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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Celebrates its Four-Year Anniversary

by Jeff Masters, WunderBlog, January 28, 2016

Whenever scientific research uncovers truths that threaten the profits of large and powerful corporations, those companies--and the politicians these corporations' money help elect -- inevitably fight back by attacking the scientists. As I discussed in detail in my 2009 blog post, "The Manufactured Doubt Industry and the Hacked Email Controversy," we've seen this behavior most clearly with the tobacco industry, but manufacturers of chlorofluorocarbons, asbestos, benzene, beryllium, chromium, MTBE, perchlorates, phthalates, and a slew of many other toxic chemicals have all waged elaborate campaigns to attack the scientific findings and the scientists that threatened their profits. These attacks often take the form of legal action, which government or university-funded scientists do not have the resources to combat. Such attacks against climate scientists have been particularly pernicious and numerous in recent years, and multiple climate scientists are currently involved in litigation in state and federal courts across the United States. 

The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) was created to help these climate scientists fight back. CSLDF works to help raise funds for scientists’ legal defenses, serves as a resource in finding pro bono legal representation, and provides support during difficult litigation proceedings as well as when legal action is threatened. I'm proud to say that I'm a founding board member of the charity, and this week marks the four-year anniversary of their official debut. Over that time, they’ve helped nearly a hundred researchers across the country, from Arizona to Virginia. 

In celebration of their birthday, they’ve launched a new website at The new site explains their history, details their initial work defending Dr. Michael Mann, and describes their current projects. I hope you will consider making a donation to this worthy cause in the future. 

Figure 1. Screen shot of the new website at

To learn more about the well-funded attacks on climate science and climate scientists by the fossil fuel industry, my fellow CSLDF board member, Noami Oreskes, has co-authored the excellent book, Merchants of Doubt, which has also been made into a fascinating documentary (available on Netflix.)

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