The science of man-made climate change NOT settled 5

On March 28, 2012, fifty former employees of the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a letter to Charles Bolden, NASA’s Administrator.

Here is most of it. It can be found in full at Powerline:

Dear Charlie,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself. …

In particular, the “unproven remarks” are being made by James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, of whom John Hinderaker of Powerline writes:

One of the world’s four or five leading global warming alarmists is James Hansen, [who], traveling in China, denounced the United States and hailed China as the world’s “best hope” to stave off global warming. Hansen described Americans as “barbarians” with a fake democracy, and urged China’s rulers to lead a boycott of the United States in the hope that it would bring our economy to its knees.

The reputation of NASA took a hit when President Obama redefined its foremost task as “reaching out to the Muslim world”:

In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation’s space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to “re-inspire children” to study science and math, to “expand our international relationships,” and to “reach out to the Muslim world.” Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is “perhaps foremost,” because it will help Islamic nations “feel good” about their scientific accomplishments.

What scientific accomplishments would those be?

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  • Harold

    Hi George.  Here I am!  The letter is by 49 out of several thousand current and ex- employees of NASA, none of whom has any expertise in climate science.  Some may claim that it would be irresponsible to put Hansen in charge of Mission Control, and they would be right.  We should not put administrators, astronauts and engineers in charge of climate science policy at NASA.

    The letter is too vague to rebutt.  If they gave examples of NASA making claims that were not substantiated, then there would be something to go on.  In science, nothing is ever proven, so to refrain from making “unproven remarks” means they cannot make any remarks at all about science. It would be very helpful if they said which remarks they objected to and why.

    They only seeem to object to talk of  ”catastrophic” climate change, not climate change per se.

    They object to discussing CO2 driven climate change “ prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate.”

    The natural drivers of climate change have been extensively studied and found in many peer-reviewed papers to be inadequate to explain the changes in climate.

    Again,. I find it interesting that so many people find this sort of thing convincing.  It can only be because it supports their dearly held beliefs.  It offers no evidence at all to counter the mass of actual evidence.

    I believe we should follow the evidence.  This means that we listen to experts when they talk about their field.  We do not have to listen much to Hansen about how to tackle GW, as this is not his area of expertise.  The solutions are difficult, and should be discussed appropriately.  This cannot happen if the evidence is ignored. 

    • George

      Hi again Harold .     I was getting worried about you for awhile and was rather  dissapointed.      I must say that there is one thing that you stated that you and I do agree on and that is that NASA  [ space ] scientists are not the end all experts on the subject of climate change. We’re definately on the same page there for sure. My point Harold is that I am NO expert on the subject either way but my comments are QUOTATIONS  and presentations from scientists themselves who are indeed experts in the field ( this is NOT coming from me ) and more and more are indeed coming out and declaring how MUCH of this global warming / climate change stuff has political leanings and much is fraudulent . Now , having said that , if you are indeed sir in dissagreement with THEIR latest presentations then may I suggest that you present your argument with THEM —not with me .    I’m the guy in the middle and I’m not the one making the claim either way.
                              You still haven’t answered my previous question Harold and that is —-Why is this the OLY topic that you discuss on an atheist conservative website ? Why is it that we have articles on terror nattacks, violence by religious extremists , people trying to take away our freedoms , and destyroy our civilization and the ONLY thing that  YOU ever discuss is WEATHER conditions and the like ?    I have yet to see you post a comment about people being slaughtered , tortured, violated, deprived of basic human rights and dignity  but as soon as the topic of CLIMATE CHANGE comes up here you are Harold just as expected commenting about that . Why is thgat Harold  ?  I have to give you credit Harold and that is sir that you are definately predictable and consistent. Is this your ONLY interest ?   Apparently so.   I’m just curious to know why is that–that’s all.  Are you sure you’re on the right website. I mean no offense whatsoever but I’m just wondering and being inquisitive —-no more and no less.

  • Robert

    Why is James Hensen not in Federal prison? Is what he did in China not treason?

  • George

    Where’s Harold ?

  • Liz

    Interesting that the head of NASA’s institute for Space studies is so obviously a leftist political lackey for Obama, and also an AGW alarmist.  Odd how those two things so often go hand in hand!  And we’re supposed to believe that he is actually interested in advancing scientific knowledge, or even in promoting factual information???