News | Monthly Update

June Update: We’re up against anti-science opponents with deep pockets

This summer is on track to be one of the hottest on record, and one of the busiest for us here at CSLDF.

Even as the sky turns orange and insurance companies stop writing new policies in high-risk areas, climate scientists are still under attack by fossil fuel-funded special interests who place profits above all else – including the future of our planet.

Here are just a few examples of the scientists we’re currently assisting:

  • A professor who was subpoenaed by an oil and gas company, in an apparent attempt to undermine her vital climate research
  • A scientist facing severe repercussions for whistleblowing a faulty ecological report
  • Researchers studying science denial and facing politically-motivated investigations by right wing politicians

Your gift during our Summer Match will help ensure that these and other scientists can continue to work towards real solutions to the escalating climate crisis, at a time when this is more critical than ever.

We’re up against opponents with very deep pockets. Just last week, CSLDF Board Member Naomi Oreskes testified at the Senate Budget Committee hearing “Dollars and Degrees: Investigating Fossil Fuel Dark Money’s Systemic Threats to Climate and the Federal Budget.” The hearing examined how the fossil fuel industry has spent billions of dollars to mislead the public about the science of climate change in order to prevent real solutions to the crisis – at the cost of human lives.

This is what we’re up against – but we’re not backing down. Every dollar you donate during our Summer Match will be doubled, so giving now is a great way to make your gift go twice as far towards protecting scientists and the scientific endeavor.

Please, if you can, make a donation today – and help us take a stand for science.

CSLDF in the News

How Scientists Can Safeguard Themselves Online
June 8, 2023 | Eos | Rachael Lyle-Thompson, CSLDF Senior Project Attorney
“As an attorney at the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, I counsel scientists on ways to strengthen their online privacy and follow their institutions’ policies for safeguarding communications…. Hacking is the most invasive risk, but it’s not the only way that scientists’ data, research, and emails may be released publicly. My colleagues and I have seen scientists targeted with legal methods, most notably by groups and individuals using open records laws to seek thousands of emails.”

New and Improved Guide to Open Records Laws and Protections for Research Materials
June 6, 2023 | CSLDF Blog
Open records laws are frequently misused to attack climate and other scientists who work on politically contentious topics in attempts to slow or even halt the scientific endeavor. Our newly released fourth edition of “Research Protections in State Open Records Laws: An Analysis and Ranking” provides a detailed account of the open records laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Trolled in science: “Hundreds of hateful comments in a single day”
June 5, 2023 | Nature
This is part of a seven-part podcast series about freedom and safety in science. In this final episode, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist, discusses the online harassment and abuse she endured by people who disagreed with her research. CSLDF Director Lauren Kurtz, quoted in this episode, also spoke at length about scientific integrity under the Biden administration in the series’ fifth episode.
“[S]ocial media has been a tool to try to silence scientists. It can be a very powerful tool for public education, but the ways in which people can sign up for social media accounts anonymously, or use bots, can definitely create a very aggressive, nasty pile-on effect.”

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