Year 3, Month 4, Day 23: Houston, You Have A Problem…

The Houston Chronicle reports on the latest cloud of bafflegab from the denialist masterminds:

Four dozen former NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists have written a letter to the space agency decrying its advocacy of “catastrophic” climate change.

“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,” states the letter, addressed to administrator Charles Bolden.

“We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”

Among the signatories are seven Apollo astronauts, including Harrison “Jack” Schmitt and Walt Cunningham, and two former directors of Johnson Space Center.

Although not explicitly named in their letter, the 49 signatories are unhappy with the outspoken head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, who is one of the world’s most prominent climate scientists.

Jackasses. Sent April 14:

When a planetary physician of the highest possible stature excoriates those who are hindering meaningful action on climate change, it’s news. “A moral issue comparable with slavery” — strong words from James Hansen, a man with unimpeachable scientific credentials and a self-evident ethical core. How can those poor oppressed conservative think-tanks fight back? It’s a standard move in the climate-change denial business: when something happens that might move public opinion even a little bit toward recognition of a global emergency, they’ll launch a Letter Signed By Many People (LSBMP).

Dr. Hansen is a NASA employee? They’ll counter with an LSBMP signed by forty-nine NASA astronauts and engineers (including a few scientists for good measure). Sounds impressive, but none of the signatories are climate scientists. Their use of the LSBMP to deliver spurious expertise confirms the moral force of Dr. Hansen’s argument. The scientific argument, of course, was settled long ago.

Warren Senders

A comment which demonstrates that you’ve not actually read the article in question. A group of engineers and astronauts wrote a letter full of nonsensical statements about climate change, without actually refuting any of the things that real climate scientists actually say about the situation. In this context, the fact that none of the people saying stupid things is a climatologist is entirely germane.

On the other hand, you would appear to pass a Turing test, which is more than I can say for most of the comments I get around here.

“Sounds impressive, but none of the signatories are climate scientists.”

Wow, I thought the ‘he’s not a climate scientist’ excuse was all but dead. Not so, its alive and well. A real scientist knows that science is understandable by everyone, when it is secretive and arcane, and the only people who can understand it are climate scientists only, that’s the first sign that something is seriously wrong.


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