Let’s help Cliff Mass

Opinion by Anthony Watts and Charles Rotter

If you haven’t read Dr. Curry’s post about Cliff Mass, please do so before proceeding.

It is our viewpoint that Cliff Mass is an honest scientist. Some here may disagree with him as he believes AGW is a serious issue.

But unlike advocate scientists, and their media enablers, he is an honest broker who pushes back against the hyperbole advanced by those advocates. For this he is being viciously attacked. Being connected with a radio station for his popular science program, Dr. Mass is aware of both the public perception and the peer reviewed science. Having that unique perspective he sees when arguments for intervention go too far, beyond what the science can support, and because he has integrity, he is one of the few scientists with the courage to speak out about it.

Our idea is this: with the mob attacking Dr. Mass, it would probably be helpful if the administrators being bombarded by irrational hate mail against him received another side of the story, one of rational support for his commitment to truth and inquiry.

There’s some caveats to consider if you want to join in support.

  • This is only about supporting a man with academic and scientific integrity
  • This isn’t about arguing about whether AGW is real or not, if you go down that path, it won’t help Dr. Mass
  • UW administrators aren’t going to be interested in letters that turn into diatribes
  • Calm and respectful emails only. You don’t do anyone any favors with rants
  • Intelligent and pertinent messaging please
  • Academic credentials are a plus
  • Independently created letters are a plus, which is why we provide no sample letter here

You can address the absurdity of points being made by critics, but please, only write a letter if you can be calm, on point, and polite.  

For reference, here are some pertinent links surrounding the issue:

That said, here are the contacts:

UW President Ana Mari Cauce  uwpres@uw.edu

Dean of College of the Environment Lisa J. Graumlich envdean@uw.edu

Mike Townsend, Secretary of the UW Faculty secfac@u.washington.edu

Remember, only write a letter if you can be calm, on point, and polite. 

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anthony timms
December 14, 2018 2:14 pm

Given the time of year, it’s a shame that his first name isn’t Chris. Maybe people would be kinder to him then. Maybe not, i forgot that the leftist, liberal, socialist greenies don’t respect Christmas either.

Reply to  anthony timms
December 14, 2018 5:09 pm

“leftist, liberal, socialist greenies don’t respect Christmas”

They certainly don’t, Anthony T, but that won’t stop them from taking the day off from work. Hypocrites.

Reply to  anthony timms
December 14, 2018 5:50 pm

Hi Anthony and all:
I sent this yesterday. Consider sending to the Chair of the Faculty Senate.
Best, Allan


George Sandison, Chair of the Faculty Senate
University of Washington
George Sandison
Faculty senate chair
Telephone: 206-685-2703
Email: sandison@uw.edu

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.

Robert B
December 14, 2018 7:45 pm

I’m more sceptical than yourself but I think its not a good idea to use the chance to express more sceptical views. WUWT recently reported a RS paper that found no increase in number or area burnt by wildfires globally. To question that global warming has made it worse does not need a bribe from big oil. Far from it. Anyone who can’t appreciate what a lame assertion it is should lose their academic position. They clearly are a waste of resources.

Reply to  Robert B
December 14, 2018 8:31 pm

Thank you Robert,

My approach has always been to tell the plain truth as I see it, and take the flak.

In my letter I resisted stating my full position on this matter – that global warming alarmism is promoted by liars who have deliberately deceived the public. I suggest that the leading perpetrators of this huge scam are traitors to the nation who belong in jail.

Not one of the warmists’ very-scary projections of runaway warming, wilder weather, etc. have materialized. They have falsified data and research to raise false alarm, and trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on worthless intermittent green energy schemes/scams.

Vital electrical grids have been severely compromised, electric power rates have greatly increased, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased , all due to the forced imposition of worthless green energy into the grid.

Robert B
December 14, 2018 10:10 pm

I think that you’re being too kind to them but you need to convince others who will only question things if they read it in the New York Times that everyone is becoming sceptical.

December 15, 2018 12:46 am

Note that grid-connected green energy does not even reduce CO2 emissions – it increases them, because of intermittency.

Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 1:26 am

“There’s some caveats to consider if you want to join in support.

This is only about supporting a man with academic and scientific integrity
This isn’t about arguing about whether AGW is real or not, if you go down that path, it won’t help Dr. Mass”

spalding craft
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 15, 2018 5:12 am

Agree. You broaden your base of support by supporting his qualifications as a scientist and a productive faculty member. If you refight the climate wars you’ll lose at the University of Washington.

The idea is to help Dr. Mass.

Jean Parisot
Reply to  spalding craft
December 15, 2018 7:26 am

Can I get a ‘Certificate in Atmospheric Science’ because I read this blog and check Willis’ math?

Then I can write a letter with academic credentials.

Reply to  spalding craft
December 15, 2018 7:55 am

Jean Parisot, well if Anthony’s cat can be a member of scientific institution, then you should be able to get a certificate.

December 14, 2018 2:17 pm

That is a fine idea!

My Brother actually met him and follows him to some degree on his blog, I will ask him to send him support as well. My Brother lives in the same area too, which is why he also met Terry Brooks and maybe other famous people too.

Agree that is about academic freedom and support, NOT what he believes about AGW issues.

Mike Pearson
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 16, 2018 4:23 pm

Sure You agree: Best scientists don’t want to politicize science. Sometimes they find that a little discussion is needed, about how to cope with university authorities who are very political, or the popular media’s blur about the subject.
In navigating this, maybe we’ll take some cues from anthropology and sociology. For example: Who might create a benevolent and harmless list? — of the key players and list each one’s exact affiliations (past or present) with churches, lodges, political organizations, corporations, foreign nations, or power cliques. This would not be a maneuver in itself, to scandalize such affiliations, but an attempt to understand the wider context of the power plays. See what patterns emerge. It may help with efficiency & effectiveness of communicating the honest message we intend — we who love the truthfulness of science. I wish You well. I understand, from what I’ve read in these links, that the sincerity of science is experiencing a throttling attempt (strangulation attempt) by ham-handed political fingers.
I don’t know about Cliff Mass’s blog. I attended an earthquake conference in early 1993 as a member of the public. I met Dr. Kerry M. Joels in 1977 when he spoke at Seattle Center about NASA activities. I was a fan of the NOVA show in the 1970s when I was a young adult — and two of my heroes were Isaac Asimov & Carl Sagan. I’m one of five brothers of Sunsettommy.

December 14, 2018 2:22 pm

A worthwhile suggestion Anthony, but as has happened with Bob Carter, Peter Ridd and Bjorn Lomberg in Australia, university administrators these days are so frightened by activist staff & student collectives, they won’t do jack about bullying of legitimate scientists who won’t carry the AGW flag.

Reply to  Mr.
December 14, 2018 2:32 pm


Doesn’t mean we can’t try. A simple email wouldn’t go amiss.

Not much time, not much effort.

Reply to  HotScot
December 14, 2018 3:15 pm

HotScot…I’ve got my doubts. Without the MSM I think our efforts are useless…this AGW thing is simply going to play out.

You, Anthony (gotta luv WUWT) and a good list of others know full well the AGW concept has been successfully oversold…so what, nobody is listening.

The crowd has no clue….can you blame them?….other than web places like WUWT there’s no info.

It’s fascinating, I no longer care.

Reply to  M.W.Plia
December 14, 2018 3:24 pm

Sorry, I meant to say…”so what, nobody is listening to us.”

Reply to  M.W.Plia
December 14, 2018 4:47 pm


I’m listening. I was a ‘believer’.

Reply to  HotScot
December 14, 2018 5:15 pm

Even conservative government ministers in Australia couldn’t (wouldn’t?) take on the university mafia.
Depressing, isn’t it?

TG McCoy
December 14, 2018 2:27 pm

The man wants and gives an honest debate. Not have some iditot (no matter the credentials)
yell and spit in your face “Denier!” . Just cut to the chase this is a religion as much as any
al that is missing is the grand inquisitor and the stake..
I have a Bachelor’s in General Biology-what is being done to this man is medieval ..

D Matteson
December 14, 2018 2:33 pm

This situation reminds me of WWII where the you have the democracies on one side joining the communists on the other to fight the Nazis.
Will we both win this war in order to fight the next?

December 14, 2018 2:43 pm

The Alex Lenferna link doesn’t work, for me anyway.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 14, 2018 2:51 pm

Delete the comma at the end of the URL

Reply to  Mike Jonas
December 14, 2018 3:10 pm

Lenferna just defended his dissertation yesterday, per his Twitter. It’s titled:

“Equitably Ending the Fossil Fuel Era: Climate Justice, Capital & the Carbon Budget. “

That’s it. End of modern world. All who disagree will receive mob justice from the South African Fulbright scholar (and terrible houseguest here in the USA).

Matthew Drobnick
December 14, 2018 2:46 pm

God bless Anthony, this site, all the contributors and commenters. This is one of many reasons as I have grown, I’ve become more and more traditional and conservative. I’m still working on bring polite but chalk that up to bring from near the Philly area..

This is to be commended, and hopefully, young people are starting to see that one side foams at the mouth with ignorant hatred, and the other side stands for honest debate and moral principles. Really awesome to see.

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
December 14, 2018 4:15 pm

I support this effort but it has nothing to do with being old or conservative. Science is neither liberal nor conservative. One does not have to be an ideologue to question some of the alarmist rhetoric and these abusive tactics.

December 14, 2018 2:46 pm

“This isn’t about arguing about whether AGW is real or not, if you go down that path, it won’t help Dr. Mass”
you have utterly lost the plot

Reply to  TruthMatters
December 14, 2018 5:09 pm

And you have lost the purpose of the request.

Reply to  markl
December 15, 2018 6:54 am

WUWT has reached the terminal stage of hermeticity.
this is very typical – it’s the usual life cycle of an internet forum
initially, it’s people who share a hobby or interest – and they are all excited about their topic and having found comrades who share the interest
starting out a meritocracy
eventually, long time members have discussed every topic more than once and can spot a noob
noobs are, initially, assisted, cultivated, educated’
but that also gets ‘old’ and reruns of sesame street get to seem pontlesss’
it’s found to be boring enough to justify rudeness and now begins the gate.keeping
the old timers begin to dominate. it grows harsher, the more it’s resisted.
this is when the Internet trolls find their fun- tweaking the gate keepers who protect whatever orthdoxy has emerged
soon, they find that the main joy to be had from the forum is in tormenting others with style – gotchas, PWNEDs, mic drops.
humans require moral justification for whatever they do, so next develops the rationale for abusing others.
that is always based on some kind of ‘activist mission’, such as ‘education’ or ‘saving somebody/something’
and the missionaries are now righteous by official doctrine of a concensus.
At this stage, senescence has arrived and new blood is driven out.
Only the self approved core of true-believers remains.
They’ve already talked about everything they had to say.
New ideas are unwelcome; a narratibe has become dogma.
Heresy has become easy to distinguish by the use of ‘key words’
It takes no time at all to identify a heretic or blasphemer. Being a rerun of a rerun, dogma bombing a noob or heretic is no longer exciting or interesting and becomes a chore which is resented.
hostility becomes the standard greeting for a potential new member.
This results in failure to recruit and the old timers are lost by attrition – more interesting things come to occupy them in other spheres.
The forum stagnates despite occasional punctuation with episodes of ad hoc activism.
The forum becomes irrelevant to all and comments & participation plummet.
Only the occasional burning of an apostate maintains interest- and that’s not sustainable…lol
they eat their own.
You are where you want to be.
You can importune the congregation for $$ and vanity. What else can affirm your new identity?

Reply to  TruthMatters
December 15, 2018 9:49 am

Did you accidentally get here when looking for Realclimate?

Reply to  TruthMatters
December 15, 2018 10:25 am

Poor TruthDoesn’tMatter

Your rant died of irrelevance before you even started.

May your single remaining brain cell RIP..

Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 15, 2018 5:30 am

So you demonstrate with no self awareness Charles.
‘it’s not about Polly Klaas- it’s about fighting unjust accusations of traffic violations’
(and, necessarily, snarking anything counter narrative.)
You’ve sunk below the threshold -and there is no cure for what you got.
Of course, I am aware of the irony – you can not, must not and will not go where reason rules the day. Whatever anyone says now can never penetrate your consciousness.
You can’t ever again achieve the level of self awareness, honesty and integrity to question your renewable commitment to demagoguery and promotion of your vanity.
Having accreted an insulating layer of sycophants, you now arrive at the terminal phase of hermeticity.


Reply to  TruthMatters
December 15, 2018 10:28 am

You have not demonstrated anything but overwhelming mouth-breathing,

TruthDoesn’tNatter to you.

You have no self-awareness of how incredibly empty, and desperate for attention, your comments sound.

dodgy geezer
December 14, 2018 2:48 pm

Surely this piece will be seized on by the environmentalists as PROVING that Dr. Mass received support and encouragement from Big Oil funded denier web sites?

It may do more harm than good. I recall the attempt by the Guardian to run an anti-Bush letter writing campaign that backfired spectacularly…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
December 14, 2018 6:16 pm

@ dodgy geezer
As I understand it, WUWT is not advocating we should write as representatives of this site but using our individual identities. Unless you actually DO work for Big Oil, there shouldn’t be a reason for the UW potentates to associate you, or any one of us, with B.O.

Reply to  alexei
December 14, 2018 7:27 pm

“Unless you actually DO work for Big Oil….”

Is Big Oil hiring? Asking for a friend.

December 14, 2018 2:54 pm

Bullies search for weakness.
Punch back twice as hard, put them on their back foot.

December 14, 2018 2:57 pm

FYI… Your link for “medium.com” doesn’t work. Need to remove the comma at the end of the URL.

Don Healy
December 14, 2018 3:02 pm

Thanks for organizing this. Three emails sent.

December 14, 2018 3:10 pm

I am a U of W alum.
I will write a calm defense of the sanctity scientific and academic freedom in defense of Dr. Mass.

I am shocked and disturbed by the attacks on an honest scientist.

(Thank You) MOD

Lance Wallace
Reply to  a_scientist
December 14, 2018 5:15 pm

I too graduated from the UW and have written to the three persons mentioned.

(Thank you) MOD

Dennis Laughton
December 14, 2018 3:13 pm

A sign of maturity is the ability to disagree and at the same time be respectful.

December 14, 2018 3:27 pm

Stalinists recognize only their presumed authority and will destroy anyone who questions it.

December 14, 2018 3:31 pm

UW gets most of its revenue from tuition. About a third comes from the state though. link That means that, while they are in theory independent, they should be susceptible to political pressure.

Which politicians can be interested in this problem?

Reply to  commieBob
December 14, 2018 3:45 pm

I’m acquainted with Senator Doug Erikson and will ask him for advice about who to contact.

spalding craft
Reply to  Don Easterbrook
December 15, 2018 5:16 am

Good idea.

Tom Abbott
December 14, 2018 3:45 pm

Freedom is not free.

If you want to preserve your freedom of speech then speak up when it is challenged.

If we lose our freedom of speech, then everything is lost.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 14, 2018 4:26 pm

As J. S. Mill pointed out, if you oppose free speech for those with whom you disagree, you do not agree with free speech.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 14, 2018 9:14 pm

It is more like Climate Science is now practicing it’s own version of McCarthyism.

December 14, 2018 4:07 pm

This will no doubt be an unpopular opinion, but it may be a bad idea to interfere when those on the other side (whatever the issue might be) begin to turn on each other.
It may be the only way CAGW is relegated once and for all to the dust bin of history, sooner rather than later, is for them all to eat their own.
I may not be the most popular commenter on WUWT, and one reason for that is I have one overriding objective: To see wrong ideas and bad science rejected. Most especially those that are dangerous and harmful to ordinary people living their lives in freedom.
If he knows how those on his side of the climate debate behave themselves, why is he not a CAGW skeptic already?

spalding craft
December 14, 2018 4:11 pm

Email address for Lisa J Graumlich does not work.

December 14, 2018 4:13 pm

I have had several email discussions with Dr. Mass regards wildfires and ocean acidification. He got chastised by UW and Seattle Times for arguing that reports of local ocean acidification damaging oysters were due natural upwelling and the pumping of naturally acidic waters into larval oyster rearing tanks. This conflicted with UW’s newly formed Ocean Acidification Center and securing big influxes of grant money. Dr. Mass graciously passed around my essays on ocean acidification that supported his arguments to professors involved in UW’s ocean acidification program. They could not refute what Dr. Mass or I presented but that did not matter. What was more important than scientific objectivity was maintaining an inflow of grant money, so I doubt any appeal to the UW admins will generate much sympathy.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Jim Steele
December 15, 2018 5:44 am

UW disgraced itself in its handling of Elizabeth Loftus’s investigation of “the Jane Doe case.” See Wikipedia on it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Loftus#“Jane_Doe”_case

December 14, 2018 4:19 pm

I would be curious regards how sympathetic Graumlich will be. She did her earlier research in the Sierra Nevada that suggested a warmer Medieval Warm period, stating “The summer temperature reconstruction shows fluctuations on centennial and longer time scales including a period with temperatures exceeding late 20th-century values from ca. 1100 to 1375 A.D., corresponding to the Medieval Warm Period”


December 14, 2018 4:36 pm

I listen to his thoughtful show on weekends in the PNW. I will also be writing my letter of support this weekend.

Chuck Wiese
December 14, 2018 4:40 pm

I agree that to address the University of Washington about the Cliff Mass situation, a certain degree of decorum is in order, but I don’t believe that being polite in the nicest of terms in writing to these people is in order either.

If you read the letter the Department Chair in the Atmospheric Science Department Dale Durran wrote in support of the carbon tax initiative, I-1631, that failed to pass by voters by a wide margin last month, it is very apparent that some serious brown nosing is going on between the political class that funds this racket through the universities and the politicians who use these prostituted versions of science to rile up the public to try and get them to believe humans are destroying the earth from their CO2 emissions. This looks as though it goes right to Washington state Governor Jay Inslees office, who was the sponsor of the carbon tax.

Durran wrote that CO2 emitted by humans remains in the atmosphere for centuries, builds up and causes dangerous “climate change”. He asked his faculty staff to sign this letter he wrote in support of the I-1631 measure, which many felt uncomfortable doing. Not only this, but Durran’s claims about atmospheric CO2 are grossly in error as revealed by the accurate modeling of the C14 isotope residence time that fits an inverse exponential curve and demonstrates the residence time is actually anywhere from 1.2-5 years as presented by the works of Murry Salby and Ed Berry, who are Phd atmospheric scientists.

Advancing such nonsense by a department chair is proof of how badly these universities have become corrupted by money grubbing the political establishment that funds them and their willingness to be dishonest to help set terrible public policy with. The two groups could not be more of a conflict of interest against each other than anything ever seen.

There is no excuse for this behavior, and I would encourage those who care to write about this to state so and point to nonsense like this being a bigger reason than ever that honest individuals like Cliff Mass need to be retained to do the work that taxpayers expect. And along with this should come a willingness to make it clear to these dishonest political hacks and their complicit academics like Durran, that this behavior will not be tolerated any longer and if it continues, private individuals thinking about giving cash gifts to the universities promoting this climate rot will stop.

Tasfay Martinov
December 14, 2018 4:53 pm

This academic culture of totalitarian obeisance to CAGW and social justice warrior creeds is a new fasc1sm that makes the Na3is in the 1930’s look like a stamp collecting club. Sorry Godwin old boy but this is no game and this is no joke.

This fasc1stic hard left academic culture has taken hold in all English speaking countries – the USA primarily but also Canada, Australia and NZ, and is an incipient fasc1sm that threatens not just one country or continent but the whole world, using the pseudoscience of climate catastrophism as a vehicle.

As a UK national I find it painful to have become aware that it is my own culture and language, not that of any foreign nation, that poses the number one threat of nascent fasc1sm and an explosion of state violence that follows the cultivation of a new narrative of moral superiority and victimhood. We are the new na3is and the new threat to democracy and freedom of the whole world. Truth was already the first victim long ago. I’m glad that I speak Russian, so at least have a safe place to go when this all kicks off.

Lance of BC
December 14, 2018 5:07 pm

Not to sure about Dr. Mass situation, but I’ll tool up a respectful letter .

Or troll some of his on line enemies for sheets and giggles.



December 14, 2018 5:26 pm

A noble gesture. But the folks who run large outfits like UW are responsive to just one thing. Fortunately, public institutions rely heavily on it being sourced from the taxpayer. If you want traction, the message should be conveyed to elected officials who control the purse strings. Luckily, many are already concerned about what is taking place on a wider front.

The difficulties encountered by Mass are symptomatic of a more pervasive cancer, one which has infected academia. Modern universities have ceased to be centers of thinking and scholarship. They have been commandeered into instruments of socialism – to indoctrinate the future generation. Climate change is just
a galvanizing vehicle.

Here are cutting descriptions of the problem:



At risk is the future of free thought, speech, and other rudiments of western democracy. There is one way to stop this perversion of publically-funded “education”: Legislate protections that block funds to all elements of public institutions which, without balance, reference political ideology.

The same protection is needed to rein in abuses by monolithic media gatekeepers, like Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia, who impose their ideology by controlling what the public sees.


Such protections are analogous to the Hatch Act, which prohibits pernicious politicization of government offices. Without them, we’re headed for 1917.

John F. Hultquist
December 14, 2018 6:01 pm

My letter won’t count for much. We live on the Dry Side.
Still, it won’t hurt to remind the lefties over there that folks are watching.

I’ve just finished reading about the very beginnings of the University of Washington.
They paid some folks to pretend they were students, and they had a band to welcome politicians that came to shut the place down. Funny stuff.

December 14, 2018 6:11 pm

So… A socialist is being purged by his own. Not unusual. In his book “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described how those purged from the Soviet and found themselves in the Gulag with all the rest. Yet they still clung to the idea that somehow the Soviet had made a mistake and that this “mistake” would and could be “cleared up”. They still gave loyalty to the Soviet regime, until time and circumstance eventually disabused them of their fantasy and they came to the realization that the system had no interest in their loyalty, only it’s own power.

Never under estimate a human’s capacity to deceive themselves. This guy just hopes to be redeemed by the System…. He will soon understand that he is a pariah and utterly irredeemable to the regime.

Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2018 6:18 pm

Has Cliff Mass said he wants our help?
We have to realize unlike helping Peter Ridd finacially fight his institution in court, we are attempting working on opinion here in Deep Blue loon-ville.

The reality is likely that:
UW President Ana Mari Cauce uwpres@uw.edu

Dean of College of the Environment Lisa J. Graumlich envdean@uw.edu

Mike Townsend, Secretary of the UW Faculty secfac@u.washington.edu

have already closed their minds to this issue.

Any endorsements of Dr Mass would be would be having Hillary endorse a Texas Democrat before an election, a quite unwelcome assistance.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2018 7:42 pm

I personally am not so pessimistic. I contributed bigly to Dr. Ridd in Australia. I also wrote to UW before this justifiable Cliff Mass appeal.

In my view, Warmunism long since passed from ‘science’ into a politico-religious belief. Examples include Hansen, Hayhoe, Myhre, and Oreskes.
Warminism needs to be combated on their own nonscientific beleif terms.

Rud Istvan
December 14, 2018 7:23 pm

Dr. Mass and I have personally corresponded several times since he reposted my CE guest post on the Whiskey Creek at Netarts Bay oyster larvae hatchery ocean acidification fraud perpetrated by PMEL (title, Shell Games, longer version with an additional example in the essay of same name in ebook Blowing Smoke). Jim Steele here notes the same biological PMEL nonsense that Dr. Mass called out to the Seattle Times by re-emphasizing my detailed post.
Cliff has always been civil, reasonable, and well informed in our subsequent correspondence.

I already wrote UW a factual missive concerning Cliff and this matter. No reply yet.

Robert B
December 14, 2018 7:34 pm

If it didn’t hurt Cliff Mass so much (even though he is not sceptical enough, at least he has some integrity) I would be tempted to send a thank-you letter. Its very hard to convince people how meaningless consensus is in normal science, and even more so when politically charged, so its great to have an example of a pseudoscientific assertion so impossible to defend that even a climate scientist who is one of the 3% consensus, not just 97%, has to speak up against it and the consensus of climate scientists is to cower under pressure of extremists rather than defend him.

In the words of Oliver, please Sir, I want some more.

mike the morlock
December 14, 2018 8:43 pm

I think letter writing is a good start, but is it to the right persons?
Question where is the grant money coming from?
If U.S. Gov, maybe it is better to start writing the Senators and Representatives that sit on the committees that oversee the grants. Rattle their cages.
If they only have to worry about alarmist votes then they don’t have worry about you or me.


spalding craft
Reply to  mike the morlock
December 15, 2018 5:30 am

Once again, this is about Dr. Mass, not about fighting the climate wars.

December 14, 2018 8:48 pm

Everything about post-modern socialist academics reminds me very much of Screwtape’s organization.

December 14, 2018 10:34 pm

Alex Lenferna, a Ph.D. candidate in the UW Philosophy Department with a Certificate in Atmospheric Science. He wrote a blog post that Dr. Curry characterized as a “hit piece” which has instigated the backlash Dr. Mass is experiencing.

I have read the entire blog post. I disagree that it is a “hit piece”. A hit piece limits itself to name-calling and unfair accusations with no proof behind. Here the author is clearly explaining why he thinks that Dr. Mass is wrong, and showing several apparent contradictions from him. You can agree or not with what he says (I don’t), but it is not a hit piece.

A different story is everything that came afterwards, all the pushing to have him silenced. That’s ugly, very ugly.

Robert B
Reply to  Nylo
December 15, 2018 12:07 am

“Weatherman Cliff Mass has teamed up with Big Oil to try kill Initiative 1631, …Washington voters who open their voting guides will be in for a surprise when they see a lone atmospheric scientist standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Big Oil to oppose Initiative 1631”
If it was just an that, its a hit piece but I also fail to find where the author puts forward a good argument
“Cliff’s recurring argument against 1631 is that the initiative is too vague in how it will invest its revenue, even though it clearly specifies that a Public Oversight Committee should oversee that the revenue is 70% invested in clean energy and clean air, 25% in clean water and healthy forests, and 5% to prepare communities for challenges caused by climate change. Of that funding, 15% should address the energy burden of poor households, 10% goes to support Tribal nations, 35% to environmental justice, and about $12 million per year to help displaced fossil-fuel workers.”
Its got numbers but still vague!

Reply to  Robert B
December 16, 2018 8:23 am

“…standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Big Oil…”

Funny thing is no one ever says ‘Big Coal’ and yet that’s what the AWG crowd are always aiming at. I’ve yet to see Big Oil getting singled out for attack. The main effect of the Global Warming crusade is to reduce the use of coal for generating cheap reliable electricity in western countries. Now digging up coal and selling it to China so they can do the same thing there? No problem. When I hear ‘big oil’ I think this is projection. ‘Accuse your opponent of doing what you are doing’.

Reply to  Nylo
December 15, 2018 12:30 am

I too have read it. And it certainly is what is usually called a ‘hit piece’. It contains unfounded and unsupported accusations of interest and personal attacks, as in:

That lone scientist is Cliff Mass, the controversial UW weatherman. Big Oil is using him as a prop in their messaging to claim that they have scientific support, he is their token scientist. However, as this article explains, Cliff’s opposition stems from an inaccurate analysis of 1631, and is grounded not so much in science, but rather in a narrow anti-government ideology which was revealed when, for instance, Cliff compared Native Tribes, communities of color and unions to pigs for advocating for public investments in their communities.

There is, as I understand it, no evidence at all that Big Oil is using him. To show this, you would have to show that some particular oil company or agent of one or more of them was in some way involved with directing or influencing his statements. Is there any evidence of that?

At the end of the piece, after a bunch of similar statements, the author does admit that there is no evidence that Mass is getting money either from ‘Big Oil’ or being paid for his statements. But this is in the last para, the whole piece before that is a mass of innuendo and unfounded personal accusation.

The academic freedom point is simple. Mass may be right or wrong about AGW. He may be right or wrong about the merits of the proposition. But he is clearly within the range of opinions which rational, well informed and disinterested people may arrive at simply by considering the facts of the matter.

The same applies to the proponents of the measure. It seems a very ill conceived and ineffective measure, but one does not have to be ignorant, interested or whatever to support it. We are, on both sides of this issue, well in the realm of legitimate and vigorous public debate, from which, usually, the right course emerges.

The tactic of the alarmists on this is to deny the legitimacy of dissent. The end result of this is that their case goes unimproved by the scrutiny which debate gives. And so in the present case they are not considering a much better alternative, that is, drop the insistence on CO2 emission reduction, and instead focus on limiting and reducing real toxic pollutants.

Whether that raises or lowers emissions is unimportant.

And the reason for this? Because no matter how much Washington State or any other state or even the US as a whole reduces its emissions, these are not the problem entities, on the theory. They are emitting so small a percentage of the global total that unilateral action from them makes no significant difference to the global total.

It is this fact, the fact that the proposed action does not lower global emissions enough to lower AGW , that forces the advocates into their hysterical personal attacks. This is the reason why the activists will at all costs seek to avoid debate on exactly how much emission reduction the measure achieves.

You want a measure which would under this test be rational advocacy of something effective? Here is a simple one: close down the auto industry, worldwide. And make the corresponding changes in living and working patterns.

Like it or not, that would lower emissions in the way the activists claim to believe is necessary to the survival of civilization. It may be crazy and irrational, but it would deliver what they claim to believe is needed.

The propositions Mass is opposing are in those terms going to have no more effect on the global climate than standing on our heads.

Mike Borgelt
December 15, 2018 2:12 am

AGW is a serious issue for sure but not the way Cliff thinks it is. The hysterical belief in a non issue like AGW is leading our politicians to destroy Western Civilization.

Reply to  Mike Borgelt
December 15, 2018 4:01 am

I don’t quite agree. First, they are doing nothing whatever to limit or reduce our emissions, so the effect of all their meetings and press releases is minimal. All they are doing is waving their arms at conferences.

But second, Western Civilization does not consist of shopping malls and freeways, a life spent pointlessly driving between places and through places, and the endless purchase and throwing out of consumer goods. We really could reduce our energy consumption enormously without it having any material effect on true quality of life, that is, the happiness of living in a comfortable and unpolluted neighborhood, with enough to eat, medical care, clothing, education, and access to entertainment.

I don’t think most people’s quality of life would be in any way impaired by having fewer cars drive through where they live on the way to somewhere else.

On both counts then, a difference. They are not doing it, and if they did do it, it would not destroy our Civilzation.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  michel
December 15, 2018 4:41 am

Michael wrote: I don’t think most people’s quality of life would be in any way impaired by having fewer cars drive through where they live on the way to somewhere else.

Spoken like a true Utopian silly person. People’s quality of life is immediately impaired when you and your fellows political power is spent to create a bureaucracy, a law-enforcement agency that can write the rules, who decides who “needs” to drive, and then that bureaucracy begins to exercise and expand it’s power. Compare the current interpretation of “The Waters of the USA” authorized by the EPA, which they interpret as meaning everything that might get wet with rainfall, vs. the text of the law, which mentions “navigable waters.” Pull you head out, please.

December 15, 2018 4:41 am

I’d like to thank Cliff Mass for being a professional who seems to value scientific integrity above all. His view on AGW is irrelevant to me. I hate that he’s having to deal with the vicious intolerance of a self-righteous clique of character assassins who exhibit the cognitive maturity of grade schoolers.

Mark - Helsinki
December 15, 2018 7:37 am

S Myhre is a horrid human being

It’s not about agreement or disagreement. She is nasty, dishonest, and the epitome of neurotic.

December 15, 2018 8:44 am

Good article.

Reed Coray
December 15, 2018 9:24 am

In support of Anthony’s request to help Dr. Cliff Mass, I sent the following email to UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Dean of College of the Environment Lisa J. Graumlich, Mike Townsend, Secretary of the UW Faculty, and Dr. Mass.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

All through my academic studies I was told that “Universities are a bastion of tolerance and freedom of thought.” The non-existent but loudly proclaimed “Climate Change Debate” has altered my perception. First came the attacks on Dr. Judith Curry by Climate Change activists and the abominable treatment of her by academia. The latest academic example of “tolerance and freedom of thought” is UW’s handling of Dr. Mass. ‘Shameful’ comes to mind, but on reflection does not convey the true wretchedness of UW’s behavior. Based on UW’s and other university’s actions in the Climate Change arena, I now conclude that (a) during my academic studies I was brainwashed by the very people who claim to be tolerant, and (b) a belief that you are “Saving The World” trumps tolerance and academic freedom. How does the old joke go: “There are only two things I won’t tolerate: intolerance and ‘fill-in-the-blank?”

Reed Coray
PhD Physics 1972

December 15, 2018 2:42 pm

It’s very clear that Cliff Mass supports the idea of carbon taxes. His issue is strictly with the improper use of the revenues.

But I’m confused about the position of Wattsupwiththat.com. In urging support of Dr. Mass, it appears to be supporting the imposition of carbon taxes. How can it do this without compromising the credibility of its position that global warming is neither a threat to the environment nor caused by human activity?

To me its like deeming fraud and thievery to be desirable, if proposed by an “honest scientist” and if the proceeds are devoted to a “good cause”.

Robert B
Reply to  otropogo
December 15, 2018 5:33 pm

I think most readers don’t support wanton use of fossil fuels. Scepticism stems from seeing a poor excuse for science becoming fact for all the wrong reasons.

December 15, 2018 5:21 pm

Has anybody else noticed that the link to … The UW faculty web page for Cliff Mass … in the article leads to a page where there is ONLY a picture of Cliff Mass, and NOT a word at all.

Am I jumping conclusions in thinking that the university has removed his bio from its website, in an attempt to dissociate itself from him? If this is what’s going on, then that just throws fuel on the fire for their getting burned — how fitting in an era of alarm over warming.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 15, 2018 5:43 pm

The link presented in the article was:


Your link is:


Seems rather a waste of server space to have these two possible pages. … not very efficient and visually obvious how to get a viable bio reference with a website designed like that.

I find that a number of professional websites that should be more intuitive and clear, due to the intelligence factor of the organizations with which they are associated, … are not.

December 16, 2018 5:10 pm

I suppose it’s a matter of opinion what is “on point.”

Cliff Mass is just one example of a much broader evil trend known as “deplatforming.” The enviro-alarmist movement is just one branch of the Social Justice movement which is behind deplatforming, and is forcing irs opponents to create a whole separate, parallel economy of alternative institutions to cope with the problem. We’ve already created an alternative Internet search engine, an alternative Twitter, an alternative Youtube, and alternative domain registrars; soon there will be alternative banks, alternative universities, and even substitutes for Silicon Valley and Hollywood in their entireties.

The current state of this struggle is discussed in much more detail here. I urge everyone to support these new institutions and to avoid doing business with the ones taking part in deplatforming people.

December 17, 2018 9:47 am

Here is the email I am sending to the UW president, Dean, and others.

The most precious aspect of a university is academic freedom, providing a forum for free and open discussion of any subject. I have always taken for granted that a university is a place where open exchange of ideas and debate was encouraged, not suppressed. But as a UW grad (PhD)and long-time financial contributor to the UW, I am totally disgusted by the way the academic freedom of Cliff Mass of the Atmospheric Sciences Dept is being trashed by department chairman Dale Durran. Prof Mass posted a blog stating why he thought I-1631 was not a good bill. Chairman Dale Durran then called a department meeting about the blog post Mass wrote, with the event billed as ‘controversy.’ An ombudsperson was enlisted to run the meeting, but chairman Durran took over the meeting, serving as inquisitor and critic. He prevented Mass from finishing his opening comments and harassed Mass throughout the meeting. Professor Mass was the subject of insulting, personal, inappropriate remarks. An attack on his academic freedom is an attack on the academic freedom of all faculty.
This treatment of a UW faculty member is totally against the UW official policy of academic freedom (Section 4-33), which states “Academic freedom is the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in teaching, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to shared governance and the general welfare of the University. Faculty members have the right to academic freedom and the right to examine and communicate ideas by any lawful means even should such activities generate hostility or pressure against the faculty member or the University. Their exercise of constitutionally protected freedom of association, assembly, and expression, including participation in political activities, does not constitute a violation of duties to the University, to their profession, or to students and may not result in disciplinary action or adverse merit evaluation.”
Chairman Durran has clearly violated this official UW policy. May I therefore ask if you intend to discipline him, and what do you intend to do to restore Professor Mass’s academic freedom?

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