Accurate Weather and Climate Reporting on KNKX Jazz Blues & NPR News

KNKX Managers and Board of Directors

This petition is sponsored by 350 Seattle, 350 Tacoma, 350 Eastside, and 350 Everett. We are very concerned that people are not getting accurate information about the way climate is contributing to the extreme weather events devastating so many communities and ecologies around the world, including the Pacific Northwest. Weather reporters can help the public understand the connections between climate change and weather, yet unfortunately they often avoid the issue. There are a few that ignore or minimize climate impacts on weather, sowing doubt rather than fostering understanding that could lead to appropriate climate action. During the weekly KNKX feature “Weather With Cliff Mass," Dr. Mass consistently ignores or minimizes the significance of climate's impact on weather. Climate-striking youth are saying, "Our house is on fire." It's time for KNKX to get current on the climate-weather connection so that listeners can make fully informed decisions about every aspect of our lives.

This petition is being released only after numerous other efforts were made -- emails, letters, phone calls, and raising the issue with the KNKX Community Advisory Council -- to engage with KNKX on this important issue. Please read and sign if you agree it's time for KNKX to do much better on the climate-weather connection!

To: KNKX Managers and Board of Directors
From: [Your Name]

Accurate science reporting about climate change and the effects on our local weather is critical. From extended wildfire smoke seasons in the West, to floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes in the Midwest and South, weather is affected by longer term climate trends. In western Washington, KNKX listeners need to understand the connection between climate and weather so that we can make informed decisions – not just about our work and leisure plans, but even more, about our energy, transportation, and food choices that are affecting current and future generations.

According to the 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and 13 federal agencies, we must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels or we will witness the collapse of natural ecosystems. The World Bank estimates that if we fail to take rapid action on climate change, over 100 million people will be displaced within the next 30 years. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.

We support KNKX’s continued coverage of local climate issues, like its 3-part series on PSE’s LNG plant in Tacoma. However, the weekly feature “Weather With Cliff Mass” consistently breaches the boundaries of responsible journalism, ignoring or minimizing* the relationship between the weather, wildfires, and our changing climate. In this weekly feature facilitated by Bellamy Pailthorp, Dr. Mass makes statements that consistently and repeatedly misrepresent the central scientifically established facts of a changing climate.

In service to the western Washington community and beyond, KNKX’s primary responsibility is to maintain its reputation for a high standard of journalistic integrity. We call on KNKX to respond to the growing number of listeners and scientists who have raised concerns about accurate reporting in respect to climate and climate impacts on “Weather With Cliff Mass.”


*Originally, we used the word 'denying' here, but we've taken that out; Mass does accept the existence of climate change; what he doesn't accept is the scientific consensus that it's so urgent as to require transformative change in the coming decade.​