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Has NASA's Hansen Finally Lost His Mind? (BTW, half of the article's links are pdf links.)
American Thinker ^ | February 17, 2009 | Marc Sheppard

Posted on 02/17/2009 12:58:58 AM PST by neverdem

Even the realization of Al Gore's dream of "capping" carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants wouldn't satisfy NASA's James Hansen.  He wants to shut them all down, despite the untold human misery such hysterical action would inevitably bring.  And toward that preposterously unattainable end he is now pushing panic buttons with the alacrity of a man truly possessed.

In a wild rant in Sunday's Guardian responding to British Prime Minster Gordon Brown's green-lighting of the controversial Kingsnorth power plant, the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies managed to outdo even his own sophomoric guilt trips and fear-mongering.  Repeating last year's call for a moratorium on British coal-fired plants, which he has since extended to Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and others, Hansen branded coal as "the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on our planet." 

He insisted "that the coal source must be cut off" as "a cap only slows the use of a fuel - it does not leave it in the ground."  Calling for a "phase-out of coal," Hansen even restated references to the plants as "factories of death," and trains carrying the black rocks to them as "death trains," the latter a toned-down adaptation of these outrageously offensive words he laid on the Iowa Utilities Board back in October of 2007:

"If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains - no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species."

That he continues to evoke dreadful Nazi Death Camp imagery - however restrained - betrays a mind obsessed beyond reason.  Indeed, when R. Naasz, president of the National Mining Association, protested "the [2007] suggestion that coal utilization for electricity generation can be equated with the systematic extermination of European Jewry is both repellant and preposterous," Hansen replied that Naasz "[did] not wish to have the message about the grave future consequences of unrestrained growth in coal-fired power plants publicly stated."  Needless to say, he supported his signature straw man argument by blasting "increasing human-made greenhouse gases" as not only "a threat to humanity," but also the "predominant cause of extinction of species."

Of course, horror fans immediately recognize Origin of Species Extinction as a recurring theme in many a Hansen spook-story.  Remember how last year's testimony that opening Kingsnorth would lead to the extinction of no less than "400 species" helped convince an OJ-caliber British jury that the criminal vandalism to the plant by six Greenpeace activists was "proportionate response" to the environmental damage the plant would have inflicted upon the region?

But in an effort to inflate the danger to over half of all species globally during Sunday's appeal to Brown, Hansen invoked previous warming periods:  [emphasis mine]

"The most threatening change, from my perspective, is extermination of species. Several times in Earth's history, rapid global warming occurred, apparently spurred by amplifying feedbacks. In each case, more than half of plant and animal species became extinct.

Hansen asserted that previous periods of warming were caused by unspecified "amplifying feedbacks," having previously insisted that "the mechanisms causing planetary energy imbalance and global temperature change are the ice-albedo and GHG feedbacks," both of which "are now under control of humans."  Yet, the most recent warming period -- prior to the one apparently concluded in 1998 -- was the Medieval Warm Period which ended half a millennium before the industrial age that spawned greenhouse gas-emitting machinery ever began. 

Forgive me, but I doubt one need be a rocket (or, for that matter, a climate) scientist to appreciate the sophistry at play here. 

Nevertheless, Hansen is so cock-sure that we're experiencing a warming era both unique and enduring, he concluded that "Clearly, if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know," raising the "sea level 75 metres higher."  That's over 12 times Al Gore's hysterically-driven 20 foot prediction and over 120 times the IPCC's "worst-case" prognosis. Clear?  Yeah - as mud.  Say Jim, just how "clear" will the wellbeing of the "planet we know" be should we heed your hysterical demands to decommission those plants with no immediately available and viable replacement for the vital power they generate?

Behold Hansen's alternate energy plan, as illustrated in a March 2008 letter to Duke Energy CEO James E. Rogers, after imploring the power honcho not to proceed with plans to build 2 new plants, claiming they'd be a waste of money.  Explaining his sudden concern for Duke's bottom line, he wrote "we have already passed the limit for CO2" necessary to prevent reaching "tipping points," the effects of which include "intensified regional climate extremes" and, of course, "extermination of countless species," therefore "coal-fired power plants built now without CO2 sequestration will soon have to be shut down."  So what might fulfill their duty?  Wrote Hansen:

"Near-term demands for energy can be satisfied via a real emphasis on energy efficiency and renewable energies. Neither carbon sequestration nor nuclear power can help in the near-term, and they both have serious issues even over the longer term."

Yes, carbon sequestration has "issues," not the least of which is lack of an economically and technologically viable design for both capture and long-term storage.  And Hansen knows that, their recent carbophobic faux receptivity notwithstanding, bedrock greenies are not likely to renounce their engrained no-nuke ideology any time soon.   So he's suggesting that we can replace our primary source of electricity with so-called "green technology."

Sounds great, but before investing in that windmill company, consider these current figures from the Energy Information Administration:

Coal-fired plants contributed 48.4 percent of the Nation's electric power, year-to-date. Nuclear plants contributed 19.4 percent, while 21.4 percent was generated at natural gas-fired plants. Of the 1.1 percent generated by petroleum-fired plants, petroleum liquids represented 0.8 percent, with the remainder from petroleum coke. Conventional hydroelectric power provided 6.4 percent of the total, while other renewables (biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind) and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining 3.1 percent of electric power

Of all "renewables," hydroelectric currently stands alone as economically feasible.  But with most plants relying on population-relocating dammed water to drive their turbines, it, too, has many detractors.  Add limited potential new installation sites and rising green complaints of fish endangerment, and we're not likely to see hydroelectric's reach rise much beyond 6 percent any time soon. And its fellow renewables all require creative tax breaks in order to keep their limited energy flowing.  In fact, the new "stimulus" bill includes $20 billion in renewable energy tax incentives, and up to a three year extension of the "production tax credit," a per-kilowatt-hour credit paid to green energy companies to offset the dismal unprofitability of their business models.  Surely, the only "green jobs" these policies will create or save will evaporate the moment the plug is pulled on federal subsidies, as will any meager "green energy" they produce.

However they spin it -- Coal remains King.  It supplies nearly half the juice with which we power our lights, our refrigeration, our communication and environmental equipment, our land and air traffic control systems, our life-saving medical equipment, and countless other instruments crucial to both civilization and human survival.  Not to mention computers, including those Hansen uses to generate his questionable climate models and written fear-mongering of their results.  

So James, might you kindly explain -- without mention of extinction or sea-level rise or ice sheet disintegration -- just how you propose we close these "factories of death" without synchronously opening a global arena of human want, suffering and ultimate demise?

It pains me to type this, but this guy's whacky ideas make even Al Gore's lunacy ring marginally sane.  

Even after last week's annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, at which the Goracle likened his battle to stop global warming to that of 19th century abolitionists fighting to end slavery.

Indeed -- in gauging the measure of a movement, one need not delve far beyond its leadership.

Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your comments.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: agw; amazongate; carbontrade; catastrophism; climatechange; climatechangedata; coal; glaciergate; globalwarming; globalwarmingscandal; globqalwarminghoax; greenenergy; hansen; ipcc; pachauri; pachaurigate
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Global warming seen worse than predicted (barf)

Moving to a warmer climate

Errors in publicly presented data - Worth blogging about?

There's more evidence of warmist hysteria, IMHO.

1 posted on 02/17/2009 12:58:59 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Hs Hansen lost his mind?

A rhetorical question, if ever I saw one.

2 posted on 02/17/2009 1:01:13 AM PST by SAJ
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To: neverdem; xcamel; steelyourfaith

I can point out one lie (or exaggeration) in every sentence of this impassioned screed.

3 posted on 02/17/2009 1:07:28 AM PST by Robert A Cook PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: neverdem
James Hansen: The democrat party's parrot infesting NASA; a charlatan's charlatan. His job is to produce faked data to support his political patry's ambitions of totally controlling the US economy.

4 posted on 02/17/2009 1:07:31 AM PST by FormerACLUmember (NOW)
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To: neverdem
James Hansen: The democrat party's parrot infesting NASA; a charlatan's charlatan. His job is to produce faked data to support his political party's ambitions of totally controlling the US economy.

5 posted on 02/17/2009 1:07:59 AM PST by FormerACLUmember (NOW)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE; proud_yank; FrPR; enough_idiocy; Desdemona; rdl6989; Little Bill; ...
Thanx !


Trained Astronomer & Climate Superstitionist !

6 posted on 02/17/2009 1:49:39 AM PST by steelyourfaith (Hope + Change = PORKULU$)
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To: neverdem

On The Hijacking of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
by Bill Gray
Professor Emeritus
Colorado State University
(AMS Fellow, Charney Award recipient, and over 50-year member)

I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year’s recipient of the AMS’s highest award – the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality. Hansen has exploited the general public’s lack of knowledge of how the globe’s climate system functions for his own benefit. His global warming predictions, going back to 1988 are not being verified. Why have we allowed him go on for all these years with his faulty and alarmist prognostications? And why would the AMS give him its highest award?

By presenting Hansen with its highest award, the AMS implies it agrees with his faulty global temperature projections and irresponsible alarmist rhetoric. This award, in combination with other recent AMS awards going to known CO2 warming advocates, is an insult to a large number of AMS members who do not believe that humans are causing a significant amount of the global temperature increase. These awards diminish the AMS’s sterling reputation for scientific objectivity.

Hansen previously studied the run-away greenhouse warming of Venus. He appears to think that man’s emittance of CO2 gases, if unchecked, will eventually cause the Earth to follow a similar fate. Hansen’s arrogance and gall over the reality of his model results is breathtaking. He has recently warned President Obama that our country has only 4 years left to act on reducing CO2 gases before the globe will reach a point of irretrievable and disastrous human-caused warming. How does he know what thousands of us who have spent long careers in meteorology-climatology do not know?

Hansen’s predictions of global warming made before the Senate in 1988 are turning out to be very much less than he had projected. He cannot explain why there has been no significant global warming over the last 10 years and why there has been a weak global cooling between 2001 and 2008.
Hansen and his legion of environmental-political supporters (with no meteorological-climate background) have done monumental damage to an open and honest discussion of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) question. He and his fellow collaborators (and their media sycophantic followers) are responsible for the brainwashing of a large segment of the American public about a grossly exaggerated human-induced warming
threat that does not exist. Most of the global warming we have observed is of natural origin and due to multi-decadal and multi-century changes in the globe’s deep ocean circulation resulting from salinity variations (see the Appendix for scientific discussion). These changes are not associated with CO2 increases. Hansen has little experience in practical meteorology. He apparently does not realize that the strongly chaotic nature of the atmosphere-ocean climate system does not allow for skillful initial value numerical climate prediction. Hansen’s modeling efforts are badly flawed in the following ways:

1.His upper tropospheric water vapor feedback loop is grossly wrong. He assumes that increases in atmospheric CO2 will cause large upper-tropospheric water vapor increases which are very unrealistic. Most of his model warming follows from his invalid water vapor assumptions. His handlings of rainfall processes are, as with the other global climate modelers, quite inadequate.

2.He lacks an understanding and treatment of the fundamental role of the deep ocean circulation (i.e. Meridional Overturning Circulation – MOC) and how the changing ocean circulation (driven by salinity variations) can bring about wind, rainfall, and surface temperature changes independent of radiation and greenhouse gas changes. He does not have these ocean processes properly incorporated in his model. He assumes the physics of global warming is entirely a product of radiation changes and radiation feedback processes. This is a major deficiency.

Hansen’s Free Ride. It is surprising that Hansen has been able to get away with his unrealistic modeling efforts for so long. One explanation is that he has received strong support from Senator/Vice President Al Gore who for over three decades has attempted to make political capital out of increasing CO2 measurements. Another reason is the many environmental and political groups (including the mainstream media) who are eager to use Hansen’s modeling results as justification to push their own special interests that are able to fly under the global warming banner. A third explanation is that he has not been challenged by his peer climate modeling groups who apparently have seen possibilities for research grant support and publicity gains by following Hansen’s lead. Yet another reason has been the luck of his propitious timing. His 1988 Senate testimony occurred after there had been global warming since the mid-1970s and we were experiencing a hot summer. And the global warming that occurred over the next 10 years (to 1998) gave an undeserved justification to his CO2 warming claims. Had Hansen given his Senate testimony in the 1970s or today (since we have seen weak global cooling since 2001) his alarmist rhetoric would have been taken much less seriously.

I anticipate that we are going to experience a modest naturally-driven global cooling over the next 15-20 years. This will be similar to the weak global cooling that occurred between the early-1940s and the mid-1970s. It is to be noted that CO2 amounts were also rising during this earlier cooling period which was opposite to the assumed CO2 temperature relationship.

An expected 15-20 year cooling will occur (in my view) because of the strong ocean Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) that has now been established and in place for the last decade and a half. This same condition had been present in the mid-1940s when the globe began a sustained three decade weak cooling. I explain most of the century and-a-half general global warming since the mid-1800s (start of the industrial revolution) to be a result of a long multi-century slowdown in the ocean’s MOC circulation. Increases of CO2 could have contributed only a small fraction (0.1-0.2oC) of the roughly ~ 0.7oC warming that has been observed since 1850. Stronger natural processes have had to have been responsible for most of the observed warming over the last century and a half.

AMS. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) was founded in 1919 as an organization dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge of weather and climate. It has been a wonderful beacon for fostering new understanding of how the atmosphere and oceans function. But this strong positive image is now becoming tarnished as a result of the AMS leadership’s capitulating to the lobby of the climate modelers and to the outside environmental and political pressure groups who wish to use the now AMS position on AGW to help justify the promotion of their own special interests. The effectiveness of the AMS as an objective scientific organization has been greatly compromised.

We AMS members have allowed a small group of AMS administrators, climate modelers, and CO2 warming sympathizers to maneuver the internal workings of our society to support AGW policies irrespective of what our rank-and-file members might think. This small organized group of AGW sympathizers has indeed hijacked our society.
Debate. The AMS is the most relevant of our country’s scientific societies as regards to its members having the most extensive scientific and technical background in meteorology and climate. It should have been a leader in helping to adjudicate the claims of the AGW advocates and their skeptical critics. Our country’s Anglo-Saxon derived legal system is based on the idea that the best way to get to the truth is to have opposite sides of a continuous issue present their differing views in open debate before a non partisan jury. Nothing like this has happened with regards to the AGW issue. Instead of organizing meetings with free and open debates on the basic physics and the likelihood of AGW induced climate changes, the leaders of the society (with the backing of the society’s AGW enthusiasts) have chosen to fully trust the climate models and deliberately avoid open debate on this issue. I know of no AMS sponsored conference where the AGW hypothesis has been given open and free discussion. For a long time I have wanted a forum to express my skepticism of the AGW hypothesis. No such opportunities ever came within the AMS framework. Attempts at publication of my skeptic views have been difficult. One rejection stated that I was too far out of the mainstream thinking. Another that my ideas had already been discredited. A number of AGW skeptics have told me they have had similar experiences.
The climate modelers and their supporters deny the need for open debate of the AGW question on the grounds that the issue has already been settled by their model results. They have taken this view because they know that the physics within their models and the long range of their forecast periods will likely not to be able to withstand knowledgeable and impartial review (see Appendix). They simply will not debate the issue. As a defense against criticism they have resorted to a general denigration of those of us who do not support their AGW hypothesis. AGW skeptics are sometimes tagged (I have been) as no longer being credible scientists. Skeptics are often denounced as tools of the fossil-fuel industry. A type of McCarthyism against AGW skeptics has been in display for a number of years.

Recent AMS Awardees. Since 2000 the AMS has awarded its annual highest award (Rossby Research Medal) to the following AGW advocates or AGW sympathizers; Susan Solomon (00), V. Ramanathan (02), Peter Webster (04), Jagadish Shukla (05), Kerry Emanuel (07), Isaac Held (08) and James Hansen (09). Its second highest award (Charney Award) has gone to AGW warming advocates or sympathizers; Kevin Trenberth (00), Rich Rotunno (04), Robert D. Cess (06), Allan Betts (07), Gerald North (08) and Warren Washington and Gerald Meehl (09). And the other Rossby and Charney awardees during this period are not known to be critics of the AGW warming hypothesis.

The AGW biases within the AMS policy makers is so entrenched that it would be impossible for well known and established scientists (but AGW skeptics) such as Fred Singer, Pat Michaels, Bill Cotton, Roger Pielke, Sr., Roy Spencer, John Christie, Joe D’Aleo, Bob Balling, Jr., Craig Idso, Willie Soon, etc. to ever be able to receive an AMS award – irrespective of the uniqueness or brilliance of their research.

What Working Meteorologists Say. My interaction (over the years) with a broad segment of AMS members (that I have met as a result of my seasonal hurricane forecasting and other activities) who have spent a sizable portion of their careers down in the meteorological trenches of observations and forecasting, have indicated that a majority of them do not agree that humans are the primary cause of global warming. These working meteorologists are too experienced and too sophisticated to be hoodwinked by the lobby of climate simulations and their associated propagandists. I suggest that the AMS conduct a survey of its members who are actually working with real time weather-climate data to see how many agree that humans have been the main cause of global warming and that there was justification for the AMS’s 2009 Rossby Research Medal going to James Hansen.

Many thousands of scientists from the US and around the globe do not accept the human-induced global warming hypothesis as it has been presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports over the last 15 years. These IPCC reports have largely followed the global modeling results and despite the Noble Prize Award that its authors received, should not be taken as having any credibility concerning its future of its climate predictions.

A doubling of anthropogenic greenhouse gases will not cause global warming anything like the 2-5oC as projected by nearly all of the GCMs climate simulators and as accepted by the IPCC. I estimate that we will see a global warming resulting from a doubling of CO2 of only about 0.3-0.5oC (see Appendix). Humankind can adapt to this much lower level of global warming without having to sacrifice much of its fossil fuel energy usage to much costlier renewable energy. If society is to eventually convert from fossil fuel to renewable energy it would be much more economic and far wiser if this conversion took place over a long period of time without having to be held hostage to the belief that we must hurry because a massive global temperature increase is rapidly approaching.
Global Environmental Problems. There is no question that global population increases and growing industrialization have caused many environmental problems associated with air and water pollution, industrial contamination, unwise land use, and hundreds of other human-induced environmental irritants. But all these human-induced environmental problems will not go away by a draconian effort to reduce CO2 emissions. CO2 is not a pollutant but a fertilizer. Humankind needs fossil-fuel energy to maintain its industrial lifestyle and to expand this lifestyle in order to be able to better handle these many other non-CO2 environmental problems. There appears to be a misconception among many people that by reducing CO2 we are dealing with our most pressing environmental problem. Not so.

It must be remembered that advanced industrial societies do more for the global environment than do poor societies. By greatly reducing CO2 emissions and paying a great deal more for our then needed renewable energy we will lower our nation’s standard of living and not be able to help relieve as many of our and the globe’s many environmental, political, and social problems.
Obtaining a Balanced View on AGW. To understand what is really occurring with regards to the AGW question one must bypass the AMS, the mainstream media, and the mainline scientific journals. They have mostly been preconditioned to accept the AGW hypothesis and, in general, frown on anyone not agreeing that AGW is, next to nuclear war, our society’s most serious long range problem.

To obtain any kind of a balanced back-and-forth discussion on AGW one has to consult the many web blogs that are both advocates and skeptics of AGW. These blogs are the only source for real open debate on the validity of the AGW hypothesis. Here is where the real science of the AGW question is taking place. Over the last few years the weight of evidence, as presented in these many blog discussions, is swinging very much against the AGW hypothesis. As the globe fails to warm as the models have predicted the American public is gradually losing its belief in the prior claims of Gore, Hansen, and the other AGW advocates.

Heartland Institute. We should all be grateful to the non-profit Heartland Institute of Chicago for attempting to break up the one-way group thinking mentality on AGW by its beginning sponsorship of annual global climate change meetings each year in New York City. The second annual Heartland sponsored meeting will be held on 8-10 March 2009 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in central Manhattan. This meeting offers an international venue (the only one I know of) for an open and fair discussion of the many problems associated with the AGW hypothesis.
Obama Administration Impending Actions.

In November ’08 President-Elect Barack Obama said,
“storms (i.e. hurricanes) are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”

In his inaugural address on 20 January, President Obama said,
“we will roll back the specter of a warming planet” and
“we will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

All three of these statements are either untrue or impossible to accomplish without severe (and unacceptable) economic penalties.

It is obvious that the new Obama administration believes the AGW propaganda. They have listened and continue to listen to the wrong set of advisors. We can expect the new administration to make a major effort to push for CO2 restrictions despite this very troubled time of economic downturn. Obama has appointed AGW sympathizers to head the Dept. of Energy (Stephen Chu), Director of NOAA (Jane Lubchenco), Director of Science and Technology Policy (John Holdren), and for his new Global Warming and Energy Czar (Carol Browner – a lawyer and a former Clinton cabinet member). Our new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has appointed Todd Stern (the man who lead the U.S. delegation at Kyoto) to be her and our country’s official climate advisor. Stern will act as our country’s representative to all upcoming international climate conferences. Lisa Jackson is the new Chief of the EPA and is empowered to enforce clean air standards. If President Obama moves to classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant to be regulated by the EPA, as he pledged during his campaign, a powerful edit to reduce CO2 gases could be forthcoming from the EPA. This would cause many negative changes to American society and do nothing of significance for the environment. We also have powerful congressional leaders such as Henry Waxman, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and John Kerry, waiting in the wings to make a strong push for reduced CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 amounts at his time is definitely not in our country’s best
interest. Especially if we are to encounter a modest global cooling over the next 10-15 years (as I am confident will occur).

The economic crisis that has suddenly come upon us is quite sobering. Let us hope it will justify a postponement of plans for any significant reduction of CO2 gases for the next few years at least. Postponement of action on CO2 reductions would allow more time for a deeper and more objective analysis of the AGW question. And if the current lack of global warming (since 1999) and/or the weak global cooling since 2001 continues for a few more years, it may be possible to convince enough of the American public, the Obama administration, and our congressional leaders to alter their AGW views. The science just isn’t there to justify action on large reductions of CO2 at this time. Our best policy now should be to “do nothing.”

7 posted on 02/17/2009 1:57:45 AM PST by Fred Nerks (We've got to get him out of that White House!)
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sorry it’s so loooong but it’s worth it!

8 posted on 02/17/2009 2:01:41 AM PST by Fred Nerks (We've got to get him out of that White House!)
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To: neverdem
Considering that Hanson is so little a scientist that I've only heard him referred too in conjunction with the junk science of "global warming", maybe he should go do some significant work before laying claim to credibility(?)

Otherwise he has no more of that precious commodity than that buffoon-priest Al "the-sky-is-falling" Gore.

9 posted on 02/17/2009 2:02:58 AM PST by The Duke (I have met the enemy, and he is named 'Apathy'!)
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To: FormerACLUmember

I noticed that the Porkulus package had about a billion set aside for “Climate Modeling” and other such tools for Change, what a scam

10 posted on 02/17/2009 2:26:04 AM PST by KTM rider (keep thy powder dry, gird thy loins, and brace for the winds of change)
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To: neverdem
Has NASA's Hansen Finally Lost His Mind?

Nope. His brain is intact. It was just a little static discharge.
11 posted on 02/17/2009 2:35:28 AM PST by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: The Duke

I thought he worked for NOAA.

12 posted on 02/17/2009 2:45:34 AM PST by scrabblehack
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To: neverdem

Government entities like NASA are where scientists end up after they can’t find work in industry or academia.

13 posted on 02/17/2009 2:50:13 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hey, Obama! Where's my check?)
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To: Fresh Wind
Not so. I worked as a contractor at the Cape for (McDonnell Douglas & Boeing) for 20 years and most of the people I met, especially the management and directors, are very solid and reasonable people. People like Hansen are a disgrace and embarrassment to NASA staff and their contractors.

‘Do the right thing’ is not a joke or or just a mouthed phrase to Cape workers, but a creed in which they take pride. Those workers are fully aware of the lives at stake and of the taxpayers investment. They take their jobs very seriously and the take their failures very much to heart.

99.99% percent are decent, honest, hardworking folk. But then you always get the exception that proves the rule.
Hansen disgraces the efforts of the vast majority.

14 posted on 02/17/2009 3:13:20 AM PST by .44 Special (Táimid Buarch)
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To: Fred Nerks

Good read.

Certainly reinforces the decision to drop my long-standing AMS membership about 10 years ago. It also seals once and for all any chance of rejoining the AMS.

15 posted on 02/17/2009 3:32:04 AM PST by mesoman7
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To: neverdem

16 posted on 02/17/2009 3:59:39 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - Dear Mr.President, Please make it rain candy!)
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To: neverdem

he’s a loon

17 posted on 02/17/2009 4:30:23 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: .44 Special

Over time, what I’ve seen happening in “government labs” is that there is a constant process of seeking out new talent. The best of them gather resume bullets, take advantage of educational subsidies, and then, advanced degrees in hand, move on to higher paying opportunities in the private sector as quickly as they can. Some become contractors. Some find their way into private laboratories or universities.

The ones that stay on tend to be the less competent and less ambitious ones. Some are willing to trade off job satisfaction for job security, or they find they have to.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with job security, but the government environment over time tends to effectively stifle one’s spirit and creativity. The constant pressure to contract out meaningful, interesting work is one of the big reasons for this.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but a buildup of dead wood over time is the result. That process afflicts all disciplines, not just scientists.

Most of these people tend to be low profile types, but you do get the occasional whack job like Hansen who seems to have abandoned a scientist’s quest for knowledge and truth for some other agenda. Nearly his entire career has been spent working for the government. One has to wonder why. He seems to be in full CYA mode now. He knows he’s in a hole, but yet he’s digging even faster.

But most of them, as you say, are good people, solid and reasonable, but they’re not the best.

Because of the nature of their work, NASA is probably less susceptible to this process, but it still happens. Considering the full spectrum of federal laboratories and related agencies, I stand by my statement, though I certainly could have said it better.

18 posted on 02/17/2009 5:35:16 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hey, Obama! Where's my check?)
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To: neverdem
Hansen under the NASA banner lashes out with threats after falsifying and getting caught with exaggerated annual temperature increases in Russia for 2007.
The media is a willing helper as they need sensationalism to keep up sales.
19 posted on 02/17/2009 8:27:50 AM PST by hermgem (Will Olmr)
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To: neverdem

800 billion p*ssed away on the stimulus would have built 60 nuclear plants.

Hansen - You’ve come undone

20 posted on 02/17/2009 8:30:26 AM PST by listenhillary (Rahm Emmanuel slip - A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.)
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