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NASA scientist out of control

By Tim Ball - posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012

James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, personifies American author Mary McCarthy's observation that "Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism." Hansen has used his NASA position to misdirect public policy on climate change for 24 years. His recent pronouncements that humanity is causing a dangerous increase in extreme weather have a similar disregard for scientific accuracy.

The public are turning away from claims of human impacts on climate. Politicians use the poor economy as an excuse to cut funds and bypass the issue. As a result, a counterattack is underway by those using global warming for a political agenda. At the forefront again is NASA bureaucrat Hansen, who put climate activism on the world stage before then-Senator Al Gore's Science, Technology and Space committee hearings in 1988.

In a PBS interview former Senator Timothy Wirth admitted how they chose Hansen, then a maverick NASA scientist-even his supervisor did not agree with him on global warming-and orchestrated his appearance before the 1998 committee. Wirth said,"We called the Weather Bureau and found out what was historically the hottest day of the summer…so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it…we went in the night before and opened all the windows so that the air conditioning wasn't working inside the room." Wirth summarized the objective in 1993; "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing …"


Hansen told the hearing that he was "99 percent sure . . the [human caused] greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now." No scientist would make such a claim. It even contradicts what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in 1995. They asserted,"…no study to date has positively attributed all or part of climate change observed to man-made causes." Hansen's 1988 predictions have turned out to be 150 percent wrong.

Undeterred, Hansen now writes that he underestimated how bad things would actually get and makes even more of the sort of mistakes that have been typical throughout his career. In his July 2012 article, The New Climate Dice: Public Perception of Climate Change, he and his co-authors cite the 2007 IPCC Report which said "...observed global warming is now attributed with high confidence to increasing greenhouse gases (IPCC 2007a)."

Yet, real observations show the opposite-temperature has declined as carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas of most concern to the IPCC, increased.

Hansen et al also tell us that the warming will continue, "...because Earth is now out of energy balance…". He means the balance between solar energy entering the atmosphere and heat energy from the surface going to space. But the Earth is essentially never in balance. As the balance changes the Earth warms or cools. Hansen and his colleagues say it's warming because less heat is going out. But the planet is actually cooling because less heat is coming in since the Sun is in a slight dimming period.

IPCC scientists don't include critical solar changes in their computer models. They were deliberately limited to human-caused climate change and built models to support it. Hansen accepted the hypothesis with narrowness inappropriate in science. He, probably more than any other scientist, then used his position and political views to perpetuate false science to the detriment of society.

Consider the comment by German physicist and meteorologist and Klaus-Eckard Puls:


Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it. The CO2-climate hysteria in Germany is propagated by people who are in it for lots of money, attention and power.

All this suggests either Hansen:

  • hasn't looked properly at the IPCC science;
  • doesn't properly understand the science; or
  • is misinterpreting for some reason.
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About the Author

Dr. Tim Ball is a Victoria, British Columbia, Canada-based climatologist and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. His Website is

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