Passive denial of anthropogenic climate change is not the problem. Neither is argument about it. The problem in the climate change debate is the war on climate scientists being waged by fossil fuel oligarchs like Charles Koch and his lackeys like The American Enterprise institute. The Pacific Legal Institute is one of their legal weapons. Another used to be called The American Tradition Institute. It is harassment of climate scientists by ATI, its ilk and its successor that is behind the establishment and growth of The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). About a year after getting up and running, the CSLDF is starting to reach scientists who need its help with advice and access to legal services.
If you have a buck or two you could leave behind something at the link for the very deserving CSLDF. Either way, you can follow me out into the tall grass for the full story.
The well financed petro legalwar in the courts and elsewhere against climate science involves much more than just the Washington D.C. lawsuit followed by previous posts on this blog over the calumnies against Dr. Michael Mann's climate science at Penn State University. CSFD explains its origins:
On September 12, 2011, Scott Mandia posted a “Dear Colleagues” letter on his blog. It started, “Climate 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.” The outpouring of support was overwhelming. In less than 24 hours, Scott received $10,000 in small donations from scientists, students, and other concerned individuals. This went a long way toward helping solve immediate legal needs. Legal bills for scientists continued to mount, so it became apparent that a permanent organization was needed.
With Scott Mandia and Joshua Wolfe as co-managers, and with the fiscal sponsorship of the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was founded. This group will serve as the non-profit incubator as we build our own organization.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established with one goal: to protect the scientific endeavor.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund operates in conjunction with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. All I know about PEER I learned on the internet, but it looks legitimate and its aims seem worthy. Contributions to CSLDF directly help defend the frivolous FOIA wars against climate scientists and their institutions. Contributions directly to PEER directly help prosecute meritorious FOIA requests designed to keep government transparent.
The Climate Science Legal Defense fund is expanding its outreach to the scientists who need it, as reported at Think Progress:
While the nature of the work that climate scientists do isn’t so very different from a biologists studying bird migration or an astronomer investigating how stars form, climate scientists have been singled out for personal and professional attacks because of the political and social ramifications of their findings.Last month at the meeting of The American Geophysical Union, a full day program conducted by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund offered free legal consultations to scientists needing it. It's a damned shame to see it come to that, but I'm glad the scientists are finding out how to respond to harassment from denier attacks.
As a sign of the times, The American Geophysical Union, which represents 62,000 Earth, atmospheric, and space scientists is for the first time partnering with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to offer legal counseling sessions at its annual meeting“It’s an issue few researchers contemplate as they prepare for a career in science,” Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College in New York and founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund told The Daily Climate. “When you get your degrees in science, you have no understanding of how the legal system works. Such naivety is often exploited to slow down the scientific process.”
These attacks still come from the above mentioned American Tradition blah blah whatever that has now morphed into the much snazzier Energy and Environment Legal Institute. EELI pitched in with Ken Cucinelli against Dr. Michael Mann and the University of Virginia in a spectacularly pointless and wasteful yet totally groundless lawsuit. And that's one they brag about. EELI is totally a tool for the oil and gas industry. EELI attacks climate scientists who just want to be left alone to do their work, and deserve to be. It's legal crap artists like EELI that make it necessary for innocent scientific researchers to worry about needing to lawyer up.