House GOP to Humanity on Global Warming: Put on This Blindfold and Keep Marching

By Tom Yulsman | May 4, 2015 12:39 pm
blindfold

Credit: Adapted from Andrea Wright, Flickr Creative Commons

In case you haven’t heard, Republicans have pushed through a spending measure in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that would slash more than $300 million from NASA’s Earth science programs.

They argue that NASA should get back to its true mission: Exploring space, not studying and monitoring Earth.

Republican Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz summed up the GOP’s argument during a Senate hearing in March (as reported by Andrew Freedman of Mashable):

“Almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space. That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country.”

“I am concerned that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

What to make of this?

SEE ALSO: Rush Limbaugh Anti-Scientism — There He Goes Again

Let’s put aside the obvious fact that Earth is a planet — our home planet — and thus arguably deserves at least as much attention as, say, Mars.

blindfold

Earth to House Republicans: What about this photo do you not understand?. . .  Apollo 8 hand-held Hasselblad photograph of a half illuminated Earth taken on 24 December 1968 as the spacecraft returned from the first manned orbit of the Moon. The evening terminator crosses Australia, towards the bottom. India can be seen at upper left. (Source: NASA)

Never mind that when Congress passed the 1958 law establishing NASA, it stipulated that the agency’s mission should include “the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” (Emphasis added)

Forget that a focus on planet Earth was formalized by Congress in 1976 with an amendment to the Space Act, and that this has been part of NASA’s mission ever since.

Here’s how that focus is expressed in its current mission statement (with emphasis added):

Our mission: Drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of the Earth.

blindfold

NASA has more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft in orbit studying all aspects of the Earth system (oceans, land, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere), with several more planned for launch in the next few years. (Source: NASA)

The arguments of Ted Cruz and his Republican compatriots in the House are disingenuous. Their primary motive is not to get NASA back to where it once belonged. It’s to do everything possible to cripple research into humankind’s impact on planet Earth, most especially global warming.

And that’s like tying a blindfold on humanity so that we’re incapable of seeing treacherous but politically inconvenient hazards ahead.

This latest effort by the GOP in the House of Representatives to advance the cause of global warming denialism harkens back to the Presidency of George W. Bush. Back in 2006, the words “to understand and protect our home planet” were removed from NASA’s mission statement of the time.

As Andrew Revkin reported in the N.Y. Times, the stated aim was “to square the statement with President Bush’s goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.”

But then, as now, the underlying motive was pretty clear: a shameful political attack on research essential to giving us a clear view of where we are headed as a species on the only planet that can sustain us, at least for the foreseeable future.

blindfold

If we fail to rein in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the colors on temperature anomaly maps like this one for March, 2015 will continue to get redder and redder. (Source: NASA — of course!)

It’s tempting to dismiss the current effort to defund NASA’s earth science research as political shenanigans designed to fire up the Republican base as the presidential election season gets underway.

But that would also be like blindfolding yourself to reality.

These cuts may well fail to make it into the final budget that Congress sends to President Obama. But there is a fairly decent chance that a Republican like Ted Cruz will take the White House in the next election. Republicans would then control all the levers of our national legislative machinery.

Think about it.

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  • Buddy199

    Tom, turning a science blog into a DailyKos / MSNBC rant really detracts from your many excellent science focused posts.

    • rrocklin

      He is talking about science and the assault on it when it does not agree with the political propaganda of a party.

      • odin2

        Ironically, at first I thought you were talking about the persecution and attempts to censor/silence the skeptical scientists by the CAGW Believers and the government. Then I realized you got it backwards and you are accusing the skeptics of having a political agenda ignoring science.

        • Dano2

          CAGW!

          Drink!

          Best,

          D

          • odin2

            :)

        • rrocklin

          In order to pass the litmus test to be a good republican you must denie man made global warming even though the science is pretty clear. This is why the Bush admin changed it to climate change.

          • Buddy199

            The science is also pretty clear regarding GMO’s and the Keystone pipeline ( read the report by Obama’s State Dept.). But liberals can just ignore science that doesn’t fit their agenda, then smugly accuse the republicans of doing the same. Yeah, that’s rational.

          • rrocklin

            Yes, scientifically speaking gmo’s appear safe and keystone makes sense. I thought the subject was science.

          • Mike Richardson

            GMO’s, unfortunately, are a wrong issue for a lot of liberals (not me, but a sizeable portion). Keystone’s safety itself isn’t the issue — it’s what Keystone will help enable, the deforestation and strip mining in Alberta, and the release of more carbon into the atmosphere than just about any other form of fossil fuel extraction. So we oppose what it represents, yes, based on the science of climate change, which I know you don’t accept. Now anti-vaxers seem to consist of both sides of the political spectrum, so that’s a wash. But when we look at positions embraced by the Republican Party candidates, we’ve got anti-science positions on climate change, evolution, the big bang, reproductive rights, gender orientation, conservation, and any number of issues. It’s really a false equivalency to argue that liberals and conservatives are on the same level of resistance to scientific facts. That’s why you see fewer and fewer scientists identifying as Republican in this country.

          • odin2

            ‘This is why the Bush admin changed it to climate change.’

            Keep posting. Be certain to tell everyone you are a Believer.

            ROFLOL

          • Dano2

            Don’t disinformation sites tell their faithful any facts? How embarrassing.

            Frank Luntz. Luntz Memo. 2003. Learn it, love it.

            Best,

            D

          • odin2

            I don’t care whether your statement is true or not (My past experience with you would strongly suggest that it is not true or at best a distortion). I was laughing at your obvious and pitiful attempt to deflect with another red herring.

          • Dano2

            Dishonest.

            Best,

            Dd

          • OWilson

            Don’t feed the trolls!

          • OWilson

            I’m sure we can trust your very own warming blog, Skeptical Science, no?

            Here’s what they say about the term Climate Change:

            “For example, a seminal climate science work is Gilbert Plass’ 1956 study ‘The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change’ (which coincidentally estimated the climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide at 3.6°C, not far off from today’s widely accepted most likely value of 3°C). Barrett and Gast published a letter in Science in 1971 entitled simply ‘Climate Change’. The journal ‘Climatic Change’ was created in 1977 (and is still published today). The IPCC was formed in 1988, and of course the ‘CC’ is ‘climate change’, not ‘global warming’. There are many, many other examples of the use of the term ‘climate change’ many decades ago.

            There is nothing new whatsoever about the usage of the term”

            So snork!
            Argh!!
            Jim, me Lad, yerself!

            Lol

          • Dano2
      • Buddy199

        Really, as with the mindless, unscientific assault by liberals against GMO foods?

        • Mike Richardson

          Can’t generalize too much. Quite a few of us have little time for that “controversy,” either. At least the scientifically literate ones.

        • Dan Imler

          Mindless? Mindlessness is a total disregard for unintended consequences. We’ve never been very good with that. The introduction of new chemical compounds into the body via genetically modifed plants is heading into the great unknown. You think there might be some money in this?

          Forget liberalism, conservatism, and politics in general. What is going on is not an opinion thing for discussion among the agenda-driven. As John Oliver said, “You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking which number is bigger, 5 or 15? Or do owls exist? Or are there hats?”

          The complexities of the earth’s climate systems and ecological environments developed over thousands of years and thousands of millennia. We exist because all the complexities eventually fell into place for us. Now we insist on crapping in our own nest in total disregard for the planet that got us here, or, as my old uncle said, “Crapping too close to the house.”

    • Tom Yulsman

      Buddy: I have not turned ImaGeo into anything that remotely resembles the Daily Kos or MSNBC, and what I wrote clearly is not a “rant.” Everything I write here is based on reporting, and I am not an “activist.” But I am human, so I do have opinions. And this is a blog, so from time to time I will express them here.

      I’ve been covering earth science since the age of the dinosaurs (okay, since 1980), and through all of that coverage I’ve learned just how much value we’ve gotten from remote sensing and similar kinds of research by NASA. Given that, the push by House members and Senators to eviscerate it — purely for political reasons — is, in my humble opinion, absolutely insane.

      This is not a news site. It is a blog. If you don’t like my opinions, then argue with me. But don’t give me a hard time for expressing my opinion. That’s ridiculous.

  • Mike Mangan

    Cruz and the GOP are not operating in a vacuum. They represent the values and desires of tens of millions of Americans. If you only knew how obnoxiously partisan and ideological the CAGW cult looks to us you would understand, even expect a move like this to happen. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

    • Buddy199

      They represent the values and desires of tens of millions of Americans.
      ————-
      That fly over portion of the electorate known as half the country.

      • rrocklin

        Tens of millions sounds like 1/10 of the electorate.

      • Dano2

        About 23% max, actually. Less if you consider Cruz is pandering to the GoOPer base (and I do mean ‘base’).

        Best,

        D

        • Buddy199

          Actually, according to Gallup the country is divided 38% conservative, 34% moderate and 24% liberal. Those placing AGW at the top of their concerns cluster almost exclusively in the 24% liberal slice, according to Gallup and others.

          • Dano2

            Six Americas survey shows that the hopeless who are chronically undereducated/ideologically blinded on this issue are likely ~12-17% of the population, with enough wriggle room to be ~23% max.

            Best,

            D

    • Dano2

      CAGW!

      Drink!

      Best,

      D

  • odin2

    The world has not experienced any statistically significant global warming in the past 18+ years despite increasing CO2 emissions during this period. If CO2 emissions were a direct and significant cause of global warming, we would have experienced global warming during the 18+ year pause. We did not.

    No one disputes that the climate is changing. The earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old and the climate has been changing the entire time. The question is how much , if any of, global warming is caused by human activities (primarily CO2 emissions)?

    There is no empirical evidence that CO2 emissions are or ever have been a MAJOR CAUSE of global warming. The hypothesis that catastrophic global warming ( CAGW) is caused by CO2 emissions is based on an unproven hypothesis and computers which overemphasize CO2’s role in climate change and de-emphasize the role of clouds, solar cycles, ocean cycles and other natural causes of climate change. These computers have been notoriously wrong almost all of the time (when compared to real world data) and have been compared to a sports team that played the entire season without winning a game. Computers that model an imaginary planet and are programmed with guesses of a few of the many variables affecting climate are not data or empirical evidence. Ninety-eight percent of the climate models relied upon by the IPCC failed to predict the 18+ year pause and their projections of future temperatures during the last 20 years substantially exceeded the observed temperatures during this period.

    The outside atmospheric levels of CO2 are currently around 400 ppm. During the last ice age CO2 levels fell to 180 ppm and plants started to shut down. If CO2 levels had reached 150 ppm or lower, plants would have died off and all plant and animal life on the planet would have died. Green houses regularly keep CO2 concentrations at 1000-1200 ppm because the plants grow better. In the past, CO2 levels have been at several thousand parts per million and plants and animals thrived. US submarines try to keep CO2 levels below 8,000 ppm. Federal OSHA standards set CO2 maximums at 5,000 ppm. When you exhale, your breath contains more than 40,000 ppm CO2. The most predominant greenhouse gas is water vapor and increased CO2 levels are greening the planet.

    We are much closer to being CO2 deprived than we are being threatened by too much atmospheric CO2. Plants thrive on more CO2- that is a good thing. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a weak greenhouse gas that is colorless and odorless which comprises only .04% of the atmosphere (naturally occurring CO2 + CO2 emissions). A 2007 IPCC report estimated that CO2 emissions were only .03% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere. So, CO2 emissions make up only .0012% of the atmosphere. That is why blaming global warming on CO2 emissions is like having “the flea wag the dog”.

    Climate change is natural and has been occurring since the formation of the planet. The 18+ year pause just proves that the skeptics were right all along-natural causes of climate change are more powerful than the insubstantial effects that human generated CO2 has on the world’s climate.

    CAGW is about power, politics and greed. Every time the facts change, the Believers move the goal posts . They have at least 66 excuses for the 18+ year pause in global warming and the failure of the computer climate models to predict it. The Believers blame any unusual (but normal) climate event on global warming with no scientific proof. This is often done with a scary picture or one that pulls on the heart strings, and the text of the article will say “could be caused”, “is consistent with”, or “may be caused by” global warming. This is code for we have no scientific evidence but we want to scare you so we can tax CO2 and promote our political agenda.

    • rrocklin

      There has been a steady rise of global temps for 100 years. There have been plateaus along the way. The 18 year pause is not unusual. Co2 has gone from 250 ppm to 400 ppm in 150 years and is now higher than any time in 2 million years. You subscribe to the great global conspiracy of scientists and as a result suggest that all science is subject to conspiracy because the scientific process applies to all science.

      • odin2

        Keep posting. Be certain to make it clear that you are a Believer in CAGW.

        • Dano2

          CA-gee-dubya!

          Drank!

          Best,

          D

          • odin2

            You keep posting too Drano. LOL

      • Sparafucile

        You’re funny.

        Since you’re bringing up atmospheric characteristics of Earth, coming out of the Little Ice Age, perhaps you’d like to add some data to indicate when, as in WHAT YEAR, statistically-significant quantities of CO2 started accumulating in the atmosphere?

        Let me help you: around 1950.

        How does CO2 that started rising around 1950 become the cause for the 100 years of warming that preceded it?

        • Dano2

          That’s derptacular.

          Best,

          D

        • rrocklin

          Looking at the data detectable rise in co2 started in the late 1800s with the greatest change happening after the 50s. Global temperatures have generally followed this trend.

          • Sparafucile

            Except the temperatures haven’t followed that trend, at all. It’s not even close.

          • Dano2
          • Sparafucile

            Where’s that “temperature data” stretching from 1000 to 2015 arising? Satellite measurements?

            As for your second graph, it validates my point. So sorry you’re too stupid to understand your own citations.

          • Dano2

            Dishonest it is then.

            Best,

            D

          • Tom Yulsman

            Sparafucile: Please keep it reasonably civil — and that means no ad hominem attacks. It’s fine to disagree and debate. But it’s not fine to call someone you disagree with “stupid.” At least not here.

          • Sparafucile

            Tom, if you’re a moderator, then you need to recognize that all Dano2 does is troll climate-related fora with non-contributory space-hogging spewage (eg, assigning “climate denier” points to every post he finds). I will generally address him more-gently than what he is, as a moron or imbecile, whenever I encounter him, particularly if the moderation on-site isn’t perceptive enough to notice that his non-contributory trolling is disruptive.

            Ban him, before he wrecks any possible intelligent discussion that might emerge, as he’s already attempted to do (see below!).

          • Tom Yulsman

            Sparafucile: If you what you say is true (and I do not doubt it), what Dano2 says here and elsewhere is self-refuting and has no significant impact — other than to rile some people up. My advice: Don’t let those kind of people get to you. Stick as closely as you can to the facts, as well as logical analysis and debate. That will work much better than ad homs. (One can only hope!)

          • skeptic2525

            Introduction to Paleoclimatology

            https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/primer_proxy.html

          • Sparafucile

            All of it? No. In order to link datasets, you have a good deal of (yet undone) work to do. You can’t just glue them together.

          • odin2

            Michael Mann does and he doesn’t alert anyone to it either, :)

      • Tom Yulsman

        As I’ve documented here at ImaGeo numerous times, there has been a slowdown in the rise of global average temperature for the past 10 or so years, but no slowdown in the accumulation of excess energy in the climate system. Global average temperature is but one of many ways of assessing how the climate is changing.

    • Dano2

      any statistically significant global warming in the past 18+ years

      HAW!

      no empirical evidence that CO2 emissions are or ever have been a MAJOR CAUSE of global warming.

      LOLz!

      fell to 180 ppm and plants started to shut down.

      *snork*

      CAGW

      Clownery!

      best,

      D

      • odin2

        Obviously, science is not your forte. But we both knew that before your post didn’t we Drano?

        • Dano2

          That’s good comedy.

          Best,

          D

        • Tom Yulsman

          Odin2: Your “Drano” comment is pretty childish. Time to grow up.

          • odin2

            You are right. I let Dano2’s trolling get to me. My posting history is wide open- check it out. On balance, I have been very patient.

      • rrocklin

        Are you in 3rd grade? You sound like it. Haw, snort, snicker, grunt, etc.

        • Dano2

          That’s the mental level of someone making that assertion, so yes, you nailed it.

          Best,

          D

          • rrocklin

            In your own vocabulary, gack, snork, spffffft

          • Dano2

            The assertions were inane and got exactly the treatment they deserved. Too bad if it gives you a sads. Here’s a hankie.

            Best,

            D

      • Tom Yulsman

        Dano2: I don’t believe you’ve called anyone a “clown” but with “clownery” you come close. Please keep it reasonably civil.

    • dwrice

      Warming in both NASA and UK HadCRUT4 is statistically significant over 19 years: http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

      Enter 1996.25 (April 1996) into the start date box.

      • odin2

        Your link did not work for me. If you have something to post where I can see the graph – do so.

        The two satellite datasets show no warming in 18+ years:

        RSS:

        http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01b8d0fe0aec970c-pi

        UAH :

        https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/figure-17.png

        Hadley :

        6a010536b58035970c01bb0820a9d0970d-pi

        Here is a peer reviewed paper (August 2013) that shows no statistically significant global warming in 20 years:

        “The inconsistency between observed and simulated global warming is even more striking for temperature trends computed over the past fifteen years (1998–2012). For this period, the observed trend of 0.05 ± 0.08 °C per decade is more than four times smaller than the average simulated trend of 0.21 ± 0.03 °C per decade (Fig. 1b). It is worth noting that the observed trend over this period — not significantly different from zero — suggests a temporary ‘hiatus’ in global warming,”

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n9/full/nclimate1972.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201309

        Here is a very thorough analysis (2013) by the astrophysicist Dr. David Whitehouse and published by the GWPF entitled ” The Global Warming Standstill” finding:

        “It is incontrovertible that the global annual average temperature of the past decade, and in some datasets the past 15 years, has not increased. Year-on-year fluctuations, and any trend over this period, are within errors of measurement. The only justifiable statistical description of the global temperature during this period is a constant. Technically, this standstill can be seen in the datasets produced by NOAA, NASA, the BEST consortium, HadCRUT3, and especially, its successor HadCRUT4.”

        http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/03/Whitehouse-GT_Standstill.pdf

        How much warming do you claim that your search of the NASA and HadCRUT4 data shows over the 19 year period? Have you allowed for the homogenization/’ manipulation of the data by NASA and the Met Office? What is the margin for error? Why is the purported increase “statistically significant”? Can you differentiate warming that is anthropogenic from warming due to natural causes? If you can, how much differentiation is there?

    • ziff
  • odin2

    NASA needs to get back to its core mission. In addition, Congress needs to direct NASA to cooperate 100% with the new investigation into the world’s temperature datasets by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Congress should anticipate that NASA will try to the same tactics that the IRS and the DOS have used to hide and “lose” data. Perhaps we need a law that imposes severe financial penalties on individuals for any loss of data and mandatory prison time if the loss of data was the result of gross negligence or an intentional act. Supervisors should be terminated if one or more of the people he or she supervised “lost” data that was not backed up and readily retrievable.

    Finally, NASA should quit tilting at CAGW windmills, because there is no CAGW. The two satellite datasets both agree that there has been no global warming in 18+ years and the other datasets show no statistically significant increase in global temperatures in 20 years. The computer climate models that the IPCC relied on failed to predict the 18+ year “pause” in global warming and 114 of 117 of the models failed miserably when their projected temperatures for the past 20 years were compared to observed temperatures (reality). If the pause in global warming continues for the next several years, the failure rate of the climate models will reach 100%.

    • Dano2

      the 18+ year “pause” in global warming

      *snicker*

      114 of 117 of the models failed miserably

      *SNORK*

      If the pause in global warming continues for the next several years,

      ppppppfffffffffffffffFFFFFFFFfHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!11one

      That’s good comedy!

      I LOLzed!

      best,

      D

      • odin2

        Keep posting. You are so unimpressive – not to mention that you are wrong.

        • Dano2

          Your false assertions make me LOLz.

          Best,

          D

      • Tom Yulsman

        No ad homs here, so that’s good. But nothing enlightening either.

    • Mike Richardson

      So you’re position is, don’t study the climate because we don’t want data that might prove us right? Huh? Even if global warming didn’t exist, studying the earth will have other benefits. But of course it does exist, and the Republicans in Congress are pretty transparent in trying to defund something that piles on the data that makes them and their followers look foolish. Arguing from a position of ignorance is just weak, but embracing ignorance and taking pride in it, as these Congress Critters are doing, is taking the plunge all the way into stupidity.

      • odin2

        Forty-nine former NASA scientists and astronauts signed a letter to NASA saying:

        “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies], 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 group wrote. “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.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

        NASA needs to get out of politics and back into space and atmospheric exploration.

        • Mike Richardson

          And what percent of them were actually involved in researching climate? So argument by authority without credentials? They’re far outnumbered by scientists who actually have studied the climate.

          • odin2

            You are trying to deflect to avoid discussing the substance of their letter by the former NASA scientists and astronauts. it is sad to see a once proud entity like NASA becoming a rent seeker from the government. The space exploration that made NASA great has been tarnished by having NASA tilt at the CAGW windmills.

            “There are 13 other agencies involved in climate change research, but only one that is responsible for space exploration,” Texas Rep. Lamar Smith told NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a hearing.

            “The administration continues to starve NASA’s exploration programs to fund a partisan environmental agenda,” Smith said. “NASA simply deserves better.”

            I agree with the assessments by Rep. Smith

          • Mike Richardson

            It’s not a deflection at all. The signatories began their letter stating that they believed the empirical data did not support man-made CO2 as having a major impact on the climate. So I asked simply what their credentials other than being in NASA were. Collins, for instance, was well-known for his role in Apollo 11, and apparently studied geology but wasn’t too interested in it. Not known as a climate scientist. And the rest? Doesn’t that get to the heart of why their opinion should matter more than, say, mine as a taxpayer? Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see the manned space program better funded, though it’s nice to see Space X and others stepping up to the plate these days. Still, the earth is a planet, and as the one I happen to live on, I’m pretty interested in learning about just how stable or chaotic its climate might be during my lifetime and the lifetime of my descendants. So would you like to answer my question about the scientific credentials of the signatories as it relates to climate studies, or can we assume that they themselves might also have been playing a little bit of politics? 😉

          • odin2

            More evidence of data tampering by NOAA.

            http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.qKUtIqAP.dpbs

          • Mike Richardson

            Now, that, my friend, is an excellent example of deflection. And a not terribly credible propaganda website, either, I’m afraid. So back to the topic we were on, what exactly were the credentials of those signatories of the letter, with regards to expertise in climate science? Btw, I love the ironic title, “No Tricks Zone,” because it’s funny some folks just don’t get that it’s set up to do just that with the public, right? Oh, you didn’t get that part… sorry. Have a good evening.

          • odin2

            When Believers cannot attack the substance it is a propaganda technique to avoid discussing substantive issues. No Tricks Zone is a very reliable website, but it is not the source of he article.

          • Mike Richardson

            LOL… oh, man. That’s a good one. When I miss Colbert, just drop by this place when the issue is climate change. And don’t be so paranoid about “censorship.” It’s probably just a problem with Disqus. When Global Warming deniers cannot respond with substance, it is a propaganda technique to claim censorship. Lol, see, works the other way, too. 😉

          • odin2

            My posting history is open, you can read the numerous posts that I made – several were made over a day ago. Just scroll down and look for the red flags.

            I posted the site which publishes the entire letter and the names and titles of the 49 former NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers who signed the letter, together with their titles and years of service.
            http://www.businessinsider.com

            Here is the last paragraph to my post:

            To suggest that scientists, engineers and astronauts who worked for NASA do not have the scientific backgrounds to see that there is no empirical evidence proving that CO2 emissions are a major cause of global warming and to understand (and be concerned) that NASA was being politicized is ludicrous. It is the climate “scientists” who have appointed themselves as the exclusive experts in this area, made a mockery of the scientific method, and gave us Climategate. The people signing this letter obviously care deeply about NASA and object to NASA being used as a political pawn. As for them playing politics, I fail to see what they had to gain from sending this letter other than the satisfaction of doing the right thing.

            Funny, if it is Disqus, it is strange that I only happened when I tried to post to you in response to your post. Oh well, ……………….

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, because I have the power to censor. Muwhahaha. Lol… But back to your post, you did at least respond, though I don’t see how you assign more credibility to people whose subject of expertise isn’t the study of the climate, and don’t consider their point of view, or Lamar Smith’s, for that matter, as being “politicized.” It’s those partisan blinders, buddy. They’ll get you every time.

          • odin2

            You: “credibility to people whose subject of expertise isn’t the study of the climate, ”

            That is the old argument that only the self appointed scientists like Michael Mann are capable of understanding climate “science” which is ludicrous. The scientists, engineers and astronauts who worked for NASA clearly have the scientific backgrounds to see that there is no empirical evidence proving that CO2 emissions are a major cause of global warming and to understand (and be concerned) that NASA was being politicized . The letter only questioned the science behind CAGW and NASA’s apparent advocacy for CAGW. The letter was not political, unless you are willing to admit that CAGW is all about the government and the left promoting CAGW. In that case I can see why you are trying to attack the credibility and integrity of these 49 former NASA employees. But Believers do that to anyone who is skeptical- right?

            BTW, when you became a Believer, did they send you to nasty school? How do you type with a sneer anyway?

          • OWilson

            Don’t waste your time trying to get a true believer to see common sense. (Mike has announced here he supports Bernie Sanders)

            Don’t take them too seriously.

            The only thing you can do is have fun at their expense. They supply an endless supply of dissembling nonsense. No science to speak of, except that phantom “consensus”.

            See how they wiggle and squirm from actual science to their politics. When you get them to deny their own science, that’s when you can laugh at them.

            Chances are they won’t be around when their political scam blows up in their faces, but we will be.

            Have faith in the truth! It WILL out!, Always.
            Keep on truckin’

          • odin2

            You too. I was amused how Mike kept using the same old propaganda techniques to avoid discussing science. I did my best to drag some science out of him, but apparently that’s not possible.

          • Mike Richardson

            I think I addressed the “science” with regards to that petition pretty well with the doctor analogy. And you don’t find referring to people as “Believers” with a capital “B” and defending partisan attacks on research to be propaganda? That’s a pretty skewed perspective. But I’m just glad to be bringing people together. You’ve made a new friend, and will probably be the best of buds now, just as long as you don’t disagree with him. Then that level of respect will probably drop like a bowling ball, and you might be thrown into the category of “low information voter” (c). But until then, you can compare right wing blogs, conspiracy theories, and best ways to imply your opposition are sheep while sticking to a few approved talking points. I’ve got to get back to composing “propaganda,” but you have great weekend! :)

          • odin2

            You; “with regards to that petition”

            What petition? I wasn’t talking about any petition.

            You: “doctor analogy.”

            What doctor analogy?

            You: “science”

            What science have you produced?

            I call people who believe in CAGW Believers because any hypothesis that must be believed without empirical evidence is a religion and not science. There is no empirical evidence proving the hypothesis that CO2 emissions are or ever have been a MAJOR cause of global warming.

          • Mike Richardson

            Read my other replies to get some context. The petition, letter, what have you with the former NASA employees. And your last statement simply isn’t true — there’s been well over a century of studies on CO2 as a greenhouse, and decades relating it to the present warming. That is indeed science, regardless of whether or not it agrees with your ideology, which is a belief. You may want to venture away from the blogosphere and read some science textbooks regarding the effects of atmospheric gases on temperature and habitability. They tend to be less biased than an anonymous website host making dubious claims, and will give you a more rounded view of the topic. Happy reading! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Won’t be around? Wilson, did you discover the secret to aging in reverse? Because from the things you’ve said, you’re clearly a few decades older than me, and though I wish you a long, happy, and healthy life, removing any accidental (or heaven forbid, homicidal) cause of death, I should probably be taking the dirt nap years after you. And I love that term, “phantom consensus.” Not much basis in reality, but it sure sounds like a good title for Star Wars episode VIII, right? May the force be with you, Wilson.

          • Mike Richardson

            I’m not attacking anyone’s credibility or integrity, I’m simply pointing out that the individuals signing that document are less knowledgeable about the climate than scientists who actually study it. I’m sure they excel in their fields of study, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for their accomplishments at NASA. But if your neurosurgeon tells you that you need brain surgery to remove a tumor, do you ignore him after getting a second opinion from your podiatrist? They’re both doctors, but one is clearly a specialist in the relevant field. Same situation here. It isn’t an insult to the podiatrist to go with the advice of the neurosurgeon. That’s the whole process of weighing and considering your sources of information. Try to be a little more objective, and you’ll see what I mean. And don’t take things so personally — I’m actually one of the milder personalities here. You won’t have to look very far to find folks who really do get nasty with folks of different political persuasions. And by very far, I mean on your side of the political spectrum. Hope your weekend is nice and relaxing. :)

          • odin2

            You don’t have to be a climate “scientist” to see that CAGW is not supported by empirical evidence and that the climate models and their projections have been total failures. Anyone with a scientific background can see that and the NASA people who signed that letter have strong backgrounds in science and engineering. For that matter, there are a number of good books on the subject that can be understood by anyone:

            ‘Climate Confusion’ and ‘The Great Global Warming Blunder; , by Dr Roy Spencer; ‘The Real Global Warming Disaster’ by Christopher Booker; and ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’, by Dr. Tim Ball.

            You have a good weekend too.

          • Mike Richardson

            And those titles didn’t give you a clue that they might be just a tad biased? Really?

          • odin2

            What do they have to gain? Anyone who is criticizes CAGW has a lot of courage because they know they will be vilified and smeared by Believers.

            You are projecting again.

          • Mike Richardson

            The only thing I hope to project is a little objectivity. What do they have to gain? In the past, the petroleum and coal industry funded many such publications. Very similar to the disinformation campaign waged by the tobacco industry decades ago, and the fossil fuel companies in some cases hired the same lobbying firms. There could be quite a financial incentive for publishing works sympathetic to these industries, and by going straight to the public, you bypass the peer review process typical for more academic studies. But if they aren’t receiving direct payment from the fossil fuel lobby, they may have substantial investments tied to the industry in 401K’s or personal portfolios weighted heavily towards fossil fuels, in which case it’s more a matter of what they have to lose than gain. Or they may simply enjoy the status of contrarians, and being viewed as mavericks taking on the scientific “establishment.” But science is not a matter of “belief,” but rather a matter of weighing the best evidence and theories. And since the vast majority of the evidence supports that the observed warming is due to human influence, accepting this evidence does not make one a “Believer.” Instead, the faith-based premise is actually on the other side, and I wouldn’t put my faith in polluting industries with a strong financial motivation to encourage doubt among a public not well versed in the scientific method. Look at it objectively, and you may question what you’ve come to believe. Good day to you.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Odin2: You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but not to your own facts. NASA’s mission has included planet Earth since the agency’s founding. I even went so far as to check the original legislation that created NASA. Read the story and follow the links.

      • odin2

        I am aware of the statutory language. They need to get back to space and atmospheric exploration and study and away from being a propaganda arm for CAGW.

  • Bill

    No Republican denys the earth has Ice Ages and Warming periods, they deny Man-made GHG Global Warming. That they Warmers claim that the two are the same is proof of who is lying.

    • rrocklin

      It is not the same. One happens over thousands of years and the other over decades or a century.

  • http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/ Bob Bingham

    The USA has been protecting its oil and coal industries for thirty years and this is just another part of the plan. Global warming is caused by the greenhouse gas CO2 and most of it comes from burning coal and oil and the USA is a major supplier. Most countries recognise the threat from climate change but the USA has some way to go yet.
    This is just Florida’s problems. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/blog/sea-level-rise-may-not-be-all-of-floridas-problems

    • kunling

      A complete and utter load of bollocks! The influence of CO2 on the Earth’s temperature is negligible. Just because the SCOTUS declared it a noxious gas does not make it so. CO2 is NEEDED by life on Earth. Plants love CO2. In exchange for CO2, plants give off O2 which is needed by all air breathing creatures. The real culprit, if there is one, for increased temperatures, of which there are practically none, is WATER VAPOR…….WATER VAPOR! Oh, and let us not forget about the huge influence of sunspot activity on global temperatures. Then, there’s the undetermined effect of precession on the overall climate.

      I want our oil and coal industries protected from the wanton destruction currently being waged by the commie retreads who label themselves “environmentalists.” The commie environazis are doing their damnedest to destroy industries basic to the well-being of our way of life. BACK OFF, NUTBAGS!!

      How can you tell if an environazi is lying? When his lips are moving.

  • stargene

    It just gives me tingly good feelings all over to know that, soon, NASA,
    and pretty much all previously merely-science-based programs and
    research will be hand guided by Wall St. and its Wunderkinder over at
    its almost wholly owned subsidiary, previously mislabeled The
    Congress of the U.S.A. One can’t be too careful about mere scientists
    being completely un-shepherded by pols utterly untainted by such
    things as devotion to understanding reality. I haven’t felt this well
    taken care of since truly needy big business finally decided to install
    profit-oriented HMOs & such, to tell sadly misguided and error-prone
    doctors and nurses what treatments and tests they should and
    should not perform for their previously hapless patients. Whew!

    Isn’t that nice?

  • OWilson

    And now a word from NASA Chief Charles Bolden:

    “”When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things,” Bolden said in the interview which aired last week. “One, 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.”

    Maybe this explains why we are hitching rides to space from the Russians, and why we are still sending high school Radio Shack level robots cars, that was done some 40 years ago.

    Anybody who is seriously interested in NASA funding should at least be familiar with this Washington Post piece, as reported in Physics Today:

    “A 16 December Washington Post front-page, above-the-fold article pronounces NASA lost and purposeless.

    Early this year, NASA will complete work on a $350 million tower to test rocket engines at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. When it’s finished, the 300-foot steel-frame facility will stand unused—because the agency doesn’t need it”
    Of course, it’s much easier to just blame Bush, or those darn Republicans.

    • Dano2

      Let’s get some of that money back from the .1% then and put it into the space program.

      Best,

      D

      • OWilson

        The .1 % are busy enough funding the Clinton “foundation”. :)

        • Dano2

          Kochs already bought Walker, and several others went on bended knee to kiss the ring of Adelson, so it’s going to be ‘vote for the billionaire of your choice’ in 2016….

          Best,

          D

          • Mike Richardson

            Yeah, I’m kinda surprised we aren’t going to see the R_Money (Romney-the fun you can have with one transposition) 2016 comeback tour. Plutocracy at it’s best.

          • OWilson

            Speaking of comeback tours:

            “A congenital liar” – William Safire, NYT, on Hillary.

            “He will forever bear the Mark of Cain”, Sen Chuck Schumer.”

            You want “war hero” Hillary and the stainmaster, Slick, back in the White House?

            Word is they’ll spend $2,100,000,000.00 to make it happen.

            Go for it! You deserve each other.

          • Mike Richardson

            “Stainmaster,” — that’s pretty gross. Why do some conservatives seem so hung up things like this? Oh well, aside from a clumsy affair, the Clinton White House did preside over one of the most prosperous decades in the past 40 years, not involve us in any major war costing thousands of American lives, reform welfare (you guys really ought to give him more credit for that), and actually balance the budget. They were a bit more centrist than I liked, but overall, pretty successful. Or we could try another shot at trickle-down economics with one of the intellectual giants stepping forward for the Republican nomination. Like communism, give it another shot and it just might work, right? Well, maybe in Ayn Rand Fantasyland, but not so much in the real world. Yeah, I think I’ll take my chances with the party that has less of a problem with scientific fact, thank you. :)

          • Glenn

            The prosperous decade you speak of had far more to do with Bill Gates than Bill Clinton. Now lets see Baltimore has been controlled by your beloved party for like the last 40 years. How’s that working out? How about Detroit? How about bankrupt CA?
            Keep smoking the good stuff, you get smarter every day!

          • Mike Richardson

            Boy, they’ve really failed at teaching history and critical thinking in schools. The Clinton administration did quite a bit to fund R&D in the 1990’s, which helped speed the development and popularization of personal computers and the public internet, i.e., World Wide Web. Even Gates would admit he didn’t get where he is all on his own. Baltimore and Detroit have had problems for decades, and a full semester of sociology would be required to explain either of them, but I know blind partisanship is a lot easier than trying to think the problem through. As for California, as I recall, it was the Governator that left it so deep in the hole, kind of like Dubya did with the U.S., as usual leaving a mess for a Democrat to clean up. But so far, it looks like Jerry Brown’s taking a more pragmatic approach than in the past, and getting things in order. Regarding your last comment, I could respond in kind, but I think I’ll just let that stand for itself as a shining example of serious conservative dialogue. Have a nice day!

          • OWilson

            Stainmaster is pretty benign and relates only to sexual activities.

            I would say that “Congenital Liar” and carrying the “Mark of Cain” are far worse charges for a potential Presidential run.

            ((And made by YOUR side)
            Lol

          • Mike Richardson

            Well, if you liked the Bill Clinton stuff, you should really enjoy when David Vitter’s run for governor here in Louisiana heats up this year. If you’re curious, just google his name and “diaper.” And “prostitutes.” I won’t say anything more here, just to keep things classy, you know. But ironically, the religious right in this state — you know the anti-evolutionists — really eat him up. And, to stay on topic, the good Senator is himself another icon of climate change denial. But what do you expect, when the oil industry in this state is bankrolling him?

          • OWilson

            Difference is I won’t be shilling and making excuses for this guy, whoever he is, like you just did for the stainmaster! :)
            A mind is a terrible thing to waste!

          • OWilson

            Clinton was the first President to inherit a “Peace Dividend” (a big deal at the time, but is now buried by the leftist media, so your kids will never know) Reagan/Bush had ended the cold war, the arms race, and the USSR had fallen. We were the most powerful nation on earth.
            The economic recovery started under Bush, but manifested it’s benefits on unemployment and the markets too late to get him any credit, and he lost, hammered by his broken promise not to raise taxes.
            (That’s where the Dems seduced him raise taxes, in return for a promise they would cut 2 dollars of spending for each dollar raised. But they cynically renaged. It signified the end of any trust between the two parties, but turned out to be a “politically brilliant tactic”, as Clinton won.

          • Mike Richardson

            SAAAULLL ALINSKYYYY. You have to say it long, and slow, to be all menacing. Well, at least to the folks in the bubble. For the rest of us, those buzz words really aren’t all that effective. I guess the dog whistle’s most effective on those trained to respond, right? Is that another one of Rush Limbaugh’s memes? I think I once got stuck on an AM station and heard Michael Savage (born Weiner) mentioning the guy’s name and going off on one of those right-wing conspiracy rants. Mean anything special to you? Because my brain doesn’t work that way and I changed the station before I got angry at my radio. Anyway, be good, and may SAAAUUULL ALINSKYYYY not haunt your dreams.

          • Mike Richardson

            LOL… I love right-wing revisionist history. It’s like an alternate reality, where Ronald Reagan’s a superhero, or at least that cool puppet riding the dinosaur in that Genesis video. So Afghanistan, Chernobyl, glasnost, perestroika, and the general inefficiency of 70 years of Soviet misrule weren’t what did in the Evil Empire, but Reagan’s “tear down this wall” and Bush the Elder’s tough talk did? Or was it the myth that we had a working Star Wars defense shield, because we were decades away from anything that could have dealt with more than a weak second strike from the USSR, which would imply that it might have been intended to enable a pre-emptive first strike (and that’s a pretty disturbing thought). And how was Bush “seduced” into the EVIL of raising taxes — oh, wait, that was practicality. He lost the election because the economy went into a recession, not because of that stupid pledge. Well, unless Republicans shot themselves in the foot by staying home, but if so, at least they stuck by their principles, right? Oh, well, on to SAUUL ALINSKYYY! :)

          • OWilson

            You need to get away from that Bernie Sanders fax machine.

            Read Michail Gorbechev’s book where he credits Reagan for the downfall of the USSR, and the “shock and awe” experienced by the communists at the war technology during Gulf War 1 (A United Nations sanctioned effort)

            Reagan is still a hero in Eastern Europe where they lived under the socialist/communist jackboot.

            You also need to be kept away from any classroom.

          • Mike Richardson

            Now why would the guy who was at the helm when his country collapsed want to find someone else to blame? Can’t imagine why Gorby wouldn’t want to take all the credit himself, since everything’s turned up roses since then … well, maybe not quite. And I can see why Reagan would be a hero in Poland for sure, bravely supporting their union movement. If only he didn’t do the opposite here in the country he was actually elected to lead. That was just a touch hypocritical, wasn’t it. See, that’s the thing about history — there are immutable facts, such as Reagan was President from 1981 to 1989, and Gorbachev was the Soviet premier during much of this time. But historians can still debate endlessly which factors were more important in ending the Cold War. It’s open to interpretation, even more so than certain graphs about sea ice cover. And saying I need to be kept away from a classroom, as if there should only be one version of history taught — why, that sounds like suppressing ideas to me. Could that be the sound of jackboots in the distance? 😉

          • OWilson

            For you, it is obvious that truth is “open to interpretation”.

            For you I guess it depends on what “is” is.

            What else to expect from a Bernie Sanders good little Socialist! :)

          • Mike Richardson

            Now that wasn’t a particularly constructive comment. Just because folks don’t see things your way doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Try thinking positive thoughts, and embrace diversity. It’s helped me in our correspondence, after all. You have a fantastic evening, my man.

      • Mike Richardson

        That would have my vote.

    • David Fields

      First of all, the only Muslim Outreach NASA ever accomplished was under Reagan and Bush. I will let you do your own research on an underqualified Saudi prince that was forced upon NASA to ride on a shuttle.
      Second, to call the rovers on Mars “high school Radio Shack level robots” proves you are completely clueless and should quit getting on the public library’s computers.

      • OWilson

        The Washington Post says that NASA are “lost and purposeless”.

        I agree.

        • Mike Richardson

          You don’t think we should explore Mars and learn if there’s other life on other worlds? You’re not embracing ignorance, are you? I’d really like to learn more about Mars before Elon Musk plants the flag, and I still donate money for starving children. You know, the starving children argument is one I most often here from fellow liberals who say we should solve all our problems on earth before spending money on space, and I disagree pretty strongly with them on that point. So you agree with liberals on something? I better mark this on the calendar. But really, insulting the work of the dedicated scientists and engineers at NASA who built and operated the “high school robot car” is not going to make odin happy. I’m seeing some potential trouble in paradise here. :(

          • OWilson

            NASA “Lost and Purposeless”. – Washington Post.
            Take it up with your buddies.
            I’m all for spending money on space exploration, but somebody needs to find out what they are wasting taxpayer money on.
            Why is it liberals never demand accountability from their own agencies?
            Look up Pleading the Fifth.
            Lol

          • Mike Richardson

            It’s possible there’s some waste at NASA. Perhaps they’ve been hiring the same contractors as the Defense Department? Now with a budget several times that of NASA, they’ve to potential to waste a whole lot more. I’m all for accountability as a taxpayer myself. Not really a point of disagreement, Wilson. Good talk. :)

  • spartan66

    Not much of a science guy, but who melted the last Ice Age.??

  • Michael Evan Jones

    Really shows that those really pulling the strings do not wish to address the situation. Really this not problem but a predicament that has outcomes not solutions. All outcomes seem to indicate bad outcomes, so the public policy makers deny or play with the idea of dealing with global warming. Perhaps they hope it will not kill them in their lifetimes.
    PS Please do not reply and write electric cars, windmills, nuclear, and solar electric are solutions. They themselves require a vast amount of energy resources to create and maintain with a limited lifespan. They will not replace oil

  • odin2

    Censorship is a sign of weakness and an admission of a lost cause.

  • Tim Holmes

    I’ve got to believe that the fossil-fuel drivers of the train that’s about to crash into the station are starting to figure out they’re going to be the first to be blamed!

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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