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NASA’s Top Official Questions Global Warming

NASA’s Top Official Questions Global Warming
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin Questions Need to Combat Warming

“I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists,” Griffin told Inskeep. “I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.”

“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,” Griffin said. “I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.”

This is exactly right. I happen to live on the border of one of the very few places on the earth where plant growth has suffered in the past 20 years of warming – south central Texas. We don’t need more sunshine or warmer temperatures. We need more rain. But I’m not complaining because the vast majority of the world has an improved climate for food production.

Update: Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments

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11 Responses to NASA’s Top Official Questions Global Warming

  1. …the vast majority of the world has an improved climate for food production.

    Yes, but, they also have a worse climate for food consumption.

  2. mung

    Yes, but, they also have a worse climate for food consumption.

    Oh of course. Silly me. Everyone likes to eat outdoors when it’s cold. The colder the better. My personal preference is about 20 degrees below zero, in a blizzard, with 40 mph winds. You? :roll:

  3. DaveScot, that sounds like the exact time my wife likes to go to the local Sonic drive-in restaurant.

  4. Just for fun…..

    Mung:

    Presumably you are referring to storage and keeping and refridgeration of perishable items like meat?

    Well, either you have to eat things fresh (which for a vegetarian diet you have more leeway than with meats) or you improve the state of cooling things for the third world. Incidentally, one item that keeps well and well known in the orient since ancient times is the…..er….”Mung Bean.”

    Not kidding. There actually is such a bean.

    ____________________

    Dave Scot:

    And what is James Hanson’s response on the NASA redirection on climate statements? You know–the OTHER guy whose entire reputation is staked on global warming being a menace. Except this one (unlike ALGORE) is not in need of climatology lessons?

    As to your earlier comment of air conditioning for summer being a luxury vs. heating being a “necessity”–I find this laughable in the context of the dozens of deaths each year in my own state–mostly the elderly and children–of those whose ACs fail and bodies can’t vent the heat like most healthy adults. Unless you are on board with the “survival of the fittest” mode that seems to be sweeping the new bioethics trends at major universities lately. In another life I worked on a golf course cleaning sand traps and digging holes so that rich men could waddle around popping a little white ball while complaining about being drunk at 9:30 AM. I assure you there is MUCH value to even a brief respite from the blistering heat and bugs. I can always argue (as others have) that “what does man need” other than a roaring fire and a hunk of meat and to chase bears out of small caves? The Neanderthals certainly had little trouble adapting to a Europe that was almost as cold as Antarctica is today, and had all the thrills and chills of the scenario you just mentioned in jest. People can always bundle up and snuggle by a fire.

  5. swt

    First of all lets get our facts straight. Refrigeration and air conditioning are very recent inventions in human history and even today billions of people have neither. Fire is not a recent invention and man has been using it at least since the time he migrated away from equatorial Africa. Relatively few people are without heat for cooking and staying warm. Refrigeration and air conditioning are luxuries compared to heating for cooking and shelter.

    Although I wouldn’t necessarily say the trend is sure to continue the current trend is the higher northern latitudes are warming more than the middle and lower latitudes. Plus we aren’t talking about average temperature increasing by more than a few degrees unless the projections are all wrong. The globe is warming more where it’s needed and less where it’s not needed. It’s almost like a warmer world is a natural thing and life is quite well adapted to a warmer globe.

    While there will be some statistically higher number of heat related deaths among the elderly in warm climates it has been proposed (see here)that this will be more than offset by a reduction of deaths due to colds and flu. The “cold and flu” season is in the winter in cold climates. No one is saying there aren’t downsides to global warming or there won’t be both winners and losers. What is proposed is that the upside is greater than the downside – more winners than losers.

    Refrigeration – surely you aren’t telling me the only choices are fresh or refrigerated. Almost everything can be dried for preservation. Refrigerated foods are a luxury. Staple foods such as rice and corn are preserved by drying them.

    As far as Hansen – do you expect him to voluntarily tarnish his reputation by saying he’s been wrong all these years? Griffin is the one who is taking the risk by rocking the politically correct boat. Hansen isn’t and no matter which way this plays out Hansen will be safely retired by the time he can be proven wrong.

  6. DS said, in part:

    Refrigeration – surely you aren’t telling me the only choices are fresh or refrigerated. Almost everything can be dried for preservation. Refrigerated foods are a luxury. Staple foods such as rice and corn are preserved by drying them.

    NO. I am not saying that. In fact as I implied in jest to Mung this is probably the LEAST of all problems. The issue is convenience, not absolute choices for certain kinds of foods. Most grain derived foods are durable if preserved correctly all the way up to about 120f. Agreed. The biggest problem is vermin, not heat per se, though I’m sure that other than population density and sanitation issues the two are related in some respect.

  7. People have been preserving grain and dealing with vermin for thousands of years in the hottest of climates. Ancient Egypt for instance. The global warming scare is all over preserving the status quo not about the greatest good for the greatest number. Keeping the global climate constant is unnatural. It changes and life adapts to the changes. In fact biodiversity may actually suffer when the climate is unchanging for too long. Consider the case of fire suppression. In the past forest management practice called for the prevention of forest fires. We now know this is a not a good thing. Suppressing natural fires caused combustable fuels to build up so when a fire did come along (and it always does eventually) the intensity of it destroyed things that normally survive lesser fires and made the intense fires impossible to control. Fires were a natural thing and many species need the old growth cleared out from time to time in order to get their turn at bat. The same thing might very well apply to climate change. Plants and animals better adapted for warmer or colder climates get their turn at bat when it changes. If they don’t get a turn they might just disappear.

  8. Tolbert!, Tolbert!, Tolbert! -
    You know fish breath – right! Off topic? – NO. Are you really seriously scared of global warning? – is it a crisis we must adress and fix?
    Well, there is more than oxygen in water. Its scary, but there is also CO2! Those darn gas laws need to be changed! You know when (not if) the Sun and other cosmic radiations cause an upness in temps., that darn pollutant is released in FAR FAR greater amounts than the SUV I don’t personally have. AND ALL this fuss over a greenhouse gas that is a fraction of 1% of the total greenhouse gass effect!
    Isn’t there an auwful lot of stamp collection going on here? – now that is scary! Oh, almost forgot, we had better get after those fish who are breathing in AND breathing OUT you know what! (No, I’m not forgetting all the other living things breathing in and out, I just think the priority should be all that trapped CO2 in all the oceans of the world – we must get rid of it – I need a gov. grant)

  9. Alan! Alan! Alan!

    Not sure where you’re going with this, but since you have taken the time to detail gas exchange of our fish friends I might mention that my yard is plagued with blue jays right about now, also noisily breathing in and out and raiding the bird feeder. So, let’s just hope that the world’s suburban avian population (as well as the horrible state of the world’s fisheries) improves somehow in a world where the Arctic and Antarctic waters are now acidic with C02 to the point that shelled creatures are dying.

    The only other thing I might add is that fish breath is wonderful–on fish. On humans it might indicate a need to visit the dental hygienist.

    Other than that, I’m afraid this is, as the Brits say “Neither FISH NOR FOWL”.

    :0 :)

  10. Dave,

    This thread is off the list but here is a study about artic soot and global warming

    http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=38417

    on a news story today.

  11. [...] HT to UD Subscriber Jerry Dirty snow may warm Arctic as much as greenhouse gases [...]

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