Posts Tagged ‘climate science’
Back in 2011, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) came together in response to the mounting legal bills of Dr. Michael Mann in protecting his email correspondence. The litigation has been ongoing for the last several years and on Thursday April 17, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Dr. Mann’s favor. His emails and the emails that colleagues from around the world included him on will be protected from groups whose only purpose is to distract from legitimate scientific discussions. For more on the ruling see this Washington Post article.
A second reason to celebrate is that through CSLDF’s winter fundraiser, CSLDF has raised enough money to hire its first executive director. CSLDF is proud of the work done by volunteers in their kitchens. CSLDF is prouder that the efforts of its supporters, volunteers and donors have reached a point where there will be a full time position created whose sole charge is to defend scientists. CSLDF is still working on the next steps so please check back for additional updates in the coming weeks.
Joshua Wolfe and I send our deepest thanks to everyone that made both of these reasons to celebrate possible.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) was launched in January 2012 by Scott Mandia and Joshua Wolfe to provide valuable legal resources to our climate scientists who are in need. CSLDF needs your help.
CSLDF needs to raise $80,000. The great news is that philanthropist Charles Zeller has graciously offered to MATCH the first $40,000 that is raised and philanthropist Peter Cross has offered to put up the first $10,000. This means CSLDF already has the first $20,000 and needs only to raise another $30,000 in private donations to reach the goal. We need your help so CSLDF can reach this goal.
For the previous two years, CSLDF has been managed by Scott and Josh “from their kitchens”. They both have full-time jobs and families with small children and neither receives compensation for their time. Scott and Josh have accomplished much over the years on a part-time basis. To date, CSLDF has:
- Raised litigation fees to help Dr. Michael Mann defend climate science from politically-motivated witch-hunts.
- Provided resources to legal experts from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) so they could offer free legal advice to scientists at professional conferences.
- Offered legal counsel to scientists hit with frivolous Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Provided legal workshops to scientists at professional conferences.
- Offered a series of legal education webinars partnering with American Geophysical Union (AGU).
But now it is time to “go professional” and that is where you can help. $80,000 can move the organization to this next level. CSLDF will use your tax-deductible donations to hire a full-time Executive Director who will manage the day-to-day operations of providing legal help to our experts as well as increasing fundraising efforts. Having the full-time professional helps to assure that CSLDF will be there for our scientists years down the road. After all, climate change is not going anywhere and the sad fact is that neither will the legal attacks on our scientists.
Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent by visiting the CSLDF website at climatesciencedefensefund.org and clicking the Donate button. Donations are sent to our fiscal sponsor PEER but are earmarked for CSLDF. Through PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), a private non-profit organization organized under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue code, your contribution will be tax-deductible.
You can also send a check made out to PEER, with Climate Science LDF on the memo line, to support efforts to help scientists defend themselves:
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
2000 P Street, NW #240
Washington, D.C. 20036
International donors can use PayPal. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient and put CSLDF in the subject line of your payment.
Thank you for your support.
Update (03/20/14 @ 2:50 PM ET): CSLDF is NOT providing financial support for Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation suit against CEI, Simberg, National Review, and Steyn nor for the libel case against Tim Ball.
Thanks to everyone who has supported our growth and development to date. We have had great successes in our first year and half and we hope to continue to build on those. To continue our programing through the end of the year we need to raise $35,000 this summer and need your help to reach our goal. The money will go to two projects of ours. First, it will retire the debt owed by Dr. Michael Mann for attorney’s fees in the FOIA case over his UVA emails. Read more about the case here and here.
The money will also go towards continuing our program of sending attorneys to scientific meetings. There we offer confidential pro-bono meetings for members of the scientific community. After meeting with an attorney at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) conference last December, one scientist wrote us:
I was glad to be able to talk to an attorney who deeply cared about the integrity of the science and helping individual scientists. I am very grateful to the CSLDF for arranging for these sessions.
We feel that legal defense does not just include blockbuster cases like Dr. Mann’s, but making sure that scientists have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with a legal expert before an issue becomes a problem.
Please consider donating to our summer fundraising drive to make these two programs possible. Donate at http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/. International donors can send a PayPal to email@example.com (Be sure to put “CSLDF” in the memo box.) You can also receive a t-shirt with your donation by going to: http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/feature/buy-stuff/
Going to the AGU 2013 Fall Conference? If so mark your calendars for Thursday December 12 between 12:30 – 1:30. CSLDF and AGU will be hosting a special brown bag lunch event titled Facing Legal Attack: Scientists Tell Their Stories featuring a panel discussion with Drs. Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe, Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, Ben Santer, and Kevin Trenberth, along with a few legal experts.
More details will be posted as the conference approaches.
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Summer Fundraiser - CSLDF Blog
Global warming games – playing the man not the ball - Skeptical Science
Want to Help Our Climate Scientists? It’s Simple: Here’s How - Climate Progress
Please consider adding climate scientists to your holiday gift-giving by making a tax-deductible donation to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). Your gift will help CSLDF to continue to 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 to recruit and assist lawyers representing these scientists, while also defraying legal fees scientists may incur.
Here is what several noted climate scientists have said about CSLDF:
As a scientist who is on the front lines in the battle to communicate the reality and implications of climate change to the public, I am greatly indebted to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). Not only have they helped me in my own legal battles to defend myself from legal attacks by fossil fuel industry front groups, but through their webinars, AGU legal workshops, and greater outreach and communication efforts, they have literally assisted the entire scientific community in its efforts to defend itself from dishonest attacks by vested interests. It is essential that the CSLDF continue to receive the support necessary to continue its work. – Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor of Meteorology, Director, of Earth System Science Center at The Pennsylvania State University
When I had my emails FOIAed, Scott Mandia was the first person I contacted for advice. Through the CSLDF, he provided advice, support, as well as a network of people to talk to. It would be impossible for me to overstate how grateful I am that Scott and the CSLDF were there. – Dr. Andrew Dessler, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University
CSLDF provided me with information and resources that proved invaluable in dealing with requests for access to my emails under Freedom of Information Act that are rapidly becoming the norm for anyone in the climate science community. I recommend their workshops and webinars to any of my colleagues who are involved in public outreach on climate change. – Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor, Director of Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University
Thanks for CSLDFs efforts to educate scientists on legal matters, which are of great value. – Dr. Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University
Kit was extremely helpful. She answered and explored with me my particular questions, and also helped me develop a much wider view of the overall situation facing climate scientists in terms of how legal issues and defense interact with attempts to discredit climate science. I was glad to be able to talk to an attorney who deeply cared about the integrity of the science and helping individual scientists. I am very grateful to the CSLDF for arranging for these sessions. – Anonymous Scientist from One-on-One Availability with an Attorney at AGU
In addition to directly assisting individual scientists in need, this past year CSLDF coordinated with American Geophysical Union (AGU) to offer three legal education webinars leading up to the AGU 2012 Fall Meeting. At this year’s 2012 Fall Meeting, CSLDF coordinated with AGU to offer three legal education workshops (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), one-on-one availability with an attorney on four separate days, and an exhibit hall booth where information about the CSLDF mission was provided to scientists over a four day period.
Please consider supporting Climate Science Legal Defense Fund so that we may expand our legal education efforts thus protecting the scientific endeavor.
Scott Mandia & Joshua Wolfe, co-founders and co-managers of Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) has a large presence this year at the American Geophysical Union’s 2012 Fall Meeting. Please mark your calendars:
Legal Duties to Preserve and Disclose Scientific Data and Personal Communications
Mon Dec. 3 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Salon 10
Join us for a brown bag lunch with Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
Michael will discuss the increasing number of Freedom of Information Act requests and subpoenas that scientists are facing, and what kinds of documents scientists are required to disclose and to whom. Special attention will be devoted to e-mail and social media. Michael will leave ample time to answer your questions at this event.
The Law for Government Scientists
Tuesday Dec. 4 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
San Francisco Marriott Marquis – Salon 1055
Please join us for this brown bag lunch with Kathryn (Kit) Douglass, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) staff counsel. PEER is a nonprofit service organization assisting public agency scientists, attorneys, and other specialists working on environmental issues.
Everyday PEER helps government scientists with a wide range of legal issues. Learn about legal provisions that affect you as a government scientist at this event. Kit will leave ample time to answer your questions.
An Inside Look at the Michael Mann Case
5 December 2012 from 12:30 – 1:30PM
Moscone South: Mezzanine – Room 226
Join us for a brown bag lunch with Peter Fontaine, counsel to Michael Mann and a leader of Cozen O’Connor’s Brownfield Development and Climate Change practices.
Peter will use examples from recent Freedom of Information Act litigation American Tradition Institute v. University of Virginia to discuss the application of state public records acts to researcher electronic correspondence, the interplay between the Federal FOIA and state laws, practical issues related to document review, potential exemptions to protect correspondence from disclosure, and other legal theories for the protection of correspondence, such as the First Amendment and Academic Freedom, and emerging trends in this dynamic intersection between science and the law.
One-On-One Time With a Lawyer (Have a question? Talk to a lawyer in private – no fees.)
Moscone South: Mezzanine – Room 264
Exhibit Hall Booth #140 Tuesday-Friday (Come visit the CSLDF booth and learn more about our mission.)
Last night, PBS Frontline premiered their expose of climate science denial’s key players titled Climate of Doubt. The show highlighted S. Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Christopher Monckton, Chris Horner, Myron Ebell, and James Taylor, among several others. The episode also featured right-wing denier organization such as Heartland Institute, American Tradition Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute and others, who routinely attack climate science and its researchers. Climate of Doubt shows us how a handful of ideologues have hijacked Congress so that the most important issue facing humanity today is not even mentioned at any of the three presidential debates.
So what can you do to help our researchers who are being harassed by these Climate of Doubtmongers? A great way to do so is to support the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). CSLDF was founded to protect the scientific endeavor by offering legal education resources to climate scientists as well as a “war chest” for scientists who are faced with expensive legal battles. The fossil fuel-funded ideologues have an almost unlimited amount of financial resources so CSLDF can use all the help it can get from concerned citizens and foundations.
In recent years, an increasing number of scientists have found themselves involved in legal discussions about their work, their correspondence, and their public statements. To better prepare the scientific community for these challenges, AGU and CSLDF have put together a legal education program for the scientific community. The goal is to both give a primer on the legal issues facing scientists and update them on legal situations currently making their way through the courts.
The legal education program will start with a series of webinars featuring some of the lawyers on the front lines of climate science litigation. These webinars will be followed by a series of legal education events at AGU’s 2012 Fall Meeting.
Chronicle of Higher Ed to Its Bloggers: Feel Free to Disparage Climate Science but not Black Studies
Yesterday, I wrote about the inappropriate blog post by Peter Wood appearing under the banner of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Woods’ post equated the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal to the email investigation of noted climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann conducted by Penn State. I asked my readers to send letters to CHE requesting a retraction and public apology. Here is the message sent by Chronicle President and Editor-in-Chief Philip Semas to some who sent letters:
Thank you for your message. As we clearly state on every blog post, posting on a blog does imply any endorsement of these views by The Chronicle. We publish a wide range of views in a wide range of formats, from opinion articles in print to blog posts to comments from readers. We couldn’t possible agree with or endorse all of them.
We also offer ample opportunity for readers to respond to and criticize opinion articles and blog posts (and indeed almost anything we publish). Indeed, Peter Wood’s post has, at last count, drawn 71 comments, many of which are critical of what he said about Michael Mann. Some make many of the same points you make in your message.
In other words, I think your quarrel is with Mr. Wood, not The Chronicle.
Well, there are two problems with his claims.
- The CHE banner waves proudly above his post and on the bottom of page of Wood’s post we see the CHE copyright both of which certainly give the appearance that CHE owns and endorses this piece.
- In May 2012, The Chronicle fired Naomi Riley for writing The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations so apparently CHE does not tolerate attacks on some disciplines but does with others. Why the double standard?
With regard to point #2, The Chronicle posted A Note to Readers to apologize stating:
When we published Naomi Schaefer Riley’s blog posting on Brainstorm last week (“The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations”), several thousand of you spoke out in outrage and disappointment that The Chronicle had published an article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us.
We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.
We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog. Since Brainstorm was created five years ago, we have sought out bloggers representing a range of intellectual and political views, and we have allowed them broad freedom in topics and approach. As part of that freedom, Brainstorm writers were able to post independently; Ms. Riley’s post was not reviewed until after it was posted.
Scientists, health officials, military and intelligence experts, and the insurance industry keep warning us about the coming crisis that is climate change. Increased droughts, heat waves, fires, floods, famine, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification, all of which have been predicted for many years are now happening and many are suffering – particularly those in poorer nations who did little to create the crisis.
One must feel sad that The Chronicle of Higher Education has handed a megaphone to a factually challenged ideologue who, like many others, is obstructing scientific progress by attacking our experts. I again encourage you to send a letter to Philip Semas (contact page) asking him to uphold the mission of The Chronicle as a source of informed information.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has expanded our communication outreach by offering a Face Book page and a Twitter feed. Please “like” and “follow” us and, as always, keep spreading the word to all. We have received a tremendous amount of support already in the first 24 hours. Thank you, eveybody.
Climate Science Legel Defense Fund Face Book page
@ClimSciDefense on Twitter