The Open Atmospheric Society achieves 501(c)(3) status – ready to roll – seeking applications for the board

UPDATE: thanks to new signups today, the OAS is well past 200 approaching 300 members now.

As many readers know about a year ago I announced that the newly formed Open Atmospheric Society was seeking membership, and that a number of new members signed up for the society then.

The OAS is an international membership society for the purpose of studying, discussing, and publishing about topics in atmospheric related earth sciences, including but not limited to meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, and climatology. It is open to anyone with an interest at the associate level, but student and full memberships also are offered.

The purpose of the society is to foster quality atmospheric science and atmospheric science communications through outreach, member education, member publishing, and electronic media.

And then the OAS went quiet. Some critics said it was nothing more than a flash in the pan. I can understand how they and others might say that given the circumstances but, in the world of the “climate wars” when it comes to skeptics trying to do something official that might be recognized, things always take far longer to get done because roadblocks get thrown in your way by people that don’t want skeptics to be recognized on any level. Such is the case with the Open Atmospheric Society. By operating in quiet mode, many of the critics who actively challenge such applications thought it was probably dead, and didn’t bother.

What many don’t know is that this effort started all the way back in the summer of 2012, and it has taken this long for everything to finally get done. I’m sure many readers are well aware of the roadblocks that have been thrown at organizations that have applied for a 501(c)(3) status by the Obama administration and the Internal Revenue Service. There have been some horror stories related to some of those organizations, and while this didn’t exactly qualify as a horror story, there were a few hoops that we had to jump through and many delays in the process.

One of the things we had to do was to establish a track record before we could be considered for approval. Our initial application was rejected after several months because the Internal Revenue Service would not approve the 501(c)(3) status on projections alone (apparently models don’t cut it with them, only hard real numbers). We actually had to show that we had a membership and were operating. Therefore last year we had to solicit for membership and run the organization a few months essentially in “quiet mode”, while the IRS made their determinations. This of course gave ammunition to critics who said that the organization was either dead from the start or was just a flash in the pan. Neither is the case, as acting director, I was simply navigating the Red Sea of Tape alone.

I’m happy to report that the OAS has now received its official certification letter of 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, and we can now conduct business just like any other tax exempt organization. It has been a long time coming, and given the ahem, hostile climate…

IRS policy that targeted political groups also aimed at open source projects

…we’ve had to deal with, achieving this has been a proud moment for me, and I hope for the other charter members as well.

We achieved the status in April 2015, and I held my breath and waited a while, expecting some challenge to the status from somebody who trolls such approvals with a political intent, but no challenge came. So, at ICCC10 in June, the OAS announced that the organization had achieved the status, and a few new members joined then. There was also a story about it at The Daily Caller: Skeptics Found Scientific Society To Escape Journals That ‘Keep Out’ Dissenters. Still no challenge.

Now that it has the needed status, hasn’t been challenged right after approval, and won’t become a personal tax liability for myself and Joe DeAleo who set up the idea with me, the organization is ready to roll and we can actively begin recruiting new members as well as setting up our Board of Directors.

During the past year I have privately solicited a few people to be on the board of Directors, to help steer the organization. I have three applications in hand, but more are needed to fill out the seats on the board as described in The Charter.

These are some of the initial goals, they will be updated once the board of directors is convened.

  • To provide an organization that offers an alternative to the highly politicized organizations that exist now.

  • To provide a voice for those who are not well represented now.

  • To offer statements and positions regarding atmospheric science as it relates to current news, where appropriate.

  • To provide a scientific journal where publications can be made where no politically motivated peer review interference occurs. Papers must be replicable and pass on merit, not on a viewpoint.

  • To offer a safe place where ideas may be exchanged and examined without fear of retribution.

  • To foster open science, and open science publishing accessible to professionals and to the public.

  • To provide assistance in producing science that can be understood by the public.

  • To offer member to member networking and assistance.

  • To be paperless, easing the burden on the environment,and without need for a central office all business and publications done online.

  • To be true in its methods, its publications, and to its members.

So, I hope you’ll consider joining, or if you have already joined, renewing your membership. For those that wish to help guide the OAS, please consider applying for the Board of Directors. Once applications are in, a vote by members will be convened to elect members.

Thanks to everyone for their consideration, and most important, thanks for your patience while I navigated the Red Sea of Tape.

[This story has been updated to add some new links and the note about increased membership]

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92 thoughts on “The Open Atmospheric Society achieves 501(c)(3) status – ready to roll – seeking applications for the board

  1. I wish you good luck. I want to hear about real science based upon facts and reliable data. Something to counter the phony media science – like the EPA that doesn’t actually have any data on which to base its policies.

  2. Good luck, I hope you can get some real Scientists, Engineers and Organisers to join you.
    It would be very refreshing to see some unbiased science.

  3. Congratulations, Anthony.
    I joined a while back an look forward to another venue to discuss climate facts and data at the highest professional level.

    • there are 5 levels — follow the link given in next to last paragraph — joining —

      • As the Founder Membership option ended in 2014, I think only three levels exist now.
        Student $25
        Associate $45
        Full $85
        per year. But I could be wrong…

  4. Outstanding news Anthony!
    I would encourage everyone to take a deep look into this organization. This is an opportunity to bring back some credibility to the science that has taken a ideological wrong turn. Spread the word folks!
    Thank you Anthony for your unfaltering diligence in bringing this organization about. I know how difficult this has been.
    Regards Ed
    PS~ I promise not to pester you anymore on it 🙂

  5. My membership was confirmed on 29th September 2014, and I have had no emails from the organisation since then. Some explanation of the, cough, hiatus would have been appreciated during the intervening months.

    • 9/17/2014 – and having gone through similar processes, no panic. The Certificate of Membership has been patiently waiting on my dresser for activation of discussion.
      The people behind are OAS can be trusted so I hope many join to add to a positive discussion, no matter what their opinion on current and historical “atmospheric” phenomenon.
      Thank you Anthony.

      • ditto from me. Patience is key though. Editorial board is quite important. Honest tough peer reviews will be a discriminator for impact, even from todays Science and Nature “pal review” referee system in climate related papers where any alarmists claim are allowed by the editors and reviewers.

  6. Once more Anthony, those of us who believe that science should be impartial with unbiased results and conclusions owe you. I will be joining as an Associate member in the next few days. Thanks for your hard work.

  7. “To offer statements and position” …. noooo, that is what the so-called learned societies do (APS, Royal Society, etc), immediately proving that their “management” is not learned.
    Science does not take positions, by definition.

    • But a society has to have a position in order to establish itself and state where it is coming from and going to. Its position is promoting honest science and inquiry.

    • Science does not take positions, by definition.

      climanrecon, I think you are reading politics into the word “position”.
      I think the “position” is not politics but rather, as Sgt. Joe Friday often said, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” 😎

    • A position statement can also be, “Because the current state of knowledge in [the field] is incomplete, this society takes no position on [this issue] but reserves the right to do so in the future as verified science is added to current theoretical paradigms.”

  8. Anthony,
    My best wishes in this endeavor and my fondest hope that OAS becomes THE go-to source for quality science publications no matter the source.

  9. I hope that the OAS has filed for trademark(s) registrations!?
    The title, acronym and imagery all need to be trademarked, and appear to be available when I just checked.

    I do like the title and symbols! Well Done!
    And yes, I will sign up as soon as I can afford to.
    I do think that real life experience, job, or work should be considered for full time members. Right now, it appears to be limited to degrees on paper/papyrus/parchment. Remember that there are educational facilities out there handing out so-called degrees to definitively unqualified candidates. Some are going so far as to handing out doctorates.

    • Also, make sure you lock up all the similar domain names and suffixes (.com, .org, .info, .net, .us, etc.) you can. You know the Climatists will be looking for ways to stick in needles and confuse the public.
      /Mr Lynn

    • Vetting is a necessary part of any professional organization that is selective. I have no doubt that the organization discussed here certainly uses a vetting process. As to your membership wishes, while I understand that some of us armchair amateurs have gained quite a bit of expertise in climate science, a professional organization must narrow its professional membership focus. Some organizations include two structures layers to accommodate those individuals not in the professional field to still benefit from limited membership (mainly in terms of educational opportunities to attend conferences and such at a reduced price, etc). As as amateur I can speak for myself and hope that Anth*** and Joe D. stay the course with professional limits on membership. As to opening up another layer of membership, I have no views one way or another. Either position would be fine and for me, immaterial to my continued interests in all things weather, climate, and solar related.

      • Pamela,
        Academia is full of itself and a lot of degrees are paid for. Many really stupid people have great sounding credentials and hang diplomas from big name schools on their walls. Consider getting off the high horse and take a look at the reality. Also, there are many extremely intelligent folks who didn’t or couldn’t attend higher education schools, and who should not be excluded from your “Club”. I know of a couple who were mistakenly called “Doctor” at conferences and seminars around the world based simply on their achievements in advancing certain areas of science.
        Most of academia in the U.S. is a pay for play club these days. A degree isn’t usually worth the ink it’s printed with vs. the title it designates. In a lot of cases. Proof of work in a field is the only way to really weed out the real winners from the chaff.
        Dahlquist

  10. My apologies. I must’ve mistyped the closing bold just after “available when I just checked.” in the second sentence.
    [Actually, the mods decided to leave it as typed. .mod]

  11. Signed up as a Full Member. Thanks for your hard work Anthony. To other regular readers and participants in this dialogue, it takes money to have an impact. Sign up for membership!

  12. Anthony.
    This is sorely needed, given how the so called pillars of respect in the consensus climate community manipulate data, lie and cheat, The fraudsters do it all without shame or fear of repercussions, thanks for a great start.

    • I was wondering that, too. The Earth’s biome is an integral part of the atmospheric cycle, as much as the oceans. Would you exclude Jim Steele?
      Your charter does say “not limited to,” so presumably biology, geology, paleontology, etc., could be included as “atmospheric related earth sciences.” Might be helpful to be more explicitly inclusive, though.
      /Mr Lynn

      • Mr. Lynn (this might help – for me too)
        ” Full membership – $85.00 (USD) Subscription period: 1 year No recurring payments An individual with a Bachelors or higher level degree in Atmospheric sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences, General Science, Technology, or Engineering – OR- an individual that has at least three (3) published peer reviewed papers in any accredited peer review publications that have an ISSN designation. Members may vote in elections and hold elected and appointed positions in the OAS”.
        I’m in life sciences, which I imagine is included in General Science …
        Best

  13. Congratulations on setting up a 501! And my most sincere condolences on the legal hoops in running one.

  14. Might I suggest that a member of the board be of a nonscience employment background yet educated sufficiently to speak in general terms, intelligently about the matters at hand. A member at large if you will. This person should be so placed as a watchdog of money handling and bias creep (as in watch out for the tendency of an organization, over time, to lean and act in one direction versus another). Good organizations can become noseblind to such creep, especially if their background is uniformly from the field they endeavor to be involved with. Peer review selections should also include such a person.

    • I would also suggest, and I imagine you might already have this in place in your article of organization, that at least for the member at large, they serve no more than two terms before a new person must be selected. Why? Fresh eyes keeps an organization on point.

      • Many organizations have been taken over or twisted by those those opposed to or tenets or see it’s influence as a useful tool to their own ends.
        The only safeguard I know of is the personal honesty and integrity of the individual members. They must be willing to vote out the usurpers, not because they disagree with them on some aspect of the science but because they are twisting it for personal/political reasons. It might often be tough to tell the difference. “Wise as serpents, harmless as doves” comes to mind.
        There’s nothing wrong with being wrong about something as long as you’re willing to learn what is right.

      • Beyond that, stagger the terms of office of the board members. Many a great organlization has been hijacked by a group bent on changing the mandate, privilege or status of the org, simply by swamping the board with new directors sympathetic to their cause.

    • So you are “in” on helping Pamela ?
      All members would welcome your help.
      In fact, where are the others who have been looking for this type of opportunity?
      Climate Science needs your help!
      Curry, Spencer, Christy, Lindsen, Gray, and the rest…. where are you?
      Going it alone is not going to work.
      Morano, Heller, Montford, Nova and the rest of you, where are you?
      Only team work can overcome what is in front of us.
      Are you part of it?
      Standing by the sidelines is exactly, Not in the game.
      Opportunity knocks with little time before Paris.
      Step up or sit down time.
      Just sayin,
      Make it so, and be heard.
      Doesn”t Karl et al bug you too?
      Just the beginning folks, and your energy is in what is at stake……
      Think about it.

      • Absolutely. My major concern is that you do not pass over immanently more qualified persons who would serve in such member at large or submitted paper review capacities. Also, I don’t qualify for full member status. Yes I have multiple degrees and consider myself reasonably intelligent, but I am two papers short of the minimum of 3 published papers and the one I have is in the medical sciences. More than half of my career has been in elementary education with the first lesser half as an audiologist working in research, clinic, and industrial settings. So I do not consider myself qualified. However, when school restarts (along with a paycheck), I will be sending in my coinage as a lower tier member. It’s a great way to scratch my armchair weather/climate nerd itch.

    • “Might I suggest that a member of the board be of a nonscience employment background yet educated sufficiently to speak in general terms, intelligently about the matters at hand.”
      Layman terms: Someone who is educated and displays common sense. I know some very intelligent individuals who don’t know enough to keep their fingers away from saw blades.

  15. The organization would be effective if it can acquire a reputation for being evenhanded and objective, a place were GW believers who also believe in open science will also be welcome, not just skeptics.

    • Also, be aware that many granting bodies include biased views they wish to enlarge by granting money that comes with strings attached. This usually means that something must be included about that bias in articles that publish granted research results. That bias will need scrutiny. However, if the study has high quality merit, the strings attached bias matters little to me. Good methods result in good research and I don’t care if you believe in fairies.

  16. Why “public charity” and not a “non-profit” organization?
    As a private charity as IRS said in the letter and that you apparently want me to pay to play, why? Is this to be completely transparent publically at all levels or is it truly private? Private to whom? Under the control of whom? Where are the lists of those behind the formation? Who is to be on the payroll and percentage or amounts? To whom exactly are the funds flowing into this charity targeted to help since this is not a non-profit organization?
    Sorry, I’m a bit skeptical, as usual without more input provided right here on this blog or do I first have to join to see such information? Is that information then available?

    • wayne: That may be in the legal definition of what is and is not ‘public’. For example if a company has more than 50 shareholders it may have to operated as a ‘public corporation’ in some jurisdictions even if it is technically private. If a charity has more than 50 members, then it may have to operate and (particularly) report as if it was a publicly traded company. Going ‘public’ incurs all sorts of additional protections for the membership/owners.

    • From: http://www.bamberger.com/blog/2010/05/non-profit-vs-a-charity-whats-the-difference/
      There are 27 different subsections of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) and three additional sections of the Internal Revenue Code under which a non-profit can be classified as “exempt” from income tax. A “charity” is this type of organization that is exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code. Charities must be a formed organization whose organizational documents must meet certain requirements under IRC Section 501(c)(3). These can include organizations that are for purposes that are religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary or educational, to foster amateur sport competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to animals or children.
      A “public charity” is one subsection of these charities that is classified further under a different provision of the Internal Revenue Code based on its activities or under one of the various public support tests. These organizations typically get a large portion of their support from the general public.

      =============================================
      The first year financial report has not been prepared yet. But, aside some expenses for website, office, postal mail, one travel expense to interview a potential board member, and credit card processing fees, there has been no other expenditures while the OAS was waiting for the IRS.

      • In case you don’t happen to know:
        when your 501(c)(3) tax exempt status shows up in IRS database (can take awhile and I don’t have enough info to check for you – EIN#, California?? …)
        check here – http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check
        then you can get FREE Google Products – (unlimited gmail accounts with @theoas.org address), plus Drive …
        from here – http://www.google.com/nonprofits/products/
        I recommend this over using hosting account emails as they are portable between hosts should you ever move – that happens more than site visitors imagine. Also a much improved mail application. I set this up for independent schools – happy to help if wanted and best of luck (time to join).

    • Ok, thank you Anthony and all for the responses, I will look further into this as time allows. Great addition if perfectly devoid of power plays that we see happening on the flip side. I am more worried of proper papers that should be published that would not agree with either “side”.

  17. A shame I missed this. As a practicing geologist with an early career as a weather forecaster in the Air Force, I have a deep distrust of any organization who says “the science is settled”, and I’d like to contribute to rational research. Maybe another day. Meanwhile, time to earn some pay. I’m not a wealthy climate scientist with my hands in government tills, so, work it is!

  18. Hopefully you will be overrun with deniers of the Greenhouse Effect and real science will prosper.
    [hopefully you will come to the conclusion that you’re wrong…but I doubt it -mod]

    • How dare you be quick witted with my drink in my hand! I have spit margarita on my screen! Too funny mod. There are lost village members on both sides.
      Come now wickedwenchfan, have you no acumen????

  19. Tried to join but paypal wont take my credit card? Anyway, I wish this venture all the best -bruce.

  20. NYC is very much a water town, the water moderating temperatures year round.
    Air conditioning that is not water cooled is prevalent and pumping heat to the outside air.
    The Hudson River is a tidal estuary up to about Albany.

    • They have a two-leveled structure, one for professional membership and one for laypersons. If you have a college degree, your area of study may qualify you for full membership. Check out the site for further information.

  21. Some of my relatives feel sorry for me. They think I am not the full quid because I don’t believe in Climate Change. It is therefore heartening, Andrew, that you and Mr DeAleo have formed the Open Atmospheric Society vehicle to do whatever is needed to clean the “atmosphere” of this fraud. Congratulations, I am very proud of you and tell everyone about you. Sincerely, Faye

  22. My biggest apologies, !Anthony! I’m either very very good or very very bad. Nothing in between.
    Faye

  23. Electronic “paperwork” is fine, but always keep at least one hardcopy of every publication. (After World War III, we may all be bombed back into another stone age where technology becomes useless to display our various electronic storage media.)

    • Hardcopy, yes. So the publication has to be engraved in stone. How else would the survivers believe anything.

  24. Tell me; would you be prepared to publish a submitted paper that supports the view that manmade CO2 emissions are at a problematic level, or could in the foreseeable future become problematic, provided that the paper/research is otherwise of a suitable scientific standard? Or is it skeptics only, regardless of quality? If, as I hope, you intend the former, will you add something to your goals or your charter to this effect?
    My point is, are you about helping to protect good science, or just about helping to protect “skeptics”?
    [Perhaps if you took the trouble to read the many articles that are featured on this blog you would note that there are many from the AGW camp that conclude man made CO2 is problematic. Many articles and even papers that support and advance the AGW theory. The “charter” of this site is very inclusive of all opinions and the myriad comments are likewise indicative of this.
    Your shallow understanding of what WUWT can be helped by a few hours of reading through the articles. Thanks . . . mod]

    • Thanks for your somewhat charmless response. That’s an interesting way to demonstrate how inclusive you are, and illustrates my point quite well. Your ‘shallow understanding’ of how much ‘trouble’ I’ve taken to familiarize myself with the material certainly hasn’t held you back. Is this what you mean by ‘a safe place where ideas can be exchanged and examined…’?
      I’ve been reading this blog regularly for years and I am perfectly aware of its tendency to trawl for the more moronic pro AGW Theory papers in order to feed them to the assembled pack for the slaughter. And I don’t blame WUWT for doing that at all. It’s a target rich environment, and it makes for an entertaining blog.
      But I’m asking about OAS not WUWT, and was hoping for the best…

      • Pete, Thanks for your interest. If the paper is on-topic (i.e. not a paper on cell biology for example) and it meets the standards put forth in the journal, and passes the peer review process, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be published. Good journals cover both sides of the issue, politically motivated ones tend to reject arguments they don’t like.

    • When I read the stated goals of organization in the original post I read this as one of the bulleted items:
      “To provide a scientific journal where publications can be made where no politically motivated peer review interference occurs. Papers must be replicable and pass on merit, not on a viewpoint.”
      A reasonably posed question then would not have included this, “Or is it skeptics only, regardless of quality?” In light of the tone of that question, it is my conclusion that one of two things happened to Pete. One, he did not read the bulleted goals of organization, or two he read them and failed to comprehend them. It could only be one of these two items. I will leave Pete to his own conclusions about the depth of his understanding, which I assume is now improved.

  25. I am not a “scientist” because I don’t have a bachelors degree or higher. However I joined as an associate when it was first announced because I have seen enough evidence that the folks setting it up have the right ideals AND the ability to follow through with the right actions.
    Of course this may change in the future so I look forward to receiving more information as it becomes available and if possible contribute to the progress of the Society in the future. It will be easy enough to not contribute in the future if things appear to be going off the rails which I don’t anticipate will happen.
    It’s like helping a struggling acorn to get it’s shoots out of the ground with a bit of watering – I would love to be able to tell my grandkids I helped that particular oak tree to emerge!!

  26. Congratulations Anthony – your perseverance and long term thinking is to be admired!
    I just joined as a Lifetime Founding Associate Member.
    I suggest you add one or two business types to the board or as advisers to avoid the academic bubble effect and to help give an economic and financial perspective. As you know better than most, It’s not just about the science.

  27. This will go down as an historic moment. I just hope scientists, who are sick and tired of the politicising of science, do the right thing by resigning their memberships of existing scientific organisations to join this one.
    When The Open Atmospheric Society finds its premises, it should adopt a good motto clearly visible at its entrance. Might I suggest the following:
    “De scientia, rem publicam foris” i.e. All about science, so leave your politics at the door.

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