In today's cynical world, is nothing sacred?
Is nothing deserving of respect or dignity? Even death?
Apparently not at the New York Times, which actually took the occasion of the demise of a highly-regarded American scientist to advance global warming alarmism.
Sadly, I kid you not.
As reported Tuesday:
Robert Jastrow, who led a major space science institution and helped to bring space down to earth for millions of Americans, died Friday at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 82. [...]
In an age when scientists tended to keep to their laboratories and lecture halls, Dr. Jastrow was a very public figure, a prolific author and commentator on a wide range of topics including the space program, astronomy, earth science and national security issues. He lectured on CBS and NBC about space, and his 1967 book "Red Giants and White Dwarfs" was a best seller for a nation hungering for an accessible guide to science during the space race.
Nice, respectful column...until (emphasis added):
Later in life, as chairman of the Marshall Center, Dr. Jastrow blended the scientific with the political, often, colleagues said, in response to what he saw as efforts by others to politicize science. In 1985, he published "How to Make Nuclear Weapons Obsolete," a book supporting President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, known as the Star Wars missile defense system.
Dr. Jastrow also became a prominent skeptic on climate change issues, arguing that scientists who warned of a global warming crisis were misattributing nature's effects on climate to the effects of mankind. Dr. Arking, a climate scientist at John Hopkins University who continued to visit his old mentor on a regular basis until two days before his death, recalled arguing the issue with Dr. Jastrow, finding him less and less willing to make any concessions in their discussions.
"I tried to dissuade him on some issues," Dr. Arking said, recalling that Dr. Jastrow responded: "Yeah, you're probably right, but this is the way we have to put it. We have to convince people that this is not the catastrophe that people were making it out to be."
Honestly, was it necessary to bring this up?
What was the author suggesting with that final paragraph -- that Jastrow actually believed in anthropogenic global warming, but was just faking his skepticism?
Well, to set the record straight, here's what Jastrow wrote on this subject in December 2001 (emphasis added):
We find the scientific evidence clearly indicates the global warming in the last 100 years is likely not due mostly to human activities.
Interestingly, the "we" Jastrow was referring to actually involved the "Dr. Arking" quoted in this Times article, for what the author conveniently ignored was that the good doctor co-wrote a highly-skeptical paper about global warming published by the George C. Marshall Institute - yes, the very Institute Jastrow founded! - in 2001 (emphasis added):
To summarize, many significant observations undercut the certainty with which the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] presents its conclusions:
_ Relative rates of temperature rise at the surface and in the lower to midtroposphere do not show the pattern that is consistent with the greenhouse warming theory.
_ The climate models on which these conclusions are based have many well-documented limitations, and the climate data base to which model results are compared has many shortcomings.
_ There is reason to question the underlying conceptual model on which IPCC conclusions are based. Its assumption that human emissions of greenhouse gases will be the primary driver of climate change during the next century ignores potentially critical determinants of future climate including positive feedbacks that amplify changes in solar variability and negative feedbacks that moderate the effect of increased greenhouse gas concentrations.
_ There is too much uncertainty both in estimates of future emissions and in climate models to provide a sound and confident basis for projections of future climate.
Guess who one of the authors of this paper was:
Albert Arking is a Principal Research Scientist in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he was a Senior Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he headed the Climate and Radiation Branch. Dr. Arking is Associate Editor of Theoretical and Applied Climatology and Chairman of the Review Committee for the Environmental Research Division at Argonne National Laboratory.
Gotta figure that would come as a surprise to the Times. So might the fact that a leading global warming skeptic was also involved in the creation of this paper:
Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T. and a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He has held fellowships and professorships from the University of Oslo, Kyushu University, the Hebrew University, and the University of Victoria and is the author of Dynamics in Atmospheric Physics, and the author or coauthor of over 200 papers in the scientific literature.
Oh my. Nice background research job by the Times, wouldn't you agree?
For those interested, I've sent an e-mail message to Dr. Arking asking his views of this Times column, and will share them if and when I receive them.