Hate mail has been pouring in for Katharine Hayhoe, the Texas Tech professor and climate change evangelist embraced and then spurned by an ascendant Newt Gingrich.
Gingrich had commissioned Hayhoe to pen a chapter on climate change for his yet-to-be-published book on the environment, but changed his mind after a climate change skeptic confronted him about the choice on the campaign trail in Iowa. In his Washington Post column, Michael Gerson dubbed Gingrich's attempt to put some distance from his stance on climate change "shabbier little episodes of the 2012 presidential campaign" and lamented that climate change has become a touchstone issue in the culture war.
Hayhoe has made more headlines than your average climate scientist because of her personal story: she's an evangelical Christian, a child of missionaries who is married to a pastor.
After the Gingrich news broke, the Toronto Globe and Mail interviewed Hayhoe to see how the Canadian scientist was faring: "It’s not easy opening your mail in the morning and seeing a hundred e-mails, each one more hateful than the last,” Hayhoe told the Globe and Mail . “The attacks’ virulence, the hatred and the nastiness of the text have escalated exponentially."
Curious to peek into that "avalanche of venomous emails"? Now you can, as Hayhoe shared them with the Texas Climate News .
Here's a selection: "DUMPED FROM GINGRICH’S BOOK HA HA HA […] IT’S A GREAT START!!! SEE YA, FRAUDSTER – GET A REAL JOB, MCDONALD’S IS HIRING." Another seemed to be channelling U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson: "[Y]ou are nothing but a liar; you lie."
A third message was pure venom, with a side of crazy:
You are a mass murderer and will be convicted at the Reality TV Grand Jury in Nuremberg, Pennsylvania. ... After the Grand Jury indicts you, I would like to see you convicted and beheaded by guillotine in the public square, to show women that if they are going to take a man’s job, they have to take the heat for mass murder, just like the men do when they get caught.
Hayhoe also discussed personal attacks she's faced in recent weeks in an interview with environmentalist Peter Sinclair: