Cliff Mass: victim of academic political bullying

Reposted from Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

There is a disturbing story coming out of the University of Washington surrounding Cliff Mass.

In preparing this article, I have received material from a member of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. I also ran into another member of the Department while at the AGU meeting this week, who corroborated these events. I conducted a 30 minute phone interview with Cliff Mass.

Who is Cliff Mass?

Cliff Mass  has been a faculty member in the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Department since 1982.   His research focuses on numerical weather modeling and prediction, the role of topography in the evolution of weather systems, and on the weather of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his research publications, Cliff Mass has published a popular book entitled ‘Weather of the Pacific Northwest.’

 Since 2008, Cliff Mass has maintained a popular blog Cliff Mass Weather and Climate. Mass posts regular articles on meteorology, Pacific Northwest weather history, and the impacts of climate change written for the general public.

He has 13,000 twitter followers. Mass also has a weekly radio show with 400,000 weekly listeners (!)

Cliff Mass – climate ‘denier’?

 Cliff Mass has been characterized as a ‘sort of’ climate denier. The first reference to this is a 2015 article Cliff Mass: Scientific lies and the new climate deniers. 

“He is also a dangerous new breed of climate skeptic. He has made a theme of downplaying the role of global warming in extreme weather events, and in exposing what he calls “overzealousness” in the scientific, media, and activist community.”

A 2017 article in Stranger entitled Why does Cliff Mass believe scientists and leftist journalists are exaggerating the dangers of climate change?

“Cliff Mass is not a climate denier, but he is their ally, which is as good as being a climate denier.”

 The accusation of ‘denier’ got more explicit when Sarah Myre testified before the State of Washington House of Representatives: Can you be a climate scientist and an advocate? 

“In February 2017, Sarah Myhre traveled to Washington’s capital, Olympia, to give testimony to the state House of Representatives Environment Committee. There, Representative Shelly Short, a Republican from northeastern Washington, asked her to comment on her colleague Mass’ unwillingness to link recent wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes to climate change. Myhre responded that she and many of her colleagues saw Mass’ recent views “as coming from a denialist or contrarian place.

The Cascadia Daily states:

“Seattle weather guy and climate change denier Cliff Mass”

 So, what does Cliff Mass have to say about climate change, in his own words? From an interview with the UW Alumni magazine and summary from the Wikipedia (based on my knowledge of Cliff’s opinions and writings, this is correct):

 “According to Mass, “Global warming is an extraordinarily serious issue, and scientists have a key role to play in communicating what is known and what is not about this critical issue.

Mass has stated publicly that he shares the scientific consensus that global warming is real and that human activity is the primary cause of warming trends in the 20th and 21st centuries. He has been critical of the Paris Climate accord for not going far enough to address the negative impacts of climate change. However, Mass is also frequently critical of what he has characterizes as exaggerations of the past and current impacts of climate change in the news media, including the attribution of individual extreme weather events to global warming.”

The most recent ‘denier’ claims are associated with Cliff’s statements about the causes of the recent California fires: Cliff Mass: Climate change is real but . . .

“But Mass takes issue every time someone points to local extreme weather and says “that’s caused by climate change.”

The extremes we’ve seen in Seattle, around the region and even across the U.S. — most of them anyway — are caused by anomalous weather patterns, not climate change, Mass said.

There are, of course, those who would argue that by nitpicking such details, Mass only feeds ammunition to climate change deniers. Mass doesn’t want to downplay global warming; he just doesn’t want to stretch the truth to try and out-extreme those who would deny it. “So global warming’s very serious,” Mass said. “But it’s coming up in the future, not right now, for us.”

Sarah Myhre is not happy with Mass’ recent statements about the California wildfires. From an article by James Delingpole: Brown Fiddled While California Burned:

“One Dr Sarah Myhre – who, gloriously, bills herself as a “public scholar scientist advocate communicator” [actually, you know, just “activist” would have done] – tweeted at him “This. Is. Pure. Propaganda.” And then told a Washington radio station that had given him airtime that giving Cliff a “platform” was a “form of violence.”

So in summary, Cliff Mass accepts the consensus science. However he breaks with the ‘activists’ in terms of thinking it is a bad idea to falsely claim that extreme weather events are caused by AGW.


Most unforgivably, Mass broke with the progressive activists in terms of not supporting the latest carbon fee initiative in Washington, I-1631. Mass has long advocated for some sort of carbon tax: How to make a carbon tax work in Washington 

Mass was a strong supporter of a previous carbon tax initiative (which was voted down). His concerns with I-1631 are described in three blog posts:

I don’t pretend to be an expert on I-1631 and I am not passing judgment here, but I will say that Mass’s position is well-supported and defensible.

For a perspective from the supporters of I-1631, I refer to Sarah Myhre’s article in the Stranger entitled New carbon tax initiative drafted with more color and less white supremacy. Reducing CO2 emissions seems to be a relatively minor factor; climate policy has become a crusade to change the balance of power:

“When climate policy is written by white men in a closed room, that is white supremacy.”

Things got really ‘interesting’ as a result Mass’ blog post ‘If you worry about climate change . . .’ , which had this statement:

“The initiative hardwires money to certain special interest groups–the left-leaning supporters of the measure. A minimum of ten percent of the money goes to Indian tribes, who are exempted from paying any carbon fee by the initiative. Labor advocates got a fifty million dollar fund, replenished annually, for worker support programs. And to provide funding to the social action groups pushing the initiative, 35% of the money goes to “pollution and health action areas” of minority and “vulnerable populations.” There is more, but you get the message (see the picture below).” [The picture was pigs at a trough.]

Mass’ point was that special interest groups were hardwired for a good portion of the funds. He wanted an image that illustrated ‘political pork’ and special interest groups feeding at the public trough and so he used the pigs at a trough image.

While there were no complaints about the image in the blog comments, a few of the activists at the UW claimed it was racist. Imagery of pigs at a public trough has been used for over a century, and has never been used to refer to minorities as far as Mass could identify. ‘Pigs at a trough’ is about the well-connected and privileged. Mass decided to be sensitive to the ‘feelings’ of thee activists and pulled the image. Then Mass received a number of messages after he pulled it, accusing him of giving in to mob rule. There was nothing racist or anything else inappropriate in the text, and no one has suggested there was. Apparently the mention of the phrase ‘Indian tribes’ in the same paragraph that references an image of pigs at the trough is sufficient to trigger an accusation of racism.

Note: I-1631 was voted down in the November election.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Any scientist that is active in the public debate on climate change (no matter what their actual position in the debate) will invariably be subject to attacks on twitter, the blogosphere and even by journalists. That is part of the noise associated with the public debate on climate change. This noise shouldn’t matter, in the overall scheme of things.

However, it is a different kettle of fish when people from your own university, and even your own Department, go after you publicly, with the objective of stifling your freedom of speech. And then when University administrators get involved, a threatening situation can emerge.

A number of University of Washington graduate students have taken a vocal stance against Cliff Mass, particularly on twitter. These same activist students that were so upset about the pig picture participated in online character assassination, calling Mass every name in the book over the past six months because they are unhappy with his rejection of 1631 and his research/blog posts on wildfires and attribution of extreme events.  They have accused him of deception, being on the payroll of oil companies, purposely obfuscating with multiple twitter accounts, racism, misogyny, tokenism, Trumpism. They  are hypersensitive about any indirect criticism of their ‘side’ but are fine with name-calling and personal attacks on those they disagree with.

The attacks ramped up when a group of students complained to the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Rather than meet with Cliff Mass to discuss, the Assistant Dean sent a mass email to the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences Department, with the following lede:

“a recent blog posting by a member of our community on a personal website included imagery and text that was racially insensitive and caused offense to a significant number of members in the departmental community.”

No attempt was made by this Assistant Dean to meet with Cliff Mass, or to understand that there was no racism evident or intended, and that the image in question was quickly removed from the blog post.

I will not ‘name and shame’ any of the graduate students here, who in any event are probably proud of their behavior. (JC note to students applying for jobs: search committees will check your social media presence). However, one graduate student in particular gets a ‘dishonorable’ mention here: Alex Lenferna, a Ph.D. candidate in the UW Philosophy Department with a Certificate in Atmospheric Science. He wrote a blog post that is basically a ‘hit-job’ on Cliff Mass, owing to his failure to support I-1631, including playing the ‘racism’ card. The blog post includes an image: Cliff Mass ‘hearts’ oil.

I won’t dignify Lenferna’s slime by reproducing any of it. This blog post is significant, however,  because the Atmospheric Sciences Department Chair (Dale Durran) sent a mass email to the Department faculty including the link to Lenferna’s post, and voicing concern about Mass’ behavior and ‘racism’, and including the image Mass ‘hearts’ oil.

The Chair then called a general Department-wide meeting about the blog post Mass wrote, with the event billed as ‘controversy.’ An ombudsperson was enlisted to run the meeting, but the Chair took over, serving as inquisitor and critic. The Chair prevented Mass from finishing his opening comments and hectored Mass throughout the meeting. The activist students were true to form, hurling all kinds of insulting, personal and inappropriate remarks.

So what is going on here? Is the Department of Atmospheric Sciences making a stand against political activism by its faculty members? Hardly. In fact, the Chair, Dale Durran, pressured each of the faculty members to sign a statement supporting I-1631. This statement was published by the Seattle Times :

“Some know they must stop smoking, but can’t, and it wrecks their health. As spelled out in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, humanity has been acting like a chain smoker. Initiative 1631 gives us the chance to change. The opposition to I-1631 is largely concerned with the politics of taxing and spending. These are important matters, but they should not be endlessly debated in lieu of taking action. I-1631 is the third major effort to discourage carbon emissions in Washington state.

Science shows carbon emissions remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, warming and dramatically changing the climate. Because of the way carbon accumulates, the emission reductions required to hold future changes in climate below any given level become more drastic with each year we wait to begin serious cuts.

Unlike the carbon emitted while waiting for a perfect law, passing I-1631 does not represent an irrevocable hundreds-of-years commitment. After a short period, I-1631 could be amended to make it even better.

Now is the time to take a big step to kick our carbon habit.

Dale Durran, professor and chair, and 21 other professors in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington, Seattle (the views expressed here are those of the authors and not UW)”

While many of the faculty members appear to have signed this enthusiastically (based on their signatures on other lists related to I-1631), I’ve been told that several faculty members felt uncomfortable signing this. One of the faculty members I spoke with said they felt compelled to sign the letter since they didn’t want to stand up to Chair; this individual told me they voted against I-1631.

There are several people in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences that don’t like Cliff Mass (including, obviously, the Chair). They are concerned about his status as Washington’s ‘celebrity’ scientist – being either envious of this status or concerned that this status makes Mass relatively immune to ‘pressure’ from Departmental leadership. But most fundamentally, they seem to dislike that his blog is getting in the way of their own political advocacy. 

JC reflections

The climate change advocacy disease seems to have affected many of the UW faculty and graduate students.  Apart from the issue of activism potentially getting in the way of scientific objectivity,  the big issue here is that the Chair attempted to ‘institutionalize’ this activism with the I-1631 support letter. I have to say I find this very inappropriate behavior for a Chair, and I’m surprised that the higher administration didn’t reprimand him for this (in the old days I would have been reprimanded for this at Georgia Tech, but under the current administration, who knows). Faculty members were pressured into signing that letter,  since the Chair controls their reappointments and promotions, salary, teaching assignments, etc. The public ‘shaming’ meeting is beyond the pale, particularly the Chair’s behavior during this meeting. After this behavior, I cannot imagine how the UW faculty and administration can have any confidence in the leadership of their current Chair.

And finally, a closing comment about Cliff Mass. While this can’t be fun for him, I’m not too worried about Cliff Mass: Cliff has friends in high places and an enormous ‘bully pulpit’ in terms of his blog and radio show. Trying to take him down isn’t going to work.

I have much more to say on this situation and the broader implications, I will write more in a follow on post.

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December 13, 2018 10:13 am

The left tolerates no decent. Agreeing with them 90% is not enough, it must be 100% or you are an enemy of the state.

Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 10:37 am

Leftists are horrible people.

If Cliff Mass is getting a lot of complaints
from the leftists, who are not very bright,
then he must be doing a good job.

Mass’s articles on wildfires were excellent.

I’m going to bookmark his blog / website
and read him regularly.

I thank the leftists for inadvertently
telling me Mass was doing a great job
refuting the coming climate change catastrophe
fairy tales.

Reply to  Richard Greene
December 13, 2018 1:53 pm

I just ran across this well written article that gives a lot of insight into the mindset of the kinds of people who are attacking Cliff

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  icisil
December 13, 2018 5:19 pm

“We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

Sarah Myhre and her cronies are climate fascists.

Reply to  icisil
December 14, 2018 7:56 pm

That is an excellent article icisil. Thank you for the link.

kristi silber
Reply to  Richard Greene
December 13, 2018 6:16 pm

Richard Greene,

“Leftists are horrible people.

If Cliff Mass is getting a lot of complaints
from the leftists, who are not very bright”

You are worse than those who are attacking Mass. At least they are talking about an individual they disagree with or dislike. You simply insult everyone in a group. How easy it is to thoughtlessly hate and condemn the Other, regardless of whether it’s justified. I suppose you consider yourself “bright”?

Reply to  kristi silber
December 14, 2018 2:34 am

That is not true and you know it. It is not just an individual they attack it is EVERYONE who does not agree with them, republicans for example.. Heck it sounds like they think all whites are racists. Furthermore, have you ever called them out for this same behavior on their blogs or is it just this “group” on this blog whose behavior you condemn?

Reply to  ironargonaut
December 14, 2018 7:07 pm


Of course Kristi Silber is correct. Richard Greene is an utter hypocrite. 90% of registered Democrats believe AGW is real. That means 10% don’t. Greene lumps every Democrat into one category and assigns traits to all of them.

Reply to  ironargonaut
December 17, 2018 1:38 pm

I doubt the number is as high as 90% and as a leftist myself — far left by US standards but pretty much middle of the road by European standards– that number is falling all of the time.

And I find that leftists are now beginning to support nuclear power, more so than fossil fuel advocates, who tend to be on the right.

Reply to  kristi silber
December 14, 2018 9:49 am

kristi, if you read icisil’s quillette link just above here, I’d bet the “progressive” culture discussed in the article would be quite familiar to you….

Reply to  kristi silber
December 14, 2018 10:38 pm

Although I would agree that Richard Green was wrong to make the implied generalization that all leftists were horrible and not very bright, I disagree that this is worse than a personalized, individual attack. In fact I think you have it backwards. As a conservative, I’m generally inured to the kind of silly, false generalizations I see in print and on television against conservatives about being heartless, selfish, evil, racist and on and on and on. I can just ignore it. But I can guarantee you that if I found out that someone had singled me out by name and called me “selfish” or “evil” I would take much greater offense, and I wouldn’t just ignore it.

Mass is being individually and unjustly called a racist by a number of morally leprous students, and his own colleagues are siding with them in an overweening tribute to political correctness. That’s far worse than Richard Green’s overgeneralization.

Reply to  Richard Greene
December 13, 2018 10:03 pm

“Climate Science Victims” is a volume crying out to get written, with pages of redemption worth shouted from the rooftops of genuine scientists.

The latest such scientist (ABOVE) who’s been smeared is certainly not the first. In fact the toughest question mark to answer is this: who was the first? Willie Soon and Sally Baliunas, perhaps (with only one still working)? Or shall we start with Fred Singer?

Next, the routine with which good to excellent and even near-greats get smeared — eg, Roger Pielke, Sr – the CSU father of the now better known “Jr” at the University of Colorado, with over 500 publications — is what ought to ring the bell of general alarm among scientists.

No one escapes the Jihad: take for instance the fact that Roger Pielke, Jr was forced from the online sensational state blog (IIRC)…. Such is their power and reach to silence honest information and analytical exchange today.

McCarthy-ism didn’t see but a fraction of the hysteria we witness monthly and even weekly today for years and years.

Me? I’m moving to Tahiti. Perhaps for good because Paul Gauguin was all too prescient: “Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not”. (. )

Reply to  Orson
December 14, 2018 10:05 am

In fact the toughest question mark to answer is this: who was the first?

Patrick Michaels when he was State Climatologist at UVA back in the mid-80s. He was writing in his quarterly “Virginia Climate Advisory” about harassment from his employers about not towing the line on the newly invented grant opportunities — CAGW.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  beng135
December 18, 2018 6:52 am

Where was he towing it to?

Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 10:37 am

This is rather like the late 1930’s purges, where very few “Old Bolsheviks” survived, despite being Party adherents.
Calling out advocates for improperly attributing the California fires to climate change is criticizing the Party line.

Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 10:48 am

MarkW: it should be ‘dissent’, not ‘decent.’
To dissent is to disagree.

Reply to  Carbon500
December 13, 2018 11:15 am

Perhaps. I note that the Left seems not to tolerate anything decent as well.
{See “age appropriate” transgender theory taught to school children}

Eric Doll
Reply to  Carbon500
December 13, 2018 12:14 pm

Sorry, I should have scrolled down. You and TonyL had it covered.

Eric Doll
Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 12:10 pm

While there is chance of Freudian slip in “The left tolerates no decen(cy)”, you probably should have written “dissent”. We don’t want to appear illiterate now, do we?

Joel Snider
Reply to  Eric Doll
December 13, 2018 12:44 pm

He’s not wrong, either way.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Eric Doll
December 13, 2018 12:49 pm

The Left also tolerate no descent, as in they never back down at all nor get down off their soap box, these days.

Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 12:55 pm

These folks need to reflect on their uncomfortable similarity to Mao’s Red Guards. The Red Guards were even stupider and less tolerant than ISIS. They should reflect on the fact that, in the long run, things went poorly for the Red Guards. I note that things aren’t going so well for ISIS either. They should also reflect on the fact that, overall, SJWs are seen as rather stupid.

We had a chairperson who did 1/10 of what Dale Durran did to an undeserving faculty member. The union got involved, lawyers got involved, that chairman was gone within the year. In fairness, the chairperson did all kinds of other stupid stuff. On the other hand, there is the case of Lindsay Shepherd which is causing continuing grief for Laurier University.

People who publicly act in a heinous and reprehensible manner usually get their comeuppance.

Joel Snider
Reply to  commieBob
December 13, 2018 1:45 pm

Bob, I’m afraid that would require a moment of self-awareness. And even then, I think you’re not considering their supernatural capacity for rationalization.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  commieBob
December 14, 2018 1:54 am

What I am seeing here is just a more intense version of university politics as usual. Having been the victim of such witch hunts myself, it does not surprise me. The pack tends to gang up on anyone who is successful beyond their established mode of mediocrity. They operate under the theory that a highly successful colleague makes the rest of them look bad in comparison. In this instance it is the AGW clowns that run the show but that is just an excuse, any form of success that draws attention to one is enough to generate jealousy and tacky behavior.

No doubt at all that Mass is successful and has a high profile outside the UW puddle. That his orthodoxy can be questioned is only more blood in the water; his colleagues would likely try to bring him down no matter what simply because he is minding his own business and doing well.

It is sad that such small, limited minds are running UW and most other colleges and universities, but it has ever been thus. The human tendency to try and destroy any individual that makes the rest look inadequate is an unfortunate facet of our behavior.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
December 14, 2018 8:56 am

The average faculty member rarely publishes anything and the top ones publish hundreds of papers–lots of room for jealousy. Many academics have small minds and poor reasoning skills.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 2:58 pm

the Left doesn’t tolerate decent people nor does it tolerate “dissent.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
December 14, 2018 6:31 am

“The left tolerates no decent.”


Weylan McAnally
December 13, 2018 10:20 am

Cliff Mass has become an apostate at UW because his AGW belief is impure. AGW followers require 100% adherence to the gospel of their beliefs. Any deviation from the gospel will not be tolerated and will be actively punished. Despite the author’s assertions, Cliff Mass will be expelled from the AGW religion, will lose his job at UW and will be shunned by his fellow AGW congregants.

E J Zuiderwijk
December 13, 2018 10:23 am

Is anybody compiling a list of people who over the years have been pestered out of their job for having their own thoughts about ‘climate change’ (and their pesterers)?

John in Oz
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 13, 2018 3:32 pm

A better list would be of those who have pestered others out of their jobs.

We will need it for the future climate alarmist trials

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 13, 2018 5:25 pm

William Gray and Judith Curry are the first to come to my mind.
Dr. Gray was defunded by none other than Al Gore of Manbearpig fame.
I believe Judy Curry was hounded by the team of witch doctors that founded Real Climate.

So Cliff Mass is in good company!

Russ R.
December 13, 2018 10:24 am

“He’s a WITCH!! I saw him cavorting with the Devil!”
Human nature has not changed as much as we think it has. We think because we know more, and we have more stuff, and we are able to do more things, that we are different than our ancestors. We are different on a logical level, but very similar on an emotional level.
He questioned that which cannot be questioned. And logic will only make the problem worse for those that want certain “science” off limits to questioning. For them it is a religion, and you either tow the line, or face the Inquisition.

Reply to  Russ R.
December 13, 2018 12:08 pm

Alex Lenferna isn’t even American. He’s from South Africa. The people of Washington offer him an opportunity to come here and study, and this is how he behaves. BTW, he’s a Fulbright scholar, which speaks to the utter debasement of that program.

Reply to  Adam
December 13, 2018 10:42 pm

And his Ph.D is in philosophy with a “certificate in atmospheric sciences”. Thesis title (wait for it)…”Equitably ending the Fossil fuel era: climate justice, capital, and the carbon budget”.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Russ R.
December 13, 2018 2:22 pm

You hit the nail on the head squarely. Thank you for stating it so clearly.

Thomas Ryan
Reply to  Russ R.
December 13, 2018 3:00 pm

“He questioned that which cannot be questioned.”
Isn’t this science?

Micky H Corbett
Reply to  Russ R.
December 14, 2018 12:06 am


One of my favourite books is The Big Short by Michael Lewis. I love it that much I have the audio book and the movie (which is partially fictionalised). I listen to it every month or so. One of the main themes is when all these guys are talking about how they shorted the subprime mortgage market. They couldn’t believe how long it went on for.

The people involved where either stupid or criminal.
The rating agencies trusted the banks because they had an incentive to.

These are the main themes I see with climate science.

The incentives to not question it are strong. But that doesn’t mean it is correct at all. Or that is safe.

I’ve posted many times: the fundamental source data does not justify application of anything they come up with to the real world. Only if there is an incentive to do so do you loosen your ethics.

Caligula Jones
December 13, 2018 10:24 am

Funny how far-left media outlets (unknown to most outside a very small local circle), social media and PhD candidates are accepted now as equally qualified “experts” as far as the MSM and some politicians are concerned.

Cheap stuff. Literally. Just as anyone can be a celebrity without any talent these days (hell, even total frauds used to have to at least by attractive), anyone with a keyboard can make a point. Most of us admit we’re just blowing off steam. The MSM and politicians (sorry for the redundancy) are so incredibly lazy these days.

Fact check? Do they believe its as automatic as spell check or something?

Reply to  Caligula Jones
December 13, 2018 1:13 pm

Caligula Jones

Fact check? Do they believe its as automatic as spell check or something?

it’s? 🙂

Caligula Jones
Reply to  HotScot
December 14, 2018 6:26 am


Thanks for the catch, my copy editing eye has aged too much (started on manual typewriters).

December 13, 2018 10:29 am

It’s interesting that Cliff Mass understands many of the reasons for why ‘consensus’ science driven by ideological activists doesn’t work, yet he still accepts the IPCC as the legitimate arbiter of what is and what is not climate science.

Why is it so hard to accept the undeniable fact that the IPCC overestimates the effects of CO2 by such a wide margin that there’s absolutely no downside to CO2 emissions?

Steven Fraser
Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 13, 2018 10:37 am

co2: Write him and ask him, though your idea ‘yet he still accepts the IPCC…’ is not evident in the article. Ask him what specific research results are persuasive for him, and I think you’ll get an insightful answer.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
December 13, 2018 11:45 am

Way ahead of you.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 13, 2018 5:22 pm

let us know….

December 13, 2018 10:31 am

Judith Curry ..

“Mass decided to be sensitive to the ‘feelings’ of thee (three?) activists and pulled the image”
(Let me know if you find “corrections” irritating and I won’t bother) : )

Great read !

December 13, 2018 10:31 am

My daughter was born in Washington and it actually used to be pretty conservative and practical. I am constantly suprized at the changes in attitude..not even respectful of a fellow academic who disagrees with them. Shame on the faculty..and shame on the ones who signed that document when they knew it was not right.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Shelly
December 13, 2018 10:38 am

Sounds like a culture of fear, to me.

R Shearer
Reply to  Steven Fraser
December 13, 2018 1:18 pm

State of fear.

Jim Kress
Reply to  Shelly
December 13, 2018 1:11 pm

Contamination of the infected from California is a terrible plague that is occurring all along the West Coast and is moving East.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Jim Kress
December 13, 2018 5:36 pm

Like a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that infects liberals.

December 13, 2018 10:37 am

This is sickening. When do the UW book burnings start? Let’s see some of the NSF funds that go into climate theater projects redirected into a play about climate witch hunts.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 13, 2018 10:54 am

I think you mean “witch burning”, the “book burning” has already begun…

Reply to  Marcus
December 14, 2018 11:01 am

Book burning is so 1930s Germany. Now all it takes is mouse-clicks performing revisionism, censorship & deletion on the web.

Roger Knights
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 13, 2018 1:16 pm

“When do the UW book burnings start?”

I suspect that warmists have sucessfully attempted to have climate-skeptical books removed from public and academic libraries. I wonder if there’s been a study of this. At any rate, there could be a study of the ratio of warmist vs. skeptical book-holdings on the topic.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 13, 2018 1:33 pm

Wouldn’t “book burnings” run counter to their narrative?
Shouldn’t they be more into “book burying”?
That might require them to first dig a hole and expend more effort than they are willing .

December 13, 2018 10:37 am

This is what happens when places of “higher education” concentrate on “safe spaces” and “51 genders” studies…IMHO .

December 13, 2018 10:39 am

“A number of University of Washington graduate students have taken a vocal stance against Cliff Mass, particularly on twitter. ”

This should have been posted with last comment…grrrrrrrr.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Marcus
December 13, 2018 1:51 pm

Employers don’t like that sort of crap. I guess they will stay in academia or go on welfare. One and the same?

December 13, 2018 10:45 am

Looks like another case of LOWER education. How sad.

Reply to  SteveC
December 13, 2018 10:50 am

Or “low thinking” as Jordan Peterson described it.

December 13, 2018 10:48 am

Einstein faced similar isolation on campus and in the community in the run up to WW1 when his colleagues were resolutely going in the other direction, including his senior faculty member who invented the first chemical weapons for that war effort.

December 13, 2018 10:50 am

Yet the state still voted down the carbon tax. Another example of a few activists controlling the narrative with a compliant MSM and getting nasty when people don’t agree. I’m surprised more people aren’t getting tired of the lame attacks by the thought police and doing something about it.

Thomas Graney
December 13, 2018 10:55 am

You cannot reason with a climate alarmist; there is not middle ground with them.

Reply to  Thomas Graney
December 13, 2018 11:29 am

Thomas you are 100% correct. You should see them on Reddit….yikes.

jim heath
December 13, 2018 10:56 am

Hundreds of millions of people have been taught Bulls##t. it will take years to re educate them, if ever.

Michael Spurrier
Reply to  jim heath
December 13, 2018 11:46 am

Its true here in Canada our son came home from his climate change module with a long list of stuff he had to learn for a test… much will sea level rise by 2050 if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels etc – they teach this as science.

Reply to  Michael Spurrier
December 13, 2018 1:14 pm

Michael Spurrier

He has a climate change module???!!!

kevin kilty
Reply to  HotScot
December 13, 2018 2:01 pm

Calm down. It doesn’t work.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Michael Spurrier
December 13, 2018 4:47 pm

Michael Spurrier: a great opportunity for you to teach your son.

Reply to  jim heath
December 13, 2018 12:00 pm

A very public mea culpa from a prominent CAGW pusher like Gavin Schmidt would be sufficient.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 13, 2018 5:41 pm

Gavin Schmidt admitting he’s wrong?!

When pigs fly.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
December 14, 2018 9:01 am


Evidently we can never mention pigs again. Reminds me of the person who thought the accounting term “in the black” was racist (even though it means profitable).

Reply to  ccscientist
December 14, 2018 9:05 am

How niggardly of you!

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 14, 2018 9:09 am

You beat me to it:

Just to show you, this PC crap is ancient.

John Bell
December 13, 2018 10:58 am

The Left has become such shrill and angry bullies in places where they are able, I hate marxists, they deserve mass graves to put their rebellion down.

John Robertson
December 13, 2018 11:00 am

CAGW is a cult.
The members are doing what cultists always do.
Buy Popcorn,as the meme collapses the destruction, devouring their own,will accelerate.
Cliff Mass will probably survive this witch hunt with his reputation enhanced, the raving madness of those who seek to banish him is pretty obvious.

The weak useless members of Academia are being exposed every day now,those who run with the pack on this madness will lose the most,those who stay silent from fear,will be forgotten.

What will be most interesting is the long term fallout,for having established the “Acceptable standard” for government financed Education and Scientific Institutions, they participants have made the case for abandoning both.
What is a Institutional degree worth today?

Al Miller
December 13, 2018 11:08 am

Wow, we really are on the verge of book burnings if we don’t fight against this incredible lunacy! Farenheit 451 is coming along with 1984! Let’s hope the yellow jacket movement breathes new life into the silent majority against these totalitarians.

December 13, 2018 11:11 am

The Chair forced the faculty to sign a letter against their will. Sheer Lysenkoism.
It is here now and will only get worse unless it is recognized and actively stopped.
Others here have noted well that the big sin of Mass is that he was only 95% for The Cause, where nothing less than 100% will suffice.

Everybody remember the case of Lindsay Shepherd? A graduate student who had done nothing wrong was called out on the carpet for allegedly crossing some imaginary PC line. Shepard had the presence of mind to record the entire session and then posted it up on the internet for the world to see. What was meant to be a power play to intimidate Shepard blew up in everybody’s faces, from her supervising prof. all the way up to the university president.

We should all keep this in mind and keep a cheap little pocket recorder handy.

Reply to  TonyL
December 13, 2018 12:21 pm

Tony L.: Thank you for mentioning Ms. Shepard! So relevant to this topic. She was completely gas-lighted by a gang-mentality driven University staff. It just continues to appear nothing but ideologic-gangs are running academia anymore.Debate is dead. Link to Lindsay’s smoking-gun recording. She brought suit against Wilfrid Laurier University, and specific University employees.

At minute 15.30 or so, “Climate deniers” are brought up by her adversary Dr. Herbert Pimlott, Associate Professor Communication Studies, of Wilfrid Laurier University as an example of what she did “wrong”; in the context that climate deniers have no right to their position being heard about in the Universities as climate denial has no “academic credibility”.

This is such an interesting audio demonstrating how academic-bullying gangs operate. One professor actually tells Lindsay that the University’s job is to teach 18 year old students exactly how to think about certain beliefs by withholding opposing opinions from student classroom discussions!

A September 2018 update on this controversy can be found here:

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  PaWi
December 13, 2018 1:07 pm

Interesting stuff. Thank you for posting links.

Roger Knights
Reply to  PaWi
December 13, 2018 1:21 pm

BTW, the Supreme Court just ruled that it’s OK to record governmental officials without their knowledge.

Reply to  Roger Knights
December 13, 2018 5:36 pm

had a client that (says he) accidentally left his recorder running when he, lawyer, and engineer left room full of regulator/bureaucrats to discuss a few items privately.

the stuff on the recording was disgusting (from a freedom and equal protection perspective). two (senior) out of five government employees talking about how it is reasonable to screw over a citizen because he has a lot and doesn’t (in their opinion) have to work for it; the three mid management of course taking direction from the two.

(though, supreme court decision probably was based on recording conversations that you are a part of:))

December 13, 2018 11:22 am

Is tossing a suspected witch into a pond considered an act of water pollution these days? Or is that the one exception now?

And one more time:

NO extreme trends in hurricanes.
NO extreme trend in tornadoes.
NO extreme trend in droughts.
NO extreme trend in snowfall.
NO extreme trend in wildfires.

The extreme is in the extreme proliferation of false information contrary to the facts.

December 13, 2018 11:29 am

If you demonstrate an unwillingness to lie for The Cause, then you are unreliable, problematic, and must be purged. Has it not always been thus?

Komrade Kuma
December 13, 2018 11:29 am

CAGW is the MSM gift that just keeps on giving. Hurl abuse at someone the shove the camera/focus in their face and closely watch them squirm. Its a vicious game of confected content for which the CAGWarmists are just useful idiots. As others have noted such attention seeking grubs have always been with us, ‘outing’ targets as ‘witches’ or ‘reactionaries’ or ‘pagans’ or ‘infidels’.

The whole thing is getting more shrill and alarmist as reality starts to bite, as energy rpices soar, as reliability plummets, as more countries just give lip service to the IPCC and all its gormless acolytes and people like TRump just give it the finger.

December 13, 2018 11:29 am

It is always the case- one bully takes over, silences the critics one by one. Bully becomes evil and disaster strikes all.

The remedy towards pease is simple but rarely observed- punch the bully where it hurts. Unfortunately, our system of governance gives more credence to bullies, because they gain power, than bullied.

Poor Cliff Mass, he will be crushed.

December 13, 2018 11:30 am

As a person who firmly believes in experimentally supported science I am fully behind the conservation of Mass!

Ted Getzel
Reply to  harry
December 13, 2018 5:37 pm


Jim Gorman
December 13, 2018 11:32 am

Someone, somewhere needs to point out to the leftists on this campus that you don’t overcome scientific positions with petitions, clamoring for firing, or nasty comments. The Chair over the department should know this and act accordingly. This doesn’t mean participating in crowd noise or firing apostates. You refute science with science not clamoring about consensus.

I recently began reading an online magazine called Quillette. It has made me aware that some lefties are becoming dissatisfied with the pc crowd. They are beginning to eat their own, witness the comedians and other Hollywood types being crucified and some are starting to wonder where this will all end. This affair is certainly similar by bringing racism into play when the original article is about science. How absurd can you get. Some of these people need to read the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller to see where this will all end.

Robert Stewart
December 13, 2018 11:35 am

Forty years ago the U. of W. was the beneficiary of Washington States’ forests. Timber sales from state forests provided funds for the University. This had two beneficial effects. The University was somewhat independent of political pressures. And the University took an interest in proper management of their resource. The State took over control of the forests and their revenues in the early 80s, and it has been all down hill since, for the forests and the University.

It is sad to see such bullying happen to anyone, but it is a relatively common tale (e.g. Peter Ridd.) As a member of a campus community it may be tempting to think that you share some common ground with your peers. But the underlying “philosophy” of post modernism is anathema to the Western culture of scientific inquiry. There is no common ground with those who embrace this screed. Scientists are likely to be blind to this reality, since the whole notion of what passes for this “philosophy” is so contrary to what used to pass for education in the sciences. What is actually a call to a fascist tyranny is likely to be seen by old school scientists as just a harmless exploration of futuristic dreams, not unlike science fiction.

Newton stood on the shoulder of giants. Our generation of scientists and engineers took it for granted that we needed to understand the principles and practices that led discoveries like those made by Newton. Not so today. If you take a careful look at something as simple as geometry as taught in our public schools, you will find that it is now an exercise in memorization and pattern recognition. No logic, no progression of increasingly complex proofs and theorems, just a “portfolio” with pictures of squares and triangles as seen in structures. Students must memorize the “Law of Cosines”, but having done so, don’t have a clue about using it. It’s just a pattern of upper and lower case letters with a few Greek letters thrown in to make it more interesting visually.

December 13, 2018 11:37 am

National Academies of Science focus on climate change; Organized for some time, funded by the government (taxpayers) via Congress (2009, on). I found the demographic profiling in this chapter on specific strategies (to brainwash the public) very interesting and insightful:
Example of many specifically from the National Academies Press (might as well be called the Ministry of Climate Propaganda) including identification of and dealing (re-educating) with “climate deniers”.
Title: Climate Change Education: Goals, Audiences, and Strategies: A Workshop Summary (2011)
Chapter: 3 Implications of Audience Research and Segmentation for Education Strategies


The global scientific and policy community now unequivocally accepts that human activities cause global climate change (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007; National Research Council, 2010a). The scientific consensus has been translated for a broad public and policy makers in a variety of recent reports (National Research Council, 2010b; National Science Foundation, 2009; U.S. Climate Change Science Program, 2009). Although information on climate change is now readily available, the nation still seems unprepared or unwilling to respond effectively to climate change, due partly to a general lack of public understanding of climate change issues and opportunities for effective responses (Leiserowitz, 2003; Leiserowitz and Smith, 2010; Leiserowitz, Moser, and Dilling, 2007; Patchen, 2006; Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2007, 2009). The reality of global climate change lends increasing urgency to the need for effective education on earth system science, as well as on the human and behavioral dimensions of climate change, from broad societal action to smart energy choices at the household level (Gardner and Stern, 2008).

The public’s limited understanding of climate change is partly the result of four critical challenges that have slowed development and delivery of effective climate change education. First, research over the past 15 years has demonstrated that the underlying science of climate change is inherently difficult for most learners to comprehend (Boyes and Stanisstreet, 1993, 1997, 2001; Coyle, 2005) and for educators or schools to competently teach (Abbasi, 2006; National Research Council, 2007; Storksdieck, 2006). Furthermore, the connection between science and society that is implied in climate change education aimed at changing people’s behavior makes the task of teaching and learning more difficult still (Gardner and Stern, 2008; Heimlich and Ardoin, 2008). Second, achieving the broad range of goals of climate change education requires a cross-disciplinary approach, blending education with the learning, social, behavioral, and economic sciences as well as earth systems science. Third, the myriad of federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and businesses invested in climate change education may duplicate efforts and waste limited resources without a forum for coordination, cooperation, and alignment of overall education strategies. Fourth, like evolution, climate change has become a highly politicized topic in the policy arena and in education, and people’s willingness to be educated or to learn depends on their attitude toward the issue itself (Gardner and Stern, 2008; Leiserowitz and Smith, 2010).

As one response to these challenges, Congress, in its 2009 and 2010 appropriation process, requested that the National Science Foundation (NSF) create a program in climate change education to provide funding to external grantees to improve climate change education in the United States. The Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Program is part of a major investment of the federal government directed toward climate change education, involving a variety of players, including, among others, the National Science Foundation; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Energy; and the U.S. Geological Survey.

To support and strengthen these education initiatives, and in response to the 2009 congressional mandate connected to NSF’s funding for a climate change education program, the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council (NRC), in collaboration with the Committee on Human Dimensions of Global Change and the Division on Earth and Life Studies, created the Climate Change Education Roundtable. The roundtable provides a forum for dialogue between practitioners and experts in multiple disciplines relevant to climate change education. It facilitates collaboration across federal agencies and private organizations, helping to promote unique contributions and align overall education strategies.

Jaap Titulaer
December 13, 2018 11:39 am
December 13, 2018 11:42 am

There is the scientific theory of global warming (often wrongly labelled “climate change”) and there is the political cause of CAGW (always dishonestly labelled “climate change”).

The problem is, the activists and their enablers in the media and politics blur the line between the scientific study and the political movement so that the activists can put on the mantel of science and use it to beat anyone who gets in the way of their policy goals.

The fact that Moss accepts that humans are making a dangerous contribution to global warming is irrelevant. What matters is that he is inconvenient to the activists.

December 13, 2018 11:46 am

Denayer used to mean denaying any piece of the global warming dogma. Now it means denaying any piece of the progressive leftist dogma. We have seen before how the team players are disappeared, one by one, with Stalin for example.

The ironic part is that Cliff Mass is one of the very few claimed Climate Scientists who actually does legitimate climate/weather modelling.

Pat Frank
December 13, 2018 11:46 am

Sarah Myhre: “When climate policy is written by white men in a closed room, that is white supremacy.

She also wrote that climate policies have, “been characterized by white male power brokering…

So now we know, from testimony out of her own mouth, that Sarah Myhre is a racist as well as a sexist.

But it is politically fashionable racism and sexism which makes it valorized and ever so seductive to those addicted to moralizing smugery (Sarah Myhre seems such. She also thinks that Seattle being “carbon neutrality by 2050 [is] not untethered from reality.” Sarah Myhre is untethered from reality.).

The Departmental inquisition of Cliff Mass was a show trial and nothing else. With Dale Durran as the reincarnation of Andrei Vyshinsky. Dale Durran is probably proud of his attained stature.

Were these people to have real power, you can bet that Cliff Mass would be imprisoned. They’d have him tortured until he confessed to conspiracy and named his partners in crime.

This is the ineluctable logic of the American left, actively, even eagerly, nurtured by Sarah Myhre, Dale Durran and all the rest.

They should be careful. The lesson of history is that the mob may well eventually come for them.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Pat Frank
December 13, 2018 12:42 pm

‘The lesson of history is that the mob may well eventually come for them.’

And in the end, the result is all destruction.

It’s all so unnecessary. Yet it seems there’s no stopping it.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Joel Snider
December 13, 2018 2:31 pm

Agreed, Joel. It seems unstoppable.

Here at Stanford, so-called diversity and inclusion are about to make big inroads in merit hiring. It’s infected every single school.

President Marc Tessier-Lavinge and provost Persis Drell are actively promoting it. Persis is a particle physicist. You’d think she’d know better than to suppose that sociological and feminist theorizing is objective knowledge. But apparently not. They are remaking Stanford in that cause.

Stanford University, soon to be a shining beacon of institutional bigotry, intellectual mediocrity, and pseudo-scholarship.

The only possible cure is removal of all federal money from universities that teach and pursue political advocacy. Political advocacy violates the neutrality requirement for public money, and faculty who teach political advocacy suborn the tenure agreement.

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 13, 2018 1:19 pm

Sarah Myhre is Exhibit A in the case for patriarchy. When you select by quotas instead of merit, you do not get the best and the brightest. As explained by Jordan Peterson here:

What he does not say here is that if you select from an identity group, you will get people with a chip on their shoulder.

But facts is facts, I’m afraid, and no amount of neo-Marxist leftist postmodern suggestion that social science is a patriarchal construction is going to make the ugly truth disappear: Men and women are similar. But they are importantly different.

The differences matter, particularly at the extremes, particularly with regard to occupational choice and its concomitants. There are going to be more male criminals, and more male engineers, and more females with diagnoses of depression and anxiety, and more female nurses. And there are going to be differences in economic outcome associated with this variance.

Game over, utopians.

Sarah Myhre is in hard science with a soft science mind, if that, if she is scientific at all.
There’s nothing wrong with women in science, this woman has disproved herself.

Reply to  Toto
December 13, 2018 2:47 pm

She openly admits that it’s not a question of if, but of when she gets ejected from academia.

December 13, 2018 12:06 pm

This type of behavior has become common and is a clear sign of an ideological position not open to new information. Suppression of opposing positions in stead of falsifying their message is tantamount to confessing no capability to disprove them using reason. The treatment of Salby ( and
Harde ( are further examples of this lack of ability to persuade by reason.
Salby’s comment at 1:24:30 in this video ( is truly apropos.

Joel Snider
December 13, 2018 12:09 pm

Isn’t it ironic that those that posture against bullying seem to use that as their go-to tactic?

Sort of like fascism is the go-to tactic of ‘anti-fascists’.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Joel Snider
December 13, 2018 10:44 pm

They are the people they warned you about…

Joel Snider
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 14, 2018 10:48 am

Well put.

J Mac
December 13, 2018 12:19 pm

Cliff Mass is a supporter of ‘Carbon Taxes’ and other ‘Climate Change’ wealth redistribution schemes.
While I find the personal attacks of Sarah Myhre and others against Cliff Mass reprehensible, I see this as a case of climate extremists ‘eating one of their own’ for not being a sufficiently extreme team player.

December 13, 2018 12:20 pm

We are the Borg..resistance is futile…You will assimilate…

December 13, 2018 12:22 pm

In the old East European countries when someone would, by using undeniable facts, point to shortcomings in official policy, the government controled media starts the ball rolling by planting fake stories at an escalating rate, descrediting the person in question. Sooner or later the he/she would end up behind bars as an ‘enemy’ of system or even word an ‘enemy’ of state.
It is simply the reality of parts of humanity with no mercy to a dissident.
It’s a wake-up call for all those who cherish freedom, it matters not be it political, religious, scientific or just free thinking.

December 13, 2018 12:26 pm

The current blog post by Cliff Mass is called “Seattle’s Darkest Day in Three Years”.
No, he is not referring to his own troubles.

The message to all scientists is clear. The activists and the public will love you if you agree with them, they will character-assassinate you if you don’t. They will claim to love science, but what they really mean is they love anything which supports their own goals.

Scientists owe it to themselves to be skeptical all the way down. Trust no one.

December 13, 2018 12:26 pm

The zealots are running scared.
From Victor Hugo’s 1845 essay ‘Villemain’:
“You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.”

December 13, 2018 12:26 pm

More evidence of the “tolerance” of the “tolerant left” ?

Reply to  Marcus
December 13, 2018 4:56 pm

Leftist ideology is simply defective to the core.

December 13, 2018 12:34 pm

This incident should be taught side by side with a history lesson about guillotining during the French Revolution.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Dan
December 13, 2018 12:53 pm


Basically, the French Revolution (and most other revolutions), consisted of:

1) guillotining the rich and powerful
2) guillotining the not-quite-as-rich-and-powerful
3) guillotining the not-quite-as-rich-and-powerful wannbes
4) guillotining those just under the completely arbitrary not-quite-as-rich-and-powerful threshold
5) guillotining anyone who complains that everyone who should be guillotined has already been guillotined
6) guillotining anyone who has angered the guillotiners for any other reason


Repeat as needed.

Mass has just encountered #6.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
December 13, 2018 1:52 pm

7) The guillotiners get the guillotine, e.g, Robespierre.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  otsar
December 14, 2018 6:24 am

…Ah, yes, missed that one. I was re-typing an old list.

Basically, all revolutions turn in on the revolutionaries, mostly because most of the ideas that revolutionaries have don’t actually solve any problems, they just “guillotine” the enemy.

Its pure politics, not evolution, rapid or otherwise.

Alan Tomalty
December 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Cliff Mass believes in CAGW. I have no sympathy for him. He is deluded. The fact that the U of Washington is picking on him because he refuses to lie about extreme weather events puts him in the same class as Roger Pielke Jr. Both are deluded about CAGW. The BIG LIE crucifies anybody that doesnt go along with it 100%. The alarmists control all the faculties in the world. People like Cliff Mass are finding out that you cant change the system from the inside even if you are in the inside. They will soon put you on the outside.

Mike K
December 13, 2018 12:39 pm

Between this story, and others I’ve heard and read about, it seems universities have become more like cults than centers of higher learning.

Pat Frank
December 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Apparently Cliff Mass has been pushing back. Story at the Daily Caller.

The story also says that the image described as, “imagery and text that was racially insensitive and caused offense” was one of pigs feeding at a trough.

Such images are commonly applied to subsidy-driven industries and to NGOs that batten on ill-got public money. There’s nothing racist about it, although one can imagine that environmental activists would resent the accurate description of their monied interests.

Cliff Mass’ blog post is here, absent any pictures of pigs in troughs.

He should not have removed that picture, in my view. Instead, he should have highlighted it, and added a few derisive comments about green leftists resenting an accurate depiction of themselves.

The head-post doesn’t say that any text was removed from Chris Mass’ blog post. I have looked in vain for racially insensitive text.

I’d suggest that his critics are luridly delusional, including (especially) Philosophy PhD candidate Alex Lenferna. Mr. Lenferna lists “applied ethics” as one of his interests. The irony, it burns. So much for Philosophy making one thoughtful and philosophical.). But delusional to an end, and that end is violent oppression.

Look at the accusations leveled at Mass, as Judith Curry lists them: “deception, being on the payroll of oil companies, purposely obfuscating with multiple twitter accounts, racism, misogyny, tokenism, Trumpism.

They sound like an accusatory play-list from Stalin’s Soviet Union. Thought crimes ending in “-ism.” All supported by Dale Durran. And that guy calls himself a scientist.

An ironical note for Sarah Myhre is that Dale Durran is an older white male who arrogated power in an abusive and illicit manner so as to inject prejudice into Chris Mass’s Departmental show-trial.

One would suppose that Sarah Myhre would release her harangue against that display — a perfect example of her vision of white male privilege — were she ethically coherent.

Ethics in a racist sexist green fanatic … what a concept.

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 13, 2018 1:42 pm

Alex Lenferna is a Doctoral Candidate in the UW Dept of Philosophy, “…specializing in climate justice.” Well, that explains it. Can’t spread around some of that climate justice stuff without a carbon dioxide tax.

Chris Hanley
December 13, 2018 1:11 pm

In Reflections on a Ravaged Century (1999) historian Robert Conquest described “pseudoscholarship” in the US Academy and by extension in the West as having had dozens of ephemeral orthodoxies come and go in various fields with “a higher charge of certainty than of knowledge”.
Describing one conference (on Modern Language): “… the thirty-year-olds who made up the majority of those attending, gave one a strong feeling that they knew only too well that they were caught up in something worthless or harmful, scuttling about like beetles in some ‘Sartrean’ hell. They were, of course, doing what was necessary to secure employment …”.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 14, 2018 6:11 am

” They were, of course, doing what was necessary to secure employment ”


And some people are now paying attention. Here in Ontario, Canada, we elected a conservative government, and they’ve started to (gasp!) cut spending, including universities and colleges (where most of people with worthless degrees work, if they can’t get government work directly.)

Unfortunately, its too early to see if this will leave enough money for real education and research. Those social “science” dweebs are pretty good at the political infighting…

December 13, 2018 1:18 pm

And these climate alarmist probably despise/hate fundamentalist Christians as closed-minded, intolerant wackos. They should only look in the mirror and weep for what they have become – far worse.

December 13, 2018 1:25 pm

Cliff Mass is a member of the Warmista Group, but is not adhering strictly to the Party Line and so he must be called out for it. The hard core Zealots have pushed him to the outer wastelands of Warmism.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Judith Curry was also pushed out when she wavered on some of the GW topics, which over time helped her see what Skeptics face and become more receptive to skeptical viewpoints.

December 13, 2018 1:44 pm

Much the same scenario is being played out with Peter Ridd at James Cook University in Australia.
He has been a critic of mainstream views on coral bleaching and the reported ‘death’of much of The Great Barrier Reef.
The trial of his case for reinstatement at the University has been delayed until early next year.
I have donated to his go fund me campaign which happily raised enough money in two days to cover some $160,000 in legal fees.
Essentially he has been accused of not being “ collegiate” with the views of his colleagues and breaching his contract of employment.
Another nail in the coffin of free speech in science.

John F. Hultquist
December 13, 2018 1:58 pm

Cliff Mass always presents good reasoning, well written, and data driven blog articles. I think he goes too far in support of the dangers of global warming, and sometimes gets carried away. He does live and work in the Puget Sound leftist cesspool.

The political weight in Washington State is on the west side of the Cascades. The “State” is all-in on the global warming train wreck. If you work in the State, or in any way receive State funding, it is assumed you will support CAGW. The current governor, Jay Inslee, apparently believes he should become POTUS and that being “green” will help him achieve this goal.
Both of the attempts at taxing CO2 in the State of Washington have been disgusting, and rightly voted down.
Now the Inslee administration will try to get their ideas accomplished in other ways, until they can go for another, and another vote. Democrats want the money. Inslee wants the “green” credit.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Just a correction, John. They want to tax “carbon”, which leaves the door wide open to tax anything with C in it.

R Shearer
December 13, 2018 2:34 pm

I don’t know how the drawing of the pigs at the trough can be racist, speciest perhaps, and quite insulting to the pigs.

Reply to  R Shearer
December 13, 2018 5:48 pm

Given the context of the blog & the cartoon, the only possible interpretation is that the complainants see a correlation between pigs & race, are the ones that are racist.

Tom Abbott
December 13, 2018 2:53 pm

“For a perspective from the supporters of I-1631, I refer to Sarah Myhre’s article in the Stranger entitled New carbon tax initiative drafted with more color and less white supremacy.”

I’m beginning to see where this woman is coming from. She considers White Supremacy to be problem and wants to incorporate this delusion into climate science, and every other aspect of her life, no doubt. In other words, she is a typical radical leftists/socialist racist.

December 13, 2018 3:23 pm

I have been reading Cliff Mass’s blog for about 5 years now, if anything, I’d consider him a bit (just a bit) of an alarmist.
That said, he always presents the facts, usually with a precautionary theme.
I still read him.

December 13, 2018 3:35 pm

“According to Mass, “Global warming is an extraordinarily serious issue, and scientists have a key role to play in communicating what is known and what is not about this critical issue.”…”

I strongly disagree with Cliff Mass. I suggest that:
“Global warming is an extraordinarily serious FRAUD, in which trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been misappropriated by scoundrels and imbeciles.

December 13, 2018 4:07 pm

As a UW grad, I am outraged at this assault on academic freedom! I have always taken for granted that a university is a place where open exchange of ideas and debate was encouraged, not suppressed. I’ve disagreed with him many times, but this blatant attack to shut him up is a complete violation of university academic freedom. An attach on his academic freedom is an attack of the academic freedom of all of us and cannot be tolerated.

I went thru a similar (but less virulent) situation at Western Washington university for just presenting data to a Senate hearing. I was pleasantly surprised when the scientific community from all over the world came to my defense and bombarded the university administration with hundreds of emails from all over the world. That’s what needs to be done here. If you read this, send an email of protest to the UW president, provost, and dean.

Tom Abbott
December 13, 2018 4:39 pm

From the article: “Science shows carbon emissions remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, warming and dramatically changing the climate.”

Science shows no such thing.

Is this what they teach at Washington University?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 13, 2018 6:23 pm

Why don’t you accept this:

“Science shows carbon emissions remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, warming and dramatically changing the climate.”

Are you in denial of the drastically-elevated drama levels in the atmosphere lately, or is your objection more to do with our ability to precisely measure drasticity? Are you unaware of the recent developments in Drama Studies by people working on this precise, or imprecise as the case may be, problem?

Stick your head in the sand all you like, but it won’t change the hard scientific facts on the icy ground: that traditional Inuit knowledge-holders are telling us they’ve never seen such drama in their entire cultural memory. It’s getting so dramatic, they’re less and less willing to even talk about it with oral historians, who are increasingly having to resort to confabulating their testimony.

That’s how drastic the science is.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Brad Keyes
December 14, 2018 4:33 am

“Are you in denial of the drastically-elevated drama levels in the atmosphere lately,”

I *am* aware of the drama levels on the alarmist side. I’m just trying to calm these people down using a little truth and common sense.

You are definitely correct: It’s getting drastic out there. Alarmists are losing the battle and are flailing around in all directions with their mindless fearmongering..

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 13, 2018 7:18 pm

Not only at UW but everywhere is this bit of nonsense and other like it taught. Not only at the university level but at all levels right down to elementary education levels, to kids who can’t yet possibly think critically on such complex and multidisciplinary topics. It is a very wicked systemic problem we face. Free speech and academic freedom are probably the only checks.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  KT66
December 14, 2018 4:37 am

“It is a very wicked systemic problem we face. Free speech and academic freedom are probably the only checks.”

I agree completely.

John Sandhofner
December 13, 2018 5:56 pm

“giving Cliff a “platform” was a “form of violence.” Liberals use of hyperbole wears thin, especially when that is all they have for an arguement. Over and over they throw these statements that are ridiculous.

December 13, 2018 6:14 pm

One fragment of JC’s post doesn’t make sense:

“So in summary, Cliff Mass accepts the consensus science. ”

Mass thinks climate change is a serious threat—a position the majority of scientists don’t share, as far as anyone can tell.

Otherwise a timely and disturbing article. Well done Judith (and Anthony).

kristi silber
December 13, 2018 7:55 pm

This is the kind of behavior that gives academia, liberals and AGW “believers” a bad name. It’s so dumb. Counterproductive. Immature. Nevertheless, one has to wonder whether there is more to it, some kind of personal conflict or something – it’s important to realize, I think, that we’ve only heard one side of the story. Not that it excuses idiotic attacks.

But there are plenty idiotic attacks by skeptics, too, if not on individuals, then on groups.

I think some people on WUWT should heed Mass’s words:

“Science can only flourish when there is tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints and ideas. Name calling and politicization of science are toxic to the scientific enterprise, and undermines our credibility in the general community.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Roger Knights
Reply to  kristi silber
December 13, 2018 10:03 pm

“one has to wonder whether there is more to it, some kind of personal conflict or something”

Myhre (sp?) had a run-in with either Mass or another skeptic professor, as mentioned in her Stranger article.

Reply to  kristi silber
December 14, 2018 4:39 am

You are to be commended for at least giving lip service to the ideas of freedom and integrity.
I suggest you try to post these ideas over at one of the consensus supporting blogs and report back on the reactions and treatment you experience.

michael hart
December 13, 2018 8:06 pm

Heretics, or perceived heretics, often receive harsher treatment from the faithful than infidels do, and climatists seem no different in this respect.

Sceptical lefty
December 13, 2018 8:36 pm

When a debate on any matter becomes emotional and accepted positions are polarised, then no-one want to listen to reasoned argument from someone with a moderate position. Left or Right — it matters not. People have always been like this. Just as we look with righteous dismay at the follies of our ancestors, so future generations will view some of our antics — even as they indulge in their own foolishness.

What is most disappointing is that denizens of the institutions of higher learning, supposedly bastions of intellectual freedom, are just as susceptible to this brutal groupthink as lesser mortals. It seems likely that Napoleon (not a noted philosopher) nailed it when he observed: “Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest.”

December 13, 2018 8:49 pm

I don’t know why anyone with knowledge of the left could be surprised by this sort of thing.
I am personally acquainted with a young man, (can I say that) who just graduated from W. State.
His degree is in international finance.
He believe socialism is better than capitalism.

How in the world can we win against stuff like that?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  JACK
December 14, 2018 5:12 am

That young man needs to take a trip to Venezuela.

Or he could google socialism and do a little study and he would realize that socialism never works. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like questioning their own world view and don’t look too deeply into the narratives they believe in.

The good news is many human beings have the ability to filter out the wheat from the chaff, even when they are in a blizzard of chaff. That’s why we have Trump as president.

The bad news is almost an equal number of people in the U.S. can’t separate the wheat from the chaff, and their confusion is exascerbated by the leftwing propaganda constrantly put out by the Leftwing Media, and then they end up voting for the wrong person and harming the nation as a result.

December 13, 2018 8:49 pm

” His concerns with I-1631 are described in three blog posts:” (listed in the text body)

It doesn’t list his first I-1631 posting:
“The Carbon Fee Initiative (1631) Has Major Problems: Let’s Try Something Better”

He also has a fifth posting on I-1631:
“Lessons of the Failure of Initiative 1631, the Washington State Carbon Fee, Part 1: Election Analysis”

The “Part 1” suggests he is not done yet.
His analysis is very good. It could surprise you.

He as even more postings on the subject of carbon taxes and how to do them right. For example,
“Moving Forward with a Carbon Tax in Washington State: Only A Revenue-Neutral Approach is Viable (Part I)”

There is no question that he believes in global warming and carbon taxes. Even smart people can be wrong; there’s no accounting for it. On the plus side, he is against the alarmist hype. If only because it reduces the effectiveness of the activism against global warming. I’d love to see him in a debate about it in this forum.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Toto
December 14, 2018 6:27 pm

“He as even more postings on the subject of carbon taxes and how to do them right”

The only way to do them “right” is to not do them at all. It’s a completely useless exercise, unless you just want to suck money out of people and corporations for no good reason.

December 14, 2018 1:54 am

No surprise , religious fanatics are often been harder on those that ‘believe in the wrong way’ than those that don’t believe at all. Its was after all ‘heretics ‘ that most often got burned at the stake for the ‘crime ‘ of challenging the purity of the faith .

December 14, 2018 3:54 am

George Sandison, Chair of the Faculty Senate
University of Washington

George Sandison
Faculty senate chair
Telephone: 206-685-2703

Personal Profile:


Dear Sir:

Please read the aforementioned article re the alleged academic political bullying of Cliff Mass by other members of the faculty of your university.

I do not share the concerns of Cliff Mass on the subject of alleged Catastrophic Human-made Global Warming, but I am astonished and offended that your university would tolerate the abuse of Mass’s right to free speech by extremists, including members of your faculty.

I understand you are a physicist, and thus are familiar with the Scientific Method. The extremist views of those parties criticizing Mass (regarding wilder weather, etc.) are not supported by credible scientific evidence. Neither are Mass’s concerns about Catastrophic Human-made Global Warming, for that matter, but it is his unalienable right to state his opinions without the persecution that he has been subjected to.

There is overwhelming evidence that the impacts of increasing atmospheric CO2 will result at most in some moderate, net-beneficial global warming, along with a hugely beneficial increase in plant and crop yields. That is the mainstream view of so-called “climate skeptics”.

The scientific situation is more complicated than that, since atmospheric CO2 trends lag temperature trends at all measured time scales, and most people will agree that the future cannot cause the past (in our current space-time continuum). That issue is too complicated for the current discussion.

I suggest that you must re-establish the right to Freedom of Speech on your campus, or surrender your institutional integrity to the ill-informed extremists in your midst.

Yours truly, Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

December 14, 2018 4:33 am

Another example of how climate consensus obsession leads to a severe reduction in rational thought processes, critical thinking and ethics.
Each of those reactionary faux students in the Lynch mob attacking Prof. Moss should be blacklisted from ever teaching it receiving grants.
As if.
But the Dept. Head is the most egregious of them all, attacking a colleague and denying them the right to even speak.
The PC enforcer, slimy as they were, us merely doing what denizens under rocks do.
Moss is finding out that he is practicing rational ethical behavior in a post rational, post ethical world.
If he sues, I will contribute to the fund.

December 14, 2018 8:26 am

JC says:
The climate change advocacy disease

Add “mental” in front of disease & she’s got it right.

December 14, 2018 8:51 am

Leftists are free to be horrible people and yell all they want, but it is not ok for a Dean or Dept head to a) force a dept to all sign a political petition or b) conduct a public struggle session against a faculty member on specious “racist” grounds. College depts are not supposed to be political parties. They have been getting away with overtly political activities–not just by the faculty but as a university: holding anti-trump rallies for example, or giving students stipends or time off for leftists political action, or instituting “training” in overtly leftist, but never conservative, topics like toxic masculinity or problematic whiteness. Where is their action against communist oppression or in favor of gun rights? haha right

December 14, 2018 9:34 am

In short, as an academic, the moment you dissociate yourself from the alarmist bandwagon, you become a “denier”, a threat and thus a pariah. This says it all about the witch hunt they are ready to launch against any perceived rebellion to the Cause. It is totalitarian and some unknown PhD grad hopes to make a name for himself by playing Robespierre on blog… until visibly he can play it for real.
And one would have to pay huge tuition fees for their kids to go to those indoctrination centers “universities”?
Not a chance.

December 14, 2018 11:13 am

‘Melt the snowflakes’: the US campus activists stamping out students’ ‘safe spaces’

These brave people are visiting the UK to link up with like-minded people over here.

I can just imaging the manure hitting the fan when the SJW activists realise what is happening.

Kevin R.
December 14, 2018 12:46 pm

The shame society. It’s what holds primitive societies together.

December 14, 2018 3:21 pm

I started following Dr. Mass’s blog after reading a paper on how wind spread the King Fire:


Javert Chip
December 14, 2018 4:05 pm

So Dr Mass hangs with a group of thugs who want to jail skeptics, impose censorship, conflates skeptics with Holocaust deniers, and refers to skeptic speech as “an act of violence”. Dr Mass is a big boy, he knew who is was playing with, what the rules were, and the consequences for breaking them.

Nobody with a skeptical opinion on this issue is trying to jail or censor him; are we seriously proposing that skeptics use their “influence” to ask the thugs he hangs with to be kinder & gentler to Dr Mass? I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for him.

Gordon Dressler
December 15, 2018 7:39 am

From the above article’s quoted statement from the Seattle Times: “Science shows carbon emissions remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, warming and dramatically changing the climate.”

Uhhhh . . . exactly what science would that be? I will accept even one simple science paper or report that proves that statement in a manner that can be verified independently.

Hint: no one has had the scientific means to track a group of “carbon emissions”, whether natural or human-originated, since well after Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity in 1896, only 122 years ago . . . so what is the objective, reproducible evidence that “carbon emissions” remain in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years? . . . and why the big range of uncertainty for this asserted “fact”???

Separately, there is scientific evidence that during the transition between the Bølling-Allerød interstadial (GI-1) and the Younger Dryas stadial (GS-1), atmospheric CO2 levels DECREASED from about 310 ppm down to about 240 ppm over a short span of ~200 years — reference Figure 4 of McElwaine, et. al., 2002, reproduced in

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