Under Fire, Climate Scientists Unite With Lawyers to Fight Back

By John Schwartz

Lawyers and scientists do not always get along, but some are now finding common cause in an effort to defend the integrity of science — especially climate science — in government and academia.

Climate scientists are feeling the heat as Republicans cement control of the executive branch and Congress. The Trump administration has already rolled back about two dozen environmental laws and regulations, dismissed members of an important science panel and taken down web pages giving information on climate change. Republicans in Congress have also brought pressure to bear on climate scientists.

Now scientists and lawyers are fighting back, with well-attended public demonstrations and legal action. The push included a recent conference that brought law professors from across the United States to New York for training to protect scientists who come under scrutiny.

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  1. There seems to be political action too!


    The world’s poorest nations say the Paris climate agreement is their “lifeline” and must be strengthened.

    The Climate Vulnerable Forum, (CVF) representing 48 countries, said the deal was crucial to their survival.

    In a swipe at President Trump’s oft-used phrase, they said that “no country would be great again” without swift action.

    Thousands of delegates are meeting here in Bonn to develop the rule book for the Paris deal.

    Around one billion people live in countries that are part of the CVF.

    The group firmly supports the idea, enshrined in the Paris agreement, that countries would do all in their power to keep temperatures from increasing more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

    “Keeping to 1.5 degrees is quite simply a matter of survival,” said Debasu Bayleyegn Eyasu from Ethiopia, which holds the presidency of the CVF.

    “For all of us, the Paris agreement is our lifeline.”

    Other speakers highlighted the fact that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the current US position on climate change.

    President Trump is expected to decide on future US participation in the Paris accord after the G7 summit in Italy next week.

    Picking up on Mr Trump’s “make America great again,” election battle-cry, Emmanuel Guzman from the Philippines said: “Without increased climate action, no country will be great again.”

    “The measure of greatness is how you are able to increase and enhance your climate action.”

  2. It is usually better to research and think-through proposals BEFORE making public campaign pronouncements, if leaders do not wish to appear as ignorant idiots!

    Those who ARE ignorant idiots will of course, learn nothing and abuse their critics!


    Fiji’s Prime Minister has issued a coded warning to Donald Trump about the dangers of climate change.

    The US leader is due to decide on future US participation in the Paris climate agreement after next week’s G7 meeting in Italy.

    But Frank Bainimarama told delegates here that whether you lived in Miami or New York, you wouldn’t be able to escape the rising seas.

    Fiji will lead the next key UN climate talks later this year.

    This normally low-profile May meeting of UN delegates has been overshadowed to an extent by the ongoing question of future US involvement in the Paris accord.

    While not addressing Mr Trump or the US directly, Mr Bainimarama told the negotiators that he would bring his own experience as a Pacific islander to his role as head of the Conference of Parties.

    “We who are most vulnerable must be heard, whether we come from the Pacific or other Small Island Developing States, other low-lying nations and states or threatened cities in the developed world like Miami, New York, Venice or Rotterdam,” he told negotiators.

    “But together we must speak out for the whole world – every global citizen – because no-one, no matter who they are or where they live, will ultimately escape the impact of climate change.”

    Other members of the Fijian team hoped that the US would be able to stay in the climate “family”, but that progress would be made with or without the Americans.

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