Update on Climate Scientists Defense Fund

The response was overwhelming to “Climate Scientists Defense Fund – Please Help.” As you may recall, Prof. Scott A. Mandia, explained why he and Prof. John Abraham launched the fund:

Cli researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers.   (For context please see: and

The goal was to raise $10,000 in 48 hours.

Here is the update Mandia sent me this week:

John and I are grateful for the generous response to this appeal.  We are happy to inform everyone that we have met, and exceeded the initial goal of $10,000.  This appeal is a great start for a long-term plan to develop a permanent fund for defending scientists against these attacks.  Consequently, we are working to develop a funding structure that allows donations to be made to a 501c3 non-profit entity.

All funds that are in excess of those currently needed for Dr. Mann will be placed into this entity for future use defending other scientists.  We believe that the existence of this fund will send a strong message that groups like ATI cannot bully scientists.

Climate Progress readers were instrumental in meeting their goals so quickly.  I had never tried anything like this before, so I’m delighted it worked so well.  Anyone who wishes to can donate here.  Thanks again to all who contributed.

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7 Responses to Update on Climate Scientists Defense Fund

  1. Mike#22 says:

    Super! However, I think the correct non profit designation you seek is a 501C3, not 401C3. You should be able set up a restricted fund within another legal defense non profit in the interim, which will do exactly the same thing, until you get your paperwork through.

  2. otter17 says:

    I gave $100. Give them hell.

  3. Joan Savage says:


    However, let’s take note that a 501(c)4 tax exemption for a social welfare organization allows lobbying for legislation and participation in campaigns, with some restrictions on gifts to the organization.
    It will be interesting to see if a 501(c)4 will emerge in the future.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Well done.

  5. I need help from those of you with blogs and websites.

    Please consider adding the Defense Fund logo above to your blogs, web pages, Face Book posts, etc. The image URL is:

    and the link to direct people to is:

    It will take time to establish the 501c3 so in the meantime please keep sending your donations via PayPal or personal checks.

    GOOD NEWS: A positive development has already resulted from this effort in the case of Dr. Mike Mann.

    On Friday, a Virginia judge ruled to stay the current court order indefinitely, with a followup hearing to take place on Nov. 1st. Chris Horner and the fossil-fuel front group ATI cannot view the exempted personal emails from 39 climate scientists. This is definitely a victory, which wouldn’t have happened without the funding to intervene.

    For background on this case, see: and