News | Monthly Update

August Update: Finding reasons for hope

Air quality alerts. Wildfires. Heat domes. Hurriquakes. This summer has been unprecedented, with millions experiencing firsthand the devastating consequences of climate change. 

Unsurprisingly, the response from Big Oil, fossil fuel-funded politicians, and special interests has been to double down on obfuscating, spreading misinformation, and sidelining climate scientists. They continue to prioritize profits over our very lives.

But even in the midst of these ongoing crises, there have emerged reasons for hope:

  • In Montana, 16 plaintiffs aged 5 to 22 sued their state and won, claiming that Montana laws violated their right to a clean and healthful environment by ignoring climate science in continuing to extract fossil fuels;
  • Voters in Ecuador passed bans on oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest and on forest mining;
  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy adopted its own scientific integrity policy for the first time ever, setting the example for other federal agencies to follow suit.

Here at CSLDF, we also continue to fight back in support of climate science and scientists. This summer, we’ve defended a climate professor aggressively subpoenaed by an oil company; helped an oceanographer facing retaliation after whistleblowing a faulty scientific report; and fought back against attempts to silence a climate blog by a misinformation propagandist.

Now, thanks to a group of generous donors, our fight is being kicked into high gear. Our Summer Match campaign has just received an additional $10,000 in matching funds to defend and empower climate science and scientists, raising the total amount to $40,000 – which could be doubled thanks to supporters like you.

We deeply appreciate those of you who have already donated during this campaign. Your support is what makes our defense of climate scientists possible.

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


CSLDF Board members and other climate experts have been in the news lately as they respond to the many climate-related events. Here are just a few stories we wanted to highlight:

Montana’s landmark climate ruling: three key takeaways

August 20, 2023 | The Guardian | Dharna Noor

But the Montana ruling did not merely affirm that climate change is real or human-caused: it specifically confirmed it is caused by fossil fuel usage and that every additional ton of greenhouse gas pollution warms the planet…. The strength of the order, said [CSLDF Board member Michael] Gerrard, could make it the “final nail in the coffin of any efforts to advance climate denial in the courtroom”.

Maui Sued Big Oil in 2020, Citing Fire Risks and More

August 18, 2023 | NY Times | Hiroko Tabuchi

The Maui fires “are clear and concrete evidence of something that otherwise might seem and feel abstract” that could “greatly strengthen” Maui’s case, said [CSLDF Board member] Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard who has written about climate change disinformation.

Why the Maui Wildfires Were So Deadly

August 15, 2023 | Time | Solcyre Burga

Experts warn that extreme weather conditions and disasters like these wildfires will occur more frequently and with greater intensity due to climate change, though that is not the only contributing factor at hand… “But you can’t blame it just on climate change, that’s for sure. Humans are causing this wildfire risk in multiple ways,” [CSLDF Board member] Jeff Masters, a meteorologist for Yale Climate Connections, said.

“This Is the Climate Crisis”: Michael Mann on Maui Wildfires & Why Disasters Are Becoming Deadlier

August 14, 2023 | Democracy Now! | Amy Goodman [host]

“And this is the climate crisis. It’s here and now. It’s impacting us today in profound ways. And this is just the latest example. And there is clearly a climate component to what’s happened here, a climate change component,” said former CSLDF client Michael Mann.

CSLDF is now on Threads! Follow us at @ClimSciDefense.

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