Friday, June 01, 2007

To go where no man has gone before

John Quiggin, picking up on several of our posts about Roger Bate and Africa Fighting Malaria, comes to the conclusion that our beyond right wing friends occupy a parallel universe. However, in the comments at Real Climate, Ray Ladbury says it is not so bad. He points to Tom Bodett who sagely observes that

Earlier this year the words To understand and protect our home planet were quietly omitted from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission statement. In their place is some vague mandate to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

If one considers the many tons of hardware NASA has hoisted into orbit bristling with cameras, spectral analyzers, infra-red scanners, laser locaters and snappy little blue emblems; and one considers the invaluable information provided by all this stuff about Earth’s ocean currents, wind patterns, water reservoirs, melting ice caps, carbon dioxide densities, and ozone holes; and one also considers how utterly absurd it would be to drop understanding and protecting our home planet from the job description of the people best suited to the task, then one comes to a single conclusion: This is not our home planet
This must be true, after all
Mars is a good place to practice for the trip back to the true mother planet wherever she is. If anybody is in a position to find it, it’s NASA. So point all those cameras and scanners out to the stars and keep your eyes peeled for a familiar blue ball. Forget about all those atmospheric studies. Go to work on some warp drives and we’ll soon be blasting off right through that hole in the ozone, and into the arms of our long lost cousins. That is, if they’ll have us back once they see what we’ve done to the rental.
Michael Griffin, the NASA Administrator was just helping us on our way.


Anonymous said...

I think

"To understand and protect our bottom line"

might be more apt.

I can't help thinking of those pictures of earth from the Moon and of astronauts and others emoting about the Pale Blue Dot -- our home.

It apparently meant nothing to NASA -- or if it once meant something, the meaning has been forgotten or lost.

That may be because many (if not most) of the best people (engineers, scientists and administrators) have left.

TokyoTom said...

Surely I`m not the only one who noticed that it should be a relief to know that Griffin stated the following?

"NASA is the world's pre-eminent organisation in the study of Earth and the conditions that contribute to climate change and global warming. The agency is responsible for collecting data that is used by the science community and policy makers as part of an ongoing discussion regarding our planet's evolving systems. It is NASA's responsibility to collect, analyse and release information. ... As I stated in the NPR interview, we are proud of our role and I believe we do it well."

Anonymous said...

...and surely I'm not the only one who noticed that NASA's James Hansen et al just wrote a paper on dangerous climate interference

How coincidental that Griffin should be saying that “I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with" -- just after that study came out.

Can you say "Head James Hansen off at the pass"?

It appears that Griffin bit off more than he could chew when he decided to tangle with Hansen.

EliRabett said...

Griffin is a headhunter. Ask Wes Huntress and Gene Levy

Anonymous said...

Looks like Hansen is not the only on unhappy with Griffin's statement:

"I was shocked by the statement and I think the administrator ought to resign. I don't see how he can be the effective leader of a science agency if he doesn't understand the threat of global warming," said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University atmospheric scientist and lead author of some of the latest reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC." -- from Scientists Surprised by NASA Chief's Climate Comments (ABC news)

Anonymous said...

Well, looky who's dancing round Griffin's totem pole

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Anonymous said...

Wheeeee! All the kids have come out to play!

Anonymous said...

With supporters like Luboast, who needs detractors?