President-elect Donald Trump’s senior space policy advisor, Bob Walker, recently observed to the Guardian newspaper that NASA has been reduced to “a logistics agency concentrating on space station resupply and politically correct environmental monitoring.”
Instead, “We see NASA in an exploration role, in deep space research.” He added, “Mr. Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”
We should definitely expect a major budgetary realignment of NASA’s annual Earth Science Directorate funding which has increased 50% to a current $2 billion under the Obama Administration, compared with $2.8 billion for space exploration. A great place to start serious slashing will be with the ideologically corrupted NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).
The GISS, which inappropriately bears the distinguished name of father of modern rocketry Robert H. Goddard, should definitely not be confused with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a major national scientific and engineering center.
Instead, this small enclave of temperature data modelers located in a midtown Manhattan office building relies primarily upon sparse surface data (not the far more reliable satellite measurements available since 1979) that is mostly supplied by others.
Check the issuing source the next time you hear media reports claiming that “NASA says that blah, blah year, month, day is hottest in record.” If mentioned at all, you should not be surprised to see that it came from the GISS.
Up until three years ago, the organization’s much-chronicled “top climate scientist” director was James Hansen, a politically protected Civil Service employee-cum-anti-fossil energy activist who was arrested four times for noncompliance with police orders during public demonstrations. On February 13, 2013, he was handcuffed in front of the White House alongside actress Daryl Hannah, Sierra Club founder Adam Werbach, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, former NAACP president Julian Bond, and a few dozen others protesting to block the Keystone XL pipeline.
Hansen first gained national media attention as star witness at then-Sen. Al Gore’s 1988 Committee on Science, Technology, and Space hearings where he famously testified that he was 99% certain that temperatures had increased under human-caused greenhouse influence. In 2009, Hansen’s former supervisor John Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee that he had “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming claims which were not supported by scientific evidence.
As Theon noted, “NASA scientist James Hansen has created worldwide frenzy with his dire climate warning, his call for those who dissent against manmade global warming fear, and his claims that he was allegedly muzzled by the Bush Administration despite doing 1,400 on-the-job media interviews!” He added that “climate models are useless” because they “do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit.”
Theon continued, observing, “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it.”
True to form, in January 2015 the GISS, now headed by climate alarm blogger Gavin Schmidt, rolled out a report that 2014 was the hottest year ever measured. That claim was presumably based upon available records dating back to 1880 . . . nearly a century before accurate global satellite records existed.
Schmidt has since admitted that the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38%. Yet when asked by the Daily Mail whether he regretted that his press release hadn’t mentioned this, they reported that he gave no response.
According to satellite measurements, 2014 (a major El Niño year) was actually the third-warmest in 36 years since satellite measurements have been recorded. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, argues that any recorded temperature changes since 2001 are “statistically insignificant.”
It is tragic to see the agency that applied solid science to put humans the Moon become publicly identified with and misrepresented by a junk science-premised climate alarm propaganda machine. Nevertheless, in a recent interview posted in The Independent, a British online newspaper, NASA GISS Director Schmidt “warned” President-elect Donald Trump that government scientists are “not going to stand” for any interference with their work.
Asked if he would resign if the Trump Administration adopted an extreme form of “climate change denial,” Schmidt replied that this was “an interesting question,” but one which would not cause him to quit “in or of itself.”
Perhaps we might hope that the Trump Administration will solve Schmidt’s decision quandary by eliminating the GISS altogether. While no one I know denies that natural climate changes, it’s high time for a political climate change that gets NASA back to doing reliable science we can once again trust.