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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dr. James Hansen: When Bad Science Meets Bad Politics

By Alan Caruba
(January 2009)

Everyone knows who Al Gore is, but the snarky little so-called scientist in the Green pea patch of global warming has long been Dr. James Hansen, the Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

Since 1988, Dr. Hansen has been spreading alarms about global warming and, despite the fact that the Earth has been cooling since 1998, he continues to abuse the truth and, while on the public payroll, to seek the spotlight. He has done this for many years, most recently claiming he was being censored by the Bush administration.

At a recent Capital Hill hearing, Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) reminded him that “You are speaking on federal paid time. Your employer happens to be the American taxpayer.” Rep. Issa then revealed that an Internet search demonstrated that, in 2008, Dr. Hansen had engaged in more than 1,400 interviews and appearances.

Despite evidence that GISS had been deliberately releasing false data that the Earth was warming, Dr. Hansen’s most recent egregious behavior included a personal letter to President Obama outlining his plans to save the planet.

Signed by both himself and his wife, Dr. Hansen said that proposed cap and trade regulations are not enough. Indeed, he proposed that all coal fired generating plants be closed down. Since coal provides just over 50% of all the electricity generated in America, this is absurd.

Dr. Hansen, though, isn’t opposed to just coal. He has made it known that oil company executives should be charged with crimes against humanity because of the same greenhouse gas emissions that the use of oil products such as gasoline represents as well.

The truth, however, is that greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly carbon dioxide, have virtually nothing to do with the Earth’s climate. Anybody who tells you this is lying to you. Water vapor, also a greenhouse gas, plays a far greater role and you never hear the alarmists refer to it.

As reported in the January issue of Environment & Climate News, published by The Heartland Institute, “NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies was forced to admit it committed an egregious error when it publicly claimed October 2008 was the warmest October in history.”

“It turns out October 2008 was nowhere near a record. Global temperature measurements of the Earth’s lower atmosphere by NASA satellite instruments show it was fairly typical compared to temperatures over the past 30 years and significantly cooler than average temperatures over the past seven years.”

How, then, did GISS manage to get it so wrong? Because NASA needs funding and the best way to get it is to cook the books, to demonstrate the importance of GISS in presenting data and predicting trends. Lies, however, are of little value when it comes to science and Dr. Hansen in particular should be held in the greatest contempt for his claims about global warming over the years.

That didn’t prevent the American Meteorological Society from recently bestowing its highest honor on Dr. Hansen. This is a shameful act by an otherwise respected professional group.

For the record, 1934 was the warmest year in U.S. history, not 2006 as GISS had publicly announced. Only four of the top eleven warmest years have occurred since 1954.

What this means is that, despite having three or more temperature measuring satellites, NASA’s ability to collect data from NOAA and foreign sources to determine global temperatures cannot be trusted because of its deliberate misstating of that data.

Dr. Hansen is far less a scientist than a political agitator. In this he has been enriched by sources outside the U.S. government, his employer. In 2001, he received a Heinz Foundation award that included a payment of $250,000 for his promotion of the global warming hoax. If the name sounds familiar, Teresa Heinz is married to Sen. John Kerry and guess who Dr. Hansen endorsed for president in 2004?

Investors Business Daily has reported that Dr. Hansen had been funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute by as much as $720,000 for the purpose of his public advocacy of global warming. This is the deliberate politicizing of science that debases its essential neutrality and objectivity.

Why should a man with the audacity of claiming that President Obama has only four years in which to save the world be allowed to hold such a critical position in government?

It’s not like his government pension wouldn’t be enough to live on if he was replaced. He would continue to rake in thousands of dollars to distort the truth about greenhouse gases and a global warming that doesn’t even exist. Al Gore would see to that.

© 2009 Alan Caruba.
All rights reserved.

Alan’s work has a sense of timelessness about it, so anyone perusing these articles in the future will find them equally insightful as they were when originally written. For Alan's latest thoughts go to his blog, Warning Signs. For his past works go to The National Anxiety Center. I would also recommend reading his last book, Right Answers.



  1. Sorry you prefer rhetoric over science. I have yet to see anyone challenge Dr. Hansen's scientific findings in a meaningful scientific way and obtain a consensus among the scientific community that Dr.Hansen is wrong. As you will recall if you have read "Storms of My Grandchildren", Dr. Hansen is more than willing to present his findings to the National Academy of Science for review, allow anyone to attempt to challenge them, and allow the academy to make any comments they feel are relevant. To date, his challenge has never been accepted, with his critics preferring to attempt to sway lay persons opinions through blogs such as yours. The person who has come closest to attempting to mount a challenge is Richard Lindzen, a well-credentialed MIT scientist who testified for tobacco companies regarding his assertion that there is no scientific proof that cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health. Dr.Lindzen still maintains this position today. However, Dr. Lindzen has not and will not attempt to discredit Dr. Hansen in front of the Academy because he knows he will fail. Instead, he presents his "spin" on the subject to politicians and lay persons who are not educated enough on the subject to see through the facade Dr. Lindzen presents.

  2. Dear Mr. Toohey,

    Hansen’s book “Storms of My Grandchildren” it is nothing more than a “Chicken Little and the Sky is Falling” fantasy; his "sweltering Earth devoid of life” rhetoric…(your word)….is a typical ploy of those in favor with the green movement.

    He and his companions constantly talk about “tipping points’ that never come and will never come (more rhetoric) and he changes his history regularly without explanation in order to make it appear that things are even worse than he painted previously.

    As for the National Academy of Science, they are no more trust worthy than Hansen in my opinion, especially since they have practically blacklisted those who speak out against global warming.

    Does any rational person believe they could get a fair judgment from them? As one person observed, ‘Someone needs to publicly clean house at the NAS, washing the institution’s hands of public policy pronouncements and renouncing efforts to turn them into a propaganda organ for climate alarmists.’

    Anthropogenic Climate Change has made scientific integrity an oxymoron. If the only government grant money that was available was to prove the Earth was cooling these universities and researchers would do an about face so fast they would look like the color guard in a military parade.

    Careers and reputations will be destroyed by the time this is over and I believe the scare mongers like Hansen, Mann and that whole crowd will be the ones to suffer that fate.

    I don’t know if he has been challenged publically or not, I personally I don’t care as his work has been discredited because of ‘errors’ that should have been easily recognized by he and his cohorts. As for Richard Lindzen’s views on smoking and cancer…who cares? I don’t even care what his views are on climate science. That whole Lindzen thing you present is nothing more than a red herring fallacy. And the rest of your argument is an appeal to authority. There is no real consensus on global warming. That isn’t even a logical fallacy, it is an outright misrepresentation of the facts, although it has been repeated so often that statement is now "truth". And even if the whole world of science did agree….so what? That doesn’t make it correct.

    The Earth isn’t warming any longer, yet Hansen’s numbers keep changing and he even admits that the models are off. Why should we believe him…or for that matter Lindzen or anyone else.

    Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we are seeing in reality irrespective of who says what.

    The reality is that this whole global warming scare has failed the history test. Historical records show far more warming in past periods. Did any of the things that Hansen and the warmers yell about occur then? No! If these things didn’t happen then, why should we believe they will occur today? We clearly shouldn’t.

    My rules for posting are simple. A post can’t be rude, crude, smarmy or stupid. You have presented yourself with dignity. We disagree, and I am sure we will always disagree, but if you should wish to post in the future please feel free.

    Best wishes,
    Rich Kozlovich