Cavalry Arrives – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund established

January 25, 2012

Bullying, intimidation, and threats are the currency of the climate denial movement .


There is a ripple of unease among many scientists who study the warming of the planet these days. Some have faced harassment, legal challenges and even death threats related to their research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science reports.

On Tuesday, the board of directors of the association, which publishes the journal Science, released a strongly worded statement “vigorously opposing” such attacks on researchers, saying that the tactics inhibited the free exchange of scientific ideas.

“Reports of harassment, death threats and legal challenges have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas, and makes it difficult for factual information and scientific analyses to reach policy makers and the public,” the board said. “This both impedes the progress of science and interferes with the application of science to the solution of global problems.”

Climate scientists like Mike Mann, Ben Santer, and Phil Jones have born the brunt of this behavior unassisted for more than a decade. Now there’s help.

Scott Mandia:

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.” 


10 Responses to “Cavalry Arrives – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund established”

  1. otter17 Says:

    I donated!

  2. Peter Mizla Says:

    As the climate exhibits more eccentricities in the future, and more data and research confirm the climate is changing rapidly- the Extremist skeptics will go on the offensive more- in desperation. Expect more behavior over the top- some potentially violent.

    • ozonator Says:

      Do you mean instead of Nazi’s (corporate socialists) about to invade Canada to teach Mexico a lesson, they will behave like the Gestapo to fill empty Rush-rooms and resettlement prison camps in in Red States’ flood plains?

      • ozonator Says:

        Somebody had to read when the motel’s viagra ran out in Denier, Oregon.

        Corporate porchmonkey see, CPM do –
        “Green Lebensraum: The Nazi Roots of Sustainable Development … Posted on January 27, 2012 by Steve Milloy … What, you thought the neo-greens invented “sustainability”?” (AGW cancer;

  3. Martin Lack Says:

    Well done Peter. It is great to see the CSLDF is making progress. How long until it – or the class action law suits to expose the Merchants of Doubt – become visible?

  4. […] Cavalry Arrives – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund established …Cavalry Arrives – Climate Science Legal Defense Fund established. January 25, 2012. Bullying, intimidation, and threats are the currency of the climate denial … […]

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