Originally posted by vadore: I believe based on what I can read and understand global warming is a reality. But a serious question why is it so important for some to ascribe it to human causation? I'm not convinced of that though I don't rule it out either.
I think this is the point. While climate scientists are the ones who are expert in the field, scientists of all breed might take issue with the presentation of data that still includes a large margin for error being presented with more certainty that it perhaps should. You will note that the element being contested is the presentation of high certainty on the degree to which human impact is driving climate change, not as to other elements. One of the issues that is consistently addressed in the scientific community is the difficulty of presenting scientific results to the public at large. Academia has established a successful means of sharing scientific information and results amongst scientists, but it struggles to convey results to the public. I think this is more a criticism of NASA's presentation of findings than of a) the analysis of results -- which internally reflect more accurately the certainty of conclusions and b) the science itself.
I'm not sure I don't disagree with the signatories, though I'm lay and haven't done enough research on the actual results. I think it's almost certain that human impact is driving climate change, but I also don't think the science is advanced enough to present that with true scientific certainty and consensus. There are just too many variables to control that prevent modeling with accuracy.
I'm not sure I would present this as a purely political issue. The Obama administration has been anything but kind to NASA and NASA scientists and administrators are relatively removed from the political sphere (though many have pronounced opinions -- such as JPL's Carolyn Porco -- regarding the anti-science movement within the GOP).
It should be noted that, and I believe it was also JPL, a group of NASA affiliated scientists did win the Nobel Prize with Gore. So I wouldn't doubt that a connection exists, but I don't think this is something that is related to the current resident of the White House in any way.
Posted on 4/12 12:39 PM | IP: Logged
NYD, how can you not acknowledge that it is a strong possibility that NASA's official position on the matter wasn't coerced by the Obama administration to further its agenda on clean energy?
How many of the former NASA employees were laid off (or are sympathetic to those that were) by the Obama Administration and may have had their own agenda against Obama for that reason in signing the letter.
I personally don't think that a connection between this issue and "the current resident of the White House" can be ignored regardless of which side is right or may be pushing their own agenda.
This post was edited on 4/12 1:31 PM by force10jc
Posted on 4/12 1:29 PM | IP: Logged
Force a good number of the former NASA employees may have a bent against Obama (many of them were part of the manned space flight program which the President has allowed to go on life support and thereby have lost their jobs), but they are not criticizing the policy aspect... they are criticizing the manner in which the science is being presented. I think it's probably a legitimate gripe on a difficult topic.
It's my understanding that NASA's position on climate change has not changed much during the Obama administration, so I don't know that that has anything to do with it.
Regardless of this, I think the issue here is one of science and how it is presented and not necessarily politics. There is no doubt that politics is inextricably intertwined; however, the language of the letter addresses specifically the means by which NASA is presenting scientific information. Because it is a valid concern, I'm not going to overread the politics in it (in other words, there is a valid issue that should be addressed outside of the political ramifications).