Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:06 am
Sep 11, 2008
Note to NASA: Fire Dr. James Hansen, Now!
By Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That
I’ve been wrestling with this topic for hours now as to how to best present it in this forum. I finally decided to simply just write it as I see it. It has been an ugly day for law and common sense in the world. Vandalism in the name of ecological causes is now “ok” thanks in part to Dr. James Hansen, of NASA GISS coming to the defense of eco-vandals. See the second story here. Now, encouraged by this “victory” that gives a sanction to eco-vandalism in the UK, how many more shall we see? And if one of these people is injured and kills themselves or others in the process of the next stunt? What then? Who is responsible?
Certainly I want a cleaner world, and better energy resources with focus on the future. But, sanctioning vandalism for these causes is not the way to get there. What do I want from NASA as a taxpayer? Science, solutions, and inspiring ideas turned into reality. I don’t want political activism in the name of science. After thinking awhile about this, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
1- A NASA scientist siding with vandalism as a “lawful excuse” is an inappropriate abuse of the position. It was a question of law, not of science.
2- Dr. Hansen cannot separate himself from the agency as private citizen in this case, because he was brought in as an “expert witness”. Even if he paid his own way and took personal time, his presence was based on taxpayer funded research.
3- It appears Dr. Hansen has violated the code of ethics posted on the NASA Office of General Council webpage. From the Goddard Institute for Space Studies web page: GISS is a component laboratory of Goddard Space Flight Center’s Earth Sciences Division, which is part of GSFC�s Sciences and Exploration Directorate. Thus Hansen falls under these ethics rules. Specifically, Dr. Hansen’s defense of vandalism in the name of a cause he believes in fails under the NASA Misuse of position rule. If he received compensation of any kind, such as airfare, rooms, board etc. to appear as a NASA expert, he would also be breaking other NASA conduct rules.
4- As keeper of data, specifically the GISTEMP dataset, he has now brought the impartiality of that data into question due to his activism in areas unrelated to scientific research. Certainly Dr. Hansen has a body of work that is impressive, there is no disputing that. But it is time for Dr. Jim Hansen to go. Thanks to him, GISS as a dataset is no longer impartial. We have potential bias from the gatekeeper of the data that can’t be separated from the data. If he can come to the defense of lawbreakers in the name of his global warming cause, then it is an even easier jump to allow that same bias to creep into scientific data he is responsible for and his conclusions drawn from that data.
If you feel the same way, your recourse is to write to
Michael D. Griffin
c/o NASA Public Communications Office
Washington, DC 20546-0001
(202) 358-0001 (Office)
(202) 358-3469 (Fax)
Or use the online submission form. See one such letter here.
Icecap Note: We support Anthony and encourage you to write to NASA. We have a situation where we have 3 people. Hansen, Karl and Jones with strong activist ties serving as gatekeepers to the world’s station data bases with free reign to select and adjust that data as they see fit. That alone is an unacceptale position. When they abuse the public trust by refusing to release data, procedures or algorithms (Jones). Allow 87% of the stations to fail government standards for siting and then remove the urban adjustment in the station data bases for change analysis and then lead a biased group of enironmental activists in producing the least scientific and most biased document I have ever seen (far worse than the IPCC) in the CCSP (Karl). And continually adjust the data with a clear bias to cool the prior early 20th century warm period and warm recent years and then travel the country and world testifying against new coal power plants, calling train coal cars the equivalent of holocoust death trains and now advocating vandalism to stop the building of coal and nuclear plants that even environment friendly governments realize will be necessary for years to come to provide for the energy and heating needs of the populations (Hansen), it is time to sweep house. Hansen by his actions deserves to go first. We need an independent data group not beholding to anyone to review and reanalyze the old data. We have fortunately the satellite groups UAH and RSS that we can rely on going forward but their data unfortunately starts in 1979 at the beginning of the only two decades in the last 7 where temperatures actually rose!!!
Certainly Anthony Watts is known and famous for his unbiased views ...
Yesterday's image of the sun:
Crossing the Line
Top NASA climatologist James Hansen endorses eco-vandalism.
By Henry Payne
Prominent NASA climatologist James Hansen, a close ally of global-warming activist Al Gore and one of the world’s leading scientific voices warning of a global climate crisis, has endorsed eco-vandalism.
Hansen’s controversial turn stems from testimony he gave this month in a London criminal trial against Greenpeace supporters who were accused of defacing " at a cost of $60,000 in property damage " Kingsnorth, an English coal plant. Hansen testified in support of the defense’s assertion that the Greenpeace members had a “lawful excuse” because they were acting to protect property around the world “in immediate need of protection” from the impacts of global warming " caused in part, they allege, by coal burning.
By crossing the line to the side of destructive violence, Hansen " often hailed as the “the world’s leading climate scientist” by green organizations and praised by Time magazine as one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People” " has seriously damaged the credibility of a movement that has struggled to separate its apocalyptic rhetoric from more extreme environmentalists who demand violent action to match that rhetoric.
It is as if Dr. C. Everett Koop, a prominent anti-abortion physician, had testified in favor of vandalizing abortion clinics.
The Sierra Club " one of the world’s leading green organizations and which just last year teamed with Hansen and the American Solar Energy Society on a new report laying out a plan for dramatically reducing the nation’s greehouse-gas emissions " would not comment on Hansen but distanced itself from eco-vandalism. Said a Sierra Club spokesperson: “We don’t advocate destruction of property.”
According to The Independent newspaper in London, Hansen “asserted that emissions of carbon dioxide from Kingsnorth (power station) would damage property through the effects of the climate change they would help to cause.” But, although “there’s just barely still time,” said Hansen, mankind needs an immediate moratorium on the construction of all new coal fired power plants. Somebody, he concluded to the jury, needs “to stand up.”
The jury ruled in favor of the defendants, the so-called Kingsnorth Six. The Independent reported the news under the headline: “Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law.”
The ruling shocked British industry, set a precedent for more eco-vandalism, and will likely complicate Hansen’s tenure at NASA.
Hansen’s endorsement is likely to embolden radicals in the United Kingdom and possibly in the U.S., where members of the Earth Liberation Front have torched suburban homes, SUVs, logging trucks, ranger stations, and a ski resort in Vail, Colo., causing many millions of dollars in damage.
“The ramifications are huge,” writes Iain Murray, an environmental-science expert with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Operators of coal-fired power stations in the U. K. have just been stripped of legal protection from the criminal actions of the environmental lobby.”
Hansen’s fierce criticism of the Bush administration’s climate policy as a government scientist and as a professor at Columbia University has earned prominent media attention, which helps explain his Time-endorsed celebrity status. Hansen has also received criticism for his close ties to Al Gore " appearing, for example, with the former vice president on stage at Live Earth! " and for taking money from Democratic donor George Soros.
In the wake of Hansen’s Greenpeace testimony, meteorologist Anthony Watts called for his resignation, writing that “a NASA scientist siding with vandalism is an inappropriate abuse of the position. It was a question of law, not of science. . . . Dr. Hansen has violated the code of (NASA) ethics.”
CEI’s Murray says that “a plausible case is presented that Hansen has breached codes of practice,” though he worries that removing Hansen would only create a green martyr.
Hansen is proof of the corruption of environmental science by the religious zeal of climate alarmism. Even its premier scientist has become synomymous with ideological extremism.
By contrast, the experience of Dr. C. Everett Koop is instructive. A renowned pediatric surgeon, Koop held strong personal views on the morality of abortion. Yet, as a public servant in the late 1980s, Surgeon General Koop tried to separate his personal views on abortion from his responsibilities as a government scientist " even under pressure from the Reagan administration and the political temptation to tilt public debate on a hot political issue. In reviewing the science on whether abortions had long-term health effects on women, Koop found the science inconclusive. Dr. James Hansen might well say the same of climate science, if the line between advocacy and science had not become so badly blurred.
Once the paragon of the green movement, Hansen’s credentials gave scientific credibility to the ideological motives of Gore and left-wing green organizations. Now he is a severe liability, aligning himself with extreme measures that expose the natural course of that ideology. As surgeon general, Dr. Koop knew that the pro-life advocacy and violent intimidation could not co-exist. NASA scientist Hansen is proof that green and intimidation are never far apart.
" Henry Payne is a writer and editorial cartoonist for the Detroit News.
Did you check the date on your picture compared to yesterday's date?
No wonder you think the earth is only 6000 years old.