Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Schmitt and Duke among NASA notables urging agency adopt balanced climate agenda

The sole professional scientist to explore the lunar surface, geologist and former U.S. Senator Harrison Schmitt, and Apollo 16 lunar module pilot Charles Duke, together with five other Apollo astronauts, are among the 49 former NASA directors, scientists and astronauts who signed an open letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week, "admonishing (NASA) for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question."

The group, which includes two former directors of Johnson Space Center in Houston, are "dismayed over the failure of NASA, and specifically the Goddard Institute For Space Studies (GISS), to make an objective assessment of all available scientific data on climate change."

They charge that NASA is relying too heavily on "complex climate models that have proven scientifically inadequate in predicting climate only one or two decades in advance."

H. Leighton Steward, chairman of the non-profit Plants Need CO2, noted "many of the former NASA scientists harbored doubts about the significance of the C02-climate change theory and have concerns over NASA’s advocacy on the issue." While making presentations in late 2011 to many of the signatories of the letter, Steward "realized that the NASA scientists should make their concerns known to NASA and the GISS," according to the press release accompanying the letter.

“These American heroes – the astronauts that took to space and the scientists and engineers that put them there – are simply stating their concern over NASA’s extreme advocacy for an unproven theory,” Steward said.

“There’s a concern that if it turns out that CO2 is not a major cause of climate change, NASA will have put the reputation of NASA, NASA’s current and former employees, and even the very reputation of science itself at risk of public ridicule and distrust.” 

Select excerpts from the letter:
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.”

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.” 

We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”
 The full text of the letter and signatories, HERE.

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