Just as Jim Hansen, the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has recently likened man-made global warming to "a great moral issue" like "slavery," a group of 49 former NASA scientists issued a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolton asking for the administration refrain from including "unproven and unsupported remarks" about climate science in its communications.
The letter, sent at the end of March, includes former scientists, astronauts and two former directors of NASA’s Johnson Space Center who believe climate science is "not settled" and wish for NASA to look at all available scientific data before making claims of carbon dioxide's "catastrophic impact".
Several blogs that do not consider man-made global warming a done deal, such as Watt's Up With That, have recently picked up the story and posted the full letter.
Here's it is:
March 28, 2012
The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.
Washington, D.C. 20546-0001
We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. 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.
The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.
As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.
For additional information regarding the science behind our concern, we recommend that you contact Harrison Schmitt or Walter Cunningham, or others they can recommend to you.
Thank you for considering this request.
See a full list of the signatures here.
The Washington Examiner reported NASA not having a comment on the letter at this time. The Daily Caller reached out to signatory Walter Cunningham, who served as an Apollo 7 astronaut, who said many at NASA's Alumni League’s Johnson Space Center Chapter in Houston are "not [...] really all that please with what's happening at NASA." The Daily Caller also reports geologist Leighton Steward, chairman of Plants Need CO2, as claiming he helped spur the letter into action after he spoke with the group a year ago about climate science at the agency.
As the former NASA employees state in the letter, this is not the first time scientists have spoken out against some climate science. One of the more recent occasions in January included 16 scientists sending a letter to the Wall Street Journal urging elected officials that "drastic action" against man-made climate change was unnecessary. These scientists were attempted to be discredited soon there-after by others in the field stating they were not experts in climate science.
Note: We'll update this story if any statement from NASA becomes available.