The Perfect Time to Heart a Climate Scientist

With Valentine's Day on Tuesday and climate scientists continuing to come under relentless attacks by climate skeptic groups, a new campaign has sprung up to show some love for the scientists. The brainchild of Climate Nexus, a climate change strategic communications organization, the “I Heart Climate Scientists” campaign has a Facebook page where people are submitting photos of themselves and/or their pets with signs supporting climate scientists. Supporters are also being urged to use the Twitter hashtag #iheartclimatescientists.

A message of support for climate scientists from a Facebook fan of the “I Heart Climate Scientists” initiative.

An email from Climate Nexus said: “Climate change deniers are sending hate mail and threats to dedicated climate scientists working to protect our families, finances and future. Show these hardworking experts some love — even digital hugs count this Valentine’s Day. Remind them their work is valuable, their opinions respected, and that they are not alone.”

The Facebook page had more than 800 “likes” on Monday, and it showcased researchers Michael Mann of Penn State, Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech, and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research as experts who need the group's support. Each of these researchers — along with many others — have received intimidating emails and phone calls from climate skeptics due to their outspokenness on climate science.

A common tactic used by some online provacateurs, such as Marc Morano of Climate Depot, has been to provide the email addresses of climate scientists, thereby encouraging readers to send them harassing messages. The I Heart Climate Scientists campaign has turned that around, posting the email addresses for a supportive audience, hoping the scientists receive positive emails instead.