Imagine you are sitting in your office simply doing your job and a nasty e-mail pops into your inbox accusing you of being a fraud. You go online and find that some bloggers have written virulent posts about you. That night, you're at home with your family watching the news and a talking head is lambasting you by name. Later, a powerful politician demands all your e-mails from your former employer.
It sounds surreal. But it all happened to me.
What was my offense? I worked on climate change research that indicated the world is a lot warmer today than it was in the past. Because that research caught the public's attention when it was released in 1998, I became one of dozens of climate researchers who have been systematically targeted by a well-funded anti-science campaign.
Ironically, as these attacks have grown, the scientific facts have become ever clearer. Climate scientists know the world is warming and human activity -- particularly burning coal and oil -- is the primary driver. The idea of addressing climate change threatens some people in the fossil fuel industry. And a vocal minority of corporate interests and their ideological allies are spending a lot of money to hijack the public debate about climate change.
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