Those words, on a banner that hung in the Mission Evaluation Room at the Space Center in Houston, continues to be imprinted on the minds of many of the ex-NASA scientists that are now retired but certainly not expired! (Some of them, including me, will be at The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago May 21 – 23.)
Their thirst for another mission together has caused them to develop a team committed to evaluating another important challenge; that of trying to examine the reliability of the data available to the two sides of the global warming or global climate change “debate.”
They know it is not the amount of data but the reliability of the data that counts. Accustomed to weighing life and death situations, their assessment and risk determination skills have been well tested. Today they are able to bring a refreshing level of objectivity to evaluating what the two sides bring to the table because none of the team members are receiving pay from NASA.
All of this began following a presentation on empirical evidence derived from proxy studies of Earth’s past climates that, among other things, can approximate the old temperature and CO2 levels. Upon ending the presentation and tossing questions and observations around, it became apparent that over 90% of the ex-NASA scientists shared significant concerns about the “man-made CO2 is the major cause of global warming” claims being announced by NASA and particularly by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It was suggested that the group should consider contacting NASA’s headquarters with a letter to the current administrator, Charles Bolden. A second such presentation at the Space Center in Houston confirmed the prevalence of the concern within the ex-NASA body.
The signatories and the letter to Administrator Bolden can be found here (PDF). The team has major concerns about the quality of the data being used by NASA to support both written and verbal releases that have indicated a certainty or finality that man-made carbon dioxide is the major cause of climate change. The catastrophic forecasts, coming mainly from the GISS, are based on complex computer models that contain many assumptions of varying quality that are chosen at the discretion of the modeler or senior management.
Basing statements indicating such certainty on the output of such complex computer models is foreign to most of the data driven members from the old Apollo era. Of paramount concern is that the uncertainties of the model outputs are seldom revealed in a way that is easily understood by the administration, the EPA, and the policymakers and leaves them with an inordinate trust in the NASA-GISS announcements.
The team will be interviewing climate experts with data and views on both sides of the issue. If it is ultimately determined that the data being relied upon by NASA is deficient relative to generating good, science quality projections of future impacts of man-made CO2, the team will publish a report stating why they have made such determination. Alternatively, if they feel the data is of reliable quality, they will so state that opinion. Stay tuned!