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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

"What, Me Worry?"*

by Charles Harmison (writer), Kauai, Hawaii, June 12, 2007

Credit:

Last month, chief of NASA, Michael Griffin, in an interview worthy of Mad Magazine, announced that we need not worry about global warming anymore, not because he had a solution, but because we all were wrong to think that it will be all that bad. He single-handedly reversed the argument denying the impending global climate disaster, by flopping a steamer, which brought intellectual debate in this country, (if it still can be called as such), to an all time low. A death gasp, which, if this wasn't so serious, would have made even the softest hearted and compassionate Buddhist, burst into sadistic laughter, ashamedly covering their mouth with one hand and pointing at the poor suffering moron with the other.

This, amazingly Bush appointed nimrod, claimed in the interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR, that we humans, polar bears, and all other animals dying off from the effects of climate change, were arrogant to think the former conditions on earth, which have fostered us all, were the best that earth had to offer. He suggested that Global warming, though admittedly man-made, nonetheless, might be improving the planet.

At first, Griffin seemed reasonable and, by all accounts, apparently sober. Things sounded as if they might be headed in an intelligent direction. He responded confidently and without any sign of insanity to the first question focused on the critics of his policies;

"It has been mentioned that NASA is not spending as much money as it could to study climate change — global warming — from space. Are you concerned about global warming?"
I'm aware that global warming exists. I understand that the bulk of scientific evidence accumulated supports the claim that we've had about a one degree centigrade rise in temperature over the last century to within an accuracy of 20 percent. I'm also aware of recent findings that appear to have nailed down — pretty well nailed down the conclusion that much of that is man-made. Whether that is a longterm concern or not, I can't say. [source]

What came next, however, quickly turned the interview into the most blatant example of donkey speech anyone has communicated in the English language. With his answer, this graduate of the Alfred E. Neuman Technological School of Science, Technology, or Other Pretty Important Disciplines Related Universally, (the AENTSOSTOOPIDRU for short) showed his IQ equaled his shoe size and responded thusly to the next question;

"Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?"
I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take. [source]

Finally, he dismissed his responsibility to combat global warming and told us all why he was so terrible at his job;

"Is that thinking that informs you as you put together the budget? That something is happening, that it's worth studying, but you're not sure that you want to be battling it as an army might battle an enemy?"
Nowhere in NASA's authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to affect climate change in either one way or another. We study global climate change, that is in our authorization, we think we do it rather well. I'm proud of that, but NASA is not an agency chartered to, quote, battle climate change. [source]

Almost as the words left his mouth, the man regretted what he said and Griffin has announced as much in numerous clarifications. Nonetheless, many prominent scientists among the ranks of NASA as well as in many other agencies have called for his resignation. They feel that the best interests of the country not to mention the planet itself could not be met by such an ignorant opinion held by someone in charge of an agency which should be focused on monitoring and/or preventing this ecological disaster.

James Hansen, one of the leading climate scientists for NASA at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York was among the first to express his dumbfounded surprise at Griffin's comments in an interview with ABC news, "It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement," Hansen told ABC News. "It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change. It's unbelievable, I thought he had been misquoted. It's so unbelievable."

As we journey into a summer, which all evidense suggests, will in fact be hotter than any other ever recorded; when you are suffering through the 12th heatwave this summer with temperatures of 100 plus; when you find yourself choking on the mix of exhaust smog and the smoke from the forests and drought parched wilderness burning all around you; think of Michael Griffin. Look at all the SUVS and try to remain calm as the earth not-so-slowly becomes a little more like Hell.

Oh, and be sure to pack a whip.





*The title, the photo, and the Alfred E. Neuman name are all property of Mad Magazine and this article makes no claim to them as original material. The school, (AENTSOSTOOPIDRU) was created by this author and does not in fact exist. It goes without saying that Griffin did not actually graduate from this fictional school but rather has an extensive list of credentials. Follow this url to view them. http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/griffin_bio.html


About the Writer

Charles Harmison is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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11 comments on "What, Me Worry?"*

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By Kay C on June 13, 2007 at 12:56 pm
I remember being stunned too Charles. Other industrialized nations are starting to take this very seriously, as the ice caps are melting faster than initially thought. The EU in particular. The U.S. gov't, however, still refuses to lead on this issue - so why should India and China bother to follow? Again, it is a case of we won't do as you say, but do as you do (same with nukes). Nations like China are truly starting to ruin their own river systems based on their "progress." I wonder what economic progress looks like when you can't breathe.
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By Jen on June 13, 2007 at 06:47 pm
So...No doubt that is a completely arrogant and irresponsible statement on the part of Mr. Griffin. The man is clearly an ass, but I to a certain degree get where he is coming from...a little...like I can see it under the microscope. I used to date this guy that is an ecologist for the state. We discussed this many many times. His beliefs were that the planet is getting warmer faster, humans are a likely cause, the planet will survive, and unless we are able to evolve/adapt at the same rate as the change in climate we will not, if we dont care to do anything about it then what a fabulous experiment using ourselves as the lab-rats. I've got this powerful drive for self-preservation so even if we as human beings have nothing to do with climate change, and cannot change it no matter how many alternative fuels we develop, I STILL think anything we do to reduce the amount of carbon waste we breath is a good thing. Some people just need to be threatened with imminent death in order to make those kinds of changes that might mean a little less $$ in their already bloated wallets. Nice piece :)
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By Kay C on June 13, 2007 at 06:55 pm
Yes, he may have a point - the Earth may not be at an optimal point with US on it! Here is some more useful info. for anyone interested in keeping an eye out for bought and paid for junk science::::::::::: Have you checked out exxonsecrets.org yet? It’s very interesting: any time I read something in the press from the climate skeptic camp, I go over to exxonsecrets.org and plug in the names of whatever scientists are quoted. Nine times out of ten, the site documents how these scientists are attatched to “think tanks” funded by Exxon-Mobil. Exxon-Mobil has funneled $22 Million into the climate change denial industry since 1998, effectively confusing the issue for many people and stalling action on tackling the climate crisis. Last year the UK's prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society, wrote an unprecedented letter to Exxon asking them to stop funding the groups “misinforming the public about the science of climate change”. Exxon told the Royal Society, basically, that they would. In February of this year, Exxon did a bunch of PR saying it had been "misunderstood" on climate change, and represented itself as having stopped funding the climate skeptic industry. Guess what? Exxonsecrets went through the documents and found that Exxon/Mobil spent $2.1 million last year on 41 groups leading the climate skeptic industry. Take Action! Click off a letter to Exxon/Mobil to let them know we’re watching and that it’s time to actually stop funding junk science. If you come across the skeptic camp in the press, make sure to check them out at exxonsecrets.org, too! Peace! ERIK
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By Kay C on June 13, 2007 at 07:46 pm
Reza B -- I agree with you completely! I believe THE only way to deal with this thing is through technology of the renewable resource variety. My only concern is the stifling of such technology in favor of the gargantuan profits of the deadlier brands.
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By Charles Harmison on June 13, 2007 at 11:31 pm
Hey thanks for all the great comments everybody. KC - But i thought that every leading scientist's objective analysis of climate change was the Junk science. ;) As always you and i are on the same page on this one. Profit IS really the problem isn't it. I hope that the right wing blockheads haven't completely stifled your desire to contribute your articles. I'm looking forward to your next piece. Jen - i'm really curious what you mean by saying that you can see where Griffin is coming from. I think you were joking but maybe i missed it. Reza - it's hard to enjoy the summer when the forests are burning and its 120 degrees. You are right the earth will change but that change should occur over thousands of years so the planet can cope, not 50 as climate predictions show. We can reverse the effects, but only if we don't give up.
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By Jen on June 14, 2007 at 01:49 pm
Charles- Yes, I was kidding. NASA has many goals, amoung them being to "protect our home planet". I simply meant...I can understand the POV, though I don't share it. Reza- I agree. I think it's a bit Malthusian to claim that the earth is going to completely tank in our lifetimes. I think that is where the movement loses people.
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By Charles Harmison on June 14, 2007 at 09:03 pm
Reza- There is no question that the planet is a resilliant beast and even if we nuked the whole surface 50 million years from now the cockroaches will be the ones in charge and living on a lush planet once again. But the entire thrust of how idiotic this guys comments were is that the animals that are living on the earths surface right now, including us, are in for a rough couple centuries as the planet reacts naturally to an effect that was man-made. The scientists that you suggest that are saying the planet naturally changes like this are not taking into account the effects of unforeseen circumstances to dramatically shift the natural eb and flow of geological forces. IF a comet were to impact the planet no one can argue that this would have a serious change in the planet's life in an instant. Well when you consider the entire life of the planet the last 150 years or so of industrialization in relatively like an instant. Where smoke, smog, chemicals and methane that did not normally exist in the atmosphere in large amounts were suddenly and steadily pumped into the atmosphere in massive doses for an extended time. If you don't think this will have an effect on the atmosphere and cause the planet to react then i guess you should go back to eigth grade earth science.
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By Phoenix on June 15, 2007 at 01:52 am
Ladies and Gentlemen, let's hear it for Michael Griffin, the Rocket Scientist. Brilliant, Charles.
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By KLiedle on June 16, 2007 at 12:08 am
Charles, Great article...Even just listening to talk radio, it boggles my mind that there are still people that deny that global warming is an issue and then there are still others that grudgingly accept global warming's existence, yet they deny that WE, humans, had anything to do with it. Obviously, you can lead a NASA official to water, but by the time time you wrangle them, there won't be any water left...
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By Charles Harmison on June 16, 2007 at 05:55 pm
it's not a theory
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By Charles Harmison on June 24, 2007 at 06:38 pm
"your version of facts" does that include stuff like "my version of gravity" or "my version of the conservation of energy" These so-called scientists who have presented counter arguments to the very real fact of Global Warming are more often than not funded by Exxon-Mobil. Their version of the Fact of Global Warming is bought and paid for. That is not science.
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