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

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hi-dr-potocki! dept.

NASA 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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Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661131)

Yeah, it's great that this is somehow your big issue now. But would it pain you all too much to get together and maybe concentrate on making the U.S. a country capable of putting a man into space again? I mean, debate is great and all, but I'm getting a little creeped-out by the way the Chinese are laughing at us.

You know things are getting pretty bad when you start longing for the days when a former Nazi was giving NASA moral leadership.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661209)

"U.S. a country capable of putting a man into space again?"

Except for symbolism, what is the use of that? People make billions shoving bits on a screen these days.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661315)

Yeah, it's great that this is somehow your big issue now. But would it pain you all too much to get together and maybe concentrate on making the U.S. a country capable of putting a man into space again?

Space is only half of NASA's mission.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Interesting)

RoccamOccam (953524) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662045)

Most of the American slashdotters voted for Obama, the politically correct ignoramus. Which tells me one thing. These people don't give two shits about NASA's. They wanted a boot-licker. Well, you got one. Congrats.

And don't tell us you didn't know Obama would be this way. The entire conservative movement has been kicking an screaming about who this guy really is. Only now it's far to late and the damage has been done.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (2, Informative)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661797)

Yeah, it's great that this is somehow your big issue now. But would it pain you all too much to get together and maybe concentrate on making the U.S. a country capable of putting a man into space again?

Space is only half of NASA's mission.

The other half is "outreach to the Muslim world" [informationweek.com] . Priorities, man, priorities.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661835)

Well, to be fair, we don't know anything in space that has nuclear* weapons. We do know parts of the Muslim world do.

*Weapons specifically: yes, stars are nuclear, but they aren't weapons. Not yet, anyways.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662061)

Well, we know *a* part of the Muslim world that does: Pakistan. The Iranians are working as hard as they can at it, but they're apparently still a couple of years away.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662019)

Space is only half of NASA's mission.

Darned Aeronautics. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (3, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661323)

Sadly, outside of theatrics going to space doesn't do a whole lot. Plus, NASA can't do much without funding which has been the red headed stepchild of the US budget for decades. Commercial space will probably do more at this point, honestly.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661817)

Plus, NASA can't do much without funding which has been the red headed stepchild of the US budget for decades.

Right! I think NASA has figured out that Global Warming will get you government funding. "We need more satellites to study Global Warming!"

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661343)

They would but 49 members of the engeniering branch, with no climate experience, quit and now work for a non-profit with ties in to the coal industry. Oh they also wote the letter in question for the article.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661523)

Mod parent up.

I figured it was 49 fired janitors though.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (0, Troll)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661631)

They are correct though. There are way worse greenhouse gasses that don't even get filtered most of the time. Cause actually carbon dioxide isn't all that strong of a greenhouse gas.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661923)

Cause actually carbon dioxide isn't all that strong of a greenhouse gas.

True, but the sheer magnitude of CO2 release dwarfs other greenhouse gasses. Further, it's not just the amount of CO2 (or water vapor which is another 'greenhouse gas' or methane) it's the rate of change of the concentration.

Yes CO2 can be 'useful' and plants like it. Yes, the planet had higher concentrations of CO2 in the past.

The big issue is whether or not a significant fraction of the human (and since we're an apex predator, everybody else's) population is at risk for near term major perturbations in the population's health and well being due to changes in climate that are in part due to rapidly rising CO2 levels which are most likely man made.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661933)

"There are way worse greenhouse gasses that don't even get filtered most of the time. Cause actually carbon dioxide isn't all that strong of a greenhouse gas."

This is an example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. What you said it true, but basically irrelevant. Carbon dioxide might not be the worst greenhouse gas, but (A) we release orders of magnitude more of it than any other green house gas. You could eliminate every methane emitter on earth and not make a dent in global warming because well over 90% of it comes from the CO2 we release. (B) Carbon dioxide-caused warming lasts far longer than any other green house gas. If we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, the warming we have caused will not dissipate for nearly a millenia.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Informative)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661657)

Or even scientists, "Most are not even scientists in the sense that they have pursued scientific research during their careers, in any discipline."

Ah lobbyists, is there anything they won't say...

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (1)

miltonw (892065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661717)

[citation needed]

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661793)

They would but 49 members of the engeniering branch, with no climate experience, quit and now work for a non-profit with ties in to the coal industry. Oh they also wote the letter in question for the article.

False, unless you have a different source from TFA. The letter was organized by someone from that non-profit. There is no indication whatsoever that all or the majority of the individuals who signed it are otherwise affiliated with that organization (Plants Need C02). Also, only most of them had engineering backgrounds, not all (one of them at least was a meteorologist). Link [plantsneedco2.org] to fill text and signatories.

Spreading falsehoods is not the way to invalidate climate change deniers.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (2)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661675)

I think most people have concluded that it's just not worth the extreme expense of supporting a fragile life form in space. The actual science that human space travelers have done is miniscule and has reached only trivial conclusions. It's just not worth it.
Space exploration without humans, on the other hand, has been able to travel far greater distances and perform genuinely useful science and has returned great benefit for the much smaller investment.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661971)

Couldn't we at least have the CAPABILITY? Nothing fancy really, just an American equivalent of a Soyuz would do fine.

I mean, we do still have that ISS space station up there and all.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661795)

"little creeped-out by the way the Chinese are laughing at us"

You're creeped out by a country trying to re-live the 1960s, your country is corroding from the inside, and your solution is we need more test pilots in low Earth orbit, to do nothing? Space Nutter.

Re:Hey guys, STFU and build a rocket, would you? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661967)

You know things are getting pretty bad when you start longing for the days when a former Nazi was giving NASA moral leadership.

- yeah, today's Nazis are much more boring, it's all about oil and dollar domination, but who is supposed to think about dominating the Uranus?

If It Is Fact ... (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661137)

Is the claim in this letter opinion or fact?

Well, from the letter itself [plantsneedco2.org] :

March 28, 2012
The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
NASA Administrator
NASA Headquarters
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

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.

For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.

Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

(Attached signatures)

CC: Mr. John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for Science
CC: Ass Mr. Chris Scolese, Director, Goddard Space Flight Center

Ref: Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, dated 3-26-12, regarding a request for NASA to refrain from making unsubstantiated claims that human produced CO2 is having a catastrophic impact on climate change.

/s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack - JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years
/s/ Larry Bell - JSC, Mgr. Crew Systems Div., Engineering Directorate, 32 years
/s/ Dr. Donald Bogard - JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 41 years
/s/ Jerry C. Bostick - JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 23 years
/s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman - JSC, Scientist - astronaut, 5 years
/s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Division, MOD, 41 years
/s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox - JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years
/s/ Walter Cunningham - JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years
/s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry - JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years
/s/ Leroy Day - Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years
/s/ Dr. Henry P. Decell, Jr. - JSC, Chief, Theory & Analysis Office, 5 years
/s/Charles F. Deiterich - JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years
/s/ Dr. Harold Doiron - JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years
/s/ Charles Duke - JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 16, 10 years
/s/ Anita Gale
/s/ Grace Germany - JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years
/s/ Ed Gibson - JSC, Astronaut Skylab 4, 14 years
/s/ Richard Gordon - JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years
/s/ Gerald C. Griffin - JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years
/s/ Thomas M. Grubbs - JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years
/s/ Thomas J. Harmon
/s/ David W. Heath - JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years
/s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. - JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 3 years
/s/ James R. Roundtree - JSC Branch Chief, 26 years
/s/ Enoch Jones - JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years
/s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin - JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years
/s/ Jack Knight - JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Division, MOD, 40 years
/s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft - JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years
/s/ Paul C. Kramer - JSC, Ass.t for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years
/s/ Alex (Skip) Larsen
/s/ Dr. Lubert Leger - JSC, Ass't. Chief Materials Division, Engr. Directorate, 30 years
/s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell - JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years
/s/ Donald K. McCutchen - JSC, Project Engineer - Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years
/s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser - Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years
/s/ Dr. George Mueller - Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years
/s/ Tom Ohesorge
/s/ James Peacock - JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years
/s/ Richard McFarland - JSC, Mgr. Motion Simulators, 28 years
/s/ Joseph E. Rogers - JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years
/s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum - JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Division, Engr. Dir., 48 years
/s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt - JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years
/s/ Gerard C. Shows - JSC, Asst. Manager, Quality Assurance, 30 years
/s/ Kenneth Suit - JSC, Ass't Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years
/s/ Robert F. Thompson - JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years
/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer - Hdq., Mgr. Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, 15 years
/s/ Dr. James Visentine - JSC Materials Branch, Engineering Directorate, 30 years
/s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried - JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years
/s/ George Weisskopf - JSC, Avionics Systems Division, Engineering Dir., 40 years
/s/ Al Worden - JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years
/s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller - JSC, Meteorologist, 5 years

If it is fact, it apparently must stand on its own, having no external references to data and or peer reviewed studies refuting NASA's claims. The claims and accusations they level at NASA seem to be lacking in both specific examples and finite logic behind their reasoning. I don't know how this letter could be construed as anything but opinion given its brevity and lack of cross referencing regardless if the message is pro or anti NASA's position.

As many identify themselves as engineers and scientists, perhaps they could achieve a greater effect by publishing on arxiv and submitting to a peer reviewed journal the details of their claims? Right now I can only guess what in the hell their logic is and look at the lengthy list of people who have probably done little if any climate modeling or climate research.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661223)

Wow. Because when I want an opinion on climate change, I automatically turn to astronauts, shuttle leading edge system managers, and pogo prevention panel chairs.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661357)

"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."
Funny how the chicken little's so easily dismiss all the climate scientists that disagree with the claim that the sky is falling and demonize anyone who attempts to point them out.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661617)

And how many of those aren't taking money from the coal, oil or other industries whose very livelihood depends on them downplaying the evidence?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661837)

There is that, although it's also true that mainstream scientists take money from government grants and related sources, meaning their very livelihood depends on the reverse. And I say that as someone who more or less accepts the argument that global climates are changing. (There, now I can get downmodded by both sides.)

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661875)

...and demonize anyone who attempts to point them out.

Good job proving his point...

Re:If It Is Fact ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661637)

They're not climate scientists for the most part. They're engineers, physicists, or janitors that let their religious economic positions dictate their position on science they are unqualified to judge.

So which oil company is paying you, little shill?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661719)

"Funny how the chicken little's so easily dismiss all the climate scientists that disagree with the claim that the sky is falling and demonize anyone who attempts to point them out."

What's funny how all those alleged "climate scientists" cited in this letter have yet to publish a single paper that contradicts the consensus view that global warming is real and man-made: "That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords “climate change... Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position." -- http://www.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full [sciencemag.org]

Re:If It Is Fact ... (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661889)

> What's funny how all those alleged "climate scientists" cited in this letter have yet to publish a
> single paper that contradicts the consensus view that global warming is real and man-made:

On NPR it was pointed out that when Einstein published his work on relativity, similar "Statement by X number of scientists" statements came out. His reply, which I think is an absolutely appropriate and correct application of "the stink test" was simply to point out that in the scientific realm, it only takes one person with a cogent argument to disprove something. Science is not an exercise in consensus.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662075)

"it only takes one person with a cogent argument to disprove something." -- Wrong. It takes empirical evidence, not a cogent argument. The consensus view that the earth is getting warmer is backed by literally hundreds of published papers each of which cite physical evidence, measurement, models, etc. If there was a case to be made that the consensus view is wrong, there would have to be *some* evidence out there somewhere that contradicts the consensus view. There is not, and that' is why there are no papers describing it.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661739)

Perhaps they want to revisit the whole Earth is Flat versus Round debate. I think there is new evidence which casts doubt on those rounders.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661813)

hundreds of well-known climate scientists???? where did you get this miraculous list from?

tens of thousands of other scientists??????? where did you get this even more miraculous list from?

how many of them are being paid by the oil and coal industries?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661899)

"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."
Funny how the chicken little's so easily dismiss all the climate scientists that disagree with the claim that the sky is falling and demonize anyone who attempts to point them out.

Largely because they don't exist. Hundred's of well-known climate scientists? Bullshit. Tens of thousands of other scientists? More Bullshit. And, even if they had them, science is not driven by voting.

Oh, and in the climate community, this is regarded as settled.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661407)

Wow. Because when I want an opinion on climate change, I automatically turn to astronauts, shuttle leading edge system managers, and pogo prevention panel chairs.

As opposed to has-been politicians?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661451)

Haha. You wouldn't be saying this if they supported the global warming thesis. Everything about this is hilarious. Loving it.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661779)

Um people making critical comments on subject matter with which they have no background, yes I'd have a problem regardless of their position. Because they would be talking out of their asses.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661663)

Wow. Because when I want an opinion on climate change, I automatically turn to astronauts, shuttle leading edge system managers, and pogo prevention panel chairs.

You mean people NASA? Not only did you just describe these former NASA employees, but you also described the current ones. I put as much credence in former NASA employees as I do current ones. Maybe a bit more since the former employees accomplished something.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662063)

No, that doesn't describe all NASA employees, past or present. NASA employs many climate scientists who's opinions on climate change would be credible.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661743)

Must stop Pogo...

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661769)

Because when I want an opinion on climate change, I automatically turn to astronauts

I'll make a deal with you guys: you shut your mouths about science you don't understand, and we'll stop reminding you that you were "spam in a can". Deal?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661825)

Which is exactly why NASA should stay at space exploration.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661939)

Wow. Because when I want an opinion on climate change, I automatically turn to astronauts, shuttle leading edge system managers, and pogo prevention panel chairs.

The majority of scientists speaking in favor of AGW are not climatologists either. Proponents of global warming don't seem to mind that, though. Canada's leading climate change crusader... David Suzuki... is a zoologist. We've heard for years that you only need a background in STEM to understand climate issues, since most such people speaking to the media in favor had such backgrounds. Being a "generic scientist" was enough, if you were on the right side. So now that critics with STEM backgrounds speak up... oh, now you have to be a climatologist?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661271)

What do you mean, they have a Meteorologist on the list...

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661359)

Since it contains no facts, the only it can be is an opinion. Unfortunately, this seems to be the first line of defense for a large number of people. Once we started electing leaders, in mass, who only care about opinions; you know this country will be on a down slide.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661409)

> As many identify themselves as engineers and scientists, perhaps they could achieve a greater effect by publishing on arxiv and submitting to a peer reviewed journal the details of their claims?

This is a list of 900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm

http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

Which is a nice number since Climategate showed us how climate researchers use pressure tactics to keep these papers out of journals ;)

> look at the lengthy list of people who have probably done little if any climate modeling or climate research.

Obviously they are not climatologist, because if you are a climatologists and catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is debunked you are out of a job ;)

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661579)

1:CO2 induces the greenhouse effect, TEST THIS YOURSELF.

    -->here is the wikipedia article on the greenhouse effect:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect [wikipedia.org]

    -->and here are the youtube links showing HOW to do an experiment showing CO2 induces the greenhouse effect

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge0jhYDcazY [youtube.com]

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo [youtube.com]

2:Humans emit a LOT of CO2 (oil or coal + O2 + ... = energy + CO2 + soot + ...

  1+2 = AGW.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661661)

Because we should set world economic policy based on a High School experiment.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661903)

Why not Grover Norquist and 270 members of Congress did.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661865)

1+2 = AGW, fine, but don't forget to multiply by 0.00039445% (0.039445%), which is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Add to that that the 0.039445% is not evenly distributed, with most of it found at altitude
Computer the long-term specific heat trends of the oceans (80% of surface)on 11 year solar and 26,000 year precessional cycles,

Then argue that it's the high-altitude 0.039445% of the atmosphere and not the oceans that dominate weather at the surface.

Keeping in mind that the water vapor is far more potent greenhouse gas, and is 0.4% of the atmosphere (over 10x more common than CO2) which can be found on all three states in proximity to the surface.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662035)

You're forgetting that we are changing the balance of energy escaping and energy being caught by the atmosphere. even when the amount of energy being trapped increases by only as much as a tenth of percent, would lead in the long run to a much warmer planet.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661965)

Throw some plants in there and see if science is as simple as you, or the AGW proponents make it. Guess what, CO2 is such a small proportion of the atmosphere, other greenhouse gases are far, far more important in providing the greenhouse effect - like water. Or didn't you know that water was also a greenhouse gas? Do you know that red noise fed into the ICC climate models always produce global warming? (Translation: they used rigged models) Or are you a dilettante armchair climatologist who has never actually tried to perform a well controlled scientific experiment, which is why you think 1+2=AGW?

The reality is that the CO2 hoax is driven by very powerful corporate and political interests who want to tax you for breathing and have absolutely no concern for real environmental issues like deforestation, overfishing, toxic waste, nuclear fallout, etc. CO2 is plant food, not a toxic substance. Secondly, there is NO evidence that humans cause global warming, or the conveniently restated climate change (if you recall, last year we had record cold temperatures and there was no talk of global warming), unless you think the industrial machinery during the Medieval Warm Period was just that much more reliant on oil or coal + O2 = energy + CO2 soot...

Re:If It Is Fact ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662077)

very powerful corporate and political interests

very funny :

Plants Need CO2, a non-profit with ties to the coal industry

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661517)

It seems their goal is to get NASA to refrain from talking about science because it is too political and damages their reputation among people who don't like science.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661727)

It seems their goal is to get NASA to refrain from talking about science because it is too political and damages their reputation among people who don't like science.

Right. We should leave the climate science to the biologists.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I wonder when they removed "Climatology" from their name.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (2)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662089)

NASA has more than a dozen satellites studying the earths climate, more than any other group in the world.
NASA spends more money studying climate science than all other federal agencies combined.


Those two facts seem to put them at the forefront of scientific research into the earth's climate. Who exactly do you propose would be better suited to launching the satellites and doing the research? Or is this problem better left to "private industry" to solve?

Re:If It Is Fact ... (4, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (5, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661715)

There's one expert there, which is impressive, far more than most pointless climate petitions. Thomas Wysmuller appears to be responsible for at least 10 or 20 presentations on the subject of how climate change is "false", but oddly enough, not one real factual, data driven, peer reviewed paper published in any journal or anything.

How odd, you'd think such an expert who had such strong opinions and spent so much time on the subject would have, some, you know, research they produced. Nope. I see several distinct "alternate" theories with his name attached, some of which somehow manage to contradict each other in general terms.

It's like he's throwing his name behind every single thing that is opposed to anthropogenic climate change without actually being informed. How bizarre.

Re:If It Is Fact ... (3, Insightful)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662005)

It should be noted they are mostly at JSC, which is in Houston, Texas, which is the home base of America's oil and gas industry. Based purely on geography they are located in the focal point of denial that fossil fuels are contributing to global warming.

I wouldn't be particularly suprised if its also a partisan effort to pander to the Republican party. Obama hasn't been particularly kind to JSC's funding or future prospects so I'm guessing they are hoping for a Romney win this fall, and for Republicans to retake the Senate. Its a gamble but if that happens, then they can tout their vocal support for the Republican party's position on climate change when they go to D.C. with their hat in hand for new funding. Presambly funding for some manned launcher that will put billions in their coffers, provide them with job security for a few years and which they will probably fail to actually build or launch.

JSC can suck it (5, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662055)

So you've got a bunch of space shuttle guys from Johnson Space Center, which does pretty much zero climate science, asking the administrator to censor the group at Goddard Space Flight Center, which is co-located with NOAA and is the center for earth sensing and earth science about an earth-science related topic? Really?

And yes, I happen to be a former NASA/Goddard principal engineer with a whole wall of mission paraphernalia on my office wall. So, hey, JSC can suck it.

Did Anyone Else (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661221)

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?

Re:Did Anyone Else (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661283)

It sure hurts to read, doesn't it :-( gives me that same awful sick feeling as VHE sites.

Re:Did Anyone Else (1, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661489)

CFCs don't make the planet warmer. They deplete the Ozone layer.

Which Has the Net Result of What Exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661867)

CFCs don't make the planet warmer. They deplete the Ozone layer.

Tell that to Australia ... here's a hint: with no ozone layer, we'd eventually be like the moon with approximately 212 F during the day to about -300 F during the night.

Re:Which Has the Net Result of What Exactly? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662023)

This is so wrong, I'm not even going to get into it.

Re:Did Anyone Else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661989)

CFCs don't make the planet warmer.

Yes they do. CFCs are greenhouse gases.

They deplete the Ozone layer.

That too.

It's What Plants Crave! (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661767)

Sigh. A lot of the opposition to evolution isn't just to drag in the religious-conservative voters, it's to get them used to distrusting science. The "Don't trust Climate Change Science" is the real payload, because there are a lot of companies that don't want the government regulating their industries, and they'd rather have idiocracy.

The reason (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661231)

"The 49-person letter was organized by Leighton Steward, chairman of Plants Need CO2, a non-profit with ties to the coal industry."
And thats all I needed to know before I stopped reading.

I like NASA's response (4, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661295)

"Okay, if you want to complain about us doing science, then do it in the methods that science accepts complaints." A letter like this is the equivalent of a toddler stamping its foot because its mother told him that cookies will make him fat.

Re:I like NASA's response (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661427)

the equivalent of this :

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

would be this :

A letter like this is the equivalent of a toddler stamping its foot because the cookie industry says cookies are very tasty

Re:I like NASA's response (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661893)

I like the part where they claim that we have "thousands of years of empirical data without an impact on global climate change", but if they really looked at the data, they would see that we have lots of near catastrophic events in that data and the planet's system is actually very fragile and prone to pollution events, look at this example from 1816 Year Without a Summer [wikipedia.org] .

How much CO2 is in the atmosphere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661429)

Not a lot:
https://autonomousmind.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/co2_ppm.jpg

Breaking news! (4, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661443)

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

Film at 11.

Re:Breaking news! (0)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661561)

Roughly half of Americans are have below average intelligence. Could they be.... the same half?

Re:Breaking news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661789)

With that kind of grammar I wonder if YOU are in that same half....

Misleading Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661463)

"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 MANMADE carbon dioxide is a major cause of climate change. Is the claim in this letter opinion or fact?"

Inconveniently forgot "manmade" in the summary

Maybe a bit far... (4, Insightful)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661531)

but James Hansen, the Head of NASA's Goddard Institute coming out and saying that Oil CEOs should be tried for crimes against humanity for emitting CO2 very much hurts NASA's credibility on science.

Fixed the title for you... (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661545)

"Plants Need CO2, a non-profit with ties to the coal industry, accuse agency of ‘extreme position’ on climate change"

engineers are not scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661569)

Engineers and Apollo astronauts are not climate scientists.
Do we really need another lesson on why engineers are not jack of all trades
Scientists?

Re:engineers are not scientists (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661831)

And no better than plumbers. My apologies to plumbers everywhere. Plumbers are useful to society, Astronauts...not so much...

Why don't they just say get rid of NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661573)

It seems to me nothing is proven. So NASA should say nothing. It then follows there is no point in NASA. We should stop teaching science in schools too. I am so glad that we have climate deniers and creationists looking out for us. They only want what's best for us right. It not like they have any personal interest involved.

Opinion - of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661589)

Their opinion is that some people at NASA have stretched the science beyond the breaking point.

If this were a matter of easily provable fact, they wouldn't have had to write the letter. The science would be truly be settled.

Re:Opinion - of course (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661873)

Not quite: "We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject."

Unfortunately for the 49 pin-heads, the Science support remarks made by NASA.

Do any of them know what they're talking about? (5, Insightful)

wilson_c (322811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661621)

Are any of the signatories to the letter actually climate scientists? I recognize that shuttle engineers and astronauts from 40 years ago are probably interesting people to hang out with, but do they have any personal expertise on which to base their argument? 'cause otherwise it sounds like a bunch of grumpy old dudes whingeing.

Closer than Al Gore (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661723)

You believe the inventor of the Internet when he says there's global warming, so we all assumed you'd believe anyone on pretty much anything.

Worth noting (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661667)

The last time major figures signed a letter skeptical of global warming, it turned out that the letter they had actually signed was NOT the letter that their signatures ended up attached to. The letter they had actually signed was not skeptical of AGW but skeptical of the level of accuracy to which specific claims had been given - a very different thing.

I do not know if this is the case with the NASA letter, but "once bitten, twice shy" as they say. Now that there has been examples of outright forgery by climate cynics (they don't deserve the label of skeptic), absolutely no such letter should be considered credible or honest until the signatories confirm that that was indeed the letter signed and that they understood it to mean what it is taken to mean.

Until such time, there is an onus on the DOJ to investigate prior substantiated forgeries to determine if they constitute a criminal activity. Sure, they probably don't in America, but nonetheless it is NOT the function of law-enforcement and the justice department to avoid determinations with political implications, it is their job to ensure that the criminal law of the land is actually followed. And you can't ensure that by ignoring things that are "sensitive". (I'm actually thinking of Enron, Lehrman Brothers, etc, prior to their respective collapsees when they were popular but red-flagged by anyone looking at what was really happening. Feel free to substitute other attempts to evade responsibility if you like, though.)

Ex-NASA employees (5, Insightful)

dlapine (131282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661689)

I take some relief in noting that these are "ex-NASA" employees.

Per the article, it seems that these guys mostly worked at the Texas-based Johnson space center:

"Keith Cowing, editor of the website NASA Watch, noted that the undersigners, most of whom have engineering backgrounds, worked almost exclusively at the Houston-based Johnson Space Centre, a facility almost entirely removed from NASA's climate change arm."

Figures.

Why is it that there are so many amateur climatologists in Texas who know so much, but publish so little? I wonder if these gentlemen even bothered to visit the site of the "Plants Need CO2" sponsor, Leighton Steward, to see who also agreed with their opinions. I'm not linking to that site, and I'd surely want to avoid association with anyone with ideas like that.

Maybe Steward just punked them. Yep, that's go to be it.

Not convincing (5, Informative)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661701)

So what? You could find numerous doctors and scientists with ties to the tobacco industry trying to tell us that cigarettes don't cause lung cancer and how second-hand smoke is safe just a couple decades ago. There is nothing novel about a group of people with financial ties to industries peddling fossil fuels to be spreading FUD over climate research.

This is sad (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661731)

It is sad that respectable scientists and engineers would debase themselves in this fashion. I frankly suspect that they are being used by someone, but it doesn't excuse it.

Re:This is sad (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661827)

It's pretty simple. Their shills for the coal industry.

The official Slashdot party line... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661765)

... is apparently that 'man made global warming' is real.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case.

www.climatedepot.com

Which parts of that don't you understand? Thick idiots.

Re:The official Slashdot party line... (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661879)

Yes, a website run by a non-profit group with ties to the oil and coal industries. Truly a non-biased source of information.

Why is Slashdot still trying to debate it? (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661829)

Why does Slashdot still waste their readers' time with this debate? Are we going to have a series of posts of people questioning evolution and the second law of thermodynamics?

Re:Why is Slashdot still trying to debate it? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662001)

Wait they came out with a Second law? Damn and I just got done with the First!

Burn the heretic! (2, Insightful)

Petron (1771156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661911)

I like it when science can be challenged, reviewed. When theories can be questioned. When models can be tested and retested with out being called a heretic and locked in a dungeon until you conform.

If I question BFSS model in M-Theory, people consider it scientific, and willing to debate and explore alternate theories.
If I question the carbon model in global warming theory, people claim it's unscientific, and continue ad hominem attacks.

Re:Burn the heretic! (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662021)

When you question it, yes. When Scientists question it, no. See the difference.

....as soon as you read the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661963)

we knew it was going to be relative crickets for this story.

bunch of goddamn liberal techies on slashtard.

once confronted with real scientists who say "it's bullshit"

watch them all tangent and squirm, or just leave an uncomfortable silence.

this whole global warming thing has been an exploding cigar in the face of the liberals.

morons.

seems pretty logical to affect what you can.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

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