NASA

Bad timing

NPR this morning: “NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming”

NASA/GSFC press release later this morning: “Research Finds That Earth’s Climate is Approaching ‘Dangerous’ Point”

Needless to say, Mike Griffin’s remarks are not going over well on Capitol Hill among those members who think that NASA is not spending enough on Earth sciences programs. I do recommend listening to the full NPR interview, about seven and a half minutes long: only a portion of it is devoted to the climate change remarks that have gotten all the press. Much of the rest is about NASA’s exploration program and the criticism directed at it by football columnist/occasional space analyst Gregg Easterbrook in a recent Wired magazine piece. If you missed Easterbrook’s piece, there’s not much there he hasn’t previously talked about, including his odd preoccupations with Venus and non-chemical propulsion.

56 comments to Bad timing

  • Eddie Barsoom

    Well, then it really is true: Sargeant Schultz is running the space agency. God help us….

    I see that President Klink, with the war….um, his term near an end, his power ebbing with each passing day, and Generals Schwarzenneger and Pelosi advancing on the Rhine, has finally tried to sue for peace on global climate change. I doubt his terms will be accepted, but it at least looks like he’s resigned to reality. Even though he wants to delay it until after he’s out of office.

  • richardb

    Climate change has been happening since climate began. The new thing about it today is all the money Al Gore and friends are making off the scare talk. Beating people over the head about climate change is just bullying by politically correct dollar driven mavens in the media and politics.

    I could be wrong, but if I am, I surely won’t be around to eat humble pie.

  • Al Fansome

    Griffin: >>>

    Once again, Griffin demonstrates why he is not suited for the job of NASA Administrator. The #1 job requirement for the Administator is to be the interface between NASA’s customers (White House and Congress) and the NASA organization.

    The policy issues of “whether we should” & “how” to respond to global warming is not in his job jar. Acknowledging it after the fact is too late. He should have known this would controversial. He should have kept his mouth shut. It takes a political dunce to say what he said to a reporter.

    James Webb he is not.

    Griffin should have been Deputy Administrator, ala Hugh Dryden.

    - Al

  • Al, I fully agree. See my comment on this in the other thread.

    – Donald

  • I could be wrong

    You are, but please continue to flaunt your ignorance to the world. If it’s good enough for Michael Griffin, it’s good enough for you.

  • richardb

    Thomas Lee, I would be honored to stand in Mike Griffin’s company. If he’s ignorant, I just can’t say what that suggests for the rest of us.

  • I would be honored to stand in Mike Griffin’s company.

    Marsha Ivins will make you kneel down, of course.

    If he’s ignorant

    He is, willfully so, apparently, since he has access to NASA GSFC papers just like the rest of us.

    I just can’t say what that suggests for the rest of us.

    Of course you can’t, neither can the main stream media, because that would imply the unthinkably obvious, that Americans in general are very ignorant, scientifically illiterate and being led around like sheep, by wolves.

    Does Dick Cheney make you proud as well?

  • richardb

    Thomas Lee. I have a dog that shows better manners than you while it’s eating a steak bone.

  • Doug Lassiter

    I’m surprised to see Gregg Easterbrook labeled a “football columnist/occasional space analyst”. I suspect he’s written on football, and has certainly occasionally written on space, but he’s a thoughtful columnist who has written widely on science and technology in respected news media. The blog posts here are usually fair and balanced but, without being judgmental about Easterbrook’s content in this particular case, this was a swing and a miss.

  • I have a dog that shows better manners

    Yes, we should all be polite while the Earth burns.

    Politeness uber alles.

  • Griffin once again show he is not afraid to take a position. His reservations are well founded as the so called “science” selected by the IPCC to satisfy their paymasters is far from certain. From the error ridden paleoclimate reconstructions, the conflicting observations, the incomplete theory and the divergent GCMs, there is much more science to be done. Basing enormously expensive policy decisions on such a wobbly foundation needs to be seriously questioned. Well done Mike!

  • Griffin once again show he is not afraid to take a position.

    And once again, the astonishing depth of ignorance of the American public, and the lawmakers elected to represent them, and the managers appointed to herd them, is blurted out on the internet for the entire world to see.

    Well done clclops!

  • Cliff Gordon

    “His reservations are well founded as the so called “science” selected by the IPCC to satisfy their paymasters is far from certain.”

    Listen to the interview. He says that he accepts the IPCC findings.

  • Jeff Foust

    I’m surprised to see Gregg Easterbrook labeled a “football columnist/occasional space analyst”.

    I would argue that is an accurate representation. Easterbrook is arguably best known for his “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” column on ESPN.com (previously at Slate and NFL.com). So he writes every week (during the football season, at least) on football, but far less frequently — perhaps a couple of times a year, at most — on space topics. And, when he does, sometimes his numbers don’t quite add up: read this article from 2004 about Easterbrook’s questionable accounting of the cost of the Vision for Space Exploration.

    this was a swing and a miss

    Oops, wrong sport.

  • Bill White

    Ouch!

    This via WaPo:

    White House science adviser John H. Marburger distanced the administration from Griffin, saying that “nobody should think that he was speaking for anyone but himself.”

  • D. Messier

    The scientific evidence on this is compelling. There’s a mountain of data and analyses on this. I side with the majority of scientists who have studied this issue for decades.

    My sense is, from anecdotal evidence we’ve been getting for the last couple of years, is that the climate models are essentially correct in a broad sense but conservative in their time frame. It may all happen faster than projected. I’m not a climate scientist, so I claim no scientific expertise here. But from a policy perspective (something I do understand fairly well), this isn’t something we can ignore or delay on any further.

    Yes, it’s been happening through time. But, we’ve got six billion inhabitants on the planet now. Any sort of major shift in climate could be extremely disruptive (on this, even the Pentagon agrees). Think of disrputions in food supply. Think of wars over resources. Dust Bowl conditions in the Southwest lasting for decades. Losing the snow pack on the Sierra Nevadas (the source of a lot of SoCal’s water). Think of trillions of dollars in coastal real estate, port facilities, cities and businesses at risk.

    Unfortunately, Bush’s latest proposal seems to be too little, too late. He’s delayed serious action on this issue for his entire presidency (save some technology funding, which is the least we need to do). In the short term, this seems largely designed to short-circuit a G-8 initiative. In the long term, it puts all the responsibility fo actually taking action on his successor.

    If the worst does happen, Bush and (perhaps) the Repubs who controlled Congress for almost 12 years will go down in history as the Neros who fiddled while the Earth burned. It will be a very bad legacy.

  • Paul Dietz

    One thing this does is put to rest the idea that Griffin would survive a transition to a democrat administration, should that party win the presidency in the 2008 election.

  • Whether what Griffin said was factually right or wrong (and I think it was wrong), the thing which should most concern space advocates was the simple fact that it was a monumentally stupid thing to say given the current political context. Now, when he goes in front of the Democratic Congress, they’re going to see a climate change denier first and a NASA administrator second.

  • Doug Lassiter

    Re football columnist, yes, “arguably best known” puts it well. Easterbrook’s work on science and technology topics for New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, and the NY Times is well known. Yes, he probably writes more about football, but jeez, a weekly column about football is a bit easier to knock off than a national policy analysis.

    I don’t know the guy, and I certainly don’t blindly worship his insights, but do I respect his arguments. My point is that if you want to take issue with his content, then do so in a credible way. I don’t belittle the experience of someone who is arguably best known for writing a blog (which, although he has one, Easterbrook is not).

    Whoosh.

  • Bill White

    Paul Dietz writes:

    One thing this does is put to rest the idea that Griffin would survive a transition to a democrat administration, should that party win the presidency in the 2008 election.

    As a long-time Griffin supporter (and a Democrat) I can only agree.

    It was a boned-headed, politically tone deaf thing to say, regardless of what each of us may believe concerning the “facts” relating to global warming.

  • Paul Dietz

    I would be more impressed with Easterbrook if his arguments were better constructed. His eco-optimism book (a general stance I am inclined to support) disappointed me.

  • Thomas Matula

    Bill,

    I agree as well that Dr. Griffin will not survive long into a Democratic administration, other then by negleect of NASA as was the case with Goldin.

    Actually, given the firestorm over this and the quiet storm building over the IG and erased tapes I am even beginning to wonder if he will make it to the end of this administration.

    Whichs leads to the $100 billion question. What is the fate of ESAS when Dr. Griffin is no longer NASA Administrator? Will it have enough support inside and political support outside the agency to survive given NASA’s current budget realities or is it DOA with the next administrator?

  • Bill White

    Thomas,

    As for the fate of ESAS, I predict that it is dead “as is” which leads to a show down between the “EELV-only camp” and the new Jupiter proposal which looks to me to be the simplest shuttle derived option possible, if we exclude the side-mount shuttle C.

    http://www.directlauncher.com

    Politically, folks like Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) can be expected (IMHO) to support Jupiter to maintain the Florida workforce and infrastructure and Jupiter also lets NASA remain as the central manager of its lift capability.

    But bigger picture, until revenue starts flowing into space exploration from sources that need not first pass through Uncle Sam’s federal budget digestive tract (Uncle Sugar is my preferred nickname) first, its all kabuki anyway.

    Also, Griffin will not remain past January 2009 by “neglect” since some left wing bloggers are already calling for his resignation.

    This is especially true if Al “global warming” Gore enters the race.

  • D. Messier: It may all happen faster than projected.

    I agree. Things like this tend to have a tripping point. My guess (for I certainly admit up front that it is no more than that) is that the Earth’s atmosphere will absorb added heat without massive change for some unknown period of time, than reach saturation and tip over into some new equilibrium in a relatively short (years or decades) period.

    Paul: One thing this does is put to rest the idea that Griffin would survive a transition to a democrat administration, should that party win the presidency in the 2008 election.

    I fully agree. There is now no chance that any likely Democratic administration would hire him. This was so stupid from a political perspective that it almost defies belief (though that’s kinda par for the course for this Administration). Moreover, he has unnecessarily hurt his own Administration. To the degree that more Americans are worried about this issue, and may vote accordingly, Dr. Griffin handed the Democrats a club with which to beat the Republicans. I hope the former won’t use it — because doing so is bound to hurt the VSE — but I doubt even NASA’s strongest supporters will be able to resist. It will be very interesting to see what happens.

    Thomas: Which leads to the $100 billion question. What is the fate of ESAS when Dr. Griffin is no longer NASA Administrator?

    If Anonymous is correct in his analysis, that outcome might be a net good, if it results in re-thinking the Ares-1. I didn’t think that was possible in the near future, but maybe now it is. However, a positive outcome is probably far more unlikely than ESAS succeeding. First, and most unfortunately, this will prove a political failure for the VSE, much more than for ESAS. My prediction is that Dr. Griffin’s comment will do far more damage than minor issues like the wrong rocket. Second, a more confused policy (which is inevitable in any re-think at this point in time) provides more opportunity to drop the entire project, or to nibble it away, or to morph it into the kind of technological playpen that will get us nowhere at great expense. Second, to get anywhere, Mr. Bush would have to pick an improbably perfect Administrator, supremely skilled at both politics and engineering, able to stand up to scientists who want to spend everything on what they consider science, politicians (increasingly of both parties) who are going to want to spend everything on environmental research, and engineers who want to play at SSTOs, et al. Anyone who can make all of these political cards stand up just right to enable a return to the moon, let alone Mars, will be extremely hard to find. (And then, you have to convince them to serve in an Administration that is rapidly committing suicide.)

    My strong suspicion is that we have just witnessed the political death of any American return to the moon in the foreseeable future.

    – Donald

  • Steve Sadlov

    It must have been not long after Apollo 11 that my parents underwent a radical transformation into hippies. That is when, overhearing them and their friends at some get together, I first became aware of what would eventually become a huge rift within the space program and more importantly, the US citizenry who will either support or undermine it.

    That rift is all around the supposed “moral” issue regarding whether Humankind’s mission is to colonize space, or, to use space (typically LEO) to “make life better for those suffering on Earth.”

    That’s what this is all about. Griffin is trying to make a specific point which is intended to say, let us not allow problems on Earth divert our attention from longer trem goals. Let us face the reality that climate change is likely being hyped for various reasons. This is not to deny its existence. It is to say, there are factions and individuals who stand to benefit from achieving a sense of dire crisis vis a vis climate change or more generally, environmental concerns. Qui bono.

    I fully support Griffin. His statement is a refreshing departure from the small minded thinking that cut the Apollo program and steered us onto the course of a go-nowhere LEO oriented exercise, resulting in enormous waste not to mention the sad deaths of two astronaut teams. Finally, here we have the sort of straight talker who unemotionally looks at things and says, folks, we need to regain control of our real priorities. It’s high time to rise above the cacophony of socialist-lite programs and agendas designed to reengineer Humanity (and as always, failing miserably) and reassume our rightful place as explorers and achievers of big science.

    Flame proof suit on …. I know what I have written is very against the grain versus today’s typical mass attitudes.

  • Paul Dietz

    That rift is all around the supposed “moral” issue regarding whether Humankind’s mission is to colonize space, or, to use space (typically LEO) to “make life better for those suffering on Earth.”

    Or whether the whole notion of humankind having a ‘mission’ is vacuous?

  • It was a boned-headed, politically tone deaf thing to say..

    No doubt about that. My overall impression was that Mr Griffin was trying to create the appearance of responding to Mr. Easterbrook’s comments without actually taking a stand on anything. I blogged a bit more about this point here. Interesting how he countered Esterbrook’s charge that he doesn’t exercise his first ammendment rights, then turns around and spouts peculiar ideas how we shouldn’t do anything about global warming (ideas that surely sprang from the mind of the dark lord himself — Dick Cheney). One might ask, where are the puppet strings?

  • Paul Dietz

    Actually, given the firestorm over this and the quiet storm building over the IG and erased tapes I am even beginning to wonder if he will make it to the end of this administration.

    Storms like the latter two occur not just because some ostensible violation of the rules occured, but because the target is otherwise vulnerable, and the politicians pushing the attack have an agenda (else why are they devoting their limited time to objectively minor infractions?) What’s the agenda here? A general attack on Bush, or on Griffin, or an attack on VSE/ESAS?

  • Steve: let us not allow problems on Earth divert our attention from longer term goals.

    This aging hippy supports space colonization (even in its most straightforward definition) and, in fact, has spent much of his life studying and writing about it. As I said in the other thread, I actually think that most of what Dr. Griffin said was — in its narrowest technical sense — true. However, in a political context, it was extremely damaging to our cause to state it in the way he did, as the top official representative of NASA, and in a forum widely listened to by environmentalists. For all his skills as an engineer, Dr. Griffin is hopeless as a politician — yet that skill is absolutely essential for a person in his position who is trying to do what he is doing. Dr. Griffin needs to be building coalitions across all element of the United States’ population. Instead, he is picking pointless fights and creating divisions that will come back to haunt the space community for years to come.

    Paul: What’s the agenda here? A general attack on Bush, or on Griffin, or an attack on VSE/ESAS?

    I would guess that the “agenda”, possibly not even a conscious one, is to reorient NASA back to what it was prior to the loss of Columbia and the changes instigated by Mr. O’Keefe and Dr. Griffin. I won’t get into whether that would be wise policy now — you know my opinion on that — but it is clear that many politicians are uncomfortable with NASA’s current direction and would rather return to their “comfort zone.”

    – Donald

  • Monte Davis

    [Easterbrook's] eco-optimism book (a general stance I am inclined to support) disappointed me.

    Lately he’s been arguing that since we’ve done rather well reducing the atmospheric pollutants people worried about most in the 1970s (lead, sulfates, nitrogen oxides, chlorofluorocarbons), surely we’ll do the same with CO2.

    He’s blissfully unaware that (1) CO2 is not a side effect of fossil fuel combustion, to be eliminated by clever re-design, but the reason the reaction is exothermic…. and (2) the quantities involved are orders of magnitude greater than any “pollutant” tackled before. A spectacularly bogus argument.

  • A general attack on Bush, or on Griffin, or an attack on VSE/ESAS?

    Yes.

    Does that answer your question? There is nothing in the Bush administration that isn’t corrupt. All you have to do is dig. I started this whole Marsha Ivins thing. I had no idea about Marsha Ivins, I just logically deduced that since corruption was so pervasive in this administration, and clearly the ESAS process was corrupt from day one, as evidenced by the result, then all I would have to do is dig, and dirt would appear. It all started with the John Young comments. I took them over to NASASpaceflight.com, where they massively hacked out my comments and their responses and banned me in record time, clearly indicating something seriously amiss, and when they axed the thread completely, I posted that around and managed to dig up Danny Dot. He goes over to NASASpaceflight.com and the rest is history. Keith Cowing got involved with the letter since the Marsha Ivins thing was then out of the bag, and all these engineers and scientitists who had been sitting on these obvious and horrid ESAS truths are now starting to speak up. The fact that investigations are already underway with regards to the IG thing, and the diaper lady already had here meltdown revealing severe deficiencies in the astronaut corps, is not merely coincidental, it’s further evidence in support of the hypothesis, which is now confirmed theory.

  • It is to say, there are factions and individuals who stand to benefit from achieving a sense of dire crisis vis a vis climate change or more generally, environmental concerns.

    What is it about Americans that they just love to flaunt their ignorance?

  • Thomas Matula

    The sad thing about this entire incident is the question by NPR could have been a wonderful opportunity to build support for the agency instead of creating new enemies for it.

    Imagine that an administrator with political savvy and a solid PR background, or at least basic PR training, had been asked that question.

    The first thing they would have done is discussed how critical Earth observation satellites have been to understanding the Earth’s climate and the mechanisms driving the Earth’s climate. Then they would go on about how, with the current budget caps by Congress, NASA will not be able to fly as many Earth observation missions in the future as they would like.

    Rather then triggering the environmentalists to get out their brickbats to use against NASA they could have become an ally in getting Congress to increase NASA’s budget. And environmentalists have a lot more political power then space advocates.

    Note Dr. Griffin would not have had to “rock the boat” by giving an opinion on global warming or if it should be combated, just use it an opportunity to discuss the critical role that space systems have in studying the Earth and the need for Congress to increase NASA funding so more Earth observations satellites could be launched.

    Corporations spend large amounts of money training their CEOs to handle interviews like this and turn them into opportunities to build public support for their firms.

    It’s a pity NASA doesn’t do the same and its probably explains much about why the public doesn’t support NASA as many here believe it should.

  • My strong suspicion is that we have just witnessed the political death of any American return to the moon in the foreseeable future.

    Oh, stuff and nonsense. It was always unlikely that NASA was going to return to the moon in the foreseeable future with this plan, and it remains much more likely that any Americans who return to the moon will do so privately, and probably before NASA planned to.

  • Thomas Matula

    From today’s New York Times Editorial

    [[[Tight budgets are one key reason for the cuts in earth sciences, as is the administration’s long refusal to grapple with global warming. But now it seems that Mr. Griffin’s own belief that climate change may be no big deal accounts in part for his agency’s ill-conceived retreat from environmental studies.]]]

    Just what NASA needs when seeking a bigger budget.

    The full editorial is at

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/opinion/02sat2.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Editorial
    Hot Enough in Here?

  • Having destroyed Donald Rumsfeld and more recently Paul Wolfowitz and with Alberto Gonzales on the ropes, the democratically controlled mass media are hungry for more blood. Any Bush appointed official is fair game, no matter what the consequences are for government. Find a weak spot or invent one and pound on it with as many stories as possible until the person is destroyed.

  • So one of the 23 percenters apologizes for the Bush regime.

    We’ve heard it all before. The Big Bang. It’s just a theory.

  • Cyclops: Having destroyed Donald Rumsfeld and more recently Paul Wolfowitz and with Alberto Gonzales on the ropes, he democratically controlled mass media

    These people, particularly Mr. Rumsfeld, destroyed themselves without any help from the media or Democrats. Not only was invading Iraq extremely poor policy, especially the way we did it, it cost the nation so much money that, by itself, it has made American adventures in space extremely unlikely. It has done far greater harm to our cause than minor issues like the wrong rocket.

    Worse, Mr. Rumsfeld chose to test his military theories — that much infantry is no longer necessary if you are going to invade someone elses nation, irgnoring thousands of years of military lessons — with someone else’s children — again resulting in the pointless waste of money as well as lives. The failure was keeping him on as long as we did, not the fact that, belatedly, he finally went.

    – Donald

  • …irgnoring thousands of years of military lessons — with someone else’s children…

    Donald, please refrain from the demogoguery here. The people who went to Iraq were not “children.” They were adults, there of their own free will, after enlisting of their own free will. Can’t we keep this to space policy, and avoid idiotic DNC talking points?

  • I think that’s a logic error : by enlisting you give up your free will.

    Astronauts don’t go to space on free will either. NASA either gives them a flight, or they don’t. Thus, the problem : the astronaut corps. That’s how we ended up with a fraudulent and disastrous ESAS, and ultimately, the shaft.

  • Rand, the point was that somehow Mr. Rumsfeld, and Mr. Bush’s, relatives did not end up in the war they started. But, I’ll grant this discussion has no place here and I’ll quit as you request.

    However, getting back to the topic at hand, it is worth noting that Mr. Rumsfeld’s theories that machines could replace people have proven dramatically, and disastrously, wrong. That is a lesson that, perhaps, the space community should seriously consider.

    – Donald

  • Christine

    No it isn’t. UAVs have proven remarkably effective at surveillance and CAS.

  • Monte Davis

    That is a lesson that, perhaps, the space community should seriously consider.

    Donald: give it a rest once in a while. There can be few if any here who don’t know you believe strongly in the importance of manned space science and exploration. But this kind of stretch for “relevance” is enough to make even those who might agree with you on both space and Iraq wince.

    You say “getting back to the topic at hand.” Look at the original post and all the comments before this — and note that “people vs machines” hasn’t been the topic for anyone but (surprise, surprise) you.

  • kert

    (1) CO2 is not a side effect of fossil fuel combustion, to be eliminated by clever re-design, but the reason the reaction is exothermic…. and (2) the quantities involved are orders of magnitude greater than any “pollutant” tackled before. A spectacularly bogus argument.
    I would thoroughly recommend everyone to pick up the latest issue of New Scientists, where the oft-repeated myths of climate change are dissected in a careful manner one by one.

  • Former ACT Chief

    Quote 1.”Rumsfeld’s theories that machines could replace people have proven dramatically, and disastrously, wrong.”
    Quote2: “No it isn’t. UAVs have proven remarkably effective at surveillance and CAS.”

    As someone who used to review UAV imagery in a Brigade S2, there is no doubt that UAVs are useful, dramatically so. However, while they complement our other sources, they can never replace a SALUTE report from a forward element with eyes on.

    Now in 15-20 years when we have terminator-like machines roaming the battlefield (thank you DARPA Grand Challenge), then maybe Rummy’s theories will deserve a re-evaluation.

  • Chance

    Kert, New Scienctist is the tabloid of the science periodicals. Next week they’ll run an article directly contradicting everything they said in the one you cite.

  • kert

    Next week they’ll run an article directly contradicting everything they said
    In the article i am referring to, they dont make any new claims, just a thorough listing and review of all the existing claims out there. Its hard to contradict themselves there.

  • Back to the topic:

    At the risk of agreeing with Herr Dr. Elfritz (or whatever honorific eurotrolls use these days), the answer to Mike’s statement is simple:

    We, the generation of homo sapiens that has achieved a rudimentary ability to leave our home world and look back at it, have decided that we would rather not go through the normal (or human-exacerbated) climactic shifts that cro-magnon man and earlier precursor species endured.

    Of course, what that demands is an increase in funding for Earth science research — focusing study as much on inherent cycles as anthropomorphic changes — that would make even the greenest Member of Congress blush. And then a level of planetary engineering to provide “course corrections” at the appropriate point in the cycles, best done from space, of course. The former activity could include NASA, the latter should drive NASA.

    But neither of these benefits, or benefits from, Mike’s chosen implementation path for lunar/mars exploration.

    – Jim

  • Most of us eurotrash think that 383 ppm rising at a rate of 2 ppm/year and accelerating, is a little overkill for turning off the Milankovitch driven ice ages.

  • Monte: Donald: give it a rest once in a while.

    This is well taken, sorry if I’ve pushed too hard for my view. However, when the alternative view, however wrong, is considered the default by so many people, it is hard to keep one’s mouth shut when nonesense is stated so often by people who should know better simply because they haven’t really thought about it. I shall work a little harder.

    – Donald

  • D. Messier

    An example of why most people don’t take much of what Bush says seriously:

    U.S. scales back climate science via satellites
    ‘Overall climate program in serious jeopardy,’ NOAA and NASA experts say
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19030744/

    Bush can’t expect to be taken seriously on climate change if he’s spent the last six years gutting our own programs. This one of many disconnects between what Bush says and what he does. I guess he hoped no one would every notice or they could spin this somehow.

  • richardb

    As I read the press, without bias as their accuracy, I don’t see much about what tangible progress we could make over the next 50-100 years that would positively affect whatever bad consequence people have conjured about man made climate change(MMCC).

    I emphasize this point after China, who is gaining fast on the US for Carbon Queen of the World, just published their own plan about carbon reduction. As usual it’s we’re a poor country, the West caused MMCC, so it’s their problem and China can’t deal with it.

    I do believe the doom awaiting us from MMCC is an imaginative red herring, for enriching ALgore, the media and politicians in general. Kinda of like the chatter of the past about the “Coming Economic Depression” so buy gold! However it is highly desirable to reduce, as rapidly as possible our usage of oil & gas. Mainly because its high cost, high pollution and unstable supplies. I also believe we should expand our usage of solar at home and nuclear power for the grid. Why? both are reliable low pollution energy sources. The argument of lower pollution predates the MMCC hysteria by decades. In fact it even predates an earlier version of MMCC when the claim was that the earth was about to re-enter a new Ice Age, circa 1975.

  • Richardb: However it is highly desirable to reduce, as rapidly as possible our usage of oil & gas. Mainly because its high cost, high pollution and unstable supplies. I also believe we should expand our usage of solar at home and nuclear power for the grid.

    While I think you are wrong about human generated global warming, I’ll take my friends where I can get them. If every non-believer in harmful MMCC believed, and acted on, what you wrote above, I’d be a very happy man.

    Regarding China, Arthur Clarke once said that the world would come to an end the day every Chinaman ownes his own car. In essense, I think he was (and is) probably correct.

    – Donald

  • I do believe

    But you have no evidence, right?

    You’re just talking out your ass, right?

  • Steve Mickler

    As a long-time proponent of solar thermal rocket propulsion I take exception to Easterbrook’s “preoccupation with non-chemical propulsion” being characterised being “odd”.
    I beleive the correct term should be “essential”.

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