Earth Science: January 2009 Archives

Salmond's energy plan is too risky, Scotsman

Exclusive: Man From Nasa Slams Salmond Coal Plan As 'Sham', iStockAnalyst

"One of the world's leading climate change experts yesterday called into question the green credentials of the First Minister, branding his energy policy a "sham". Nasa scientist Dr James Hansen called for Alex Salmond to abandon any plans to allow new coal-fired power stations to be built in Scotland. .. Opposition parties responded by criticising the First Minister's green credentials, and environment groups called for Mr Salmond to act on Dr Hansen's advice."

Science Group Erred Giving Hansen Top Honor, Washington post

"By honoring Hansen, the AMS has raised questions about the proper role of scientists in a world that is facing complex challenges that mix science and politics. A key issue is whether it is appropriate for prominent scientists to serve dual roles as researchers and advocates for political change, or if must there be a clear separation between the two."

Editor's note: The climate change issue aside (I totally agree with Hansen on that topic, FWIW) is it proper for a NASA employee to go off and create their own policy effort - on an international scale - dragging the word "NASA" into the discussion every time? In this case he is inserting himself into the politics of a foreign country. Would any other NASA employee be allowed to do this - on any topic of their choosing?

Editor's note: The Obama administration is clearly interested in Earth science and has focused most of NASA's stimulus package funds on climate and Earth science issues. Right now a volcano (Mount Redoubt) is about to erupt in Alaska with the potential to disrupt life in the region. With this renewed focus on Earth science you'd think that NASA SMD would take a little time to gather all the things their various satellites can do with regard to this volcano and put it online - if for no other reason to show that they are paying attention to the White House. Alas, a look at SMD's news page shows nothing. Nor is there anything on SMD's home page or for that matter.

Ed, there was no telescope or planetary spacecraft money in the science portion of that package - just "critical Earth science missions".

Redoubt Activity, Alaska Volcano Observatory

Inlet volcano keeps geologists on alert, AP

President 'has four years to save Earth', The Guardian

"Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added."

Editor's note: Hmmm. Not 3.8 years. Not 4.2 years. But exactly 4 years - which is exactly the length of one presidential term. What a coincidence.

Climate change policies failing, Nasa scientist warns Obama, Guardian

"With less than three weeks to go until Obama's inauguration, Prof James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, asked the recently appointed White House science adviser Prof John Holdren to pass the missive directly to the president-elect. .. The letter, from Hansen and his wife Anniek, is a personal plea to the first couple. It begins: "We write to you as fellow parents concerned about the Earth that will be inherited by our children, grandchildren, and those yet to be born ... Jim has advised governments previously through regular channels. But urgency now dictates a personal appeal."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Earth Science category from January 2009.

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