I wrote earlier about NASA administrator Michael Griffin and his comment about global warming. Here’s a snippet of what he said that has generated howls of outrage from the church of global warming:
“I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists,” Griffin told Inskeep. “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,” Griffin said. “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.”
Did Griffin deny global warming? No, not at all. But he made the mistake of suggesting that people don’t need to do anything and everything to “fix” global warming, because fixing it requires us to state that Earth’s climate right now is somehow optimal. Griffin wasn’t prepared for the storm of protests his comments stirred up. He didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.
“NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is suprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our four…no… Amongst our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.”
Here is the news of Griffin’s apology as reported on MSNBC:
NASA administrator Michael Griffin said in the closed-door meeting Monday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena that “unfortunately, this is an issue which has become far more political than technical, and it would have been well for me to have stayed out of it.”
“All I can really do is apologize to all you guys…. I feel badly that I caused this amount of controversy over something like this”, he said.
Griffin made headlines last week when he told a National Public Radio interviewer he wasn’t sure global warming was a problem.
“I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists, Griffin said on NPR. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.”
The radio interview angered some climate scientists, who called his remarks ignorant. [emphasis mine - CM]
No, not ignorant, heretical. That is why Griffin’s comments could not be allowed to stand. Global warming is big money for scientists who can use it to get research grants, and no one can be allowed to use his right of free speech to stem the flow of money.
I can understand why Griffin apologized, but he should have taken a line from Galileo Galilei and answered his critics with a simple phrase: