There is a disturbing story coming out of the University of Washington surrounding Cliff Mass.
In preparing this article, I have received material from a member of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. I also ran into another member of the Department while at the AGU meeting this week, who corroborated these events. I conducted a 30 minute phone interview with Cliff Mass.
Who is Cliff Mass?
Cliff Mass has been a faculty member in the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Department since 1982. His research focuses on numerical weather modeling and prediction, the role of topography in the evolution of weather systems, and on the weather of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his research publications, Cliff Mass has published a popular book entitled ‘Weather of the Pacific Northwest.’
Since 2008, Cliff Mass has maintained a popular blog Cliff Mass Weather and Climate. Mass posts regular articles on meteorology, Pacific Northwest weather history, and the impacts of climate change written for the general public.
He has 13,000 twitter followers. Mass also has a weekly radio show with 400,000 weekly listeners (!)
Cliff Mass – climate ‘denier’?
Cliff Mass has been characterized as a ‘sort of’ climate denier. The first reference to this is a 2015 article Cliff Mass: Scientific lies and the new climate deniers.
“He is also a dangerous new breed of climate skeptic. He has made a theme of downplaying the role of global warming in extreme weather events, and in exposing what he calls “overzealousness” in the scientific, media, and activist community.”
A 2017 article in Stranger entitled Why does Cliff Mass believe scientists and leftist journalists are exaggerating the dangers of climate change?
“Cliff Mass is not a climate denier, but he is their ally, which is as good as being a climate denier.”
The accusation of ‘denier’ got more explicit when Sarah Myre testified before the State of Washington House of Representatives: Can you be a climate scientist and an advocate?
“In February 2017, Sarah Myhre traveled to Washington’s capital, Olympia, to give testimony to the state House of Representatives Environment Committee. There, Representative Shelly Short, a Republican from northeastern Washington, asked her to comment on her colleague Mass’ unwillingness to link recent wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes to climate change. Myhre responded that she and many of her colleagues saw Mass’ recent views “as coming from a denialist or contrarian place.