Weighty Words from Space Pioneers; NASA Heroes Advise Climate-Change Alarmists to Stick to Science

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 7, 2012 | Go to article overview

Weighty Words from Space Pioneers; NASA Heroes Advise Climate-Change Alarmists to Stick to Science


Byline: H. Leighton Steward, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Astronauts have had a unique perspective of Earth, home to us all. Having viewed it as a whole from above, they realize the finite nature of our planet and have had to weigh what humans may be doing to it through industrialization. The upshot is they've become supersensitive to published information relative to man's potential influence on the planet but concerned over the direction NASA has taken on climate-change science.

Earlier this month, a group of 49 former NASA astronauts and the scientists who put them in space and on the moon raised a red flag over NASA's questionable embrace of climate-change alarmism. In a joint letter to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, those American heroes admonished the agency for 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 Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham and Harrison Schmitt, lays out the astronauts' concern that 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. They fear NASA's unproven and unsupported advocacy risks the exemplary reputation of NASA and the reputation of science.

NASA was quick to deny it publicly advocates for any particular scientific theory the same week that NASA climate-change guru James E. Hansen publicly advocated for a worldwide carbon tax while claiming climate change was the moral equivalent to slavery and that the science is crystal-clear. Unfortunately no longer able to put man in space, NASA does produce plenty of irony to go with its climate alarmism.

The alarmist camp belittles the signatories of the letter with ad hominem attacks, insinuating that they cannot possibly understand climate science. So who are these former NASA folks whom climate alarmists are so quick to dismiss arrogantly? Collectively, their design, launch and guidance teams sent our brave astronauts into space and onto the moon, a science and engineering achievement of epic and everlasting proportions in the history of man.

Individually, they are physicists, geochemists, mathematicians, atmospheric physicists, engineers, geologists and meteorologists.

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