NASA Astronauts Announce Second Letter to NASA at Heartland Conference

This will be a top sticky post for a day or two, new stories will appear below this one.

At the Heartland Conference in  Chicago this morning, four of the forty-nine signers of the March letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (discussed at WUWT here, here, and here) appeared to discuss their reasons for signing that letter and to announce a second letter responding  to NASA’s response.

The text of that letter is reproduced below:

May 11, 2012

The Honorable Charles Bolden, Jr.  NASA Administrator

NASA Headquarters

Washington, D.C. 20546-0001

Dear Charlie:  

In our letter of March 28, 2012, we, the undersigned, respectfully requested that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites.

On April 11th, Dr. Waleed  Abdalati responded, holding that: “As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue ‘claims’ about research findings.” 

Eight days later, at a senate hearing, Dr. Abdalati, did just that, concluding that Sea-Level rise within the next 87 years projects within a range of 0.2 meters to 2 meters, with lower ranges less likely while “the highest values are based on warmest of the temperature scenarios commonly considered for the remainder of the 21st century.” Abdalati added: “The consequences of a 1 meter rise in sea level by the end of this century would be very significant in terms of human well-being and economics, and potentially global socio-political stability.”

The range and imprecision of this conclusion is astounding! 

“Commonly considered?”  Is this science by poll?  If hard data points to a provable rise, it should be stated with its probability.  Can you imagine one of your predecessors, Dr. Thomas Paine, declaring, “Our Apollo 11 Lunar Lander’s target is the Sea of Tranquility, but we may make final descent within a range that includes Crater Clavius”?

We are not trying to stifle discourse, but undisciplined commentary, lacking in precision, is wholly inappropriate when NASA’s name and reputation is attached. 

This letter should end the discussion, as a protracted discourse on this topic is not in NASA’s interest, but a commitment from you to equal or exceed the agency’s reputation for careful reliance upon rigorous science and accurate data most certainly is! 

Join us, please, in encouraging your colleagues to achieve the level of excellence the world has come to expect from America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration!  

Waiting to do so is not an option!

[signed 41]

PS Waiting to send was not an option either –we have fewer signatures than the first, as not everyone was reachable and only one opted out.

/s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack – JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years

/s/ Larry Bell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Cargo Engineering, Crew Syst. Div. 32 years

/s/ Jerry C. Bostick – JSC, Director of Mission Support, 23 years

/s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman – JSC, Scientist – astronaut, 5 years

/s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Div., MOD, 41 years

/s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox – JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years

/s/ Walter Cunningham – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years

/s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years

/s/ Leroy Day – Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years

/s/Charles F. Deiterich – JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Harold Doiron – JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years

/s/ Grace Germany – JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years

/s/ Richard Gordon – JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years

/s/ Gerald D. Griffin – JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years

/s/ Thomas M. Grubbs – JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years

/s/ David W. Heath – JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years

/s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. PE – JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 14 years

/s/ Enoch Jones – JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years

/s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin – JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years

/s/ Jack Knight – JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Div., MOD, 40 years

/s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft – JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years

/s/ Paul C. Kramer – JSC, Ass’t. for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years

/s/ Dr. Lubert Leger – JSC, Ass’t. Chief Materials Div., Engr. Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years

/s/ Donald K. McCutchen – JSC, Project Engineer – Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years

/s/ Richard McFarland – ARC, Mgr. Tech development VMS & Motion Simulators, 28 years

/s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser – Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years

/s/ Dr. George Mueller – Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years

/s/ James Peacock – JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years

/s/ Alex Pope – JSC, Aerospace Engineer, Engr. Directorate, 44 years

/s/ Joseph E. Rogers – JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years

/s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum – JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Div., Engr. Dir., 48 years

/s/ James R. Roundtree – JSC, Sim. Dev. Branch Chief, Systems Dev. Div., Mission Support Dir., 26 years

/s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years

/s/ Kenneth Suit – JSC, Ass’t Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years

/s/ Robert F. Thompson – JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years

/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer – Hdq.–  Dir. Expendable Equipment (Ext. Tank, Solid Boosters, & Shuttle Upper Stages), 20 years

/s/ James Visentine – JSC Materials Branch, Engr. Directorate, 30 years

/s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried – JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years

/s/ Al Worden – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years

/s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller – ARC, GSFC, Hdq. –  Meteorologist, 5 years


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If anybody had any doubts then this letter proves its signatories are made of the right stuff.

I love it when they can use their own words against them.

Astounding indeed. Waleed Abdalati seems very much the politico-administrator, issuing such a statement on a par with Pachauri’s Himalaya Glacier Melt remark. Then, following it with a clearly geopolitical statement…which basically stirs up the sea of tranquility. Jim Hansen pulling strings, no doubt.



Discourse beats Silence

“This letter should end the discussion, as a protracted discourse on this topic is not in NASA’s interest.”

? ? ? ? ?
So from now on, the new NASA policy is that “protracted discourse” of difficult scientific questions — that have major, enduring, global-scale implications — “is not in NASA’s interest”?
Thank goodness these know-nothing advocates are not making science policy for NASA.

A C Osborn

You can tell the state of NASA when they have to outsource supporting the International Space Station.
Perhaps they ought to spend some of that “Climate Investigation” cash on Space exploration again.
The money wasted world wide on this Climate farce must be truly astounding.

Luther Wu

“In God we trust, all others bring data.”
Many of us were hoping for an escalation of this issue and it looks like we have one.
Dr. Abdalati has reaped the whirlwind.

Günther Kirschbaum

[snip. Not a valid email address. ~dbs, mod.]

Thank You to the 41 gentlemen who care enough about the science and the reputation of an agency that is being dragged to the level of the national inquirer.


But why send this to a “Jr. 
NASA Administrator” ?

In Australia, this needs to be a campaign ad for Abbot, and in the US it needs to be in a campaign ad for Romney.
Seriously – because those are the only places it will ever make a difference. The warmists are far past listening to anything approaching reason or common sense. They cannot be persuaded or convinced of the folly of their actions in any way; they can only be defeated. And even after they’re defeated, they’ll whine about it for the rest of their lives.
The scientific battle is over. The political one is just beginning.


While it’s always good to “look toward the future” I’m constantly amazed at how folks seem to ignore how unknowable that future actually is. If we were being offered two choices, otherwise equal, and one of them definitely forecast a 1 meter rise in 87 years while the other forecast a zero rise, then yes, it would seem to make good sense to opt for the zero path (I say “seem to” since it’s possible that further studies might somehow conclude that a 1m rise could actually be GOOD for some reason!)
But, look back over the last 87 years and the number and magnitude of changes that have impacted humanity and the environment and the interaction between the two and how difficult it would have been to make any sensible predictions about it all 87 years ago. Venereal disease was unstoppable, our cities were being smothered by industrial smoke, we’d fought the last “Great War” that would ever exist, the scourge of Demon Rum was over, computers beyond adding machines didn’t exist, rail transit was clearly the future (although blimps looked promising), etc.
Jump 50 years into the future, to just 37 years ago, and half as many cars in the US were causing double the pollution (or more… haven’t really researched the figures on that), nuclear holocaust seemed virtually inevitable, the universities would forever be bastions of free love and free drugging, Bill Gates (?) was saying that he doubted there’d ever be more than a few hundred or so folks who’d have any use for something like a “personal computer” at home, AIDS didn’t exist, etc. etc.
My main point in the above is simply to point out that we literally have really no idea at all what’s in store as far as technological advances or problems or solutions will be facing us 87 years down the line. Does it make sense not to wantonly proceed on courses that produce results that look disastrous while just “hoping” that something will pop up to save us? Yes. But does it make sense to base predictions on assumptions that “all else will remain the same”? No.
There’s a balance to be struck, and sometimes I think that in our confidence in predicting the future and our desire to feel that we actually know the path ahead that we forget that.

You wonder how long NASA will persist in trying to duck a reasonable request from such an illustrious group of people. A well crafted letter.


Wow, what an impressive list of hundreds of years of experience of working at the cutting edge of science and technology. I doubt that these people are political ‘players’ – they would have been too busy doing their jobs.
A direct hit on dodgy advocacy at NASA.


Dear Dr. Abdalati,
Sea level rise for the past couple of decades has averaged a little over 3 mm per year. For your predicted rise of 2 meters over the next 87 years to occur, sea level rise would have to increase to roughly 23 mm per year. When do you expect sea levels to start rising seven times faster than they have been for decades?
It’s amazing that predictions such as this are actually made in public when they have so little basis in any kind of reality.

Steven Kopits

This was a necessary letter. Hansen has completely taken over the branding of NASA, and he has politicized the agency. NASA should focus on data and science, not advocacy.


while the positive reputation once held by ‘scientists’ has been destroyed by the fakers, the astronauts still retain respect, if not heroic status.
there’s nobody else left with that kind of prestige.
but it’s too late, imo. on the one day of the year when nasa isn’t doing moslem outreach, it’s tracking santa claus. oh, how they squandered everything that had been built. it was not accidental or innocent. they’ve redefined themselves and i know better than to doubt what they are.
what they are can not be changed. i must be eliminated.
[A severe punishment, if indeed “they cannot be changed.”
Unless you meant [It must be eliminated] 8<) Robt]

Phil C

At the Heartland Conference in Chicago this morning, four of the forty-nine signers of the March letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden appeared to discuss their reasons for signing that letter and to announce a second letter responding to NASA’s response.
Can you reprint NASA’s response here? Or, can someone familiar with it at least provide us with a link? I have no idea what these former NASA employees are actually responding to.


a T was intended.
muphry or freud, though?
i do believe my life and liberty are threatened.

The Crumbling Consensus
That never was. Only 24% of meteorologists, 19% of Republicans (Pew poll) believe in mann-made global warming. The true guard of NASA disbelieves the hoax, while the effete “new morality” Muslim outreach branch of NASA pushes the agw propaganda.
Now also, possibly an important development, though if anyone has better info on it (?), apparently the Russian Academy of Sciences has announced: “Global warming is coming to an end: In the coming years the temperature over the entire planet will fall … … The process of a general temperature decrease has already begun, according to the research. After having peaked in 2005 … According to the scientists, global temperatures will fall another 0.15°C by 2015, which corresponds to the climate of the early 1980s.” Source:


Do they really thing that we cannot keep ahead of a 1 m sea level rise in 100 years? 1 centimeter a year is nothing.


Phil C, this is what they are responding to (taken from one of the links above):
We support open scientific inquiry and discussion,” NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller.
“If the authors of this letter disagree with specific scientific conclusions made public by NASA scientists, we encourage them to join the debate in the scientific literature or public forums rather than restrict any discourse,” Abdalati said.
He added: “NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry, including the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate.”
Read more:

These gentlemen have it “RIGHT” They have the RIGHT STUFF. Here is why:There is an experiment that proves that the Greenhouse gas effect does not exist. This experiment which has been peer reviewed by Ph.D physicists . Ph.D. Chemical engineers and others. The experiment is found on the web-site http:// click on the blog tab. It is titled “The Experiment that failed which can save the world trillion-Proving the greenhouse gas effect does not exist

I submitted this post to Drudge 😉

NASA in Shock New Controversy: Two Global Warming Reasons Why by John O’Sullivan, guest post at Climate Realists
NASA covered up for forty years proof that the greenhouse gas theory was bogus. But even worse, did the U.S. space agency fudge its numbers on Earth’s energy budget to cover up the facts?
As per my article this week, forty years ago the space agency, NASA, proved there was no such thing as a greenhouse gas effect because the ‘blackbody’ numbers supporting the theory didn’t add up in a 3-dimensional universe:
“During lunar day, the lunar regolith absorbs the radiation from the sun and transports it inward and is stored in a layer approximately 50cm thick….in contrast with a precipitous drop in temperature if it was a simple black body, the regolith then proceeds to transport the stored heat back onto the surface, thus warming it up significantly over the black body approximation…”
Thus, the ‘blackbody approximations’ were proven to be as useful as a chocolate space helmet; the guesswork of using the Stefan-Boltzmann equations underpinning the man-made global warming theory was long ago debunked. If NASA had made known that Stefan-Boltzmann’s numbers were an irrelevant red-herring then the taxpayers of the world would have been spared the $50 billion wasted on global warming research; because it would have removed the only credible scientific basis to support the theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide changed Earth’s climate.
But, until May 24, 2010 these facts remained swept under the carpet. For the Apollo missions NASA had successfully devised new calculations to safely put astronauts on the Moon-based on actual measured temperatures of the lunar surface. But no one appears to have told government climatologists who, to this day, insist their junk science is ‘settled’ based on their bogus ‘blackbody’ guesswork.
NASA’s Confusion over Earth’s Energy Budget
But it gets worse: compounding such disarray, NASA, now apparently acting more like a politicized mouthpiece for a socialist one world government, cannot even provide consistent numbers on Earth’s actual energy budget.
Thanks to further discussion with scientist, Alan Siddons, a co-author of the paper, ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ it appears I inadvertently stumbled on a NASA graph that shows the U.S. space agency is unable to tally up the numbers on the supposed greenhouse gas “backradiation.” Why would this be?
In its graphic representation of the energy budget of the Earth the agency has conspicuously contradicted itself in its depiction of back-radiation based on its various graphs on Earth’s radiation budget.
As Siddons sagely advised me, “This opens the question as to WHICH budget NASA actually endorses, because the one you show is consistent with physics: 70 units of sunlight go in, 70 units of infrared go out, and there’s no back-flow of some ridiculous other magnitude. Interesting.”
Climate Sceptic Scientists’ Growing Confidence
Thanks to Siddons and his co-authors of ‘A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon,’ the world now has scientific evidence to show the greenhouse gas theory (GHG) was junk all along.
As the truth now spreads, an increasing number of scientists refute the greenhouse gas theory, many have been prompted by the shocking revelations since the Climategate scandal. The public have also grown more aware of how a clique of government climatologists were deliberately ‘hiding the decline’ in the reliability of their proxy temperature data all along.
But NASA’s lunar temperature readings prove that behind that smoke was real fire. Some experts now boldly go so far as to say the entire global warming theory contravenes the established laws of physics.
How NASA responds to these astonishing revelations may well tell us how politicized the American space agency really is.

P Walker

Phil C ,
NASA’s response is quoted in the second paragraph .

,i>KeithH says:
May 22, 2012 at 10:46 am
It’s amazing that predictions such as this are actually made in public when they have so little basis in any kind of reality.
What’s more amazing is that when those predictions fail to materialize and the prognosticators are questioned, they either say they were misquoted or ignore the question altogether.
Phil C says:
May 22, 2012 at 11:09 am
Can you reprint NASA’s response here? Or, can someone familiar with it at least provide us with a link?

See what you miss by being AWOL so long?

P Walker

I meant to say the letter’s second paragraph .

Mac the Knife

Encore!! Encore!!!
This is not a ‘slap in the face’. It is a public spanking, richly deserved and eloquently delivered!
Thank You Astronauts, Flight Crews, Ground Crews and all Signatores!!!

Dr. Bob

I have sent a letter to me representative in Congress stating that this issue (Hanson and his group of supporters at NASA) should be investigated by Congress. I believe that this is the appropriate thing to do and suggest that all others send their Representatives a similar note including the test of the letter and reference to the WUWT site or other appropriate citations.
Perhaps we can get Congress to finally respond to this political use of a Government position of trust. There are many people in multiple government agencies that are misusing their position and influence to promote a political position.

Could someone please tell me why the National Aeronautical and Space Administration ( I do not see anywhere in their title; the word “Climate”) is discussing climate change?
What next the physicists at CERN mapping the surface of Mars?

Darren Potter

Dear Honorable Charles Bolden:
In case you don’t understand the professionally written letter above (May 11, 2012), we gladly summarize it for you: “Stop your subordinates about AGW”.
We Taxpayer$


NASA is run by people who are a disgrace and corrupt. NASA will ignore the above letter because spineless, incompetent, politically correct fools are in charge. Until real scientists do real science at NASA the place will remain a bad joke. The 1st step NASA has to take to restore its credibility is fire Hansen.


What do you expect from NASA when Obama told Bolden NASA’s primary mission was to make Muslims’ feel good about themselves?


But why send this to a “Jr. 
NASA Administrator” ?
You’ve probably already figured this out by now, but that’s just a parsing problem. Charles Bolden, Jr. is the NASA Administrator.

Darren Potter

Steven Kopits says: – “Hansen has completely taken over the branding of NASA, and he has politicized the agency.”
We can’t entirely blame Hansen for what NASA has become. For years now (if not decades), NASA has been on a downward spiral. The only thing NASA has done recently that has saved their bacon was the super successful Mars Rovers.
NASA is extincting itself and looking to be replaced by a new agency; minus the politics and bureaucrats.

Matt in Houston

Thanks to the many heroes and veterans of JSC who penned and signed this letter to our illustrious NASA administrator Mr. Bolden.
NASA is suffering a serious delinquency of scientific virtue and is in need of significant course correction. The vast majority of folks I worked with while at JSC did not support the non-sense that Mr Abdalati and his politicized version of junk-science that Mr. Bolden also is endorsing by standing idly by while this rubbish is carried on.
It will be a happy day when these political hacks are no longer running NASA. And for the fans of the “In God we trust, all others bring data.” motto, it was on the wall through the final flight of the Shuttle program in the room I worked in. It clearly has no meaning to Mr. Abdalati nor Mr. Bolden unless it agrees with their agenda or can be massaged to do so.

Darren Potter

ElBobbo says – “NASA’s primary mission was to make Muslims’ feel good about themselves?”
Apparently NASA, with its deep involvement in Anthropological Global Warming (and making some feel good); NASA has lost sight of its Vision statement: (from – What Does NASA Do? 02.01.10):
NASA’s vision: To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.
To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world — and off of it — for 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What’s out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?
So much for reaching “new heights” and “What’s out there in space”.
Perhaps a new vision: Too costly go where Neanderthals have stride before.

@michaeljmcfadden. Great post! Yes, in a state of relative economic and technological success, we have become complacent.
Most don’t understand the serious hurt that could fall upon us. So the environmentalists and affluent effete libs go chasing after the fairy tale of global warming, insisting on draconion measures, like the mandated 83% CO2 cuts by 2050 that -passed- in the U.S. House in 2009. That would have reduced per capita usage to 1867 levels. 1867. The Democrat cap & trade bill would have thrust a wrecking ball into civilization, no question. But O’s war on energy proceeds, and his criminal plan which would cause the price of electricity to skyrocket would also severely stunt electrical power generation. At jnova a comment by wes george puts this in perspective:

Imagine the total civil breakdown that would ensue if the electric grid failed for an extended period in Sydney or London…It’s worth noting that if a major city lost all electric supply in 1950, it wouldn’t have been catastrophic… Then ask yourself — why do we tolerate those in our polity who are working to weaken our already over-extended energy generating and delivery systems?


If that letter doesn’t work to get NASA out of the CAGW business, nothing will.

Jonas N

RHS, Bill Tuttle, P Walker and Phil C
I have from the beginning been very skeptical of that alleged NASA response (by Abdalati). The only source to that ‘response’ is the (obscure) link by Bill Tuttle above, and it is nowhere an official statement or even a complete and properly presented response. Just snippets, phrases, and purported citations. Without introduction, proper framing, or formal addressing of the issue.
It looks much more like a recounted phone conversation ‘on the fly’ to me. Further, there are obvious misleading facts presented by the spaceref link. However, it did stir some activity among the usual pro-AGW, sites which probably was the main motive.
I never did, and still don’t consider NASA to have issued any ‘formal response’.

Steve C

Well said, gentlemen. It’s good to see a few dozen seriously scientifically qualified heads appearing above the parapet.
And well done, Anthony. Their letter is an awful lot more public for being here and, we can hope, will have more impact as a result.


“The consequences of a 1 meter rise in sea level by the end of this century would be very significant in terms of human well-being and economics, and potentially global socio-political stability.”
The question everyone should ask themselves is;
Why does NASA, a space agency, have “opinions” on AGW ?
Aren’t there other US agencies that should care about this?
And; Since NASA is a government agency, and such things like this is said…..why? Surely the US Government cannot be that stupid, that they really believe in AGW? Surely????
So, the logical explanation must be; The US government must have another agenda behind it.
What is that other agenda? Back to the stone-age?

Ally E.

What follows this? The letter is great and certainly needed (needs?) to be sent, but what follows when this advice is again ignored? I hope these NASA heroes have a plan of action, they need to be heard worldwide.

cleanwater2 says on May 22, 2012 at 11:31 am:
… Here is why:There is an experiment that proves that the Greenhouse gas effect does not exist. …

Bzzzz! Look, study up on IR Spectroscopy and get back with us …
For extra credit ‘splain why and how humid evenings cool less than ‘dry’ ones.


I encourage everyone to watch the NASA folks give their presentation at Heartland moderated by Leighton Steward. Harrison Schmidt and Walt Cunningham in particular give very compelling presentations.


I could never understand how NASA scientists could follow, or indeed lead, the Global Warming crowd. Now I understand. Well done gentlemen. Sometime in the future you will be seen to have been right and I hope I live to see the day.


phil c~ you know, if you actually took the time to read at the various skeptical blogs, you would not only know what was going on, you would know where to look to find out more. You might find it edifying to actually READ and THINK about what we are saying, rather than take your side’s word for it.


Off topic, but for the Americans in the crowd there is a White House petition asking for “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.”!/petition/require-free-access-over-internet-scientific-journal-articles-arising-taxpayer-funded-research/wDX82FLQ