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Friday, 01 June 2007 21:42

NASA boss Michael Griffin on Global Warming

National Pubic Radio (NPR) recently interviewed NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. He said, "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with." In response, a barrage of criticisms is being levied against Griffin. Is it fair?

Please read the NPR-Griffin story from SpaceDaily.com called "NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Glogal Warming". Other such stories are also available for your consideration.

I’d like to comment on Griffin’s comments and the opinions generated from this story.

First: A small minority of scientists and other informed persons have questioned the validity of global warming from solely human-made sources. Griffin is not questioning the stance that global warming exists or doesn’t exist. He admits global warming exists. (Griffin: “I have no doubt that global -- that a trend of global warming exists.”)

Second. Griffin says (according to my interpretation) that he is unsure whether we (as a human group) need to address this problem. (Griffin: “I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.”)

Third: Are not we now seriously studying the problem called global warming? Yes, is the answer. Are we not trying to implement improvements that will reduce our ‘carbon impact’ on the Earth? Yes, again.

Fourth: Aren’t we also still unsure just what exactly causes global warming? Is it solely from human-made activities? It is a combination of factors, such as human-made activities, natural Earth cycles, or other natural or artificially made factors? I believe the consensus shows that we are not totally sure what is causing global warming. We have some good indications, but we are not “100%” sure.

Fifth: Just because a scientist (or anyone for that matter) agrees or disagrees with an issue does not mean that person cannot unbiasedly implement actions as directed by superiors. Scientists are suppose to be people who can scientifically study something in order to seek out more information about some unknown, and to do it in such a way as to be totally unbiased and logical in their approach to the issue. If we all tried harder to go about our lives in more unbiased and logical ways, we could avoid a lot of problems.

Sixth: Griffith states that NASA’s job is to gather and collect information on global warming, and not to make decisions on it. There is no reason whatsoever why Griffin and NASA cannot unbiasedly and logically research global warming. They are directed by the U.S. federal government to do so. It is to their best interests (and to the best interests of all people on the Earth) to do so. (Griffin: “Nowhere in NASA's authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to affect climate change in either one way or another. We study global climate change, that is in our authorization, we think we do it rather well. I'm proud of that, but NASA is not an agency chartered to quote "battle climate change.")

Seventh: Everyone should have the right to disagree with issues that arise during any scientific study, management project, daily job, or other task. Unfortunately, in our way of doing things, employees/subordinates are often penalized and even fired for disagreeing with management/superiors. However, if someone disagrees with an established way of doing so, is it not to the advantage of management to look into valid and credible questions brought forth by its employees? (According to SpaceDaily writers: “But in recent weeks a new squabble over NASA has broken out in Washington with the new Democrat dominated Congress passing an increasingly critical eye over NASA and it's operations, where budget pressures are building against a backdrop of competing programs, centers and agendas.”)

Eighth: Remember the great Y2K Bug incidence where all the world’s computers were going to crash as we went from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000. Yes, we reworked many computers. However, the computer experts’ predictions of a total meltdown of our computer infrastructure did not happen. As German-born physicist Albert Einstein once stated: "Blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." It is always wise to QUESTION!

Ninth: To not look into problems is only asking for more problems down the road. NASA knows that statement only so well with the Challenger and Columbia disasters of the past. Maybe it as an organization has learned from its mistakes and are questioning as they research their projects. Maybe these people are just being good citizens of the Earth.

Please remember that my comments are just that "my comments". We all need to analyze and evaluate all issues that are important. We all should do this in an informed, unbiased, and logical manner. For without reason and understanding, we have little to base our opinions.


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