OMSI, Global Warming and the Bunker Mentality – Silence in the Face of Public Criticism

Posted on December 3, 2011 by

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Here’s an update on the refusal of Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to allow the Climate Conference by the American Meteorological Service to proceed.

After massive coverage on every major radio talk show in the Portland area, calls to reverse the decision by scientists all over the world, and even an editorial in the Oregonian, OMSI released a bald-faced lie regarding why it chose not to allow the conference, and now has decided to take the bold action of … remaining completely silent and pretend this controversy doesn’t exist.

This email exchange is a bit long, but worth a read. It’s clear that OMSI is doubling down on their dupicitousness, and misrepresenting the timeline of communications in an effort to conceal their reasoning. The further this gets dragged out by OMSI, the more it becomes clear that the motivation was political. It appears only to muddy the waters on their nonprofit status as a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization. One wonders if the Oregonian will choose to pick up the follow up on this story.

From: Gordon Fulks [mailto:gordonfulks@hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 1:21 PM
To: Steve Pierce

Subject: Denial and Delay

Dear Steve,

There are many issues here related to proper professional conduct surrounding the November 29 incident.  OMSI seems determined to continue down the path of denial and delay in the hopes that they will wake up one morning and find that this problem has disappeared.  That is a classic mistake and very unprofessional public relations.  Problems do not disappear when they are ignored.  They fester.

OMSI had a largely untarnished image going into this fiasco and so far a badly damaged image coming out.  If all they do is poll their preferred constituents, they will likely find unwavering support, because they did the politically correct thing by preventing us from speaking.  But at least half the population, even here in solidly Democratic Oregon, does not support climate hysteria and now knows that OMSI is heavily involved in it.  If they think that they can go forward with half the support they previously enjoyed, they should probably do it.  Then they can remain ideologically pure.  But if they want to put “Science” back in their name and get out from under the black cloud, they should look for ways to demonstrate that they will respect the honesty and free exchange of ideas that are so important in science.

If the Oregon AMS wants to assist them to find sunnier skies and put this incident behind them, please encourage them to address the issues that their conduct has raised.

The Oregonian editorial was correct in chastising OMSI for stupid behavior that gave climate skeptics an issue that we would not otherwise have had.   If you and they want to continue this, be my guest.

As to a location for the Oregon AMS to meet, there are many choices other than OMSI or some local bar.  You should be looking for a new home that will never impose restrictions on what programs you can sponsor.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
Corbett, Oregon USA
________________________________________

From: Steve Pierce

Subject: RE: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 09:25:30 -0800

Chuck:

Thanks for your input. You are a valued senior member of the Oregon AMS chapter and have been so for decades. You can be 100% assured that your executive council will take any and all concerns that our members have and address them directly with OMSI.

Steve

________________________________________
From: Chuck F. Wiese
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 10:24 PM

Subject: Re: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE
Dear Steve: I understand the long and prior admirable relationship that OMSI and the AMS have had. I shared in yours and prior AMS Presidents positive feelings on how the Winter Weather Conferences seem to attract more and more interest by the general public in weather and meteorology. That all is an admirable goal.

But what has happened in regards to the November 29th meeting cancellation and the developments surrounding it is an ugly black eye into the relationship of progress in these endeavors the way I see things.

Regardless of the desire for all of us to get back to the once rosy feeling that all is good is not so easy to do with me and many other professional colleagues I have spoken with.

In spite of all that has transpired, I see no admission by OMSI’s management that they have done anything wrong. They insist that it is YOU that is not being truthful. Both Ms. Stueber and Mr. Patel have lied to the press twice about this in the past week. Sorry, but I just can’t wrap myself around that with any warm, fuzzy feeling.

Even worse is the appearance that OMSI’s management is completely unobjective with regards to climate issues and is only tolerant of allowing pro- advocate positions on human caused global warming.

The excuses for cancellation are quite frankly shallow of any depth and nothing more than sympathetic to the so far anonymous University professors from Portland State and Oregon State University who claimed we are not offering “peer reviewed” science but like OMSI’s management, never even took the time to inquire with us directly to check any facts.

When it comes right down to it, OMSI’s “concerns” over creating a “public misunderstanding” in allowing us to present could carry no weight to a reasonably minded person. If they were so concerned about “public misperception” the remedy was no different than what the AMS states at the beginning of any presentation in that they do not endorse our views or those of any particular position on climate. You have done this at the October 29, 2011 presentation and everyone understood this just fine. We were not asking for ANY endorsement, just an opportunity to be heard.

To cancel them as they have done in the present light is nothing more than a hostile reaction of intolerance and a deliberate act of censorship. How else could you view this?

Our grievances should be addressed and resolved by OMSI’s management before we forge ahead with any new presentations or relationships.

Chuck Wiese
Meteorologist
Oregon AMS Member and Denied OMSI Presenter

—–Original Message—–
From: Steve Pierce
To: ‘Chuck F. Wiese’; NStueber; RVandiver; MPatel;
Cc: Steve Pierce
Sent: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 6:58 pm
Subject: RE: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE
Clarification to Chuck’s statement:

The Oregon AMS executive council collectively decided not to comment further on why the meeting was cancelled.

There are seven people total on our EC. As previously stated, the Oregon AMS has a nearly 20 year relationship with OMSI, which we wish to continue. OMSI has apologized to the Oregon AMS and we have accepted. The cancellation of just one meeting, however inconvenient and for whatever reason, does not erase the 20 year relationship between OMSI and the Oregon AMS. The AMS understands that OMSI has complete authority in allowing us to host meetings inside of their facility. However, we also understand that our guest speakers, chapter members and the general public may continue to seek further clarification from OMSI as to why the meeting was cancelled on such short notice.

OMSI offered to cover up to 50% of the fees associated with the cancellation. That offer may very well still be on the table and the Oregon AMS may discuss this with OMSI privately. The Oregon AMS operates on a shoestring budget. Our yearly dues of $7 for our 150-ish “currently paid” members does not generate much operational capital. With the regional media attention this has garnered, we will now need to consider venues that will host 500 attendees rather than the 100-200 we were expecting at OMSI. Preliminary estimates indicate this may cost the Oregon AMS up to $1,500 to reschedule the meeting, unless a complementary host is found. This kind of an expense could liquidate our entire yearly budget and we still have six more meetings to plan between January and June. As we can all see, the cancellation of our meeting at OMSI was unfortunate in more ways than one. However, the Oregon AMS is determined to move forward with rescheduling the meeting, likely in January due to taking December off for the holidays.

Steve Pierce
Oregon AMS President

________________________________________
From: Chuck F. Wiese
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 5:16 PM

Subject: Re: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE

To All Concerned: This is to let everyone know here in media, that Mr. Steve Pierce provided me and OMSI a complete timeline of events that led up to the OMSI cancellation of the November 29th meeting. Mr. Pierce has requested that the e-mail that he sent OMSI and I not be redistributed to media because he intends on making no further media comments about it.

But this is also to let everyone know that Mr. Pierce’s timeline and description of events do not agree with what Ms. Stueber has sent to me this afternoon, specifically referencing Ms. Stueber’s claim that she expressed her concerns to Pierce and began trying to work with him to resolve the “issues” brought up as the reasons for canceling the event in early November or at anytime prior to canceling the event. That is not true, according to Mr. Pierce.

Chuck Wiese
Meteorologist
Weatherwise, Inc.

—–Original Message—–
From: Chuck F. Wiese
To: NStueber; RVandiver; MPatel; gordonfulks
Cc: stevejpierce

Sent: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 4:26 pm

Subject: Re: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE

Dear Ms. Steuber: I will forward your response to Mr. Pierce, but I can assure you that I have had a long conversation about this entire episode with him. ( Mr. Pierce ) Probably a good three hours of conversation to get all of the clarifications and facts straight, and Mr. Pierce assures me that you provided no such concern to him about the content of our presentations or whether they included “peer reviewed” science, (which they do) until you notified him of the cancellations. And of course, none of you ever bothered to speak with us directly about this either, which would have been the follow up to resolve any issues, and we would have been glad to do. We could have shown you that our work and presentations came from the peer reviewed literature and all you had to do is ask us. He also already affirmed with me that none of you began working with him on “possible solutions” to ANY of this, if that is meant in the context of him addressing any of the concerns you brought up in your cancellation letter. It was all addressed by you after the fact and with your blunt decision.

Now I would like to move forward and put this behind us as well, but you have not answered my request as to providing the names of the professors at Portland State University or any other people whose opinions you relied upon to cancel our event. If the University system made claims to you that we were not presenting mainstream or “peer reviewed” science, then it is very appropriate that we learn who these individuals are, and I am again requesting that you provide the names of the people to us that made these fictitious claims and caused you to cancel this event.

Chuck Wiese
Meteorologist
Weatherwise, Inc.

—–Original Message—–
From: Nancy Stueber
To: ‘Chuck F. Wiese’; Ray Vandiver; Mark Patel; Gordon Fulks
Cc: Steve Pierce
Sent: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 3:57 pm
Subject: RE: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE
Dear Mr. Weise,

Thank you for your email.

I can assure you that concerns about the event were raised in early November, at which point we began working with Steve Pierce on possible solutions. I encourage you to contact him to seek clarification.

OMSI is looking forward to moving on and working with the AMS on future events.

Sincerely,

Nancy Stueber
President

From: Chuck F. Wiese [mailto:cfwiese@cs.com]
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 10:41 AM
To: Nancy Stueber; Ray Vandiver; Mark Patel;
Subject: CANCELLATION OF OMSI NOVEMBER 29, 2011 AMS PRESENTATION ON CLIMATE

To All Concerned: I want to clarify the last statement I made in the last paragraph that concerned a venue of the Baghdad Theatre. I should have worded this better but I meant it in terms of the time frame that led up to the cancellation of the event.
As I told Scott Learn last Wednesday, if there was any discussion that the venue could be moved to a place like the Baghdad Theatre it occurred at the time of the cancellation or at some point near it when nothing could be changed to keep it on schedule. I am not privy to everything that has been discussed between OMSI and the AMS Executive Council, but that is my understanding from Mr. Pierce.
He had indicated to me that Jim Todd felt very bad that the event was canceled and offered to help pay to move it “out of his own pocket”. I don’t frankly know whether this referenced the Baghdad or not, but it makes little difference this late in the game. The event was canceled for a false reason and with no time to keep in on its intended schedule.
My apologies if I didn’t make that clear in my original letter sent below.
Chuck Wiese

Dear Ms. Stueber:

I am one of the presenters that was scheduled to give a presentation on climate on behalf of the AMS last Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at OMSI.

It appears that you made a decision to cancel this event on the incorrect and false premise that the presentations that we were going to give were not based upon peer reviewed science.  We also know that you had received several complaints from Portland State University claiming this very same thing and that Phil Mote’s office had also contacted you and complained incorrectly about the content of our presentations. Mr. Mote also made no attempt to inquire about the content of our presentations with us or the AMS Executive Council before declaring the presentations non scientific or to a standard of peer review just like Portland State University has done.

Since there was never any attempt by you to discuss the matter with the AMS executive council or us either to confirm the claims of Portland State University or Phil Mote from OCCRI  before deciding to cancel our presentations, we can only conclude that this decision was done deliberately to censor our scientifically legitimate opinions on climate. The timing of the decision also gave us no opportunity to locate another venue to give the presentations as scheduled.

Since it appears you were deliberately misled about what we were doing by academics who have a special interest to protect, then you should be willing to release their individual names and any other complainants name who misled you, especially if thy are donors to OMSI, with either private or public money. I am writing this letter to you to formally request this information.

This letter also serves as a rebuttal to the claim made by Mr. Patel in the Oregonian article published by Mr. Scott Learn. For Mr. Patel to claim that OMSI had communicated this absurd claim that it had warned us that our presentations didn’t meet the standard of “peer review” or needed modifications to proceed as planned in early November is a lie. There is absolutely no truth to this claim. Either Mr. Patel was lied to by someone in your organization or he lied about this himself. We received absolutely no advanced notice that OMSI was unhappy with ANY of our planned presentations or content. They were simply canceled with this explanation after the fact and with no sufficient notice to move the event.

It is also a lie that you or anyone else at OMSI offered to pay us any amount of money to move this event to the Baghdad Theatre. There was no such offer made to our Executive Council of the AMS or us. In fact, you NEVER communicated any concern to us about the content of our presentations before you canceled them.

Chuck F. Wiese
Meteorologist
Weatherwise, Inc.

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