Pledge of Allegiance... to Stymie Global Warming Speech?

There are noble pledges like the Pledge of Allegiance and pledges that can be evil (like fictional one above from the movie Blazing Saddles). But, it is nearly impossible to tell which is which if we can't know the content of the pledge. 

In Baltimore tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11:40am, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) is evidently going to enter into and sign a "pledge" with major news organizations and various "scientific" organizations from around the world. From the AMS's announcement, here is a list of science organizations:

I don't know anything about the "More..."  

 

Also, other than one of the sponsors, EarthX TV, it does not list which media organizations are signing the pledge. Brad Colman, the President of the AMS, says,

 "Tackling the challenges of climate change requires participation across all of society, yet in today's information environment, it can be difficult to distinguish what claims are evidence-based," says AMS President Brad Colman.  [emphasis mine] 

 

Regarding the content of the pledge, the AMS says, 

Curiously, the pledge itself is nowhere to be found. But, why do I suspect the (red) highlighted language is the real motivation for the pledge --  to conspire to limit speech about global warming? And, is this sort of activity appropriate for a tax-exempt organization that claims to be about science?

 

Consider:

  • Does the American Medical Association attempt to make news organizations pledge to only tell their member doctors' side of stories about medicine?
  • Does the Vatican attempt to make reporters sign-on to tell solely the Pope's side in stories about religion?
  • Does Motor Trend magazine only report the side of Ford, GM and Toyota when reporting about electric versus internal combustion automobiles-- after signing a document to that effect?

In most fields, the media would angrily leave the room if asked to sign such a pledge. I fear they won't when it comes to climate change because, so often, they have proven to be advocates rather than neutral reporters. 

 

I was a member of the AMS from 8th grade until 2017. I sincerely appreciate, and cherish, the honors it conveyed on me. I -- reluctantly --  resigned because of its increasingly political and related activities that I believe are inappropriate. The goal of science should be to encourage discussions, not limit them. 

 

Recall in high school when we studied Galileo and the Catholic Church trying to shut down discussion of his theory that the earth rotates around the run rather than the opposite (the latter generally believed at the time)? Everyone in the class and the instructor thought, "how could the church have been so far out of line?"Well, AMS, you are on the side of the church elders in this one. 

 

Even thought I'm no longer a member, I urge the AMS -- in fairness to its membership -- to widely publish the pledge before the signing and, perhaps, reconsider this entire enterprise. 

Comments

  1. William Monfredo, Ph.D.January 29, 2024 at 8:55 PM

    I, too, left the AMS around the same time you did, and for much the same reasons. And although some people might not articulate issues as clearly as you do, many recognize what's lost when politics & money attempt to hijack weather, science, and "more."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I left AMS for the same reason some years ago.

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  4. I left the AMS about the same time frame as you, Mike. AMS had become not only too political, but too elitist. The simple meteorologist in the trenches no longer meant anything to them. One needed a set of letters after their name to be recognized. Absolutely no offense to those that have the letters; just an observation from down below.

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