Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The University of Washington Should Not Censor Faculty Social Media


This blog will describe a series of serious violations of freedom of speech and academic freedom at the University of Washington.

It will describe how a Dean and her senior staff at UW’s College of the Environment (COENV) have suppressed diversity of viewpoints and censored the social media of faculty and staff, including this blog.  I will review apparent violations both of the faculty code and constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech.




What I will describe should concern you, no matter where you are on the political spectrum.  Progressive or Conservative, Democrat, Republican or Independent, you should care deeply about the suppression of viewpoint diversity and the restriction of freedom of speech in favor of the partisan agenda of a group of university administrators. 

Their actions are a direct threat to the very nature of the University of Washington and our democracy.  And I need your help to rectify the situation. 

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Benjamin Franklin

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Initiative 1631 and the Leadership of UW’s College of the Environment

A stunning example of inappropriate behavior by COENV leadership deals with Washington State Initiative 1631.  This initiative, on the Washington State ballot in November 2018, was an attempt to pass a carbon fee, with the proceeds distributed by a board dominated by politically connected groups.  It was highly partisan and lost decisively (by 13%). 

Leadership of the College of the Environment was strongly in favor of this measure and expressed their support publicly in many ways:

(1)  Dale Durran, the Chair of the Atmospheric Sciences Department and a member of the College’s Executive Committee, asked the faculty to sign a letter supporting 1631, which was later published in the Seattle Times, signed by 21 faculty members.   Is this appropriate for the Department Chair, who has substantial influence over salaries, sabbaticals and advancement in the department?

(2)    The College Dean, Lisa Graumlich, and several associate Deans publicly supported the measure, signing widely circulated public letters citing their university affiliation, and tweeting their support (such as one by Associate Dean of Research Robert Wood).

(3)   The COENV PCC program website featured Chairman Durran’s letter in support of 1631, which was potentially an illegal use of university resources to support a measure (see below).


But if you were a faculty member in the College of the Environment and you had a different viewpoint than College leadership regarding this initiative, they were prepared to make your life very difficult.  And by doing so, they may have violated Federal law and university regulations.

Let me tell you a story.  My story.

Although I am a strong supporter of carbon taxes and was a very public proponent of I-732, the previous carbon tax initiative, I opposed 1631 for several reasons.  I felt I-1631 was highly regressive, disproportionately taxing low-income individuals and families. It lacked specific guidelines on how the money would be spent.  A partisan group of organizations was hardwired to control and direct the funding, and the public goals of the proposal were highly deceptive (“clean air”).  In addition, 1631’s carbon fee started out too low to be effective (half that of 732). And the highly partisan nature of 1631 would undermine bipartisan efforts on climate change, which I believe are crucial.

I agreed to be a signatory for the statement against I-1631 in the official voter’s pamphlet and did a few blog posts on the subject.  These blogs were in social media completely outside of and had no connection to the University of Washington.

My stance was not popular among the college’s activist students, my department chair (Dale Durran) and the COENV Dean’s office. The pro-1631 students used social media to call me all kinds of names, as did one vocal post-doctoral researcher in oceanography.   They stated that I was in bed with oil companies, was on the payroll of the Koch brothers, was racist, misogynistic, a climate denier, and other names I would not repeat in a family friendly blog (see picture below for a tame example).  It is all documented on twitter.  The Seattle Stranger called me Trump’s Weatherman and repeated the student’s accusations and pictures.


Although unpleasant, I tolerated the student name calling and the nonsense in the Stranger in the spirit of freedom of speech, diversity of ideas, and acknowledging the self-righteousness/idealistic nature often associated with youth.  Tolerance for differing opinions should be in the DNA of all university faculty. 

A few of the activist students went to the department chair (Dale Durran) and the Dean’s office to complain about my blogs on 1631.  They particularly didn’t like my blog “If You Worry About Climate Change and Care About the Environment, Vote No on I-1631  In that blog, I discussed the issue of politically well-connected groups securing funds at the public trough and used the century-old political metaphor of “pigs at a trough”,  not in the text, but in a single picture (see below).



This metaphor is frequently used in the media and books, such as Arianna Huffington’s hard hitting book on political corruption in America, which described the greed of the politically connected (see below).

The activist students claimed that such a metaphor was racist because some members of the 1631 consortium were from minority groups.   They ignored the fact that the 1631 coalition was overwhelmingly white and well-to-do. The fact I was expressing political opinions outside the UW did not seem important to them, nor did they care about the concept of freedom of speech.  They wanted the department and college administration to do something about me and my blog.


  Will the College of Environment Deans Accuse Arianna Huffington of Racism?  Or Australian Adam Schwab?

And shamefully and potentially illegally, the Atmospheric Sciences chair and COENV Deans, ignoring First Amendment protections and the essential principles of an academic institution, did exactly what the students wanted.


Between the end of October and early November 2018, Department Chairman Dale Durran, COENV Associate Dean of Research Robert Wood, COENV Associate Dean of Administration Stephanie Harrington, and COENV Assistant Dean of Diversity Terryl Ross wrote a letter attacking my blog that was formally approved by Dean Lisa Graumlich.  (all of this is documented in their internal emails).

Their letter, “Message on Departmental Civility”, was sent to MY ENTIRE DEPARTMENT (including staff, faculty, and students—over 120 people) on November 22, stating that my blog “included imagery and text that was racially insensitive and caused offense.”  The letter accused me of racism through the statement “Racism is in direct contradiction to our shared values and has no place in our college”  as well as suggesting that I harmed the community through my blog.

This letter was not only inappropriate and arguably unethical but a violation of University of Washington faculty code, including the protection of academic freedom.  

UW administrators were sanctioning and shaming a faculty member inside the university for expressing political free speech outside of the UW:  also an apparent violation of constitutionally protected freedom of speech at a public university.  Importantly, freedom of speech is protected BOTH inside and outside a public university by the U.S. and Washington State constitutions.


The actions of the COENV Deans appeared to be a direct violation of UW Faculty code 24.33:

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.

Furthermore, COENV leadership apparently violated several other sections of the faculty code, which required the atmospheric sciences chair to meet with me before making any accusation (Faculty code section 25.71 B), that I be notified of any charges before taking disciplinary steps, and by the Dean’s refusal to meet me in person when I requested it.


But the situation was about to get far more serious.   

After the letter was released, I protested that it was both illegal and unfair, which led Atmospheric Sciences Chair (and publicly declared 1631 proponent) Dale Durran, with the knowledge of the Dean’s office, to call a DEPARTMENT WIDE meeting on December 5 to discuss my blog.   

Everyone in the department was invited and refreshments were offered (including chicken wings).  With the promise of both controversy and catered food, there was a large crowd—including students, staff, and faculty.  Department Chair Durran dictated that no outsiders could come to document the gathering.   It was a gathering that ended up more like a spectacle at the Roman Coliseum than an academic proceeding at a leading research university.

UW 2018?

The University Ombud, Chuck Sloan, was supposedly going to run the meeting.  He did not.    The meeting began with Chuck Sloan saying a few words, but rapidly it was taken over by Atmospheric Sciences Chair Dale Durran.  And the gathering turned dark quickly.

Durran called on the activist students, who made a range of comments critical of my blog.  As I tried to talk about the concept of freedom of speech, Dale Durran started screaming at me, telling me to stop.  When I protested I wasn’t finished speaking, he screamed even louder.  This went on for a while, with both of us talking at the same time, before the Ombud Sloan said I should be allowed continue. 

But a minute later Dale Durran started screaming at me again to stop, preventing me from finishing.  Then he called upon several more “offended” students and one staff member, who went on the attack, accusing me of racism and worst.  One of the students stated that I would be “held accountable” for my blog and opposing 1631.  It was a direct threat.  And no one said a word about it.

Afterward, several faculty who had attended the gathering told me they were afraid to speak in my defense.  One, a full professor and past chair, told me that what had happened was very wrong but he was scared to talk. 

Another faculty member, who was originally from China and lived through the Cultural Revolution told me it was exactly like the shaming sessions of Maoist China, with young Red Guards criticizing and shaming elders they wanted to embarrass and remove. 

One of my graduate students was upset with tears in his eyes.


UW 2018?

To have such a scene occur at a public university was a violation of both faculty code and the basic principles of the university.   But Department chair Dale Durran and the COENV Dean’s office saw nothing wrong with it.

Some local and national media, and nation-wide blogs, found out about the situation from others, confirmed the truth of the above, and described what happened. 

Considering the grievous nature of what occurred, I went to the Secretary of the Faculty for guidance.    He acknowledged what had happened was very serious and arranged for mediation.   The faculty secretary also noted that the UW lacked a policy to deal with the issue of social media and faculty freedom of speech.

Over the past 6 months, a number of media outlets have contacted me regarding doing major stories on what occurred.  I have put them off, feeling that the situation was so serious for the UW that it would be better to resolve the situation quietly and internally.  I expected that UW leadership (President and Provost), once aware of the situation, would quickly take steps to ensure that such serious violations of academic freedom and first amendment protections did not happen again.  

The COENV Dean’s office and Dean Graumlich have refused to acknowledge the inappropriateness and illegality of the letter and shaming meeting, and so far neither the UW President nor Provost have acted to address the situation. 

The mediator quit a few week ago, but I am still trying to talk to the UW administration about resolving this issue.

Hypocrisy

Stephanie Harrington, the Associate Dean of Administration for the COENV, told me that is was appropriate for them to send me the racism-accusation letter.  She explained that since my blog (the CLIFF MASS WEATHER AND CLIMATE BLOG) had no visible disclaimer that it was not speaking for the UW, some people might confuse my blog for an official UW statement.   Furthermore, she noted that my blog had an invisible metatag in the html code that indicated I was a UW professor.  Therefore, the College had the right to send me a letter accusing me of racism.  This makes no sense.



The claims of Dean Harrington, a staff member of the College, were baseless and transparent attempts to avoid responsibility for serious violations.  Freedom of speech does not require a disclaimer in one’s outside social media.  Nor does UW faculty code if one is not using one's official title.  So there was no legal basis for her claim.   And I should note that after writing over a thousand blogs and received tens of thousands of comments, NO ONE has ever suggested that I am speaking for the UW.  My name is on the blog, not the UW. 

But now we get to the hypocrisy part.  Members of the UW Dean’s office are making partisan and political comments all the time in the media and social media WITHOUT any disclaimers. Even then they use their UW titles. So Dean Harrington’s “rules” don’t seem to apply to them. 

Take Dean Lisa Graumlich.  She attended the January 2019 State of the Union speech as a climate scientist protestor as guest of Congresswoman Jayapal (D. WA).   Dean Graumlich was quoted widely in the media as the UW COENV Dean, with no attempt to clarify that she was not speaking for the UW when she provided politically laden comments.  And her political activities were spotlighted in the College’s official newsletter.  



Associate Dean Rob Wood, one of the main authors of the shaming letter, was busy tweeting his support of 1631—done without a disclaimer (see below). 



I could give you more examples, but clearly the actions of College leadership do not suggest concurrence with Stephanie Harrington’s novel theory on why the Dean’s office can invade academic freedom.

And talking about partisan activities within the College, in the weeks after Trump’s victory, the chair of my department held a departmental meeting to discuss student fears of the impacts of the new President.  This was totally inappropriate in a public university.  Can you imagine an official university gathering on campus to talk about the negative implications of Barack Obama’s election?  It would have been correctly deemed racist, inappropriate, and offensive.  But apparently such activities are perfectly fine when a Republican wins. This meeting sent a clear message regarding the “approved” politics in my department.   Some moderate and conservative students told me how uncomfortable they were.  They felt excluded and minimized, and afraid to discuss their different viewpoints.

The bottom line is that a partisan group leading the College of the Environment are willing to dispense with basic academic freedom and constitutionally guaranteed rights to suppress views they don’t like. 

Although the 1631 example above shows an apparent breach of values and faculty code in the UW College of the Environment, perhaps even worse has been the suppression of science that does not support the partisan agenda of COENV and departmental leadership.  Let me provide two examples.

   Oyster deaths and ocean acidification

In September 2013, the Seattle Times ran a glossy series called “Sea Change”, which claimed that ocean acidification caused the deaths of untold numbers of local oysters in factory nurseries.   There were serious technical problems with the article, including the fact that the oyster deaths were of a non-native species in industrial nurseries and that the problem was not really the small amount of acidification by increasing CO2, but rather the mistaken ingestion of less basic upwelled water (as noted by many sources, including leading NOAA scientists).  Furthermore, several of the oyster farms were spraying herbicides and pesticides over state waters and greatly disturbing fragile coastal areas (issues that came out in 2015 in story by the Seattle Times Danny Westneat).



Anyway, I did several blogs about the subject because I felt that the public should know that there were important errors in the Seattle Times article.  

A week or two after my second blog on the topic I got a call from my chair.  Dean Lisa Graumlich was “concerned” about my blog  and wanted the department chair to talk to me about it.  It was also pointed out that the College was receiving a large amount of State funds for a UW acidification center and that the Governor had been hailing the dying oysters as evidence of the grave impact of increasing CO2.  In short, a false narrative was supporting the Governor’s claims and providing millions of dollars to the college.  The clear message:  I should lay off.

So I was being called on to the carpet by the UW Dean for material in my non-UW blog.

     Northwest Snowpack

The history of politicized suppression of science goes back to the roots of my college. Back in 2005-2006, a few local politicians (such as then Mayor Greg Nickels) and some UW climate impacts folks were claiming that the Cascade snowpack was rapidly disappearing (50% loss!) and the anthropogenic global warming was the cause.  A UW researcher and previous Washington State Climatologist Mark Albright analyzed the snowpack information and found little decline, and he mentioned this fact on a few local electronic mailing lists. 

The State Climatologist at that time (Phil Mote) and member of the Climate Impacts Group (now a part of the College) was an author of a paper claiming draconian snowpack loss and warned Mark Albright to refrain from communicating his analysis to others.  When Mark rightfully refused, Mote fired Mark Albright as Associate Climatologist.  This action hit the media, went viral, reaching local newspapers and even got covered by CNN.    A very serious breach of the academic freedom.

When I objected to Mr. Albright’s firing and the exaggeration of the snowpack loss, I was told that although I might be scientifically correct, I would be helping “climate deniers” if I gave the correct information.  I needed to stand with those pushing excessive numbers, to get people to do the “right thing.”  Even for the wrong reason.  According to some of my colleagues, the ends justify unethical and untruthful means.  I just couldn’t go there.

During the past ten years, there has been calls by some faculty and even a COENV administrator to have Mr. Albright “retired” or to have his ability to communicate on electronic email lists restrained.  Some called him all kinds of unfortunate names ("denier", skeptic, etc.).  

I should note that he, I and Dr. Mark Stoelinga wrote a paper describing only modest loss in Northwest snowpack, a paper that was accepted in a leading peer-reviewed journal.     The snowpack loss today?  Check the figure showing the Northwest snowpack since the early 1980s; nearly unchanged.   Mark Albright was right.


The COENV Dean’s Office Returns to Restraining Free Speech

Recently, UW Research Scientist  Mark Albright has been actively contributing to a department email listserv on climate (this is an email distribution list for those interested in the topic).   One student recipient was so unhappy about his comments she threatened to quit the list (she was one the prime complainers about my 1631 blog). 

A few days later, the Dean’s office contacted my department chair with “concerns” about department's climate listserv, saying that Mr. Albright’s comments were an inappropriate use of state resources.  With pressure from the Dean’s office, the chair suspended the climate listserv.  Just chilling. 

This week, I got an email from COENV Associate Dean Harrington, telling me that Mark Albright’s contribution to the email listserv was a violation of state ethics laws, and that I should deal with it as his supervisor.  Why a violation?   Because he criticized the statement of a candidate for the Democratic nomination.  I pointed out that Dean Harrington was misinterpreting the relevant state law, that Mark’s comments were perfectly legal, and what she was doing was a potential violation of freedom of speech.  Dean Harrington has yet to respond to me.

The Return of the McCarthy Era at the University of Washington?

One of the most shameful incidents in the distinguished history of the UW was the red scare of the 1950s, when several UW faculty were fired or shamed because they were accused of having communist sympathies.  Some saved themselves by signing a loyalty oath.  Today, UW College of the Environment leadership appears to be following the 1950s playbook, attempting to shame and sanction folks with different viewpoints, particularly on highly political issues.  Instead of a loyalty oath, there is my department chair’s letter in support of 1631.   Many folks are terribly disturbed by President’s Trump’s plans to “build a wall” but they are happy to build intellectual or procedural walls to keep out viewpoints they disagree with.  Tyranny can come from either the right or left.  Both are bad.



How you can help

Academic freedom and freedom of speech are acutely threatened at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment by the actions of the Dean and other college leadership.

As only one faculty member, I simply don’t have the clout to fix this alone.  Furthermore, my ability to tell you honestly about what I believe regarding climate and other topics in my blog is threatened.

Now I need your help.   The only individuals with the real power to fix this situation are the UW President, Provost, and members of the Board of Regents.  Let them know that you value academic freedom and constitutionally protected freedom of speech (contact information at the end of this blog).  Tell the UW administration you expect the COENV leadership to follow university rules and to protect diversity of viewpoints. If you use social media, let you friends know about the problem and ask them to assist. 

UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark Richards are responsible for what happens now.  Are they going to deal with serious violations by the leadership of the COENV?  Will they protect a diversity of viewpoints at the UW?  Or will a highly partisan college leadership group be allowed to continue on their current path?

At the very least, Dean Graumlich should apologize for authorizing the inappropriate letter, acknowledge that it was done in violation of faculty code and constitutional protections, and affirm that such a situation will never happen again.  Similarly with ex-chair Dale Durran, Associate Deans Wood and Harrington, and Assistant Dean Ross.  President Cauce and Provost Richard must establish a policy that robustly defends faculty and staff freedom of speech.

I do find reason for optimism in the words of UW President Ana Mari Cauce, given in her message of October 17, 2017:

Speech by people we strenuously disagree with …. is the price we pay for democracy and to ensure our own freedom of speech. … If a self-appointed group is able to use intimidation or violence to decide what speech is acceptable — no matter if they are well-intentioned or even if we share their opinions — then we’ve taken a step toward a society where “might makes right.”

There is great wisdom in President Cauce's words.  Will she take the steps needed to support them?   I truly hope so.

Contact information:
UW President Ana Mari Cauce:  president@uw.edu
UW Provost Mark Richards: provost@uw.edu
UW Board of Regents:  regents@uw.edu
Chair, UW Faculty Senate:  jwj@uw.edu
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Brief BioSketch

I am a full professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.   I specialize in weather systems, weather prediction, and regional climate research and have published over 100 papers in the peer-reviewed literature.  During the past year I have been chair of the College of the Environment College Council, the only democratically elected representative body of the College.  I am the author of the book, the Weather of the Pacific Northwest, and was a student of climatologist Stephen Schneider and Astronomer Carl Sagan.  I have a B.S. in physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

184 comments:

  1. Racist?
    Pigs aren't a race, they're a different species. Nevertheless, pigs do have a right to be offended by this common metaphor.

    Were there any porcine complaints?

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    1. I suspect those whining about the pig reference fear the very real comparison between themselves and the pigs of 'Animal Farm' I feel shame to see what has become of the UW AtmoSci dept I knew and respected 40 years ago, and embarrassment at sharing a name (but thankfully no relationship) with Dean Harrington.

      Sadly, the UW is rapidly becoming little more than the north campus of The Evergreen State College...

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  2. It is disappointing to see liberals oppose free speech if it doesn't happen to be the "right" (meaning "left") speech. Thanks for posting this, Cliff.

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  3. This can and should surface as a feature at a pub like NYT or The Atlantic. The only way to solve this is by shining a very bright light on these people.

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  4. This is an unreal demeaning of an individual because of your research opposing their beliefs, I will definitely contact the University of Washingtons dean and let them know about the blatent political interference in truth versus greed! We have seen in the last few years, if you dont agree with their dark agendas your a racist!! Absurd and repulsive to say the least! Hang in there Cliff, thousands are praying
    and things will seem worse before they get better!!

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  5. Cliff,

    I have a very high opinion of UW President Ana Mari Cauce and respect her judgment.

    She will likely read this blog and comments at some point. I encourage her to neutralize this situation by using her quote above as her guide.

    Climate change is an emotionally charged issue for many people. This is exacerbated at times by many in our society. Fear and deeply held beliefs about how to approach this problem tend to lead people to do things they might not otherwise do. It is an attempt to react to their fear, exert some control, resolve the problem or use it for their own perhaps unhealthy ends.

    Ms. Cauci, please take the broad view and ensure the equilibrium of free speech and related values are in place at University of Washington. More important than punishment for bad actors is eliminating the problem. Otherwise, nothing good will come from it for UW, faculty, staff, students and the public.

    Sincerely and respectfully,

    Sharon

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    1. It can't be ignored that this not only happened on president Cauce's watch but also that she allowed it to continue and gain momentum. In my opinion this is a resignation-level event for her. Her implicit endorsement of this behavior has stripped her of the moral authority to resolve the problem.

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  6. I wish I could say that this is shocking, because it is shocking, but not from academia. I am from a different sector of academia, and have witnessed ugliness like I would never want to see, but not of this magnitude. I am so sorry.

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  7. Unbelievable. Please contact FIRE at https://thefire.org

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    1. I just submitted a link to this post. Cliff has clearly decided to go public with this; might as well call the cavalry.

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    2. I also hope they can do something for the professor. This is chilling behavior.

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  8. Wow, really chilling to read. In my view this is related to the fact that Washington has become a 1 party state where one party controls all the levers of government. This allows checks and balances on power to atrophy.

    I'll be contacting the board of regents. I'm concerned that they may be appointed based on political orientation too. A better option would be to sue them in Federal court. They clearly have no case and the Federal courts have a good track record of protecting freedom of speech. That would also establish a precedent that would apply throughout the country and prevent many future incidents of this kind.

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  9. "Afterward, several faculty who had attended the gathering told me they were afraid to speak in my defense. One, a full professor and past chair, told me that what had happened was very wrong but he was scared to talk."

    Exactly why we don't have more weather/climate blogs telling the truth. I have said this many times before - going back to your public defense of Mark Albright in 2007 - you have courage Cliff Mass. Astounding courage for this day and age and you should be celebrated for it.

    We knew from Judith Curry this was happening but I have to say I never thought I would see this in my lifetime and it absolutely astounds me we are here. Beyond sickening that the leadership at the UW has allowed this to happen.

    As Bob Dylan once said: "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" Well UW, we know which way the wind blows. And it is not in the direction of truth or justice. No... it blows hard in the other direction.

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  10. I had a few beers with Prof Butterworth one afternoon at the Blue Moon. I thought those days that he lived through were well behind us. Keep up the good work.

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  11. https://www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/

    You should contact FIRE

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  12. It is the year two thousand and nineteen. And next year is 1984.

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    1. I read George Orwell's book 1984 [ the movie is nothing like the book ] 42 years ago as a teen . I've been seeing so many things happening that it led me to order it a few weeks ago . By the second page my jaw dropped and I felt the blood drain . " Alexa....order the book 1984 for same day delivery ".

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    2. I too read the book as a teen, around 30 years ago. Seems it won't be long before it goes down the memory hole

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  13. The "pigs at the trough metaphor" refers to rent-seeking.
    Cliff used it correctly.

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  14. Thank you Cliff! This rings bells of what happened at The Evergreen State College to Bret Weinstein who dared to speak truth to power and where many faculty were afraid to speak out while the powers that be let all hell break loose. I dearly hope I'm not being naive to believe that you and your cause will have a more favorable outcome.

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  15. Thanks Cliff! I graduated from UW in 1969 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Can you imagine a politically correct institution providing the science for a moon landing? We'd all probably still think it was made of cheese! Keep up the good work.

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    1. I was 10 years old then, watching "us" build and fly Apollo in complete awe. We were the world's most accomplished people back then, without peer. It's heartbreaking to realize how far our society has fallen since those times.

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  16. I'm extremely disappointed in UW's handling of this. I'm a UW graduate student and I've always respected your intellectual rigor. I'm about as left as they come but authoritarian ideals are one of the only traits that seems to still be crossing the aisle these days.
    And the fabrication of facts and the dirty dealings to 'get things done' is an short-sighted means to pass any kind of legislation. I'd like concrete and drastic steps to be taken to limit human-driven climate change but doing so in ineffectual ways or while promulgating bad science simply alienates anyone who may be on the fence.
    Keep on keeping on, Cliff.

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  17. Uh, wow. I sent a WTF email to the top brass at UW, those perhaps with a bit more tact. I will be watching this unfold and I would appreciate you keeping us updated with your blog. Time to contact the media!

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  18. Cliff, this is absolutely frightening. While I have not always agreed with some of your positions, I have found the science behind your logic invaluable. Keep up the fight and, perhaps, a good attorney can remind those in power what might resemble "adult" behavior.

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  19. You've never written or even insinuated racism in your posts. I'm an educator as well and find your department's administration abhorrent.
    Keep writing - it's your right!

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    1. That's how you destroy someone. Make an unfounded claim, people will clamor and gnash teeth, regardless of the accuracy of the claim. Racist, Misogynist, Denier, they're all the same, a method of destroying someone you disagree with.

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  20. Cliff, in many ways, I am not surprised. This is what the left does. I am so glad that my son is not attending your university. It appears that the students and many of the professors both in your department and in others are doing to UW what was done to Evergreen State. I hope that either UW fixes these problems or promptly goes out of business! I can tell you that a degree from your department will be worthless if this type of activity continues.

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  21. Professor Mass,
    I do not know you, and your views on climate change are very different from my own (I am an AGW skeptic and a left wing socialist of the traditional socialist kind). However, you have my sincere sympathy for the unfair and unreasonable treatment you have received at the hands of 'climate zealots'.
    Sadly, AGW skeptics have been on the receiving end of their behaviour for decades. As you have discovered, they are now also mistreating 'non conformists' to their beliefs.
    It can feel very lonely when being unjustly attacked. Please be assured that I and all people of good will support your right to disagree with me, with those who hold my views, and with others including climate zealots.
    Richard

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  22. BS Physics, Cornell? I got mine from Clarkson, about the time Cornell was beating us for the national hockey championship. I had the chance to go for a PhD in Met but that meant a career in academia which I did not want, for reasons which are here apparent. I wish you luck! Have you considered a career as an Emeritus Professor of Meteorology?

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  23. Cliff, if you haven't retained counsel, you should do that now. You've called out these hypocrites publicly, and they're going to gun for your head.

    If you do have to file a lawsuit, make sure to do it in federal court if you can. Washington state's court system is packed to the gills with judges who are acolytes of the people who seek to repress you. If you seek redress for your grievances at the state level, expect to encounter people whose job it is to impartially interpret the law tying themselves in knots to justify the unjustifiable treatment you've received.

    Good luck.

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  24. I have been reading your blog for several years. You are my "go to" person for not only weather events, but your common sense approach to our environment and climate change. I have witnessed the shift in the liberal perspective to include hate and fear mongering, stating opinion as fact, suppressing the truth and truth bearers, at all costs. This is a terrible and dangerous shift. History bears out the results of governments who suppress the freedoms of their people. Democracy dies. Other, more controlling types of government evolve. If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. I am proud to stand beside you.

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  25. State run academics is an interesting outlier in today's world. If I spoke out publicly against my employer in the private sector I would be fired in a second. That said, the Constitution is pretty clear regarding free speech in the 1st Amendment and the U of W is a government run institution that has to follow the Constitution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it hasn't occurred to you before you are seeing Marxist COMMUNISM in it's purest form. Intimidation and restriction of free speech. This must be called out for what it is and boldly return these Communists outrageous attempts to kill our constitution.

      Delete
  26. I posted the following on Facebook and have called it to the attention of several friends in local news media:

    I am shocked and dismayed by the violations of free speech and academic freedom at the University of Washington described by Cliff Mass in this blog post. https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/…/the-university-of-washingt…. This kind of oppression has no place in our public discourse. I call on UW President Ana Mari Cauce to instruct the leadership of the College of the Environment to stop the attacks on Cliff Mass immediately, to discipline those who have engaged in them, and to issue a public apology to Professor Mass.

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    Replies
    1. I would love to see Cliff post this on his Twitter feed. I would retweet the heck out of it.

      Delete
  27. Sounds like the UW leadership are not interested in climate facts, only scary, biased and non scientific interpretations to convince their students and the media to sway public opinion in hopes to fill its pockets with money. Their actions are shameful and a disgrace. "Suppression of Science" seems to be the common theme these days. The UW "public university" actions seem to mimic our current governments administration. Just follow the money!

    Hang in there Cliff! And thank you for your honest scientific facts and observations.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You are man with courage! Never give in. For every one who expresses support there are many silent supporters.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is very disturbing. I consider climate change to be one of the two most serious issues facing our world (the potential for nuclear warfare being the other). But we meet this challenge through a free, open scientific exchange of ideas and data. We look to our universities to support, not curtail, this exchange.

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  30. It appears to some that what they did, using the School's website and possibly other resources (are there any emails [uw.edu] where they are working on-even on a voluntary basis-with folks related to the initiative?
    There is NO de minimis amount of government computers or resources (not even a paperclip) that can be used in support of or opposition to an initiative.

    Possible ethics complaint
    https://ethics.wa.gov/enforcement/file-complaint

    ReplyDelete
  31. I sent an email to the UW personnel identified on the blog, as well as several state senators on the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee and representatives on the House College & Workforce Development Committee. Fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Second the referral to FIRE. Also, for a similar case, see Mike Adams' struggle against UNC in an almost perfect match to your situation.

    ReplyDelete
  33. FYI, The UW Faculty Code (Section 24-34 (B) 13) states in part that "The emeritus appointment is recommended by departmental action … Such a recommendation requires approval by the college dean and the President of the University."

    Not a likely scenario given the present department leadership.

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  34. Those not blindly adhering to the narrative will be punished. Nuanced discussions covering all sides of an issue are quashed before they start, and anyone making an attempt is deemed some type of -ist (take your pick) and a crazy right wing nut.

    And people, especially the ultra left, wonder why we have a nut case in the White House.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Life imitates art" claimed Oscar Wilde—and in this case, the "art" is "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Village of the Damned."

    Those emailing UW should BCC a third party. If the corruption has become deep enough, those complaints may just disappear.

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  36. While I tend to disagree with your politics, I find your opinions about policy and politics related to climate and weather science well reasoned. Just because you choose a more pragmatic approach to climate change does not make you a denier. I also find it hard to believe that you were insinuating some race based marginalization in the use of a pig based image. The idea of "pork" and "feeding troughs" in politics is one I have never seen as racialized.

    If what you are reporting is true, you have a very strong case against the college (thought I am a very strong supporter of the larger university). I wonder what the chances are that the dean would offer a rebuttal to your piece. It would be interesting to see if their grievances are consistent with what you listed here. I recognize the college is not going to air their dirty laundry on a blog, but they do owe the larger community a justification for your treatment. What are the chances we get to hear the opposing sides version of events?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have followed your blog for years and am sorry to see you being victimized by the PC mob at UW. This mess has striking similarities to the circus at Evergreen State College and Bret Weinstein. I will write a letter to UW President Cauce expressing my outrage at the unfair and illegal treatment to which you have be subjected. I also hope that the Seattle Times does an investigative piece on this. The UW's administration would certainly pay attention to any negative publicity that could impact public perception, state funding, or giving to UW Foundation.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Cliff, for what its worth, I never thought anything you said here represented the view of UW. That charge is ridiculous. As is any charge of racism. Right now many college administrators are so intent on placating activists that they will agree with any charge they make, no matter how absurd. I share your view that scientific honesty should not be sacrificed for any cause, no matter how noble. Only by getting people to understand how science works can we hope to move the issues forward in a lasting way. I'm sorry you have been a victim of the current strain to stifle honest debate.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This treatment is not ok by the UW and I will write a letter stating so. My biggest problem is you comparing Trump to Obama. "Can you imagine an official university gathering on campus to talk about the negative implications of Barack Obama’s election? It would have been correctly deemed racist, inappropriate, and offensive." Trump is a very scary individual and you know it. Please just don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh come on - Dr. Mass didn't compare Trump to Obama. He compared a fictional gathering in reaction to Obama's election to a real one in reaction to Trump's, to show how inappropriate the latter was in a University setting. I see no denigration of Obama or elevation of Trump in his words.

      Delete
  40. Keep fighting the good fight, the tide is turning against these "man-made global warming" Chicken Littles. I can't wait for the next IPCC report to come out since it will finally include solar forcing data.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I applaud your heroic stand for free inquiry and academic freedom. Permit me to propose a way to naturally "sequester" CO2, while producing edible food and generating electricity.

    Build a pipeline, similar in size to oil pipelines, from the Baja sea (between the Baja penninsula and mainland Mexico) to the Mojave desert (in the US). The below-sea-level of Mojave would enable hydropower generation of electricity. Then, use concentrated sunlight to boil the sea water, producing fresh water for irrigating the desert, and more electricity. If you want to discuss or help promote such ideas, you may contact me at kevinscottbjornson@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. People attacking Cliff are not liberal, they're authoritarian leftists. It's the self-defeating Evergreen mentality. If you're sick of the left's hysteria and attempts to shut down free speech then vote for a real liberal and watch leftists heads explode once and for all: TRUMP 2020

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. Classical liberalism and Western Civ are under attack by today's authoritarian Progressive left. Even if one is a Democrat of old, and sees Trump for the petulant narcissist he is, a vote for Trump in 2020 is a protest vote to stop the cancel culture madness and attacks on free speech.

      Delete
  43. I agree with several comments to get in touch with FIRE https://www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/ They do great work.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Events like this are the eminently foreseeable result of the contrived climate hysteria intended to create fear. Scared people are easy to manipulate. Thinking people are not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on. For those absolutely sure there is a climate emergency, start reading http://wattsupwiththat.com It won't be long before you realize that the science is anything but "settled."

      Delete
  45. I thought the original blog article was hard hitting but fair, saying things that needed to be said. No sector of society should be immune from criticism. It is unfortunate that the SJW mentality is so dominant in most universities, that the only way to force most universities to respect academic freedom is to take your case to the public, embarrass the university, and make the costs exceed the benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The charge that what you say here represents the view of the UW is ludicrous. If that were true, no UW staff or faculty member could ever speak out in public. People who make such a charge are simply trying to take away your right to speak freely.

    I don't always agree with some of your political statements, but the main events you describe are simply unacceptable. Under state law, UW resources cannot be used for unofficial purposes (aside from minor incidental use of email or phones for personal purposes). It seems a violation for a departmental web site to blatantly support or speak out a against any measure on the ballot. It would be one thing to lay out in an unbiased way the arguments for and against a given situation, but even then, if that website is posted in response to a ballot initiative, it becomes more questionable.

    Freedom of speech at the UW is absolutely central to the academic endeavor. Attempting to silence someone through disingenuous accusations (such as claims that your picture is somehow racist) is not acceptable. President Cauce needs to pay attention and get this situation under control.

    As others have said, I hope you retain counsel, and I hope you don't end up needing it. I'm appalled that this has gone this far. You have tenure and that gives you more protection than many UW staff and non-tenured faculty, and I hope you can continue to stand strong to protect free speech. This sort of thing would be chilling to a tenure - track faculty member, or even someone who is not full professor. As you said, there are still ways the department chair can hurt a full professor. In your case, it seems pretty blatant and hopefully, President Cauce will get involved (if she doesn't, that will say a lot).

    As I said, I haven't always agreed with some of your positions (and sometimes, I have thought the problem was more with the way you said it than the underlying intended message), but you absolutely have the right to say them - on your blog, and in all of your academic communications.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I chose my non de plume many years ago, in the wan hope that it would be viewed as more of an ironic comment on society, instead of as a how - to manual for fascists to employ against anyone disagreeing with them on basically anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irony doesn't seem to get the job done when your fighting fascism these days, George Orwell. I am pleased that Cliff Mass is letting us help his cause.

      Delete
  48. An informed national debate over the whys and the hows of greatly reducing America's carbon emissions hasn't happened yet. Unless and until the average American on Main Street USA is asked to make serious personal and economic sacrifices in reducing our GHG's, a truly informed debate will not happen.

    Carbon fuels will not be eliminated from America's economy without major changes in our lifestyles and in our daily means of earning a living. As things stand today, the average American has no incentive to question the conclusions of mainstream climate science. That situation will change dramatically if Americans are ever asked to make real sacrifice in the name of fighting climate change.

    The only possible means of reducing America’s carbon emissions as quickly as climate activists claim is necessary is to use the coercive power of government in ways that will make all carbon fuels as scarce and expensive today as they will be in a hundred years time.

    Artificially-imposed high prices for all carbon fuels, plus an artificially-produced scarcity of supply, will drive the need for development of alternative energy resources and for the adoption of strictly-enforced energy conservation measures.

    Here is a plan for reducing America’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050. It is an updated and extended version of the plan being promoted by 350.org in 2009. The plan is entitled the Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP), and it assumes that a climate activist Democrat is elected president in 2020.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/26/bloomberg-climate-funny-lets-hope-china-will-follow-the-moral-example-of-the-u-s/#comment-2806817

    The SSCECP employs EPA-administered carbon pollution fines as the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon. The plan supplies a powerful incentive for the state governments to participate in directly regulating America’s carbon emissions by assigning them the great bulk of the revenues produced from the carbon pollution fines.

    In addition, should carbon pollution fines and energy conservation measures not prove effective, the plan imposes a phased schedule of increasingly restrictive limits on the import, production, and distribution of all carbon fuels.

    The SSCECP enlists private sector energy corporations as contracted agents in managing the government’s energy rationing and conservation programs. It also guarantees a steady and healthy rate of return from the sale of all carbon fuels produced by those private corporations, thus incentivizing their participation.

    Historically, the EPA and the Executive Branch are assigned primary responsibility for managing the reduction of atmospheric pollutants and for making the tough decisions which have to be made in balancing economic costs against environmental benefits. The approach used for reducing our carbon emissions can't be any different.

    A key feature of the SSCECP is that not another word of new legislation is needed to enable the plan. The entire plan is implemented through a series of Executive Orders covered under existing environmental and national security legislation and under constitutionally legal Executive Branch authorities.

    That said, adoption of a plan similar to the SSCECP would spark an intense national debate over the whys and the hows of greatly reducing America's carbon emissions.

    If and when that national debate happens, climate activists will be obliged to defend their predictions to an extent they've never had to do before. Will mainstream climate scientists be ready, willing, and able to defend the evidence and the analysis behind their conclusions?

    ------------

    Full Disclosure: I post as 'Beta Blocker' on the WUWT and Judith Curry blogs. I've spent thirty-five years in nuclear construction and operations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betah Blocher,
      This thread is about freedom of speech and not about your desire for "the average American on Main Street USA" to be "asked to make serious personal and economic sacrifices in reducing our GHG's".
      Personally, I think such reductions would be a mistake. But so what? My views on this are as irrelevant as yours to the important subject being debated by this thread.
      Richard

      Delete
    2. Richard S. Courtney: "Betah Blocher, This thread is about freedom of speech and not about your desire for "the average American on Main Street USA" to be "asked to make serious personal and economic sacrifices in reducing our GHG's". Personally, I think such reductions would be a mistake. But so what? My views on this are as irrelevant as yours to the important subject being debated by this thread. Richard"

      As it concerns the public debate over climate change, and what should be done about it, free speech issues are of little interest to the average Joe and Jane voter on the street.

      As long as Americans aren't being asked to make personal and economic sacrifice in the name of fighting climate change, they have no skin in the game as it concerns free speech issues. Neither those in academia nor those in the broader landscape of public policy debate on the national stage.

      And so informed debate over the validity of today's mainstream climate science has been mostly an academic exercise taking place inside the backwaters of the Internet among a few thousand partisans on each side of the question. That situation will change quickly and dramatically if an effective policy for reducing America's GHG emissions is ever adopted.

      Spend all the money you want to on the Green New Deal. Pass legislation like I-1631 which does little more than fund climate activist interests at the expense of the average taxpayer on Main Street. Policies like the Green New Deal and legislation like I-1631 cannot and will not get America to an 80% reduction in our carbon emissions by 2050, or even come close.

      The only policy which can reduce our GHG emissions as fast as climate activists say is necessary is one which applies the heavy hand of the federal government in closing the carbon fuel spigot. If we want an 80% reduction in America's carbon emissions by 2050, we have to make all carbon fuels as scarce and expensive today as they will be in a hundred years time.

      If this ever happens, public debate over the validity of today's mainstream climate science will reach a critical mass. The debate over climate change will become a mainstream political issue in a way it has never been before, both inside academia and on the national stage.

      How would a carbon reduction plan such as the one I have proposed, the Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP), affect issues of free speech in America?

      If a GHG reduction plan as brutally effective as the one I have proposed is ever adopted, the average Joe and Jane voter on the street will have a strong incentive to question the conclusions of today's climate science. Climate activists will then be forced to defend their scientific conclusions and their policy recommendations to an extent they have never had to do before.

      If a carbon reduction plan like the SSCECP is ever adopted, anyone and everyone in academia or in public life who questions the conclusions of today's mainstream climate science -- or who opposes the policy choices of today's academic and governmental elites -- will become the targets of severe personal and professional retaliation in ways that go well beyond what we have seen so far with Cliff Mass and his opposition to I-1631.

      IMHO, it's better for all concerned to fight the battle over free speech now, today, than to wait for a highly contentious national debate over climate change policy to eventually force the issue.

      ------------

      Full Disclosure: I post as 'Beta Blocker' on the WUWT and Judith Curry blogs. I've spent thirty-five years in nuclear construction and operations. The bulk of my lifetime occupational exposure has come from beta-gamma sources of radiation, hence the choice of Beta Blocker as my internet handle.

      Delete
    3. Betah Blocher,

      You need to understand that verbiage is not equivalent to cogency.

      This thread is about the attempts to constrain Cliff Mass stating his views.

      Please find somewhere appropriate to promote your hobby horse.
      This is not it.

      And it is not appropriate for any others to promote their hobby horses, either.

      Richard

      Delete
    4. Richard S. Courtney,

      You say that verbiage is not equivalent to cogency. That statement is a mere polemic. It has little to do with the circumstances now before us.

      I say that the refusal by climate activists to acknowledge that sacrifice will be needed if we are to greatly reduce America's carbon emissions, and the ongoing attempts by climate activists to constrain Cliff Mass and other knowledgeable scientists from stating their views, are and ought to be part of the same public policy debate.

      If climate change driven by our carbon emissions is in fact the looming catastrophe activists say it is, then they should be pushing hard for public policies which actually do the job of quickly and effectively reducing our GHG emissions, regardless of the economic consequences.

      Moreover, if climate activists are completely confident their science is good and their predictions of a looming catastrophe are accurate, they shouldn't be reluctant to face their critics in an open forum and to vigorously defend a public policy approach which does in fact achieve the reductions they demand.

      Richard, it's all One Thing. The debate over what to do about climate change can't be separated into neatly-divided polemical categories as it appears you are inclined to do.

      We should be throwing everything we think is pertinent to the climate change issue onto the table for further discussion and debate; we should chew on the details at some good length; and then we should watch what happens next. Whatever it is that happens.

      If the public policy debate over what to do about climate change is just too messy and too convoluted for your tastes, welcome to the real world.

      Delete
    5. Betah Blocher,

      You say to me,
      "If the public policy debate over what to do about climate change is just too messy and too convoluted for your tastes, welcome to the real world."

      Either you know nothing of my history or you are being deliberately disingenuous.

      The subject of this thread is important. It is much, much more important than your political desires.

      Richard

      Delete
  49. Cliff, I don't always agree with your political viewpoints, but I do agree with you on the importance of defending freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is especially important in the academic setting. Thank you for sharing your story, and for sharing it in a very respectful manner.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Email of support sent. Asking for intervention and "sunshine" upon the process.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dr Mass, you have my full and unqualified support. This situation is outrageous!

    ReplyDelete
  52. MY MESSAGE SENT TO THE FOUR ADDRESSES:

    I write as a resident of Washington State, and as a graduate of two highly-regarded universities -- the University of Wisconsin (1979, bachelor's degree) and the University of Pennsylvania (1990, master's degree).

    I am appalled at the treatment of Prof. Mass detailed in his recent blog posting.

    https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-university-of-washington-should-not.html

    As it should happen, I disagree with him on a number of points, but have always found him to be intellectually and academically rigorous and independent. I would point, and have pointed, to him as an example of what academic scholarship ought to be.

    Prof. Mass has been treated with gross disrespect and unfairness by the Dean of UW's College of the Environment and others there. The accusations made against him not only violate the UW's own codes, but are contrary to the spirit of free speech and academic freedom. The treatment he's received is something to be expected in a place like China, not the United States or the State of Washington.

    I urge the recipients of this message to immediately investigate the treatment of Prof. Mass; to discipline those guilty of it; to apologize to Prof. Mass; and to take meaningful steps to assure Prof. Mass, other academics, and the Washington State taxpaying citizens that the university will not stand for this behavior and that it will not happen again.

    Is the University of Washington an academic institution, or are you now running a propaganda operation? This is a clear-cut case. He is right, and his accusers are wrong. Step up to the plate and put a hard stop to this.

    ReplyDelete
  53. UW Faculty Code, Section 24-33:

    "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."

    UW administrators violate policy when they seek to suppress your scientific or political speech.

    Furthermore, state law prohibits the use of state resources in political campaigns. RCW 42.52.180:

    "No state officer or state employee may use or authorize the use of facilities of an agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of a person to an office or for the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition. Knowing acquiescence by a person with authority to direct, control, or influence the actions of the state officer or state employee using public resources in violation of this section constitutes a violation of this section. Facilities of an agency include, but are not limited to, use of stationery, postage, machines, and equipment, use of state employees of the agency during working hours, vehicles, office space, publications of the agency, and clientele lists of persons served by the agency."

    University administrators, by virtue of their supervisory positions, have a greater duty of candor than faculty and employees to make clear when they are and are not speaking for the university. Administrators are expected to speak for the university. Faculty and staff are not. If administrators are not speaking for the university, then they have an obligation clearly to separate their personal activities from the university, from the use of university resources, and from any connection with their administrative functions at the university.

    It would appear that, having apparently violated state law, UW administrators then violated UW policy by pressuring you and threatening you with bogus charges in retaliation for your exercise of the freedoms the university assures you formally, and in writing, that you have.

    At the least, Cliff, you are owed written apologies from those involved, with a commitment that they not engage in such practices in the future. More, though, these administrators have shown they lack the ability or will to align their practices with state law and UW policy. UW must, if their policies are to mean anything, initiate an inquiry into their actions. If due process shows that they have done what you have represented that they have done, they should be removed from their administrative positions.

    They are entitled to their opinions about carbon taxes, but they are not entitled to use the resources and authority of their state positions to engage in campaigning, nor to impose their opinions on others, nor to suppress the opinions and discourse of others.

    ReplyDelete
  54. You know that the right way to deal with this is a civil suit, in a court of law, not a Blog that you alone control the content of, including the comment section.

    If everything you say is exactly as you say, you have a slam dunk case so go for it. I'm sure there are many Libertarian oriented NGO's that would be happy to fund your legal expenses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you support what the UW did. Typical of your kind.

      Delete
    2. Hi Bruce,

      Since, as you note, Cliff regulates which comments appear in response to his blog posts, he evidently thought it at least marginally worthwhile that his readers see yours. While, from my perspective, it seems as though the intent behind your comment was essentially antagonistic, I'm glad he chose to provide you with the opportunity to express your opinion. As I write this, of the nearly 70 comments, many of which are supportive while simultaneously voicing political disagreement, yours stands out as the only one which demonstrates skepticism with regard to Cliff's motives for, and the veracity of, his narration. I wonder how many similarly callous and/or leery comments didn't make the cut.

      Delete
    3. As a long time reader of this blog, my experience is that Cliff approves any comment from any viewpoint, as long as it has something to do with the weather, isn't spam, and isn't abusive.

      Bruce, Cliff tried to work within the UW system, only to encounter systemic bias against heretics. He is right to shine light on this taxpayer-funded institution. That's helpful to the public, whether he files suit or not.

      No good comes from continuing to let them abuse him behind closed doors.

      Delete
    4. I'm not trying to be antagonistic. A blog is no place for adjudicating such a thing. A legal process of laying out all the facts and perspectives is.

      A point regarding the display of all comments: You only see what is displayed. To assume that all is revealed because you only see what you see is the classic false negative. Which is precisely why an impartially adjudicated civil suit is the way to go. Like I said if all is as he says, its a slam dunk. But don't think for a second that this forum is the way to conclusively reveal it.

      Yes I am skeptical, but not because I have a bone in the fight. I am skeptical because this forum process is inadequate. I'm surprised that anyone who follows a forum devoted to a science is willing to set aside skepticism precisely when it should be applied most vigorously.

      Delete
    5. Bruce,

      Are you saying you're skeptical of the effectiveness of the strategy of Cliff's public appeal to his audience to apply pressure to UW administration or that you're skeptical as to whether Cliff has divulged the unadulterated truth in the preceding blog post? Both?

      Delete
    6. This blog is no different than speaker's corner of old. Authoritarians abhor the sunlight of free speech. This is today's progressive left.

      Delete
    7. @Bruce Kay - Cliff can "adjudicate" the matter however he pleases. His blog is a widely read platform for his voice (at least, locally).

      I'm sure he is considering legal options as well. In my opinion, he is 100% in the right on this matter, and the UW is being unprofessional (border lining on childish).

      Delete
    8. "I'm surprised that anyone who follows a forum devoted to a science is willing to set aside skepticism precisely when it should be applied most vigorously."

      As a wiser person than me once said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      Delete
  55. Jesus Christ. I cannot believe they figured out how to call you a racist. That is unacceptable indeed.

    I'll most certainly email the president and dean on behalf of these issues. Thanks for bringing this forward Dr. Mass.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hang in there Cliff. I too experienced hostile and public shaming by individuals and the media designed to achieve their political goals. It is pretty tough. Sometimes a media consultant can help, something I realized too late.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I might add that I am a non-believer in the underlying AGW hypothesis that Prof. Mass supports. I am opposed to ANY carbon taxes, and regard the global warming hypothesis, and especially its advocacy by those who are calling for Mass's head, to be warmed-over religion.

    But I respect Prof. Mass as a traditional academic. In fact, I've urged him to write a book about AGW, and have said that it would get my close attention because of my high regard for his rigor and his independence.

    I am especially appalled by that meeting in which he was repeatedly shouted down by a mob led by the chair of his department. In undergraduate school, I was subjected to similar treatment for my opposition to racial quotas at the University of California-Davis's medical school. I know how disturbing it is to face a mob.

    This shouldn't happen anywhere in America, but especially not at a leading university. This is a moment of truth for the University of Washington. Whether or not you agree with Cliff Mass on AGW, everyone should be watching this.

    ReplyDelete
  58. When telling the truth is offensive to liberals they deem it hate speech or they deem it racist etc. In reality we must continue to tell the truth whether ot not it risks offending someone or whether or not it goes against someone elses agenda. Like you said diversity of thought and differing opinions is important but most important is telling the truth! You rely on facts in your science and for some that have a far left agenda they cannot accept it. Without diversity of thought, different opinions and the ability to tell the truth, we are going to enter a communist hell where freedoms including free speech are eroded faster than a riverbank in a flood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's not label all "liberals" as overreacting. This isn't about liberal or conservative.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, it is about liberal and conservative. Liberals have become the new censors. Hard to believe, but it's been happening long enough and in enough different places for this to be more than an occasional fluke.

      Delete
    3. It's in the mainstream.news everyday. The progressive left is intolerant if you disagree with them.

      Delete
    4. The censors are, by definition, illiberal not "liberal," and the goal of their "progress" is societal stasis.

      Delete
  59. I think you should do the Joe Rogan Podcast. It would be a perfect way to expose all of this. Maby Brett Weinstein could also attend...

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  60. Go a Cliff go. 2024 WA state governor?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Email sent. As a science educator, graduate from UW, and in a previous life a doctoral research student, I'm saddened, not entirely shocked (especially about UW being aggressively P.C.- and unwarranted), and I'm hoping for a more positive outcome. Thank you for being so level-headed and thorough in your reporting of this and in how you write about global warming, climate predictions, and everything else on your blog. We need more of that in our very divisive country if we actually want to have thoughtful discussions and come up with solutions about climate change going forward.

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  62. You don't have to agree with someone to respect their views. I find it nothing short of bizarre to see "progressives" become the enemies of free speech and academic freedom, and the right wing become its defenders. Of all the political changes I've seen in my life, that one is the single weirdest and most disquieting to me.

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  63. Full support for The Truth and Cliff Mass! Sad times we live in when free speech (rational, reasoned, and calmly explained) is silenced and shamed.

    ReplyDelete
  64. A civil suit will not alleviate this nationwide problem - a withholding of non- profit status will force all public universities to either return to their prior role as bastions of free inquiry and expression or else go private. No taxpayer dollars should be expended in furtherance of these anti - democratic pogroms.



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  65. Disturbing, frustrating, and maddening, though, sad to say, not very surprising. I wish you the very best as you make your way through this debacle, and will be speaking up for you to the UW, and to my circle of friends. We - that is, my friends and I - don't have any power of the kind that university heads possess, but I will do so simply because people of all walks need to know what is going on, and then (hopefully) speak out loudly and often in the name of free speech, and free thought.

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  66. “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. - Stephen Hawking

    When did the UW become a leading religious school?

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    Replies
    1. It's not just UW unfortunately. Take a look at Portland and the Peter Boghossian debacle.

      Delete

  67. “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on observation and reason. - Stephen Hawking

    When did the UW become a leading religious school?

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  68. Have you thought of contacting Joe Rogan? This would be an excellent podcast and would really shine light on this to literally millions of people worldwide.

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    1. Cliff, you really should consider this.

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    2. Agreed. Go on Joe Rogan to reach the millions in the rational center.

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  69. I went to archive.org to save this entire post and the comments, but seems 4 other people already did this ahead of me (thank you!).

    If this site/blog post disappears, now that it has been archived already for future viewing.

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  70. A recent court decision in Iowa found school administrators personally liable for violating the free speech rights of individuals on the campus.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/becketnewsite/2019-09-27-74-Order.pdf  

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  71. What were the specific student fears addressed in the meeting? If it had to do with political and environmental impacts, that's one thing. If it had to do with the students' expressed fear of safety, that's another. If it was the latter, I don't think it is wise to use this comparison to illustrate the point. It is important for a university to be welcoming to all. Feeling unsafe and afraid is an important thing to address, and should be a conversation involving all among the political spectrum.

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    1. What is your point? That Prof. Mass should be abused because some snowflake thought his ideas made him or her feel "unsafe?" LOL

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    2. I disagree. If you READ the blog, the student activists were gathering against Cliff using photos and social media to to target him. These kids were not afraid nor were they ever "unsafe". They were "offended" by truth. And your "welcoming to all" idea should apply to ALL and not just the kids. There is nothing more annoying than offended college students.

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  72. So you see first hand the intolerance of the 'tolerant' left. Welcome to reality. The leftists have been silencing speech for years, you're lucky they didn't show up with Antifa to silence you using violence! I don't know how anyone would continue to vote for democrats and their hate filled agenda. But it does make me chuckle when they eat their own.

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    1. Just to put down a marker: can we all agree to ignore the handful of clearly insane comments in what is otherwise a very intelligent and supportive comment stream? Avanti....

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  73. Cliff Mass, bless your blogging heart. Your deeply insightful weather reports have been educational and useful in my everyday life. If anything, I would accuse Weather of being no respecter of humankind. You and others can only guess at its intentions. That said, I can only hope that in remembering our history as a country, we remind ourselves that free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy...no matter how eloquent or cringeworthy it may be. Also, I have been the recipient of more than one shaming session. Chin up, Mr. Mass, you're a credit to academia.

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  74. Most disheartening. Some of the behaviors described here echo behaviors many of us find so disgusting from some on the 'right' side of the political equation. They do no service to themselves or the UW by exhibiting such behavior. I've never thought for one minute that Dr. Mass was speaking on behalf of UW in his blog. Of course, I'm generally not too scared of differing (rational) opinions either. Why does it seem so many succumb to attacking one another rather than attempting to cooperate and compromise to address real problems. If Rome isn't burning it surely is smoldering.

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  75. Cliff, I have not agreed with some of your past posts, nor your position on 1631, but I fully support your ability to present your opinions to both the UW and the outside world. It seems that every time someone comes on NPR they are touted with their University credits. I find it absurd that you cannot voice your opinions as a UW professor, with the caveat that you are speaking for yourself and not your employer. Radio station personalities do it all the time ("the opinions you hear on this show are the views of the DJ and not the views of the station management"). I'm deeply concerned that the UW is working at opposition to the very fundamentals of a scientific community that they claim to support. I'll certainly send a letter supporting your right to debate these issues though I do not always agree with your conclusions.

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    1. Bravo Alf; you're an excellent example of a mature indivudual who can disagree with someone, but still support their right to speech.

      I also sent an email to President Cauce. I doubt I'll get a response, but nonetheless I hope she reads it and seriously ponders it's contents, and takes action.

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  76. Message sent to the 4 addresses:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I have read Cliff Mass' blog post recently regarding academic freedom and his treatment by University of Washington's College of the Environment. I am deeply concerned.

    The accusations of racism against Prof. Mass seem without merit and the repercussions against him deplorable. I can't think of an episode that would give more comfort to climate change deniers than evidence that environmentalists and academics are suppressing valid scientific research for partisan, political purposes. This is Trump's narrative, and it must not be true.

    I urge you to ensure that Prof. Mass is protected from these attempts to intimidate him and suppress his participation in discussions both academic and public.

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  77. The great tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. I'd hope your supporters don't forget how to conduct themselves; but I'd hope they don't forget to conduct themselves.

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  78. Stick to your guns, Cliff. If you and others in similar circumstances fold then the "activists" win. I don't always agree with you but I can ALWAYS count on you to present the data as it is rather than how some want it to be.

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  79. Dr. Mass. I'm curious. You continually debunk alarmist claims of "climate change" causing this or that, yet you still think a carbon tax is important, and that CO2 is a problem. I wonder why you still think so?

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    Replies
    1. Because he is a thoughtful scientist and essentially all evidence suggests that global warming is occurring, and driven substantially by human activity, including carbon dioxide emissions. Debunking alarmist claims is entirely different from disagreeing with the overarching conclusion..... isn't that obvious?

      Well, that was rhetorical. It is not obvious. In fact, fossil fuel industry and other economic actors have been using any uncertainty as a tool to fight all action on climate change for decades. This has had the foreseeable consequence of making people afraid of engaging in real science, for fear their words/studies will be used by the opposition in false and misleading ways (which has happened). So now, anyone who wants to engage in real science runs the risk of being associated with fossil fuel industry (which is in fact engaging in mass destruction of the climate in pursuit of profit). Make no mistake, CLiff is being wronged here by false accusations of racism, but the climate change debate was politicized first by the fossil fuel industry and the money they poured into republican politicians (primarily).
      The responses of the academics and students are wrong - but entirely foreseeable as fear of a potentially unstable climate grows - and, in fact, i would suggest it is a welcome development from the fossil fuel industry perspective.
      I suspect your false naivety is part and parcel of that same game that republicans engage in constantly - be assured, I see through it...

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    2. You haven't read or given much thought to what Dr. Mass has said. The point is, CO2 DOES need to be lowered, but not by concocting untrue, scare-tactic stories about global warming. Try to think about this from something other than the "all-or-nothing" way of approaching problems that is so popular these days. Unless there is an actual, real-time emergency, that is a fool's approach.

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    3. Sorry, John but I actually do a lot of sophisticated thinking about lots of risks, including climate change, everyday. There is some sky-is-falling alarmism which is not helpful, but there is ALSO alot of uncertainty in climate change science and some of the "scare-tactic stories about global warming" are merely . Black swan events that have potential to destroy life on this planet need to be highlighted, even if low probability. If we can reduce that probability moreso, we should do so. For example, we are at risk constantly of planet killer asteroid strikes - and there is a lot of alarmist literature (including fictional movies etc.) that is written about that. Now we might debunk specific assertions about this or that asteroid or comet, but at the same time we should (and many responsible scientists are) engage in comprehensive sky surveys and research to minimize that risk. I hope you can draw the corrolary argument to climate change.
      I posit the distinction is that there is no well funded industry which benefits from having asteroids hit us or which makes its money by increasing the odds that an asteroid hits us - though, exercise for the reader, contemplate the situation of private asteroid mining companies starting to change orbits of asteroids to approach earth and the scientific battles that might arise for those changes that might theoretically put planet at risk.

      So, the fool's approach is to wait and wait and wait until there is an actual real time emergency. God, i hope you don't work in finance or really any field which requires foresight and risk management. Not to mention, Bayesian analysis of the climate change resulting range of potential circumstances would point (and is pointing) to more and more bad consequences, so a lot of the scare tactic stories are becoming more likely.

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    4. There is no evidence that suggests CO2 is driving warming. Computer models are not evidence, neither are claims of "hottest ever" when "ever" is only the last 30 years.

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    5. I don't agree with Mass that CO2 is a problem. I've read quite a bit on the subject from a variety of sources, and think that the earth's climate changes are driven by solar activity, orbital changes, and volcanism. But I don't have to agree with Prof. Mass to support his right to free speech and academic freedom. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a good test of someone's commitment to freedoms and rights of all kinds is whether they will defend them when they disagree with the individual whose rights have been disparaged, abridged, or removed.

      So I stand opposed to Cliff Mass's belief in the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, and to his support for carbon taxes, but stand with him in his quest to have his rights and freedoms respected.

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    6. Yes, the models are junk. They are orders of magnitude below the resolution needed to accurately model the earth's atmosphere and climate. Read this article from a Climate Modeler. He was up close an personal with the models as well as the scientific model community. A big part of the reason why the models are junk is that they don't model clouds correctly. You think clouds might have something to do with climate and weather? Every single doomsday forecast since the Warming Alarmism community ramped up in 1997 has come nowhere close to reality. We were constantly told of 4.0 or more degree Celsius swings and at best there has been .5 to 1 degree warming. And that is if you trust the surface station data which has been "adjusted" and manipulated, vs the satellite data which is far more objective. https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2019/09/a-climate-modeller-spills-the-beans/

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  80. Bravo to Cliff Mass for his long career of scientific rigor, independent thinking, and not putting up with nominally well-intentioned bullshit. As others have pointed out, this is unquestionably a case for FIRE. It might be worth finding out what law firm represented Brett Weinstein at our little sibling down in Olympia---whose example the COENV seems to be intent on following. As for self-proclaimed "progressives" turning out to be enemies of free speech, that is rather an old story. Emigrés from eastern Europe, mainland China, Vietnam, Cuba, and more recently Venezuela could tell Americans, if they were listening, a good deal about that.

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  81. Email sent to all 4 recipients. What a twisted time we are living in. I never thought in all my days I'd live to see our nation poison itself like this. I do hope those who have been asked to step in and help have the backbone to do it. The Greatest Generation, who gave their lives by the thousands, are rolling in their graves. Shame on their children, and their grandchildren, who are not worthy of what was passed down to them.

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  82. Wow sorry you were treated this way. I went to such a meeting at the U when I went there in the late 60's. There was a lot of name calling. One of my professors, Ernest Barth, told people he had fought fascists in the war, and to hear people call others that at the U was very inapropriate. I felt like cheering over the jeering. Be strong...courage.

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  83. I have followed cliffmass.blogspot for years as i design ski areas and am highly impacted by climate. I am 1974 College of Forest Resources graduate and will write to all requested.

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  84. Kudos Cliff. Your objectivity and bravery in standing up for real science is fantastic to witness. The parallels to what happened recently to Australian scientist Peter Ridd are ominous. https://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=Peter+ridd How long before UW or the Progressive Cancel Culture demands your ouster? Hopefully not in the USA and not at UW. Many of us raised millions for the court battle to support Peter Ridd in Australia, and if it should come to pass, we will raise millions to defend you as well Cliff. Free speech and allowing the science to go where it may lead are hallmarks of Western Civilization. We cannot allow bullies like Michael Mann https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/10/01/michael-mann-demands-all-universities-declare-a-climate-emergency/ to dictate a "one true" dogma of Climate Science and to suppress great minds like that of Cliff Mass! There is no Climate Emergency and there is no need for a highly regressive economy destroying tax.

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    Replies
    1. Cliff, you need to retain a lawyer. Don't underestimate the lengths that these folks will go to manage you out.

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  85. I believe it pretty safe to say that everyone has a need to believe in something unequivocably and for a millennial, that has been a belief in God. Absent that, the new religion is Mother Earth. To not believe as they are makes you an apostate and eligible for the same treatment of the Jews during a pogrom or a Protestant during the Inquisition.

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  86. Dr. Mass, I've spent 40 years as a federal public servant in environmental and energy fields in Alaska and the NW. As an economist and risk analyst I am very concerned about climate change risks. Climate change poses very serious threats in the long run to life and safety, quality of life, global political stability, U.S. national security all on top of serious threats to global ecosystems. There are citizens with opinions all over the map today and engaging in extreme rhetoric and overplaying scientific findings only damage the ability of those working hard to inform the public and help them understand what's at stake and what policies and mitigation measures are reasonable, effective and distributionally fair. Your efforts are vital and you are an example people like me can point to who fairly and objectively debate the evidence and are willing to call out unwarranted claims. It is academics like you that build trust among average citizens in good scientific work and good science. Please keep it up. I will be writing to the U to express my views.

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  87. I sent 4 emails. got the reply below. Doesn't sound like they think anything wrong transpired and aren't fessing up. What a shame.

    "We appreciate your interest and concern regarding Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass and the issues of free speech and academic freedom. There are different viewpoints on what transpired, but we want to state unequivocally that there has been no disciplinary action against him. He remains a tenured full professor, and we have and will continue to steadfastly uphold his right to academic freedom.

    The protection of free expression and academic inquiry at the University of Washington are cornerstone values. They encompass the right to express and challenge opinions and the University’s administration and faculty have reaffirmed our commitment to those values through the Faculty Code. Under state law, university employees are only barred from using state resources to advocate for or against a candidate or ballot initiative; this is materially different from using expertise to comment on the effects of proposed legislation. And of course, as individuals, UW employees are free to engage in any form of political speech when using their own time and resources, as long as it is clear that they are not speaking for the University.

    The University of Washington is and will continue to be a place where robust discussions, and even passionate disagreements, can occur peacefully and productively. Even if it leads to situations that may create discomfort and disagreement, we are all better off when academia is a home to diverse viewpoints and reasoned debate.

    Sincerely,
    The Executive Office of the President and Provost"

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    Replies
    1. Clearly a "white wash". Cliff needs to take legal action to get resolution.

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    2. I received the same response, word for word.

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    3. I got exactly the same email obviously written to reply to all inputs. It does not address any of the issues I raised in my email. This is so typical and so inadequate. Formal discipline is not required for an individual to file a lawsuit for discrimination. I find it hard to believe that these officials don't understand this. This means they are being dishonesty in this response and trying to cover up the problem.

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    4. I received the same form mail. So the University of Washington supports its Red Guards.

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    5. I got the same pathetic response. Translated, it reads: "we are used to sitting on our backsides and dictating to people from up here on our high horses. We have no intention of doing the right thing because we think of ourselves as above all that messiness."

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    6. I replied to the office of the president stating that their response is inadequate and pointing out that under Federal law they have a legal obligation to provide a harassment free workplace and in particular to keep their deans from engaging in such harassment. I also suggested they could have a liability if the Federal courts got involved.

      I am now convinced that Cliff needs to contact a civil rights attorney and take legal action. That's the only course of action that will cause changes. The problem here is that this is a worldwide problem. Thus Cliff will indirectly be helping hundreds of other honest scientists who are currently the targets of activists and in some cases supervisors who target them for being truthful about the science.

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    7. I did too. I replied back that the news about the snowpack is in some ways an even bigger story, and that it is hard to trust the UW. I also commented that Dr Mass was correct on math materials and teaching methods supported by UW College of Education being very poor and that this probably didn't help him any politically.

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    8. Got the same response when I wrote them. I replied back with several examples of how Dale Durran, Lisa Graumlich, and others violated the very same laws and policies that this canned response cited.

      The hypocrisy is astounding to be honest. I can't imagine that President Cauce is unintelligent or unable to see the double standard being applied here; so I can only conclude that she's intentionally nefarious about who she allows to be targeted at her University.

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    9. This tells me that nothing is going to change unless there is legal action in Federal court. I think this is the correct response for a number of reasons.

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  88. Cliff, I just want to say that all this has been very ironic to me. I am a conservative on some issues, and it was your blog that first convinced me that global warming was a real and human caused problem. I've always thought that your clear focus on grounded, good science was more effective than all the over-exaggeration and fear-mongering out there. Keep doing what you're doing, you're accomplishing the goals of the people trying to silence you better than they are.

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  89. I was so happy to be able to respond to your poor treatment by writing to all listed above. My family and friends are avid hikers and we live near the coast. We depend on your explanations of the weather systems that are coming our way for our plans and our safety. We all have a copy of your book and we are big fans.

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  90. I am sickened (but not surprised) by what the Left is doing to you. I will be actively supporting you in this disgusting and obvious display of Leftist totalitarianism.

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  91. I wrote to all the people listed above.

    To Whom it may concern:

    I'm a reader of Prof. Cliff Mass' blog. I was appalled to hear his story of been mistreated because he expressed a different opinion with what is expressed by the Dean and other people in a position of authority. I think the experience he had is clearly out of bounds and violated basic constitutional rights of Prof. Mass. I also see the response by stating his tenured professor is not impacted. I think the response misses the important point. Nobody expresses their opinion peacefully should be subject to the treatment he endured. It is of the interest of the university to protect all members' academic freedom. If the Dean's behavior is not clearly called out it will hurt UW and every citizen in the states because UW is the leading institute of research and innovation in the state of Washington. I strongly urge UW to look into this and set clear boundary of tolerance and respectfulness for everyone.

    Yours Sincerely

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  92. Phht. Hogwash I say. But what about skiing in the northwest this year??? What does your crystal ball say? Or is a crystal ball racist?

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  93. Wow! Keep fighting for the truth and freedom of expression, Cliff, specifically with meteorologist Mark Albright. He’s a good man. The liberals are the least tolerant of all. Very telling. Many of these educational institutions are just indoctrination camps housing an intolerant and uneducated populace.

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  94. Please bring this to the media. They may not believe it, but it has to stop.

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  95. I find it strangely odd that the Seattle Times has done precisely nothing with this story. Cliff released this here several days ago and has had at least one media interview with KIRO.

    Rampant bias at a taxpayer-funded university is certainly newsworthy, and it's not a secret any more from the wider public.

    I'm starting to wonder whose toes the Times fears stepping on by shining a light on ugly totalitarian tendencies at UW.

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    Replies
    1. Do not expect much from the Seattle Times. They have delivered little but gushing adoration of Ana Mari Cauce since she was named president. Any criticism of her is fundamentally against their policies.

      Delete
    2. The Seattle Times will never give anything close to fair coverage of this, if at all.

      Prof. Mass might not realize it, but he singlehandedly put the kibosh on the Times's attempt to win a Pulitzer Prize for a lavishly "reported" and photographed series about the effects of ocean acidification on Puget Sound's oyster industry.

      The was one small problem: The Seattle Times bungled the underlying facts, and Cliff Mass proved it. The newspaper tried to take him down over it at the time, but failed. Don't ever expect them to come to his defense now.

      http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/10/ocean-acidification-and-northwest.html

      https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answering.html

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  96. If a fraction of the factual assertions against Professor Mass is true (being called a racist, Kochite, etc.), then those making the statements have libeled and defamed him. He should consider suing each and every one of them, and then promising to gift the proceeds of the judgments to free-speech and climate-awareness organizations.

    Regards

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  97. I wrote the leadership and shared my concerns with the situation as I understand them, and asked the leadership to go forward, in an open and honest way, to resolve this within the guidelines, ethics, principles of the institution and within the expectations of we taxpayers. And frankly, we professionals who have been able to use Professor Mass' knowledge in the furtherance of life and property safety in emergencies.

    The last thing we need is for Professor Mass to be removed from the tools that help so many.

    And as far as racism. Yeah, a bit of a stretch. Pigs? Seems like the quickest reaction would be against cops who have been called pigs.... At a trough? The 'hind teat' comes to mind, but neither lend themselves to a race based interpretation in my book. But hey, I'm no collegiate.

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  98. I'm a parent whose child is considering applying to UW. This will affect that decision. I really want her to go to a place where speech is free and truth is respected.

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    1. Don't just let it merely "affect" that decision. Make it flat-out avoid the school.

      I've never had any problem with U.W., but this story single-handedly told me that my two sons should not go there when they get older. Same with Portland and the Peter Boghossian story.

      What is going on with these schools?

      Delete
  99. I don't think the Times will cover this because they look really bad due to the snowpack over exaggerations.

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  100. I think that taking legal action may not be worth Cliff's time. Thank you though for bringing the issue to the attention of the public.

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  101. Quote"According to some of my colleagues, the ends justify unethical and untruthful means. I just couldn’t go there."

    I too was subject to an attack on my free speach rights when I called out fact based unethical and untruthful practices within the Commercial Mountain guiding industry and the non profit "Friends of NWAC". IMO,that questionable Behavior is leading to public safety being compromised due to inaccurate information concerning Avalanche incidents being conveyed to the public.

    Members of the "Friends of NWAC" pressured at least one public forum to have me banned from the site and it worked.

    I had posted a snow instability observation on the NWAC(Northwest Avalanche Center) public observations page under the name " vague observations for money" and apparently the nonprofit NWAC branch, which operates that page through public donations, didn't like my political safety message and removed my local observation.

    Two days later we suffered our first Avalanche skier fatality in our local area on the East side of the North Cascades.. I posted my concerns on the public ski forum, Turns all Year, the web Forum where I and over 1000 of my posts were removed due to NWAC member pressure

    The question I have to ask is, would that observation have saved a life had it not been removed from the NWAC site? Would that ski group have been more cautious had they known that the last storm had created unstable snow conditions that was directly observed?

    But this is what happens when you have a self interest private organization soliciting public money, and funnels that money to commercial guiding interests, in partnership with a governmental organization ie, the US Forest Service which employs the NWAC Avalanche forecasters.

    Its a pigs at a trough type scenario. IMO, Public Safety will be better served if the US Forest Service branch of NWAC separates itself from the money interests of that non-profit organization.

    Cliff, you inspire others not to remain quiet and call out self interest who's desire is to silence those who would interfere with the monetary Feeding Frenzy, especially when that self interest is in conflict with Public Safety concerns.

    NWAC, an organization concerned with public safety, still serves alcohol at its public fund raisers.


    Chris H.
    Heli-free North Cascades




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  102. Academia really has lost its way. Ruined by the forces that have ruined everything else:

    Money and Politics.

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  103. Cliff, what you have describe is also well documented and chronicled in the recent book, The Coddling of the American Mind, by Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt. This book shows incidents similar to yours which students have forced the firing of professors and presidents when the students find their methods of messages offensive. It concerns me because I fear the direction of our society for the future if this trend is not stopped. The book suggests our freedom of speech is trumped by our freedom to not be offended. That those who practice this type of intimidation are given a stage gives them a voice and prevents them from learning to live in a pluralistic society. This is very worrisome.

    I very much dislike the labels 'conservative' and 'liberal', as they tend to be very broad and place people in categories, as well as categorize those I disagree with (for example, if I am progressive, are those who disagree with me stuck in the mud or ostriches?). I took a survey one which showed me as all over the place on issues as I seek to use my values to guide me instead of joining a camp. Having said this, I am not a flat earther as my former president called me, but I remain to be convinced of human caused climate change. Your blog is well balanced and gives me much to think about, while those who engage in hype and hysteria reinforce my thinking. I have changed and know our need to always do a better job taking care of our environment and helping others to see the need and do their share as well.

    I hope UW will be with those who will stand up to the tactic of intimidation and allow free speech and education which will teaches students how to think and broaden their understanding and society as a result.

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  104. The bitter irony of the current Seattle Times "Truth" billboards around town, and not a peep from them on this issue. A very popular, well respected UW professor is "silenced" by the university, and there's nothing to see here... please move along. It say a lot - climate change, heretic speech, and "racist" claims will not be debated... or reported. Wake up Seattle.

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  105. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  106. This takes our era of hyperbolic polarization one scary step closer to the edge. If scientists silence scientists what leverage do you have against climate change deniers? If you use allegations of racism to slam anyone you disagree with how can we honestly discuss racism? And of course the pursuit of truth is so muddied that it can be asserted that there's no such thing as truth. Whoever does a better job at misleading a majority has the upper hand. This kind of bullying puts all the values of democracy at risk. We need to reassert them with every tool at our disposal. Keep blogging, Cliff. Use the law. Use science. Use your strong intellect. I know you will. Just want to give you a huge shout out of support.

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  107. Full disclosure-I have known Cliff for almost 40 years since he and Alan Robock were "early career" professors at University of Maryland. Cliff is a passionate scientist, dedicated to science and our shared atmospheric and earth sciences and yes, can be a bit of a burr under the establishment's saddle, be it within the hallowed halls of science, or apparently within the ivory towers of academia.
    The idea that Cliff Mass is a racist is outrageous. The idea that he might be called before some administrative endorsed student tribunal, further endorsed by holier than thou puritanical (perhaps envious of his "popular" appeal) academic desk jockeys who may not agree with his "sacrilegious" views on the science of climate change is even more outrageous. Happy to compose a letter in writing (if administrators still recognize an actual physical letter sent via USPO) to the UW powers that be listed by Cliff. I'll watch Cliff's blog for some response from "on high" . . . with bated breath. Charge on Cliff.
    Bob Ryan
    Yes, getting old and happy to disclose my real name, even on a blog

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  108. Cliff - sorry you are facing all of this. I have heard from other sober minded people of similar and illegitimate pressures. And at the same time anti-scientifc, anti-gay racists are effectively packing the courts with extreme right wingers. I expect fellow (oops, sexist) progressives to be effective with seeing all people (men, women, trans, gay, liberal, conservative, Christians, Jews, RCs, etc.) treated well. The silliness and malice you faced is appalling. As well as ineffective and aimed at the wrong thing.

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  109. The good news is solar cycle 25 is going to rewrite the past 30 plus years of climate hysteria. Don't stress what the ill-informed are doing, they'll be freezing to death soon enough, as will the majority of us. And if that doesn't kill the majority the pole flip certainly will. This age is ending, as do all Yugas, and there is a violent extinction demanded to continue forward along the grand year cycle.

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    1. One of the more scientific comments. Yes, it's getting colder not warmer, and cold is far more dangerous to humanity. Especially when Authoritarian Progressives regulate or ban fossil fuel energy sources without replacing them with something equivalently base load like nuclear.

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    2. Yep, the AOCs from political scientology school of AGW and the effegy burning washed up Hollywood tropes will be begging to turn the heat back up in the atmosphere as soon the Jetstream blasts them with some common sense. Which is sooner than expected it appears, more than 2,500 cold records have obliterated the old records in the US states alone. And half of Russia is already covered in snow, Canada has had 2 blizzards like they've never seen in Oct. North Dakota, Montana, Peru, Australia and many western European countries have smashed cold/snow records for Sept/Oct. South America same thing, freezing there frijoles off. And Solar Cycle 25 hasn't officially started yet, add in the rapidly weakening(almost 40%) electromagnetic field that shields the earth from the Sun and galactic center and we have the trifecta (south pole has left Antarctica already and north pole is racing past Siberia) of mass extinction lining up quickly. Nothing we can do about it though, unless you're invited to Cheyenne mountain and have an entry pass to the underground city they've built? I look at the bizarre change in the masses in that they've mostly become rabid anti this or that fanatics who simply lost all ability to reason, like the ancient myths/oral histories that tell of all the people going insane before the catastrophe.

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  110. recieved a reply:

    Dear XXXX,

    We appreciate your interest and concern regarding Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass and the issues of free speech and academic freedom. There are different viewpoints on what transpired, but we want to state unequivocally that there has been no disciplinary action against him. He remains a tenured full professor, and we have and will continue to steadfastly uphold his right to academic freedom.

    The protection of free expression and academic inquiry at the University of Washington are cornerstone values. They encompass the right to express and challenge opinions and the University’s administration and faculty have reaffirmed our commitment to those values through our University’s Faculty Code. Under state law, university employees are only barred from using state resources to advocate for or against a candidate or ballot initiative; this is materially different from using expertise to comment on the effects of proposed legislation. And of course, as individuals, UW employees are free to engage in any form of political speech when using their own time and resources, as long as it is clear that they are not speaking for the University.

    The University of Washington is and will continue to be a place where robust discussions, and even passionate disagreements, can occur peacefully and productively. Even if it leads to situations that may create discomfort and disagreement, we are all better off when academia is a home to diverse viewpoints and reasoned debate.

    Sincerely,
    The Executive Office of the President and Provost

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  111. At the University of Washington diversity is written with huge letters and it is at the top of the list of the agenda of the university and of many departments. There is nothing wrong with promoting diversity, but unfortunately it is coming at the cost of freedom of speech. This is why I am not surprised at the lukewarm response that many got per e-mail from the university administration. I am just worried because doing great science does no longer seem to be the university's top priority.

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  112. While I greatly enjoyed reading the embarrassing contortions through which Cliff's nemeses tried to suppress his opinions, I do not enjoy reading here the comments of the fraction of his supporters who impugn liberals, the UW, and the press with a broad brush.

    The great majority of the current misinformation, misuse, and abuse of science come from the right, even as Cliff has shown some overreach from the left. I see nothing in Cliff's skirmish of the league of "wind power causes cancer" nor "China created the climate change hoax", nor the gall of trying to roll back California's air quality standards and crippling the management of Federal environmental agencies.

    It can be a fine line to espouse nuanced views while maintaining perspective about the bigger picture, in which UW and its faculty are superlative in many ways.

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    1. To be clear, I support Cliff's right to speak freely and loudly. I think the effort to muzzle him has backfired, as it should, and he has gained rather than lost respect in most of our eyes.

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    2. The problem here John is that over the last 20 years there has been an increasing polarization in the US with the rise of extreme cultural Marxism causing a lot of it. This doctrine motivates the "woke" on college campuses many of which were the originators and propagators of these ideas. Perhaps 30% of the country is content to mouth this nonsense which is at its core illiberal and contradictory to enlightenment ideals.

      The media has become more partisan and dishonest than at any time since the 19th Century. "Journalism" is dead at the moment. This is causing a lot of the polarization in my opinion.

      So people are quite justified in pointing out these dysfunctional trends and to associate them with academia in general. How strongly UW is infected I don't really know even though this episode with Cliff is disturbing.

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    3. John, There is no question that the UW is still a top-notch place for performing scientific research. The problem is that people are often silenced when they express an opinion about social issues that does not align with a mainstream left-leaning political view.

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    4. I think John missed the part that said others, plural, in the room were afraid to speak out. That speaks volumes.

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    5. "Some overreach from the left," said the leftist.

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  113. Professor Mass - I am sorry to see that this has happened to you. I am in atmospheric science and have followed your work for a long time. You have always done good work. I have followed your posts on this blog and other list servs. What is happening here is unconscionable. Your blog post I hope will have great effect in bringing sense back to the academy. Being in the academy myself I was told by a senior department member, freedom of speech may be protected by the Constitution, but in the academy there is none. Keep fighting.

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  114. This is profoundly frightening. We so desperately need people who are honest, open, and thinkers. I've followed Prof. Mass for over twenty years through a number of issues and have always, always found him to be clear headed, honest, and a thinker - someone who is worthy of trust and respect. He has proven it over and over. That this was allowed to happen at the UW is deeply disturbing. Deeply. There needs to be clear and strong leadership that not only calls a halt to this culture but delineates specific repercussions for these kinds of deplorable behaviors and activites. It is not just academic freedom and freedom of speech at stake but what UW is teaching students. Thank you Cliff Mass for being an incredibly valuable role model to all students and for having the courage to do the right thing and speak up.

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  115. Prof. Mass, thank you for sticking up for free and open discourse despite the opposition. A little slow, but I sent my thoughts on the matter to the 4 addresses you provided.

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