NASA's Top Official Questions Global Warming
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin Questions Need to Combat Warming
ABCNEWS.com, May 31, 2007
NASA administrator Michael Griffin is drawing the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists after apparently downplaying the need to combat global warming.
In a pretaped interview to be broadcast this morning on National Public Radio's ":Morning Edition" program,
"I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists,"
"To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change,"
"It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement," Hansen told ABC News. "It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change."
"It's unbelievable," said Hansen. "I thought he had been misquoted. It's so unbelievable."
News media inquiries to NASA headquarters about
"NASA is the world's preeminent organization in the study of Earth and the conditions that contribute to climate change and global warming,"
Hansen, featured prominently in Al Gore's global warming documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," has been warning of the potential dangers of climate change since the 1980s.
In late 2005, he accused NASA of trying to improperly censor him after he warned that Earth's climate might be approaching a dangerous "tipping point."
The agency later fired a public affairs employee, a political appointee of the Bush administration, over the incident.
Last year, many NASA scientists were upset when reports surfaced that the agency had quietly deleted the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet" from the NASA mission statement. The scientists believe research on issues like climate change will suffer as NASA shifts priorities toward exploration missions to the moon and Mars.
"Earth has always been central to NASA's science," Hansen said.
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