Credit: Climate Change Encyclopedia

Letter to NASA is Common Ploy in Climate Change Denial

Article Updated: 26 Apr , 2016

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A group of 49 former NASA employees from Johnson Space Center have written a letter to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, requesting that the space agency refrain from “unproven and unsubstantiated remarks” regarding how human activities are causing global climate change.

“As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position … is inappropriate,” says the letter. “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS(Goddard Institute for Space Studies) that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.”

The letter was reportedly supported by Leighton Steward from the Heartland Institute, an organization known for its stance of trying to cast doubt on global warming science.

“NASA has always been about looking out to the skies and beyond, not burying our heads in the sand,” climate scientist Michael Mann told Universe Today in an email “This is an old ploy, trying to cobble together a small group of individuals and make it sound like they speak with authority on a matter that they have really not studied closely. In this case, the effort was led by a fossil fuel industry-funded (climate change) denier who works for the Heartland Institute, and sadly he managed to manipulate this group of former NASA employees into signing on to this misguided statement.”

Mann added that 49 people out of tens of thousands of former and current NASA employees is just a tiny fraction, and that “NASA’s official stance, which represents the full current 16,000 NASA scientists and employees, is clear if you go to their website or look at their official publications: human-caused climate change is real, and it represents a challenge we must confront.”

NASA has responded to the letter, inviting those who signed it – which includes Apollo astronauts, engineers and former JSC officials – to join the debate in peer-reviewed scientific literature and public forums.

“NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry, including the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate,” wrote Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist. “As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue ‘claims’ about research findings. We support open scientific inquiry and discussion.”

“If the authors of this letter disagree with specific scientific conclusions made public by NASA scientists, we encourage them to join the debate in the scientific literature or public forums rather than restrict any discourse,” Abdalati concluded.

As several different people have noted — including former astronaut Rusty Schweickart who was quoted in the New York Times — most of those who signed the letter are not active research scientists and do not hold degrees in atmospheric sciences or fields related to climate change.

Schweickart, who was not among those who signed the letter, said in the New York Times that those who wrote the letter “have every right to state and argue for their opinion,” and climate scientist Gavin Schmidt added in the article that people stating their views is completely legitimate, “but they are asking the NASA administrator to censor other peoples’ (which is something else entirely).”

The letter from the former NASA employees – including Apollo astronauts Jack Schmitt, Walt Cunningham, Al Worden, and Dick Gordon — chides that since “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.”

Schmidt wrote previously on the RealClimate website that he certainly agrees the science is not settled. “No scientists would be scientists if they thought there was nothing left to find out…The reason why no scientist has said this (that the science is settled) is because they know full well that knowledge about science is not binary – science isn’t either settled or not settled. This is a false and misleading dichotomy.”

However, he added, “In the climate field, there are a number of issues which are no longer subject to fundamental debate in the community. The existence of the greenhouse effect, the increase in CO2 (and other GHGs) over the last hundred years and its human cause, and the fact the planet warmed significantly over the 20th Century are not much in doubt.”

For further reading:
Letter from former NASA employees
Letter from Waleed Abdalati
Article by Andrew Revkin in the New York Times
Article by Eric Berger in the Houston Chronicle
NASA’s Climate Change website
Real Climate

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165 Responses

  1. shawnirwin says:

    These people will swear on their mother’s grave that god exists, they have no possible way they can prove it . . . . but being the hypocrites that they are, they will complain about NASA asserting that climate change is due to human activity.

    • Cam Kirmser says:

      Strawman.

      God is FAITH, not science, the two are far from each other as, to use my fiance’s turn of phrase, “as far as the Sun is from Pluto.” Faith cannot be proven, that’s the whole idea behind FAITH.

      What NASA asserts, without PROOF, is merely their opinion. To make it worse, the opinion is driven by politics.

      Put NASA’s current politically driven assertions through the rigor of the Scientific Method and then get back to us.

      • shawnirwin says:

        No, they are not “far from each other”. . . . when it comes to the truth, whether it is religion or science, the truth still requires the same logical foundation. Faith is the invention of the decievers or the un-enlightened, it is but a method used by parasites to deceive the unwary into believing that which benefits the parasites. Parasites are common in nature too, it is their means of survival. When you try to use the word “faith” to argue for a point that should be (if it were really true) even more important (the idea of a soul and eternal life) than any question of science, and yet place a lesser burden of proof upon it, you are really only exposing your own naïveté.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Yes, they are. The Church’s, until recently, condemnation of Galileo’s work is a clear demonstration.

        However, you neatly sidestep the more relevant point. Here, I’ll repeat it for you;

        Put NASA’s current politically driven assertions through the rigor of the Scientific Method and then get back to us.

      • jim fulkerson says:

        Where is your evidence that NASA’s assertions are “politically driven?” Any references or specific examples?

        Being that you frame the debate with this assumption, it should be more than easy for you to cite evidence, correct?

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        My evidence is that NASA is accepting AGW as fact without proof.

        That’s politics, not science.

      • Dave123 says:

        C’mon Cam…stop with this bluffing about proof. If you had a card up your sleeve, you would be forthcoming about what you think proof of something is, and why AGW doesn’t meet it. But you don’t….this is just a denialist game.

        By the way, I think if you look carefully at what NASA says and certainly what the IPCC says, they don’t say fact….they use very careful language about “high degree of certainty”.

        Look, I’ll play a little while longer- you put up a myth and I’ll show the evidence that shoots you myth down. At the end, we’ll be left with no viable explanation for current warming except AGW.

      • jim fulkerson says:

        Faith is not science, but your assertion that they are far apart simply isn’t rooted in the reality of the relationship of reason and faith.

        Reason and faith work together all the time. If a stool looks and feels sturdy enough to stand on through observation, it is reasonable to assume that it will support your weight. But it actually standing on it takes faith in that reason.

  2. Tom Blersch says:

    It is not “denial” to insist that a scientific body practice science and not advocacy.

    • Really20 says:

      Applies to Exxon-funded “research” as well.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Then, show your arguments in opposition to “Exxon-funded research.” Let these arguments be put through the Scientific Method.

        However, no one has demonstrated – to my knowledge – that, just because Exxon may be the source of funds, that the opposing view is without merit.

        So, show that they were more than a source of money. Show that they tainted the research. Perhaps also show that the funding for pro-AGW research is not subject to the same biases you lodge against the anti-AGW research.

  3. Julian Maytum says:

    I say we subsidize anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change so they can move next to the ocean. No bailouts though. Although your subsidy application forms will come with a free mask, snorkel, sunblock and an instruction manual on how to doggy paddle. The included map may or may not point you in the right direction 🙂

    • Edward James says:

      why does Al Gore invest in beach front property?

    • jjbreen says:

      Umm, that argument, “THE OCEANS ARE RISING” is well … bogus … Totally and completely Bogus. Al Gore told us in 2006 the oceans will rise 20 FEET. Now that was 6 years ago. NEWS FLASH: The oceans have not even rose 6″ in the past 6 years, let alone 3″. The average is 3.1 +/- MM a year or .122 inches. As stated, for the oceans to reach Al Gore’s 20 Feet, it will take just over 1,500 + YEARS to get there!

      • nanuk2 says:

        He may very well have been flagrantly wrong. But there’s no guarantee that today’s rate of change will hold steady. Do a little reading about “Tipping Points” in the climate models.

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong. Several low lying archipelago nations have already lost yards of beachfront… So, again… Wrong.

      • WaxyMary says:

        Jeff,

        You are indeed correct with what you say. However the additional over burden of water, fresh and salt to each part of any ocean or extremely large body of water causes the deflection of the bottom of that basin to some extant as well as presenting as a rise in seal level at that area. The extant can be wildly variable, as wildly as the ‘bed rock’ varies -from chalk to granite, pumice and hardened lava melt to dense vitrified mantle. Some of these materials will allow greater deflection downward which might tend to increase the observed sea level offset.

        It really all depends of course on the rocky types of mantle and their makeup at depth and the amount of glacial melt being returned to the oceans, the amount of rainfall vs snowfall, the amount of water no longer being tied up in the icy environment as well as that melted from prior eras.

        Additionally isn’t it true there are millions of tons of fluffy debris entering our atmospheric volume each year ranging from small fireballs to non-visible frozen ponds worth of water (which might not show on anyone’s radar)?

        Mary

    • jjbreen says:

      Umm, that argument, “THE OCEANS ARE RISING” is well … bogus … Totally and completely Bogus. Al Gore told us in 2006 the oceans will rise 20 FEET. Now that was 6 years ago. NEWS FLASH: The oceans have not even rose 6″ in the past 6 years, let alone 3″. The average is 3.1 +/- MM a year or .122 inches. As stated, for the oceans to reach Al Gore’s 20 Feet, it will take just over 1,500 + YEARS to get there!

  4. Dampe says:

    Does anyone have the statistic of how much CO2 is Natural vs. Man Made? I’m curious. I read in a report that human contribution is something around 3 percent but I can’t recall where I read that as it was some time ago.

    Also, I don’t like the term ‘denial’ being used in science, especially towards scientists. These people are ‘skeptics’ of the science, not outright ‘denialists’.

    • Windemere says:

      I don’t know Natural vs. Man-made but total co2 is .036% of our atmosphere.

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong. Are you a climate scientist? No? Then how do you know that such a small percentage of CO2 doesn’t matter? If it’s such a trivial amount, why don’t we just get rid of it all then see what happens? Wrong.

      • agimarc says:

        Typical appeal to authority – a logical fallacy. Hansen is not a climate scientist either, yet he makes millions every years running his mouth.

        If all the CO2 goes away, so does the vast majority of life on earth, as CO2 is plant food. There is a level that is approached during the ice ages below which plant life does not grow very well at all. Cheers –

  5. Eppur_si_muove says:

    And here we go again 🙂

    What annoys me the most is not the frivolous back and forth debating, but the fact that no matter who’s right, we can all at least agree that the planet is undergoing a dramatic climate change. If you do in fact believe that the planet is undergoing a dramatic climate change, then you must also realize that humans are not capable of adapting to such an extreme change, so quickly. This climate change is affecting all of us, to ensure the continued existence of our species something must be done in response to climate change. Whether you believe it’s a man made problem, or a natural problem, a solution is STILL needed. Sitting around pointing blame, closely followed by endless arguments, will not get us anywhere. *sigh*

    • Windemere says:

      Humans are the most adaptable species there is except maybe the cockroach. What solution to you suggest, first we have to have a cause to solve. If warming is natural, then what, we can take all co2 out of the atmosphere killing all plant life, now what, can we stop a hurricane, tornado, thunderstorm. So far we have adapted as needed, we found ways to live in hot climates, cold climates, inside the Earth, above the Earth, and hopefully soon on another planet that is not Earth. Playing chicken little does nothing but incite panic when none is needed.

  6. Cody Yeary says:

    I hate when people use that phrase “climate change denier”. Sounds like something the Catholic Church would have used – oh hes just a “geocentric denier”.

    Personally I’m not convinced either. Only since the late 1970s have we had complete data on global temps and it coincided with the start of the Pacific entering its warm phase and the Atlantic joined about 15 years later. I want to know what happens in 20 years when both oceans enter their cold phase. The Pacific is switching to a cold PDO and the Atlantic probably has another 15 to 20 years to go.

    To me the planet warming when the two largest oceans are in their warm phase seems just as logical as AGW. Last time both Atlantic and Pacific were in cold phases (70s) people thought there was an ice age coming.

    • ren00r says:

      People have short memory. It’s 40 years since everybody was afraid of new ice age. The evidence was undeniable. When you look at global temperature graph like HadCRUT3, the evidence is now gone. This is what everybody needs to realize before they say that our “planet is undergoing a dramatic climate change”. We’re trying to comprehend forces of nature that act on very long time scale – and that’s OK, but somebody is trying to convince ordinary people that everything is known to man, that we understand the global climate and MUST act now, because we are doomed for destruction. I don’t understand why people don’t question things they are told based on silly arguments and threats. And now I’m sad.

      • ozonator says:

        The new ice age was going to occur because of the nuclear winter. Extremist Republican and Christian media outlets also leave out this fact.

      • ren00r says:

        Unfortunately this isn’t the case. The significant decline in global temperature was real in 70’s, but then gradually faded to oblivion, supported by “real” scientific data. Just look at three versions of the same global temperature graph from GISS:
        http://dopice.sk/2lb

      • Eppur_si_muove says:

        “somebody is trying to convince ordinary people that everything is known to man”

        Who exactly is this “somebody” that you speak of? If everything is known to man, then surly the average person would be well informed as well, and the debate of future climate change, would be long and over with. The fact that the debate is still ongoing, shows the “ordinary people” that everything is not known. So I would not be too concerned of this boogeyman of yours, trying to convince the general public of anything at all.

        Where my concern does lie however, is within not knowing the “forces of nature that act on very long time scale”. If it is the case that the majority of scientist who are experts in the field, the convincing effects seen first-hand around the planet, and all the compiling evidence for climate change, all turn out to be false; then we can all have a good laugh about it, over a cup of coffee in the future. If it turns out that this is only the tip of the ice berg to a much larger, more irreversible problem, then is it not a safe bet to “act now”, as oppose to waiting later when the problem has become out of our control.

        Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people having trivial debates until the cows come home,… however would it not be extremely foolish/arrogant of us as humans, to just sit back and assume we’re right (because all is of course known), and not have a some sort of fail-safe, or backup solution??…you know, just in case these so called scientist turn out to be right. And in light of what’s at stake here, would you not agree that this is a smart fallback??

      • andrew g says:

        Yes, and 40 years ago we barely had colour television, basic world communications and primitive computing power by today’s standards, not to mention sketchy relevant satellite data to make such inferences. Surely you must accept that in those 40 years we have made sufficient progress in those fields that today’s predictions are massively more reliable than before.

      • ren00r says:

        40 years ago there were no computational models or simulations of weather. Also, I’m not talking about predictions (which, in my opinion, are highly inaccurate even today), but about data that these predictions use as input.

      • Windemere says:

        Much of the data today comes from stations ensconsed in heat islands called cities. Fewer and fewer data stations are in rural areas due to lack of funding to maintain them. IF co2 were retaining heat would not the satellites record a drop in escaping heat from the Earth, last time I checked there was no appreciable change in radiative heat loss from the Earth

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Ya, they wouldn’t account for the heat island effect… You better call them and point it out… Lol! WRONG!

      • Dave123 says:

        Both Windemere and Renoor are repeating long debunked myths about global warming. Whether its the urban heat island myth, or missing the data the satellite do indeed detect a drop in radiation because of CO2… all people convinced that what they “here” has some validity with no obligation to research for the truth.

        Here’s a nice simplified citation on the earth’s radiation budget- which also cites the primary literature behind it.

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11991&page=26

        Trenberth has published more complicated analyses of the radiation budget.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “Yes, and 40 years ago we barely had …”

        Yet, we went to the Moon.

        You were saying about the drawbacks of 40 years ago?

      • DrFlimmer says:

        There you see how “easy” it was to go to the moon compared to modeling the chaotic system of our atmosphere. Not to forget that the US government pumped a LOT of money into the moon program!

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Your point being … ?

      • DrFlimmer says:

        …how much better our models and simulations are compared to 40 years ago.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Yet, we cannot duplicate what was done 40 years ago.

        As for models and simulations, they are only as accurate as the designer’s skillset can make them. Further, they do not correct for human bias, unless the human does the correcting. But, if the human doing the correcting is biased – well, so much for correcting.

        However, all that aside, there is still no PROOF of AGW.

      • Dave123 says:

        You’ve made an assertion that we can’t duplicate what was done 40 years ago. What exactly hasn’t been duplicated and what is the origin of this opinion of yours?

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong. Pollution that was causing it was curbed and thus avoided the ice. Wrong.

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong. 100’s of 1,ooo’s of years of ice core data… Wrong.

  7. oldenvguy says:

    OK, I’m going to go out on a limb and reveal just how old I am. But I can recall that when I was doing atmospheric modeling in graduate school, our most significant development was getting a teletype machine installed in our lab. No more freaking punch cards! However, the teletype was a double edged sword. It’s relative speed (back then) meant we could crank through our models with reckless abandon. All it really took to generate the predictive correlations we were after was was enough coffee to keep us going into the late night hours. But we were fortunate to have a pretty good advisor who made sure that we knew our models were worthless unless supported by underlying physics, chemistry and , most importantly thermodynamics. So many of our models had to be trashed because of that. Such a shame. No wonder all those old NASA has beens are signing on. They must have had the some of the same experiences.

  8. Chris Langan-Fox says:

    I am astonished that a site such as this that usually reports well, seems to support those that ride roughshod over facts with emotive terms like ‘denier’. ALL science needs sound questioning and refuting effort. To compond the bias by talking of ‘financial support from fossil-fuel’ sources’ is just ludicrous.

    The taxpayer, who also pays for NASA, is railroaded into paying vast sums to an enormous number of rent-seekers busily altering factual date to suit a political aim. The taxes of ‘fossil-fuel interests’ also gets misappropriated to enhance the political message of the Global Warmist lobby.

    If forty staff from Nasa, who have sound scientific credentials, seek a voice in opposition to the prevailing paradigm, I would have expected this site to take mature notice, not just sing from the song-sheet.

    • ozonator says:

      At the height, about 5% of the nation’s GNP/GDP went into paying for those 49ers. As crime doesn’t pay, geologist Jack Schmitt dropped out of running for public office when he had to declare all his assets (wink wink nudge nudge). Conserving only Reagan alzheimer’s and slavery, “Apr 04, 2012 … Homage to the Heartland Institute … By Dr. Bill Gray … Before the Heartland meetings … I felt rather alone and shunned … internet blogs on which the real AGW science is now taking place. … ‘What is good for the Heartland Institute is good for our country and for the world’” (whistlesuckers perfuming the stink at icecap.us). And, still no debunked piece from Gray, “Doom and Gloom Liberals Will Use Hurricane To Advance Their Agenda … August 29, 2005 … Who is destroying the environment? We are! We caused the hurricane. … if global warming had an effect on hurricanes, it would be to reduce them, because the warming would take place in the polar spheres … William Gray, the big forecast from the University of Colorado, is even working on a piece now to try to debunk this” (the old, ugly and evil Rush “looting” Limbaugh whistlesucker perfuming the stink at rushlimbaugh.com).

      • agimarc says:

        Jack Schmidt was a single term US Senator from New Mexico 1976 – 1982. He was defeated by Jeff Bingaman. Appears that the asset declarations did not bother him all that badly. Cheers –

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong. Just because someone has scientific credentials doesn’t mean they’re knowledgeable in the 100’s of scientific fields that exist… So again…, Wrong

  9. Teranodon says:

    I like Universe Today, and I am not a hard-core “denier”, but the tone of this article is annoying. Look – there is legitimate disagreement and debate on this issue. That being the case, can’t this web site adopt a more civil tone. In this case, all that is needed is to add a set of quotation marks, plus “says Michael Mann”.

    I will add that MM is no hero of mine (his shoddy work is the cause of much of the debate on CC), whereas the Apollo astronauts definitely are heros.

    • Dampe says:

      Hear, hear!

      • DrFlimmer says:

        Not that again! Just because someone is a hero in ONE field, it doesn’t mean he is a hero in ANOTHER.

        Just like those former NASA employees. Most (if not all) of them have never studied climate in that kind of detail that is necessary to make a firm statement!

        Neither have I. So I rely on those who did!

    • Cam Kirmser says:

      “I like Universe Today, and I am not a hard-core “denier”, but the tone of this article is annoying.”

      I agree. As soon as I saw the word, “ploy,” in the headline, I knew that it was a hit-piece that had only one point of view and dismissed the one in opposition.

      • Dave123 says:

        Cam, you and the 49 hold the point of view that you have no obligation to be specific…or for that matter to publish in the peer-reviewed literature where everyone else puts for their ideas and arguments. The exceptionalism of your position (and theirs) is why this is and has been a ploy.

  10. maurizio52 says:

    “The letter was reportedly supported by Leighton Steward from the Heartland Institute, an organization known for its stance of trying to cast doubt on global warming science.”

    Global warming science? Should better “(climate) science about anthropogenic global warming”.

    About Heartland and “Casting Shadows”, what about Peter Gleich?
    What kind of shadow projected on the supporters of CAGW his attempt to steal documents about funding Heartland Institute, AKA Fakegate?

    Personally I think that Science is Never Settled, and that most of actual warming is “Mann”(et al.) made.

    Thankyou and best regards.

    Maurizio Rovati

    • DrFlimmer says:

      Yeah, “Science is never settled”. Nice weasel word.
      It’s true that a scientific theory cannot be “proven”. However, if the evidence is pointing in just ONE direction, it is almost like proven.

      And in this case: The evidence is clearly pointing into just ONE (and only one) direction beyond any doubt!

      • ren00r says:

        If you watch violin string vibrating for 1 milisecod, the evidence for string ripping apart from violin in next few miliseconds is absolutely clear.

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong. 100,000+ year old ice cores… Wrong.

      • maurizio52 says:

        The evidence? What evidence? Mann’s one?
        Please do not deny that temperature are steady at least since 15 years ago while CO2 levels are steadily rising.
        The same guys that claimed A. global cooling swithed to warming and now Science is settled only when they want it to be so? And when Data are not confortable with their computer models they, the “team” as they call themselves, attempt to rewrite those Data, not their models that are built around an unproven claim about climate sensitivity. Do they believe that the bigger the computer the stronger the evidence?

        By the way, do you think that Gleick is an hero? Some do, I think they are completely wrong.
        There are few things funded ($) in the world as AGW science and green economy, and Gleick attempted to demonstrate (by a fraud) that sceptics are funded by bigoils.
        He simply attempted to reverse reality, it’s not a good pratice for a scientist.

        Best regards.

        Maurizio Rovati

      • DrFlimmer says:

        1) I see that we experience particularly hot years in the last decade, albeit a natural up and down occurring from year to year (aka weather). I also see that due to a particularly warm year 1998 a plot from that year on might indicate a “steady” temperature. However, if you plot the same from, say, 1990 or even 1999 (maybe) it would look a little bit different. We are warming.

        2) Global Cooling was never such a scientific consensus as is now Global Warming. Not because they wanted, because the data says so.

        3) You clearly refer to “ClimateGate”, which was proven (and yes: proven!) several times being a fraud, a real manufactured fraud!

        4) Ah, nothing else in the world (what world?) is funded apart from AGW science and green economy? Really?

      • maurizio52 says:

        4- I told there are “few” things not “nothing else”, read please! What world? Is an interesting question, my answer is, mostly Western World.

        3- At the moment I am talking about Fakegate not Climategate, read please! And google Fakegate if you want.

        2- I am 60 and I remember the rising and the falling of that cooling hipotesis. I think Warming is still alive because it had more time with rising temps. I agree that some warming is driven by CO2 (about 1°C doubling CO2 conc.), I do not agree with the supposed climate sensitivity, all positive feedbacks, catastrophic claims…

        1- If we are on a termal plateau it does not mean that temps are rising. They are steady while CO2 is still rising. May be science is not settled enough?

        Best regards.

        Maurizio Rovati

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong. “hipotesis” … really? When your words have red lines underneath them they are… Wrong.

      • Jeff Boerst says:

        Wrong.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Are you a parrot? Do you think that, somehow, repeating the same word over and over again makes you right?

        Show the science to support AGW. Show the PROOF.

      • David Feitler says:

        CAm, Jeff is making the point that none of denialist are offering proof of anything. You are simply repeating long disproven myths, and demonstrating profound ignorance of the evidence.

      • DrFlimmer says:

        There is no proof in science. Only evidence. And there is a lot. Where is the evidence against AGW? That is your claim. And since you go against 97% of the experts, it is YOUR duty to present your evidence! Where is it?

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        The AGWers made the claim; it is up to them to prove it, if it is to be taken as fact. It is not up to the opposition to prove something false.

        If I claim that little green aliens are hidden away in Area 51, it is not up to those who disagree to prove me wrong. I must prove my assertion first.

        A claim without proof is not fact until disproven. That’s not how it works.

        Learn something about science.

      • DrFlimmer says:

        There is no proof in science. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence against it.

        97% of the climate scientist say that AGW is real and happening. That is enough for me, since THEY have studied that bl**dy thing for a very long time making them the experts and the authority to appeal to.

        Which experts do you appeal to? Where is your evidence AGAINST AGW?
        Your claim is the extraordinary one, not mine. The burden is upon you.

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong. If “science is never settled” than why does all this super-useful techi-electro thing-a-ma-bob devices we all rely on to live anymore….. WORK? Wrong.

      • maurizio52 says:

        Dear Jeff “wrong” Boerst, you are confusing Science and Technology in this case.

        Best “wrong” regards 😉

  11. ozonator says:

    Those 49 are only able to “scientifically” predict a free lunch. They should soon be coming out with another paid acting gig letter stating that Bangladesh doesn’t exist either as it isn’t mentioned in the conservatives’ bible. Thus, another billion dollar grant to Al Gore – “NASA to Study Climate Change in Bangladesh” (IANS; daijiworld.com, 4/13/12). And if Bangladesh does exist, the 49ers will blame the flooding victims for not letting in Louisiana Governor Jindal build sand berms along the coast with money from BP, Muslims who accept AGW disasters are terrorists, or something.

  12. ozonator says:

    Were you all at the same Little Ice Age seminar?

  13. zetetic elench says:

    when will the oil industry be declared a success? is it such a continuously dismal failure that it must be endlessly propped by taxpayers? why do oil industry lobbyists even exist?
    are they fearful they won’t be allowed to suck every last drop out of the earth and burn it in the atmosphere? it seems they have read Darwin and applied the lesson to industry.

    the pat answer is: remove the subsidies and you will only pay more for gas… HA!

    here is an ‘unhealthy’ green initiative: http://www.windenergy.com/commercial/industrial-applications

  14. Skipdallas1 says:

    The deniers of global warming are the industries that stand to lose something. Whether it be profits, or the specter of more regulation. These industries, their paid up politicians and the people that deny the facts accepted by scientists around the world for the “Man made” effects on our climate have but one agenda: Keep the money flowing in no matter what! And to hell with the environment.

    • Dampe says:

      While I mostly agree, unfortunately, both sides of the argument are guilty of this.

      – There is a lot of money to be made in the ‘green’ industry
      – Alarmist claims brings more funding (supports many careers)
      and…
      – A lot of youth votes are to be won by politicians.

      While I am sceptical of the catastrophic claims of ‘rising sea levels’ and ‘destruction of the Great Barrier Reef’, I really wish politicians and greedy industry would keep their noses out of the scientific argument. I would love a debate – between scientists – not greedy folks with their hands in everyones pocket.

  15. exray says:

    The “believers” have got 2 dots connected. The Earth is warming, CO2 levels are rising. The “deniers” assert this is not enough to establish a causal connection.
    Has anyone calculated the CO2 load that would be experienced if ALL the fossil fuels were burned? Has anyone been able credibly to define where the “tipping point” is leading to a thermal catastrophe (whatever that’s defined as?).
    Science is not democracy, where if 99% of scientists say we have man-made warming, then we do.

    • Windemere says:

      At one time 99% of all scientists believed the sun revolved around the Earth too, only continuing scientific research in the face of overwhelming opposition which included the possibility of jail, torture, brought out the truth of the solar system. Why should we relegate ourselves to another “Dark Age” because we believe in a consensus instead of facts.

    • Windemere says:

      At one time 99% of all scientists believed the sun revolved around the Earth too, only continuing scientific research in the face of overwhelming opposition which included the possibility of jail, torture, brought out the truth of the solar system. Why should we relegate ourselves to another “Dark Age” because we believe in a consensus instead of facts.

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong.

    • super_earth says:

      “Has anyone calculated the CO2 load that would be experienced if ALL the fossil fuels were burned?”

      Yes.

      The result would be a warming of more than 10 ºC, maybe even 15ºC. No glacier will remain on the planet. Sea level would be 60 meters higher(due to the total meltdown of Greenland and Antartica). The Tropics would be unhabitable and the climate of the Poles would be subtropical.

  16. mbarricarte says:

    To Ex NASA employees: try to find something better to do with your time than signing on to this misguided statement. Dont be manipulated by big oil bucks!!

  17. DrFlimmer says:

    Al Gore is no hero in the scientific community.
    “ClimateGate” was proven several times to be manufactured. The scientists behaved as they should and did nothing wrong!
    There is no blind devotion. Only a clear look at the facts.

  18. ITSRUF says:

    NASAs extreme position is inappropriate, and it shows NASAs lack of focus and purpose.

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        What an astounding argument you provide! I have seen it three times now, and I am overwhelmed by your thoughtful reasoning and detailed analysis of the views you oppose whereby you came up with your statement.

        Science should simply shut down and defer to your obviously enlightened intellect.

        By the way, do you recognize sarcasm when it is presented to you?

  19. jjbreen says:

    NASA is trying to find a “side” that will get them more $$$$ …

    Sad but true.

    Rev Al Gore told us the Oceans were going to rise: “20 FEET” .. Now this was told to us back when his Scam Video was released in -> 2006.

    Well here it is 6 years later and the Oceans have not even increased 3″ let alone 12″. Now for his 20 FT …

    Wow, do we have some serious catch up to do.

    Especially when the oceans are only rising at a very slow slow slow rate of 3.1 +/- MM … a year. Or for those who do not understand Metric that = to 3.1 millimeters = 0.122 inches. Go look that up w/a ruler and the calculate how many .122 inches it takes to create even 12 INCHES! Then check to see how many 0.122 it will take to create 20 FT!

    Basically at this rate it will be well beyond the year -> 3531 AD or 1,519 + years into the future. So so much for the oceans “flooding” the coasts line. IF that even happens. The 20 FT that is.

    BTW –> I know some snails/slugs / Inch Worms and Turtles that travel faster then that!

    Right now we have more snow pack and ice packs in Washington. They have been GROWING over the past 3+ years! (Oops) Were they not suppose to be shrinking?? (YES!)

    Bottom line – NASA’s budget is desperate and they are trying to find (Fight for) a side that will give them much much needed $$$$$$$$, pure and simple.

  20. Atanu Maulik says:

    Many of the promoters of this global warming bullshit are funded by Russia and OPEC. They are worried that the shale gas and oil revolution currently underway around the world may make nations like US and Israel and also EU energy independent. So it has to be stopped somehow.

    • super_earth says:

      Energy independence is one reason MORE to move away from fossil fuels.

      Oil has peaked in the USA 40 years ago. Since then production had been declining. The new slight increase in production in the last 4 years is from fields that are very expensive to operate, and deplete rapidly. Cheap oil is gone. Even the International Energy Agency recognize it.

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong.

    • Torbjörn Larsson says:

      Yikes, a conspiracy nut. Where do the denialists find this garbage?

    • Olaf2 says:

      The EU is becoming oil independent because of the high fuel and gas prices. More and more windmills and solar cells are being placed, people want less and less fuel consuming cars.

      If Russia and OPEC wants to keep on delivering oil then they should lower the price instead.

  21. TiffMich_2000 says:

    I am glad I am not the only one ashamed to see Universe Today publish such a highly liberal slighted story. For every 50 scientists that allege we have man-made global warming, we can find another 50 reputable ones that say it is not man-made. The earth has constantly gone through natural warming and cooling cycles… period.

    As long as this is a “hot topic” (pun intended), there is a lot of money to be made in “research”.

    • Olaf2 says:

      What do you mean 50/50?
      It is 49 versus 16,000!

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        All it takes is ONE.

        Just ONE proof to back up the AGW assertions.

        Why can’t all those thousands provide a SINGLE proof?

      • Olaf2 says:

        Maybe you start to educate yourself what science really is.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Irrelevant. You do not know what my background in science is.

        Science REALLY is that one PROOF will establish the veracity of an argument.

        Again, why can’t all those thousands provide a SINGLE proof?

      • Olaf2 says:

        I do know from your answer that you have no background in science.

        You think that science is some kind of religion and they search for THE TRUTH!

        So go back to the drawing board and educate yourself what science really is, and not the creationists definition this time.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “I do know from your answer that you have no background in science.”

        That must be it.

        I’m just a physics teacher rated highly qualified by the federal government.

        Nope, no science background there…

      • Olaf2 says:

        Yeah right, and my mum is the queen.

      • Dave123 says:

        I worry for your students. Most of the high school science teachers I know weren’t capable of doing science well enough to earn a living doing it. “Those who can’t do teach”

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Or, their career as a stealth engineer went belly-up when the Soviets caved.

        I worry for the United States when we start taxing and denying the property rights of others based merely upon an UNPROVEN theory.

        You want to insult me? Go for it. However, doing so in no way reinforces your argument.

        Science IS skepticism, but you AGWers swallow the unproven theory as if it were fact without even a nod to skepticism. And, you have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of not knowing anything about science?

        You have a lot to learn about science.

        Oh, but who can teach you? After all, “those who can’t do, teach.”

      • DrFlimmer says:

        Nope. That is not science. Science cannot prove a theory. I can only falsify it (which is a big difference!). Right now the theory of AGW is passing all the tests. Show the counterargument which brings it to fall! Your claim is against the view of 97% of the experts. Show your argument! Why are humans not causing the heating?

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “Science cannot prove a theory.”

        You have got to be kidding me.

        Providing a theory is part and parcel of the scientific method. Then, in order to accept that theory as fact, one then proves it via experimentation that can be duplicated by others.

        If so proven, then you’ve got a fact. If not – as in the case of AGW – then you either change the theory or accept that it remains THEORY, not fact.

      • DrFlimmer says:

        There is nothing like a proof (as what is commonly referred to) in science. A theory makes predictions which can be tested. If the theory passes the tests it remains valid (not proven).

        What you can do is falsifying a theory (which is something else than proving it).

      • Dave123 says:

        You dwell in the invincible armor of ignorance. AGW isn’t one thing or one claim. It is what is left when alternatives are disproven. As one alternative explanation after another fails experimental verification all that is left is AGW. And that is scientific proof.

        From a historical perspective, burning fossil fuels was predicted to cause global warming. Warming has been observed on a global scale and no alternative theory can stand experimental challenge, can fit the data. Further, AGWs individual components all have been experimentally validated.

        Just for giggles why don’t you tell us why evolution (which you confess to being an adherent of) is proven and AGW isn’t? Tell us about all the falsifiable experiments…I’ll bet I can do a better job of posing as a creationist than you can defending evolution.

      • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says:

        Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: “So far so good… so far so good… so far so good.” How you fall doesn’t matter. It’s how you land!

    • Jeff Boerst says:

      Wrong. As opposed to publishing the opposite which is so conservatively sided? So what, they don’t cover it at all? Liberal does not = wrong… so again… Wrong.

    • Torbjörn Larsson says:

      No, you cant find as many climate scientists that rejects the main finding of their science, that GW exists and AGW is possible (and ongoing), 98 % of them agrees on AGW.

      Heck, science denialists couldn’t find that many _NASA_ employees as Olaf2 notes. That is 99.7 % against your non sequitur list!

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “and AGW is possible ”

        Possible?

        Sure.

        Fact?

        Not so much.

        Facts are not derived by opinion or consensus. They are derived by proof. The AGWers sidestep that little tidbit repeatedly and the uninformed gobble it up.

  22. super_earth says:

    I have read some of the comments here. It’s sad how easily decades of science are ignored by so much people.

    The evidence for CO2 (and to a lesser extent, CH4) is the decisive “control knob” of global temperature is simply overwhelming. Now we are on track to erase tens of millions of years of cooling by returning to early-Cenozoic CO2 levels. Warming MUST happen. The laws of physics are not optional.

    Denying it today is not much different than creationism, geocentrism or flat-earthism.

    • Cam Kirmser says:

      Then, explain the Medieval Warm Period.

      • shawnirwin says:

        “Then, explain the Medieval Warm Period.” Sure, give us the data that was collected back then and we will . . . . isn’t that kind of a childish response? Anyone can tell you that there was insufficent data collected back then, you should be ashamed that they have to tell you that now!

      • David Feitler says:

        You do know that the people who published that article reponded to the British tabloid claiming it was evidence for a global Medieval Warm period…

        http://asnews.syr.edu/newsevents_2012/releases/ikaite_crystals_climate_STATEMENT.html

      • shawnirwin says:

        Good post David . . . . “Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study “throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming,” completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.” “

      • shawnirwin says:

        Your link is to “An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula”. This is even funnier than your last response . . . . did you think the chemistry or other info would intimidate me? Sorry to bust you bubble, but I am no stranger to chemistry. . . . and . . . when you start calling the data from the Holocene era (around 12,000 years ago) data from the Medieval Warm Period (about AD 950 to 1250), who could possibly take you seriously?

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        I’m not interested in intimidation, I leave that to your side of the fence.

        I’m also not all that interested in whether or not you take me seriously. You are among the believers and your faith will brook no opposing view, so you attempt to shut it down.

        Use science, rather than faith, and PROVE AGW.

        Simply do that. Otherwise, all you have is an opinion in which you believe, not a fact.

      • Dave123 says:

        Cam… What alternative hypothesis to AGW isn’t disproved? The facts are the earth is warming. Unless you want to argue with the Koch foundation funded BEST study at Berkely.

        We know the sun isn’t the cause, because the sun is relatively quiet the last few decades, solar irradiance is down.

        We know by lab measurements that CO2 and water vapor are greenhouse gases (as are methane, nitrogen oxides etc). Even sceptics such as Lindzen agree that there’s a ‘naked’ 1 degree C greenhhouse effect from CO2 increases. (This disagreement is about positive feedbacks…and Lindzen both refuses to make any substantive predictions and fails to provide any convincing demonstration the the positive feedbacks are wrong).

        As for faith based stuff….have you heard about the Cornwall Alliance? They’re an evangelical group that has a public declaration of faith that global warming can’t happen because their loving God wouldn’t permit it. Now that’s a real intervention of faith in the business…not some psychological projection.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “The facts are the earth is warming.”

        I do not disagree on that point.

        Where I disagree is on what is causing it.

        Further, I do not deny that Man is, perhaps, a cause. I simply do not know. Give me the proof and I will accept it.

        Before you start affecting people’s lives and livelyhood, you’d better have more to go on than a theory.

      • Dave123 says:

        Cam, you have no criteria for proof. If you were serious and honest you’d say “here’s what’s missing”. But you don’t. Your examples have been shot down, and yet you don’t get that when your data changes, you must change your position.

        I’m not going to get diverted into a discussion of the politics, and what sufficient evidence is to take political action. Let’s stick to the science.

      • shawnirwin says:

        If you think that calling the data from the Holocene era (around 12,000 years ago) data from the Medieval Warm Period (about AD 950 to 1250) is good science, trying to prove anything to you is about as productive as installing a screen door on a submarine. Besides the simple fact that I never, in any of my posts, claimed to be able to do that, and, simply pointed out some of the inconsistancies and idiocies in your posts. . .

      • 100 Billion Planets says:

        Just because the earth warms up without a CO2 increase doesn’t mean CO2 doesn’t warm up the earth.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Then, explain the Medieval Warm Period.

      • David Feitler says:

        My goodness… that’s really kinda easy. The Medieval warm period was regional weather. It wasn’t global. That’s really about it. Please share with us the peer reviewed literature that shows it’s global. Please don’t reference something in one of the British tabloids misinterpreting say for example a paper about proxy measurements in Antartica.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        No, I don’t, because I’ve made no claim.

        Read up on the scientific method; the AGW supporters have made a claim, it is up to them to prove it. So far, all they have is an opinion.

      • Dave123 says:

        Cam,

        Let me suggest a reference for you- “An introduction to scientific research” by E. Bright Wilson Jr.

        My claim is that you have imaginary notions of what the scientific method is and what proof is…and that because you have these imaginary notions, there is really no having a discussion with you….but there is a value in pointing out where you fail.

      • DrFlimmer says:

        Indeed.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “but there is a value in pointing out where you fail.”

        In other words, you can’t.

        Fact is not based on opinion, it is based upon proof. You want to believe in AGW? Go for it, no one’s stopping you.

        But, do not presume to dictate to others that they must also accept your faith.

      • Dave123 says:

        Let’s see- if you were able to have a discussion on this you would have cited peer-reviewed work demonstrating a global medieval warm period. Instead you mis-cite a U. Syracuse paper about a local measurment in Antartica. Of course, there is no peer reviewed work that shows a global MWP…Loehl is the best attempt and it fails…incomplete data and no geographic weighting.

        Let me pile on: Mars isn’t warming. Why don’t you read your National Geograhic article a little more closely- Your man, Abdussamatov claims Mars is warming now (last 3 summers) but later in the article he says (mostly correctly) that solar irradiance has been going down since 1990. You can’t have it both ways. Solar irradiance has rapid effects on temperature- especially when you don’t have heat sinks.

        And then your National Geographic article cites this rebutall as well:

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060913-sunspots_2.html

        There are other analyses- for example here:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-on-mars-intermediate.htm

        What is interesting about the conclusions (as well as the citations of Fenton 2007 Swast 2006) is that they don’t necessarily conclude that Mars isn’t warming….just the stronger conclusion that there’s no clear evidence of it.

        So Mars isn’t warming and thus there is no reason to question the ground and satellite measurement of total solar irradiance:
        http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_coverage.html
        and
        http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

        these data show no increasing solar irradiance trend to explain the earth’s increase in temperature. Instead, they show a bit of a downward trend.

        And yet the earth keeps getting warmer. Now you could go with Abdussamatov, and wait until 2040…. and see if the sun keeps getting cooler…but in the meantime, the measured energy budget keeps getting warmer…the energy continues to go into the ocean.

        Anyhow…. you’ve run away from these kinds of discussions, doing a little sniping here and there with one myth but ignoring it being shot down….which is why trying to have a conversation is impossible.

        Finally…. do read up on your Popper. And after doing that let’s talk about the notion of scientific proof…which for someone who makes the claim of being a science teacher, you have very oddly not brought up. You’ve had all kinds of reasons and opportunities to say what scientific proof is, and yet you never do.

        So to conclude: There are no viable alternative hypotheses to AGW. They all fail experimental falsification….as you would know if you dug a little deeper.

      • David Feitler says:

        In the meantime Cam, please explain why we have the infrared signature of CO2 both coming and going, what all the accumulating heat is doing, what is causing the current rise in global average temperatures, the findings of Foster and Rahmsdorf (2011) on the global warming signal amidst the noise, the validation of the global temperature records by the Berkely BEST team….should I go on? Please provide a peer-reviewed physics based alternative explanation for what we observe.

      • super_earth says:

        First consider the magnitude of the climate changes involved.

        The medieval Warm Period was a time interval when some parts of the world were anomalously warm, specially (but not only) around the North Atlantic. The “warming period” was, like similar events in the Bronze Age and Roman Empire times, just a moderate warming of around 0.5 ºC.

        CO2 can cause a warming much bigger, of several degrees celsius.

        Now, what caused those warming periods?

        You must know that the fact that CO2 is the MAIN driver of the Earth climate doesn’t mean that it is the ONLY one. There are other, smaller influences, like solar activity and volcanic eruptions.

        Contribution of solar activity: between solar activity in the 20th century (in medieval times the activity was similar but slightly smaller) and the Maunder Minimum (peak of little ice age) there is a difference of 0.25W/m^2
        http://sun.stanford.edu/LWS_Dynamo_2009/61797.web.pdf

        Contribution of volcanic eruptions: big volcanic eruptions emit great quantities of SO2 (sulfur dioxide) that form with water vapor sulfate droplets that are lifted by the eruptive column to the stratosphere where they are carried by winds all over the world. Those sulfate aerosols reflect sunlight cooling the planet.

        In Medieval times there were few volcanic eruptions and relatively high solar activity.

        Now, we have the warm early Cenozoic (40 million years ago and before):
        http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:65_Myr_Climate_Change_Rev_png

        We are not talking about ?0.5-1ºC variations in temperature, we are talking about more than 10ºC to 5 ºC warmer (in the Poles) than present!

        How do you explain those hot temperatures 40 million years ago without CO2 and CH4?

  23. Jeff Boerst says:

    Wrong.

  24. lcrowell says:

    Astronauts are pretty gung-ho types of people, particularly from the Apollo period. The whole culture was populated by men, many x-military, with buzz and flat-top haircuts that were by and large into a mindset of damned the torpedoes full speed ahead. Then things started to change in the 70s when it became clear there were some problems. I am sure many of these guys pine for the good ole days before hippies, Vietnam War protests, energy problems, superfund sites and the rest.

    The problem is that few of these astronauts were scientists. Most were engineers, or got degrees in engineering, and were combat pilots. They were clearly competent people at these things. This does not mean they were scientifically educated, and in their careers did little in the way of scientific research. Many NASA employees after the Apollo programs worked for and started up defense contracting companies. With that comes a whole mindset, which is largely conservative, hawkish on war issues, and dismissive of concerns such as with the environment.

    In scanning the posts below I see many of the same canards. I think it is regrettable that this continues to befuddle and confuse the minds of people. The debate over climate change and the role of CO_2 is largely over. This does not mean the science is over, for of course there are avenues of research into future impact of this and what physical means might ameliorate this problem. However, the basis core concept has been essentially established. To argue this matter much further is a bit like trying to maintain Descarte’s vortex theory is a credible alternative to Newton’s.

    LC

    • super_earth says:

      Totally agree.

      There is one aspect of climate change that is not fully established: the role of aerosol pollution (aka global dimming) from mainly from sulfates and soot (black carbon and organic carbon).

      This is really the greatest uncertainty of climate predictions, because:

      – we do not have a reliable enough record of aerosol emissions –

      -the forcings of them are uncertain (at least much more uncertain than the almost certain knowledge of the action of GHG). There are the direct effect of pollution and the indirect effect on clouds. The effects can cause either warming or cooling, depending of the chemical-optical properties of the pollution particles. All aerosols block sunlight, but dark particles (soot) warm the atmosphere and white particles(sulfates) cool it. It seems that the overall effect is of strong global cooling, enough to cancel half of the greehnouse warming. However, the error bars are large.

      -The future emissions are highly uncertain. In developed coutries this stuff is heavily regulated, because it is highly harmful for the environment and human health. There is the hypothesis that global warming began in the 1970s and not decades before thanks to all the northern hemisphere pollution. When cooling sulfate emissions were reduced, the greenhouse warming was “unmasked”. Today the big polluted areas are China, India, Indonesia, Subsaharan Africa and Amazon Rainforest (the first two because of fossil fuel and biomass burning, the others mainly from agricultural fires). Global warming appear to have slightly slowed in the last decade despite record greenhouse gas emissions, and this cooling pollution could be the cause. Now comes the ugly part: China is finally regulating pollution, and the last Five Year Plan (2011-2015) wants to replace a lot of coal power with natural gas. Natural gas produces almost no aerosol pollution, and this is good for human health and the regional environment, but for climate change could be like opening a dam full of water into the valley downstream full of people.

      This is the kind of things that needs new research, to know how to mitigate them. And it must be done fast enough , because those events are happening right now.

      • lcrowell says:

        I think some geo-engineering concepts involve placing light scattering aerosol particles in the stratosphere to reflect light out. There was also the observation that during the three day hiatus of flights after 9/11/01 that the reduction in light scattering ice crystals from jet exhaust had a measurable effect in permitting more light to each the ground. I have thought with respect to geo-engineering how we might put panels composed of nanocarbon tubes or fibers woven into a nano-thin “cloth” at L1. These might then Mie scatter light away from Earth and reduce solar irradiance that way.

        Clearly we can’t go back to polluting the air with sulfur compounds. We will return to the problem of acid rain. I suspect we will be forced into geo-engineering before long. I think we may have already “blown it” with respect to avoiding AGW run-away by just reducing our carbon footprint. Projected requirements on carbon reductions mean we must reduce our carbon output by 50% by mid-century. I have a hard time imagining that will happen.

        This means we are caught in a bit of a trap. For the CO_2 we have released into the atmosphere, and will doubtless dump more in the future has a “half life” of over 500 years. Excess CO_2 will be here for quite a while. We are then likely caught in the need for geo-engineering for the foreseeable future, and if we stop because of a decline in our civilization (dark age) then we face a radically different planetary environment that could pound us down further.

        It is amazing that this cosmic freak show called the human race has engaged in this sort of uncontrolled experiment to change the climate of this planet.

        LC

  25. Torbjörn Larsson says:

    It is sadly a too easy ploy. Among such a large group of people you will find at least as many science denialists from evolution over vaccines to general relativity.

    And of course NOAA has never made a statement on “catastrophic impact”, you can’t find it on their site or in the IPCC Workgroup II of IPCC climate science reviews they contribute to. (At least in the 2007 IPCC review.) They merely confine themselves to the science, which is a current man made GW regime and its many times but not always severe impact on nature and society.

    New letter:

    “Climate scientists criticize NASA for unproven and unsubstantiated remarks on rocket science and its policy. Draft of new rockets, without faulty computer models based on unobserved hydrodynamical streamlines and notions of “catastrophic impact” of manned space missions on capsule pressure, is suggested.”

  26. Cam Kirmser says:

    The signatories to the letter are absolutely correct.

    No one has subjected anthropogenic global warming to the rigors of the Scientific Method. Until someone does – with independently verifiable results – all AGW is, is someone’s opinion, that’s it.

    AGW is a politically driven agenda whose adherents demand the stifling of those who dare oppose them. Is that science?

    No, it is not.

    Science embraces skepticism, it does not muzzle it.

    Those who oppose AGW are muzzled by those who support it. They are muzzled by loss of funding, unsupported dismissal of their arguments – using the word, “ploy,” to minimize their words leading the less informed to be wary of the opposition rather than trying to understand their words.

    This is NOT science.

    • 100 Billion Planets says:

      Tell that to the polar bears.

      • shawnirwin says:

        Cam probably figures that Noah led T Rex onto the Ark too.

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        I am adherent of Evolution. You probably believe that Venus came from Jupiter’s Red Spot.

        Wasn’t that productive, mm?

      • WaxyMary says:

        Cam,

        You mean the Great Red Spot is not the origin of young Venus, wow.

        You are a GRS/V Denier, you must read all about that at http://www.firmament-chaos.com/

        I think John Ackerman is providing three of his books freely as PDFs for those interested in the source of all terrestrial planets (I’ll cut to the chase here, spoiler alert, it is the large icy worlds we think of as gas giants). Really, I have talked to the guy, he is sincere in this ‘belief’ he is writing these books about. That doesn’t make him any more accurate though than the current paradigmatic ‘history’ we are uncovering with our probes, optical inspections and plant-a-foot science missions.

        Mary

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Are you serious?

        The first part of your post sounded like sarcasm, but, reading on, it seemed otherwise.

        You actually believe that Jupiter – a gaseous planet – produced Venus – a rocky planet?

        Is this true, or are you simply an expert in sarcasm?

      • WaxyMary says:

        Cam,

        Expert, hardly, but you really need to get out more, expose yourself to ideas both strange and wild, see the common thread with which all of humanity weaves its myths.

        Additionally, you may have your leg back, here.

        Mary

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Again, you actually believe that Jupiter – a gaseous planet – produced Venus – a rocky planet?

      • WaxyMary says:

        Cam,

        It would seem you have had a bit of trouble locating the leg you offered and I pulled and then handed back. Try harder to retain your body parts please. I have no need of this, your leg.

        Mary

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Show me a polar bear scientist, and I will.

    • Dave123 says:

      It would be more interesting if you would commit more errors like citing the Syracuse paper…you know for all those assertions of yours provide some backup.

      Who has lost funding? Please give us a list. Who hasn’t been able to publish? Given that this is about those 49 ex-Nasa employees, who tried to publish and was turned down?

      How is it that Christy and Spencer and Pielke continue to get funding and publish (despite having their papers shot down by the evidence at every turn). You need to up your game Cam. Present evidence and names….not assertions.

  27. Cam Kirmser says:

    “I believe in climate change.”

    As do I. Thing is, I believe it is due to the forces of Nature, rather than Man.

    In the future, the Earth is going to heat up. This is a FACT of nature, As the Sun ages, it will get hotter. At some point, the Earth will be turned to an ashen cinder.

    • DrFlimmer says:

      Sure, but this is not going to happen until roughly a billion years from now. The quite rapid heating we observe RIGHT now is not caused by the sun. It is caused by a lot of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere. Strangely humans put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. A connection?

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        “The quite rapid heating we observe RIGHT now is not caused by the sun. ”

        Prove it.

        You’ve asserted a FACT, now prove its veracity.

      • DrFlimmer says:

        The output of the sun is relatively steady. Other planets in the solar system do not heat up (what they should if the sun would be the cause).

      • Cam Kirmser says:

        Like the steadiness of sunspot activity?

        As for other planets not heating up – well, here ya go;

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

      • Dave123 says:

        Cam, I’ve got a detailed reply to you elsewhere on mars heating up. It is not a strong citation regardless since Abdussamatov holds that the sun has been cooling since 1990 AND that mars is heating now. Contradictory positions as written in the article. Of course, it’s possible (entirely possible) that the reporter got it wrong…but without a primary article cited that’s alittle difficult to tell. But the burden is on you here. You’d better show that the reporter got it wrong.

        Now, why not cite your evidence that variation of insolation with sun spots is statistically signficant with regards to long term trends? Correlation isn’t causation, but absence of correlation is most definitely evidence for lack of causation.

        And do let us know why, if satellite measurements can be trusted to show the earth’s temperature rise, the lack of a warming trend in the sun since 1970 is somehow suspect. What’s wrong with that program…

        Oh wait, the only thing that’s been demonstrated wrong with satellite data is that Spencer and Christy managed to mess it up for 10 years, making it look like there was cooling when in fact there was warming. (And you wonder why they have no credibility except in the denialist camp).

  28. oldenvguy says:

    Let my try this another way. How many of you astronomy enthusiasts followed the research that led to the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe? Pretty heady stuff. But once you get a handle on parallax, the notion of standard candles, how Cephid variable stars function, doppler and red shifts, and finally how super novae fit in, it really does make sense, even to those of us that aren’t professional cosmologists. Now, let’s use the same reasoning to explain the postulated greenhouse effect. CO2 accounts for somewhere between 5 and 25 % of what is thought to be the rise in temperature of the earth. (By the way, how do you take the temperature of the earth? And my grad school joke of placing a rectal thermometer in Burbank, CA is is tasteless now as it was back then.) And then, (to steal from a popular cartoon) a miracle happens. Water vapor comes to the rescue and balances the necessary thermodynamic criteria. But how? If anybody knows for sure, speak up and settle this damn issue once and for all so we can all go home. Otherwise, I’m going to remain more concerned with golf course irrigation in Phoenix than CO2 as the prime cause of climate fluctuation. BTW, settled science needs no grants. What’s the point, if it’s settled.

    • Dave123 says:

      Why don’t you go buy “Planetary Climatology” by Pierrehumbert? Read up a little.

      • oldenvguy says:

        Thank you, not a bad idea. But does one really need to read a text book to be adequately informed on this topic? (I’m retired now and am a bit more inclined towards, say, a Grisham novel). In any event, for example, popular literature sufficed for securing a layman’s understanding of the the research surrounding the accelerating expansion discovery that I referred to.

      • Dave123 says:

        Well, you could just visit http://www.skepticalscience.com or http://www.realclimate.org

        The problem from my end is to distinguish the serioius and earnest questio form thetheroticla defvice.

  29. SJStar says:

    I have a better theory (not meaning personal, though).

    I do see a correlation, where R^2 = 1.0000!

    The more the CO2 is in the atmosphere, the dumber the people become.

    It is not so important that the climate is changing but it is the RATE of that it is change. Sure, CO2 levels have been many time in geological history even higher than they are today. I.e. One occurrence was about 15 million years ago. The world then was a much different place, where sea levels were much higher than today, and the natural world reacted over aeons to reach some balance point.

    Humankind in the last 150 to 200 years has changed the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth. It has exploited the natural resources the Earth holds, and has modified the planet more than nature ever has.

    The question remains. How much more change can the Earth tolerate before it bites back? Do we want to have a stable climate and a sustainable future or want to have to live in a controlled environment because the Earth can no longer support us?

    Frankly I don’t give a toss about if climate change or the rising greenhouse gases are real or not, but what I do give a crap about is the continued abuse of our planet, its long-term future, and the ability for it to absorb human-made abuse. Its the ‘could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’ arguments here that are important, not the never ending crap of simple rhetorical spin and conspiracy theories.

    Climate change is clearly the ‘tip of the iceberg’, however, it is not the only pinnacle or apex of the planets woes.

    Also, Science is never about pure absolutes, it is mostly about probabilities of outcomes. (It seems all the central arguments on climate change forget the probability rises for a poorer outcomes , of course, unless you do something about it. Chances of a poorer outcomes are, according to present scientific evidence, are for more likely.)

    What is much worst, is when the tipping point is reached, the physical changes to the system are more unpredictable (subject to chaos theory), also meaning making corrections via human intervention to correct it plain impossible.

    [Anyone who does not totally understand that, doesn’t understand how environmental systems work, nor understand the scientific arguments of climate change! If you don’t understand this, it is better just not to say anything at all.] It is the real danger of a runaway climate, that commenters should be aware of!!!

    Here the idea of a “bottomless Earth” is an illusion — and dangerous illusion. Humanity has made sure that its consumption is greater than what it puts back, meaning resources are dwindling, while the population continues to grow. At some point their must be a finite end. You either prepare for it, or you become extinct. It is that darn simple.

  30. Prism2Spectrum says:

    Are we doomed to rising sea-levels, in view of ” sinking” archipelagos;
    will Polar Bears simper in decline, as Polar Ice capes melt-away
    (and “Emperor”s lose their crown in Antarctic night of warming days)?

    Is Industry of man’s Technology really to blame?
    Those rising smokestacks, the modernity of today;
    And the ubiquitous emissions of car, bus, and train?

    Some say, “Yea!” Others, Scientifically, say, “Nay!”
    Whose to tell? Can anyone really, definitely say?
    As another passing storm ebbs slowly away.

    For some possible answers, one site to peruse:

    http://www.climatedepot.com

    • SJStar says:

      You sir are an utter scumbucket!

      Too stupid to understand the science, so all you can do is deny it because it does click in your dismal little mind. …another possible answer, it you are a total fruitloop!

      Did your mother smack you too hard or something?

      Also what’s with the fracking advertising?

      • Prism2Spectrum says:

        To SJStar: The only part of your extremely insulting comment I will address, is the charge of “ADVERTISING”: Disqus Bio allows only about three sentences. So, just in passing, distant reflections of who I am (preferring to remain private) – as tied into some UT article of recent impress, and personal comment – I insert into the “Bio” space a QUOTATION: relevant (tenuously, or strongly – in my mind) to the article which inspired it, with glint of who I am, like indistinct reflections in a mirror.

        That’s it.

        “Advertising”?! Since when is adding a quotation (some may find interesting, or informative) advertising?

        (IF you are refering to “links”, then see open addition above.)
        ________________________________________________________________________

        You may want to review the following (I have not flagged you) under

        “Forum Rules, FAQ, and Information:

        Rules For Posting To This Board

        2. Civility and Decorum”
        _____________________

        A reading may serve you well.

  31. jim fulkerson says:

    The letter states, “…it is clear that the science is NOT settled.”

    Science is never settled. It’s baffling at to why this small group of former NASA employees would frame the discussion as if areas of study and debate are “settled” when a better grasp on the phenomena is reached.

    I have a feeling that most of these people have an understanding of scientific process, but let personal politics, faith and bias encroach on this understanding. Not one scientific organization disagrees that human-contributed climate change is happening. This small group – with the Koch brothers funded Heartland Institute – is again trying to create an image of controversy where there is none. It is worth comparing to the Discovery Institute and “Intelligent Design”.

  32. General Tsu says:

    “not much in doubt” So after all the talk, all the claims, all the ‘settled science’ comments, the bottom line in the last sentence confirms… that there is still doubt.

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