Everybody and their cousin has already posted on this, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it, but yesterday on NPR, NASA administrator Michael Griffin said some extraordinarily stupid things. To wit:

I’m aware that global warming exists. … Whether that is a longterm concern or not, I can’t say.

… 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.

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Ah, yes, who’s to decide that rising sea levels, droughts, intense storms, water shortages, species migrations and extinctions, and the spread of disease are bad? What is “bad,” really? Who decides? Who knows whether a climate that humanity has never encountered in its entire evolutionary history might not be better? Gosh, it’s pure arrogance to attempt answer these questions, much less take action.

Who knew relativism was so popular at NASA?

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Anyway, as James Hansen says, “It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change.”

Contrast Griffin’s comments to the results of a new study from … NASA, which concludes that we are perilously close to a set of climate tipping points, and “only moderate additional climate forcing is likely to set in motion disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and Arctic sea ice.” That’s just one of a number of new studies pointing the same direction. Apparently

… new research shows that models in the [IPCC] report underestimate some changes that are already under way. Sea ice is melting and sea level is rising faster than models had predicted, and one brake on warming, the uptake of CO2 by oceans, appears not to be working as well as scientists had thought.

Yes, but who’s to say that intact major ice sheets are “optimal”? So arrogant!