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NASA Earth Government Science

Ex-NASA Employees Accuse Agency of 'Extreme Position' On Climate Change 616

grumpyman writes "A coalition of 49 ex-NASA employees, including seven Apollo astronauts, have accused the U.S. space agency of sullying its reputation by taking the 'extreme position' of concluding that carbon dioxide is a major cause of climate change. Is the claim in this letter opinion or fact?"
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Ex-NASA Employees Accuse Agency of 'Extreme Position' On Climate Change

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  • Did Anyone Else (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @01:55PM (#39661221) Journal
    Follow this part of the article:

    The 49-person letter was organized by Leighton Steward, chairman of Plants Need CO2, a non-profit with ties to the coal industry.

    To this site [plantsneedco2.org] and promptly commit suicide? From that site:

    Earth and its inhabitants need more, not less, CO2.
    More CO2 means:

    More Plant Growth
    Plants need less water
    More food per acre
    More robust habitats and ecosystems

    CO2 is Earth's greatest airborne fertilizer. Without it - No Life On Earth!

    A site with a banner that says "Warmer is better than colder." and "CO2 is Green." and "Climate Change is the Norm." really just makes my head hurt. The arguments presented on this site seem to imply that policy is to completely remove all CO2 from Earth. That is not true. It also grasps at hilarious straws:

    In addition to increasing the quantity of food available for human consumption, the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is also increasing the quality of the foods we eat. It significantly increases the quantity and potency of the many beneficial substances found in their tissues (such as the vitamin C concentration of citrus fruit), which ultimately make their way onto our dinner tables and into many of the medicines we take, improving our health and helping us better contend with the multitude of diseases and other maladies that regularly afflict us. In just one species of spider lily, for example, enriching the air with CO2 has led to the production of higher concentrations of several substances that have been demonstrated to be effective in fighting a number of human maladies, including leukemia, ovary sarcoma, melanoma, and brain, colon, lung and renal cancers, as well as Japanese encephalitis and yellow, dengue, Punta Tora and Rift Valley fevers.

    Climate warming increases the quality of your food! Burn all the shit you want, folks! Hey, if CFCs make the planet warmer and this site says "warmer is better than colder" shouldn't we be purposefully releasing those things up into the ozone?

  • Breaking news! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gma i l .com> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:04PM (#39661443) Journal

    Roughly half of Americans deny global warming; not restricted to blue-collar workers.

    Film at 11.

  • by RoccamOccam ( 953524 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:06PM (#39661495)
    Or less!

    When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering. -- Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator

  • Re:If It Is Fact ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muon-catalyzed ( 2483394 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:15PM (#39661711)
    Just for reference, the disputed and now famous [universetoday.com] Hansen [wikipedia.org] climate study (NASA/GISS) from 1981 that exactly predicts CO2 effects on the mean temperature today.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:28PM (#39662013)

    We know that CO2 warms the atmosphere. We know that the atmosphere is getting warmer. But we don't know if it's CO2 causing the warming or something else. If it is CO2 we don't know if it's man-made or natural that's the real culprit here. But....

    doesn't it seem logical that we should do what we can ie. slow the production of man-made CO2 since we know it causes warming and we can't control natural CO2? Otherwise we keep producing CO2 and see how hot we can make the planet.

  • AGW Cult (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:35PM (#39662145)

    1. The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

    Hansen, Jones, et. al.

    2. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

    Read the latest textbooks? AGW is taught as a FACT, pages and pages. Have to indoctrinate early ya know.

    3. The group is preoccupied with making money.

    Government Grants. Although I have to say that these guys are more narcissists that money grubbers.

    4. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

    Editors losing jobs, those expressing legitimate doubts ostracized, etc.

    5. Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

    Nothing here.

    6. The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).

    Related to #4. Jones and friends want to be the only peer reviewers. So no dissent every really sees the light of day in the journals.

    7. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

    YOOOU aren't a Climate Scientist so nothing you say matters...Nobel Prize Winner in Physics? [climatedepot.com] No matter because Yooou aren't a Climate Scientist

    8. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

    Juden, Denier, etc. What will I have to sew onto my shirt?

    9. The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

    Hiding data, ignoring legal requests for data, etc. No Problem as long as you are on the "Right" side of the debate.

    10. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities)

    And here was have Peter Gleick. "I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts -- often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated -- to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved."

    11. The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

    Starving Polar Bears anyone? What natural disaster hasn't been blamed on Global Warming?

    12. Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.

    OK, pretty much applies to Slashdot guys.

    13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

    MDSolar? Is that you?

    14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

    I'm sure Jones and Hansen hang out with non-believers all the time.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @03:01PM (#39662703) Journal

    NDAA, immunity for unconstitutional wiretaps, flagrantly violating the war powers act, executing more raids on legal Cannabis dispensaries, etc.

  • by KeensMustard ( 655606 ) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @06:33PM (#39666619)
    It's a subject that needs more discussion.

    At what point does the deliberate dissemination of lies for profit become a criminal act? If I know my car is not roadworthy, yet advertise it as safe and reliable, isn't the buyer entitled to redress? And doesn't the level of redress increase depending on how damaging my fraud was?

    The truth of the matter is, these backers of the denialist movement simply don't want action to be taken. Were they to say what they really think: "Yes, it's true that our actions are causing harm, and that harm will in the future escalate to great harm for humans and other species, but you know what? Screw 'em. And Screw you too! We just want to make money"

    Would we reconsider how lenient we've been toward them?

    And what of their loyal disciples - referring, of course, to the cadre of radio hosts, opinionists, political operatives, and their loyal disciples, the foot soldiers of the denialist campaign (such as those who astroturf here)? Their point of view is much more visceral: "of course climate change is real and it is damaging, but I DON'T WANT TO KNOW so STOP TALKING ABOUT IT" - this is a gut feel view because the fact of climate change contradicts some fundamental worldview, and nobody wants to feel uncomfortable.

    The point is not that people are mistaken, or inclined to be sceptical, but rather, that they choose to view what is objective as subjective. To avoid any measuring of the subjective view "I don't want to" against the objective fact: "climate change is real, and action must be taken to avoid serious harm in the future", rhetoric is employed. At some point, that rhetoric becomes deception. At that point, the person is liable. So a discussion on the point of and extent of liability and therefore who is liable is very relevant and not at all extreme.

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