What makes this case so important is that science, like free speech, needs protecting too. Sadly, we have been living in a period during which many parties -- often with funding from the fossil fuel industry -- have knowingly spread disinformation about climate change.
Climate disruption, broadband access and crumbling bridges and roads have an odd thing in common: they have entered the never-never land of conservative denialism -- where they are simply not problems for which the right feels obliged to offer solutions.
It is worth noting that, last month, a noncontroversial bill authorizing the president to appoint an annual "science laureate" was moving swiftly through the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support.
The Beyond Coal focus has moved from stopping new plants to retiring the existing, outmoded, polluting fleet -- already 149 of 522 coal burners have announced retirement dates in the next few years, and the Pacific Coast will soon be a coal-free region.
Part 2: To understand just how the fossil fuel industry has been laundering climate disinformation, there are few better places to start than with the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute.
I've learned from fifteen years in the eco-trenches that the fight to protect our planet from pollution is more than just a fight against ExxonMobil or Charles and David Koch; it's ultimately a fight against the Reagan legacy.
It's about an hour into the after-party when someone in the middle of the room, near a giant projector screen playing vintage television ads, begins banging his glass and yelling for everyone to be quiet.
The price of an energy source should reflect not just its production costs but its impact on health, natural resources, and aesthetics. Without those inclusions, fossil fuels will be enjoying an economic advantage they don't deserve.
Why did the media that covered Climategate not question the fact that the allegations about the integrity of climate science was coming from a network of climate deniers and oil-industry funded skeptic groups?