Sunday, July 27, 2008

James Hansen is a scientist?

As a former Houston resident of 23 years I have always had a soft spot for NASA, whose headquarters for manned space flight is located at Clear Lake, southeast of the city.  But this loyalty is wearing a bit thin when it comes to the climate change debate.

NASA, through its Goddard Institute of Space Studies, provides the main of several temperature databases on which august bodies like the IPCC and US Congress make decisions about what they are going to have us do to control climate change.  The NASA temperature database has come under significant criticism for statistical mismanagement (I use kind words!) and their "hockey stick" graph is now considered an inaccurate representation of historical temperature change.

As reported in today's Telegraph, James Hansen, the man in charge of this project is a "denier" of the first order, but a denier that there is any opposition to what he and his group has published:

"Hansen himself is notoriously impatient of any criticism of his methods: earlier this month he appealed to Congress that the leaders of those who question global warming should be put on trial"

Wow!  This man is a scientist?

For myself, the article in the Telegraph is too concerned with the temperature readings of the past few years.  These fluctuations are nothing compared with geological time scale trends.  This is the real problem with our politicians being unable to grasp an understanding of climate change.  Politicians only think in terms of the span of office, the time between elections, and so on.  Long term forward planning is rare among politicians so why would they look back any further than their own time span?

They should.  It would save us all a great deal of unnecessary taxation and expenditure "fighting global warming".