Cliff Mass and hot air – opinion

Last week, regional meteorologist Professor Cliff Mass, called into question the reality of ocean acidification, along with restating his claims that climate change is nothing to worry about anytime soon.

As to his analysis that ocean acidification doesn’t effect us here because of the court filings of the EPA I can confidently state that no one that I’ve contacted that he points to agrees with his conclusions. His misreading of the lawsuit by the Natural Resource Defense Council, and counter suit filings by the State and EPA, is twisting of facts to suit his arguement. He goes on to make points that the whole thing is only being used as a fundraising tool by environmental and grant funding tool by shellfish companies.

My contacts at Taylor Shellfish clearly stated he misinterpreted anything that they told him. They believe Ocean Acidification is real, and a threat to their very business. As to root causes of it, and possible solutions, no one yet has definitive answers, but a lot of people are looking at what those might be. As science should. The suit by the NRDC is stating that they already know enough to take action, while the US EPA and State EPA claim otherwise. To draw the conclusion that they don’t believe it exists from these court filings is absurd.

There has been a poster on the web recently, stating, “If 97% of structural engineers told you that a specific bridge was going to collapse if you drove your car over it, would you trust your life and the lives of your children to the other 3%?”  And the water planners in California, and homeless “climate refugees” in the Methow here in Washington, who have been wiped out by a fire the likes of which has never been seen in the generations that Europeans have been living there, can probably attest, that something is happening here that is outside the box of normal environmental scenarios. 97% of the scientists who study these things call it Climate Change. And they are in agreement over the root cause. It’s man made.

The NOAA web site for Ocean Acidification can be found on Facebook.

And the web site if you aren’t allowing yourself to be monitored for targeted advertising on Facebook.

Here’s the science standing in stark contrast to the outlier, Professor Mass.

climate change

9 Responses

  1. Al,
    You still are making accusations without facts. Where exactly do you disagree with me? Be specific. Don’t say vaguely that I got it wrong or ask me whether I called the EPA lawyers. They have facts in their statement. They analyze the relevant papers in their statement. Where did either I or they get it wrong? Don’t hide behind some telephone conversations with people you don’t identify. This really reminds one of the kind of hearsay evidence used in the McCarthy era. My stance is very clear. Ocean acidification is happening and is of concern, but in the interior waters of the NW it is not yet a significant issue. Is that what you are going into the “attack mode” on?

    And then to demonstrate you don’t understand my point, you accuse me of lack of diligence at the end of your note…..just disappointing…cliff mass

  2. Cliff, we both are looking at the same science. That from EPA and the State. It’s all about interpretation. Did you even call the lawyers at the NRDC or at the state to get a read on whether they would agree with your analysis of their filings? I did. As did I call my contact at Taylor and ask the same question.

    The issue here is that you choose to interpret and write in a blog , written by someone as respectable as you with your title and teaching position, read by non scientific people attempting to make sense of the complicated OA issues, that, based on the EPA court filings, there is no current problems with ocean acidification. As I stated above, that is a misinterpretation of the reasons for the filing, according to the very people that filed it! I have no idea of whether that misinterpretation is from purposeful disdain for the whole idea of OA or not, but one could draw that from your article, and subsequent replies to people’s posts.

    So chill out here buddy. I’m interpreting your words, on your own blog. As you can see, since “his hot air” upset you, I retitled it for you.

    I stand by the notion that you are twisting facts in your analysis. That’s just an analysis of your opinions. Fair game for all of us, I would venture.

    It’s easy to go on “the attack mode” when I read something like what you wrote. That’s why, before I wrote my piece, I took the time to call the lawyers and representatives and ask them if your opinion was the same as theirs. The answer, from all of them, was “no”. Maybe next time you can do the same diligence of work.

  3. Al,
    Your language was totally inappropriate for scientific (or respectful) discourse. You don’t see how you language sounds like a personal attack?

    Some examples:

    “Cliff Mass and his hot air”
    “twisting of facts to suit his arguement”
    ..there are more, but two is enough to make the point

    You may not agree with me, but you should not call me names. And why don’t you interact with me on a scientific level? Exactly, where are my arguments and facts wrong? There is none of that in your “editorial.”

    And you substantially misinterpret what I am saying. Too many “environmentalists” go on the attack mode when others don’t agree with them, and I am afraid your editorial is a classic example. An apology would be appreciated.

    …cliff mass

  4. Cliff. when you publish a public blog you open yourself to criticism. I don’t understand how you think that my criticism of your public published statements and opinion constitute a personal attack. I don’t know you personally, and don’t have an opinion on anything other than your opinions. I have re-read my blog and even a casual read of the particular blog entry you posted would lead (and did lead) readers of your blog to believe that you are wanting to call into question the issue of OA affecting our waters, and our shellfish (not just the commercially grown kind). If that was not your intention, then perhaps your writing created that impression.

  5. Al,
    You are continuing with the personal attacks. Please stop it. I have never in ANY of my blogs said that anthropogenic global warming is not a serious issue. Never. So please stop saying I am some kind of denier. Can you cite one of my blogs in which I suggest greenhouse-gas increases is not a problem? I HAVE commented when folks exaggerate and hype stuff. That seems to bother you.
    Instead of calling me names, why don’t we talk about material on a technical level? Exactly what do you disagree with regarding the science about what I have discussed? Let’s talk science and specifics and keep the name calling out of it.
    …cliff mass

  6. When a comment like this spends a lot of time attacking someone personally and does not deal with facts, it is sure sign of someone who is not interested in the truth.

    Much of what is written here is false. The author clearly has not read either my blogs or the EPA document.

    I do not have any doubt about the reality of ocean acidification. None. But I do find problems with pinning any oyster problems on ocean acidification…and EPA/WA State Dept of Ecolgy agree.

    I am NOT a climate change skeptic. Climate change due to anthroopgenic greenhouse gas increases is a serious issue. Mankind is not doing enough to stop it. So why is Mr. Bergstein making all kinds of baseless accusations?

    And if Mr. Bergstein would like to call me, I would be happy to tell him exactly who in Taylor Shellfish told me that the media had exaggerated the oyster issue.

    Truth matters folks, and this ad hominem attack is not the kind of discussion that helps environmentalists or anyone else…cliff mass, university of washington

    • Dr. Mass claims that I clearly have not read either his blog or the EPA documents. Both statements are false. I have not only read his blog but I have *posted* on his blog recently. Not only have I read the entire EPA documents, but I talked to the folks at NRDC who filed the lawsuit. I also have talked to insiders at Taylor, as recently as the day after Dr. Mass’ article. Dr. Mass’ conclusions are so far off the mark, from the points of view that the NRDC, the EPA and Taylor Shellfish stated to me, that I felt compelled to clarify the lawsuit to readers.

      Anyone who reads this far can take the time to read Cliff’s blog post on his web site and draw your own conclusions. Dr. Mass puts out a series of statements and when I post replies to very clearly worded posts, he denies he ever said them, while they are clearly still on his blog! Or he tried to rephrase the meaning of the words he has written. If someone coming to his blog cannot draw the proper conclusions from Cliff’s own posts, he may want to clarify them.

      Perhaps he should be stating to his blog readers the exact phrases that he uses here. He should clarify *to them* that “I do not have any doubt about the reality of ocean acidification. None.” He should also clarify to them “I am NOT a climate change skeptic. Climate change due to anthroopgenic greenhouse gas increases is a serious issue. Mankind is not doing enough to stop it.” A casual or serious look at his blog entries on those topics would lead anyone to assume the opposite. Since there is a massive worldwide call for a day to protest for solving Climate Change coming up, perhaps it would be a good time for Dr. Mass to clarify to his readers what he really believes.

      Let’s take a few quotes from the article. This is Dr.Mass’ own words. You draw your own conclusions.

      I could spend a lot more time giving you samples form the EPA or Washington State documents, but the bottom line is that when compelled to provide testimony in court, both agencies revealed that their analysis of observations, the literature, and basic principles compelled them to conclude that there is no evidence that ocean acidification is causing any problems for oysters in the natural waters of Oregon and Washington.

      As many of you know, I agree with EPA and Washington State and have blogged with my own analysis (here and here).

      Both EPA and the NRDC disagree with that conclusion.

      In response to one post where a comment was made that the PH of seawater is 8.2, Dr.Mass replied, “Seawater is NEVER (caps his) acidic as you suggest.” I innocently looked up the PH of ocean water, and pointed to citations that show that ocean water is indeed sometimes as high as 8.2, and Cliff posted back, three posts under the post where he clearly stated that, that he had “never said that ocean water never was 8.2.” I don’t know if Cliff is just not reading his own posts for lack of time, but it certainly would lead even a casual reader to wonder if he there was something wrong with his concentration. When I pointed out that he had posted that just before, he never published my comment.

      The Inconvenient Truth about climate change and ocean acidification is that, behind closed doors, most NGOs do not want to try and tell people that the reality is far worse than they think. There is a fear that the public will just tune it out and not support funding for efforts to reverse it. The lawsuit by the NRDC was an attempt to say to the courts, “they know that there is a problem and that they can take steps and they aren’t, here’s the science to prove it.” while the EPA and allies say, “Nope we have science but it’s not conclusive.” It is clearly not saying, “there is no problem.” The courts will rule on who has the high ground here, and if past is any party to the future, the EPA is likely to be proven wrong. Whatever, either way, the next question to the EPA is “When do you think you will take action and what might it be?” It’s not about trying to convince them there is a problem. They know there is.

      Dr. Mass’s continued work to not dig into his stories and find the truth in the issues he blogs on, does a disservice to himself, his readers and those out in the field spending billions of dollars and thousands of hours of volunteer time, on finding a way out of this box canyon called “Global Warming” before we all find ourselves fossils for future generations of some other life form that can survive what’s happening.

  7. As though the environmentalists and shellfish industry all got together to plan a conspiracy !!

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