NASA Chief Says Global Warming May Not Be an Urgent Problem ‘We Must Wrestle With’

It seems almost a metaphysical certitude that the following will not be raised in this evening’s nightly newscasts, or the headlines of tomorrow’s papers.

Regardless, Dr. Michael Griffin, the Administrator of NASA since April 2005, told NPR Thursday morning, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that [global warming] is a problem we must wrestle with” (audio available here).

As ABCNews.com reported Thursday, this has drawn “the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists,” in particular, global warming alarmist James Hansen (h/t NBer Sick-n-Tired).

More on that later. First, here are some of Griffin’s remarks as reported by NPR.com (emphasis added throughout):

I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. 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. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, 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.

How delicious. Wonderfully, he wasn’t done:

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.

Well, someone ought to tell NASA scientist James Hansen this. After all, as reported by NewsBusters Thursday, Hansen has made it almost his personal mission the past 26 years to use his position at NASA to advance global warming alarmism in order to impact legislation.

As such, according to ABCNews.com, Hansen wasn’t pleased with Griffin’s remarks (emphasis added):

Griffin's comments — released in transcript form by NPR — immediately drew stunned reaction from James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

"It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement," Hansen told ABC News. "It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change."

Hansen believes Griffin's comments fly in the face of well-established scientific knowledge that hundreds of NASA scientists have contributed to.

"It's unbelievable," said Hansen. "I thought he had been misquoted. It's so unbelievable."

Nice way to talk about the head of the agency you work for, James.

Apparently, news of the upcoming NPR segment created quite a deluge of media inquiries at NASA. As a result, Griffin sent out the following press release Wednesday evening (emphasis added):

“NASA is the world's preeminent organization in the study of Earth and the conditions that contribute to climate change and global warming. The agency is responsible for collecting data that is used by the science community and policy makers as part of an ongoing discussion regarding our planet's evolving systems. It is NASA's responsibility to collect, analyze and release information. It is not NASA's mission to make policy regarding possible climate change mitigation strategies. As I stated in the NPR interview, we are proud of our role and I believe we do it well."

Think we’ll hear anything about this apparent difference of opinion on tonight’s news broadcasts or in the papers tomorrow?

I'm not holding my breath.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.