Climate Scientists Under Attack: Fear Not. Reinforcements Have Arrived. Here’s What Climate Progress Readers Can Do.

Visit the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund website. Support climate scientists – give to the fund

by Scott A. Mandia, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

Joshua Wolfe and I are very pleased to announce the official launch of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) home page. CSLDF is now a project of the non-profit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The official press release is below.

Please spread the word to all so that CSLDF can grow its support base. Cross-post the press release, Facebook it, Tweet it, e-mail it, etc. to all of your contacts and tell them to do the same.  Let us send a strong message to those that have harassed and attacked our scientific experts and dissuaded countless others from entering the field of climate science.


PEER Sponsors Effort to Counter Fossil-Fueled Attacks on Climate Scientists

Washington, DC — The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) has found a non-profit home in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) which provides it fiscal sponsorship and logistical support. CSLDF lets scientific colleagues and the public directly help climate scientists protect themselves and their work from industry-funded legal attacks.

In recent years, these legal attacks have intensified, especially against climate scientists. The fund is designed to help scientists like Professor Michael Mann cope with the legal fees that stack up in fighting attempts by climate-contrarian groups to gain access to private emails and other correspondence through lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests at their public universities.

The project is co-directed by physical sciences Professor Scott Mandia of Suffolk County Community College and Joshua Wolfe, co-author of “Climate Change: Picturing the Science.” The Fund started this past fall after Prof. Mandia posted a “Dear Colleague” appeal for support which generated more than $10,000 in less than 24 hours ( To date, CSLDF has raised $25,000. All contributions to CSLDF are tax-deductible.

“Academic salaries are not designed to support ongoing legal expenses in fights with corporate-funded law firms and institutes,” said Prof. Mandia. “These legal battles also have taken many of our brightest scientific minds away from their research.”

“Our goal is not only to defend the scientist but to protect the scientific endeavor,” explained Wolfe. “The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established to make sure that these legal claims are not viewed as an action against one scientist or institution but as actions against the scientific endeavor as a whole.”

In addition to its core mission of defraying legal fees, CSLDF will –

• Educate researchers about their legal rights and responsibilities on issues surrounding their work;

• Serve as a clearinghouse for information related to legal actions taken against scientists; and

• Recruit and assist lawyers representing these scientists.

“The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund dovetails with the mission of PEER – to protect those who protect our environment,” stated PEER executive Director Jeff Ruch. “When individual researchers find themselves under intense legal assault, they often have few resources. Their universities do not necessarily represent their interests and may be disinclined to resist corporate fishing expeditions. We are stepping into this void to provide direct aid to both the scientists and their institutions.”

— Scott A. Mandia

8 Responses to Climate Scientists Under Attack: Fear Not. Reinforcements Have Arrived. Here’s What Climate Progress Readers Can Do.

  1. wili says:

    Well, I almost got a chance for that one drink we could take if Mr. O mentioned GW once, but I fell asleep from boredom before I could down a quaff. For many Americans, O’s programs will literally rock our world as every inch of frackable rock will get pulverized beneath our feet, causing earthquakes to rumble through the land. Was there anything I missed in the last bit worth repeating, as I caused my own very local bed-quake with my stentorian snoring.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Thanks to Scott for his leadership here.

    In addition to countering attacks from politicians, scientists need to expand their media strategy. Scott has done good work here, too, with the Climate Rapid Response team, but it’s hard to accomplish with scientists doing it free and part time.

    A serious effort is required, including detailed fact checking of all (often woeful) climate coverage in the mainstream media. A full time and office and staff need to be created for this purpose, since hundreds if not thousands of paid staffers are working for the fossil fuel companies to distort science.

  3. George Ennis says:

    Scott, I recently donated to the legal defence fund. As a Canadian I was wondering whether you had registered the fund as a “charity” for purposes of the Income Tax Act. It makes giving donations a lot easier and less expensive since they are tax deductible.

  4. Leif says:

    I tried to donate twice. Both failed to pass. It may be my end, Firefox, or their problem, I sent a note to check. Will try again later.

  5. Scott Mandia says:

    George: If you donated to the PEER address you will receive a receipt/note that states PEER is a tax-exempt organization. US donations are tax-deductible. I am not sure about Canadian donations.

    Leif: What error is occurring?

  6. Start Loving says:

    Bravo Climate Progress. Bravo. Words are way too little, way too late. Thank you for counseling Action. Yes, you need to wayyyyy escalate, but at least this is a start for you.

  7. Larry Gilman says:

    Absolutely brilliant logo, with the Keeling curve built into the scale!!


  8. Oilymess says:

    500 guilt-tainted royalty dollars contributed, to help emulsify and wash away the filthy tactics of the fossil fuel industry.

    If you’re one of the many who feel squeamish about those monthly checks here’s a chance to buy a little absolution. Sure, the stuff’s going to get extracted and thoughtlessly burnt* anyway, regardless of who is heading to the bank, but if you’re in control of some royalties why not at least help to keep us in the domain of facts as opposed to wishful thinking bolstered by litigation?

    *We’ll be very sorry when we have to assemble all of those hydrocarbon molecules from scratch. “Why oh why did we burn all of it??”