scientist death threat claims"
What did they find? The original Canberra Times reports seem well-based. They emphasised a generally threatening environment, with nasty stuff, and did particularly not emphasise death threats. The ABC amped that aspect up a bit. The V-C was reported as referring to death threats over the six month period of Simon Turnill's report, but it now isn't clear if he actually said that.
But they have independently investigated, and again found a definitely threatening environment for climate scientists. They too have a collection of emails received. And they emphasised that the Turnill six-months six scientists FOI request is very limited, and no basis for sweeping assertions that threats have been debunked.
"11 emails. To six scientists. In one university. In one six month period. How on earth do they debunk the Canberra Times's story?"
"One news outlet comes out of it, in our opinion, almost unscathed: Fairfax Media's The Canberra Times. The ABC doesn't look so great, and The Australian looks worst of all."
Eli has more
Eli has more
I have been involved in blog discussions at WUWT and Bishop Hill.
Indeed at WUWT I was honored with an award of crow pie. And told in no uncertain terms of the error of my ways:
You’ve earned troll bin moderation status me thinks because you’d rather believe this fantasy you’ve concocted than facts of the matter at hand. And, the facts are, that there’s no death threats. Game over. – Anthony
As Graham Readfearn notes, the ANU FOI request, on which the latest fuss is based, covers just six named staff at that one University, with threats that actually entered the email system, over a six month period. And ANU only sent around asking for them after a FOI request was received, so they don't include emails that the recipients deleted. So it's a very limited sample. I've summarised some more background here.
However, ANU has now released the emails. I've put a zip-file here. The Privacy Commissioner noted one particular email as:
“In my view, the exchange as described in the email could be regarded as intimidating and at its highest perhaps alluding to a threat.”
It's in Doc_5.pdf. It describes a conference/seminar organised by the University, at which, on the first day, someone "took exception" to a talk on climate change. Then:
"Moreover, before he left, he came to the Fri dinner and showed other participants his gun licence and explained to them how good a sniper he is."
Now I expect that at WUWT they'll say, well, he could be aiming low, or whatever. But it sure sounds like a death hint, at least.
On the other thread a commenter "Colours" draws attention to a comment here where the poster identifies himself as the person who proffered the licence (in his version, a kangaroo culling licence) and gives an alternative non-threatening version of the circumstances.
Update So now that what was in the emails is known, what do we hear from WUWT and co? Nothing. And Simon Turnill, who demanded the emails under FOI, has not posted them. Not said anything. There is a story in the Australian. ANU "forced" to release emails - no mention of the main content.
Update: Simon Turnill has now (5pm Thu) posted the emails with his interpretation.