Statement Before Sentencing

(This is a statement I gave before being sentenced for a “ledge sit-in” two weeks before the November, 2004 elections. I was fined $500 and put on probation for six months.)

My name is Ted Glick. I live at 500 Broughton Ave. in Bloomfield, N.J. I am 57 years old.

On October 23rd I climbed a ladder up to a ledge overlooking an entrance to NOAA at 1305 East West Highway in Silver Spring. Paul Burman and I hung a banner from the window over that ledge which said, “Bush: Let NOAA Tell the Truth!”

This was the third action at the NOAA complex in Silver Spring that I have taken part in this year. On May 31st and June 1st I was part of a continuous, 37-hour vigil in connection with the first official day of the hurricane season. On August 26th several hundred people participated in a rally on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that I helped to organize.

At both of these actions we called attention to numerous media reports of censorship and suppression by top-level NOAA officials of NOAA scientists whose research work showed a connection between global warming and more destructive storms like Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, as well as more serious droughts and wildfires. We called for the NOAA leadership to live up to its declared mission of warning Americans about “dangerous weather” and “improve(ing) our understanding and stewardship of the environment.”

In late September, Congressman Henry Waxman released a letter he had sent to the Commerce Dept., of which NOAA is a part, asking for an investigation of reports that NOAA scientists were being prevented from speaking to the media on the basis of their considered positions on global warming. Such an investigation is now underway.

Given the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and the growing scientific evidence that it is, indeed, accelerating at a dangerous rate, I felt called upon to express my deeply-felt beliefs in a more forceful manner. Nonviolent and peaceful but forceful. This is why I decided to overcome my fear of heights and to climb that ladder to hang that banner on October 23rd.

Three years ago, at the age of 54, I made a conscious decision to devote as much time and energy as I could to this most crucial of issues, the future of our threatened ecosystem. On October 23rd I acted on behalf of my son, my nieces and nephews and children everywhere who need many more of us who are older and supposedly wiser to do the right thing on this fundamental issue.

I would urge your honor to make a statement of your own about the seriousness of this issue in the way that you sentence Paul Burman and I. We need our federal government agencies to be about truth-telling. We need them to be supportive of non-ideological scientific research into the climate crisis. It should not be necessary for people like us to have to climb a ladder and perch on a ledge for them to do so.