Seattle meteorologist (and climate denier darling) Cliff Mass compares BLM protests to Nazi’s Kristallnacht

  • Published on August 18th, 2020

University of Washington Meteorologist Cliff Mass, something of a big deal in the Pacific Northwest weather scene and bit player in the climate denial world as someone who’s not-a-denier-but-is-someone-deniers-lovewrote a (now-thrice-edited) blog post comparing the Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle to the Brownshirts and Nazis who carried out Kristallnacht, calling photos of the two events “eerily similar.” As a result, his long-running weekly public radio program was taken off-air by KNKX.

Seattle meteorologist (and climate denier darling) Cliff Mass compares BLM protests to Nazi’s Kristallnacht

By Climate Denier Roundup

His colleagues at UW’s Department of History and others were quick to point out that not only is this a morally reprehensible take, but also factually wrong and historically inaccurate. The Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass,” was a state-sanctioned event in Germany, Austria, and German-occupied Sudetenland in 1938 targeting Jewish people with violence. Nazi officials then blamed that violence  on the Jewish people themselves, and used the violence as a pretext for the Holocaust.

The Black Lives Matter protests are against the state-sanctioned targeting of a specific group that is singled out for violence by authorities. They could not be more dissimilar.

But it’s hardly the first time Mass has said something stupid in the service of a conservative ideology he pretends not to embrace. As 350Seattle tweeted, “Cliff Mass has been making inaccurate, offensive and inane comments for a long time”, perhaps in reference to a similar firestorm two years ago, when in a post laying out his opposition to a climate policy, Mass equated Native Americans and vulnerable communities of color to pigs at a trough.

And going back further, we found a petition from 2011 calling for him to be put back on a different radio program that fired him after, the petition states, his “forays into education news and opinion were too controversial for public radio.” It quotes from his blog, where Mass blamed the hiring of a woman producer for the eventual cancellation of his weekly on-air segment where his repeated, off-topic conservative opining on public education was not appreciated.

With only 92 signers, the petition doesn’t appear to have been successful at getting him back on the air at KUOW, but his decision to blame a woman for his actions having consequences makes sense in retrospect.

Because in light of the news that he’d be off the news, climate scientist and Rowan Institute founder Dr. Sarah Myhre offered a reminder of Mass’s unethical and covert anti-climate lobbying efforts, and history of misogyny, offering an account of his harassment of her in detail on twitter.

Through his communications like these blog posts opposing social justice protests and criticizing climate policy with offensive rhetoric unhinged from reality, Dr. Myhre told us that “Cliff Mass is a prominent example of how climate denialism, bigotry, and misogyny are used together to protect and obscure right wing political agendas of inaction, climate delay, and predatory, targeted harassment.”

Washington deserves better, and hopefully now they can find it.

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

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