Last Thursday I was honored to be invited by the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Alumni League to be their monthly meeting speaker. These were competent and dedicated people who had key roles — along with countless other marvels — in sending other mutually distinguished and brave friends to the moon.
The central topic of my talk was primarily about the programs and history of the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) I founded more than three decades ago at the University of Houston.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist asking who, among the 30 or so attendees, were satisfied with the overall quality of science purportedly supporting “authoritative” media-headlined climate crisis claims.
Asking for a show of hands, only two in the audience thought that the climate science being reported has some validity. If not true, they likely reasoned, such public misrepresentations wouldn’t be tolerated by responsible fact-checkers.
There was a time little more than a decade ago when I might have thought otherwise also. That was before Fred Singer, founding director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service visited my office to discuss our shared interest in the idea of staging future Mars missions from that red planet’s moon, Phobos.
During the course of our discussion, Fred, a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, somewhat casually mentioned that satellite measurements were showing none of the reported Earth warming that had been based upon sparse and spotty surface data or predicted by highly theoretical climate models.
Fred’s observation later prompted a deep dive into the dark, murky, and predatory waters of climate alarmism that led me to write the first of my two books on the subject, “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.”
Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham wrote the book’s cover statement, “Those of us fortunate enough to have traveled in space bet our lives on the competence, dedication, and integrity of the science and technology professionals who made our missions possible . . . In the last 20 years, I have watched the high standards of science being violated by a few influential climate scientists, including some at NASA, while special interest opportunists dangerously abused our public trust.”
Walt joined 49 prominent NASA scientists and officials, including Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison Schmitt and two former NASA Johnson Space Center directors, in signing an April 10, 2012 letter admonishing then-NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to end flagrant abuses of climate science integrity and reporting standards within the agency.
The petitioners noted, “We believe the claims by NASA and [the Godard Institute for Space Studies] 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.”
The statement added, “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 (capitalization in the original).”
The GISS that the signatories referred to is a tiny politically-protected group of climate model theorists located and operating above a restaurant in a midtown Manhattan office building nowhere near a major NASA facility.
Nor does GISS have anything to do with studying space, much less honoring its legendary namesake, Dr. Robert H. Godard, who is widely recognized as the father of American rocketry.
Instead, NASA GISS is far more publicly associated with its former long-time head and famed eco-activist Dr. James Hansen. Scandalously, Hansen even retained his NASA position following four handcuffed arrests for noncompliance with police orders during anti-fossil energy demonstrations.
GISS is the source of virtually all headline-grabbing claims that “NASA warns hottest day, month or year.” They have a long history of “tuning” global temperature data and abbreviating recorded timelines to make the past appear colder in order to have recent temperatures seem remarkably warmer.
The letter to Administrator Bolden was particularly critical of unsubstantiated links of climate change to human carbon emissions. It declared, “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.”
The signatories added, “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.”
They concluded, “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.”
On a far more cheerful note, happy 95th birthday dear and esteemed friend Fred Singer!
Your enormously dedicated and informed contributions to objective science continue to be an eternally refreshing cool breath of fresh air in an overheated climate of hysteria.