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GISS's James Hansen  (Source: NASA)
New issues swirl around controversial NASA branch

NASA's primary climate monitoring agency is the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.  Operating out of a small office at Columbia University, GISS is run by Dr. James Hansen. Official NASA climate statements come through GISS ... which means they must get by  Hansen.  Many other scientists and agencies make climate predictions, but Hansen's top the list for scare  factor, predicting consequences considerably more dire than his colleagues.

Hansen specializes in climate "modeling" -- attempting to predict future events based on computer simulations. In 1971, Hansen wrote his first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.

Most research papers are rather dry reading, written to be as unemotional as possible. Not so with Hansen's reports, whose works scream alarmism even in their titles: "Climate Catastrophe," "Can We Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb," and "The Threat to the Planet." Hansen was most recently in the news when an amateur blogger discovered an error in his climate data, a mistake Hansen later discounted as unimportant to the "big picture" of compelling public action on climate change.

But who is James Hansen? Is he an impartial researcher seeking scientific truth? Or a political activist with an axe to grind?

In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of NASA's official press policy, which requires the agency be notified prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being "silenced," despite delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the very month he made the claim.  While he admits to violating the NASA press policy, Hansen states he had a "constitutional right" to grant interviews.  Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV, radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate science.

Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

A report revealed just this week, shows the 'Open Society Institute'  funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million in 2006 to "shape public policy," is funded by billionaire George Soros, the largest backer of Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Soros, who once declared that "removing Bush from office was the "central focus" of his life, has also given tens of millions of dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups.

Certainly Soros has a right to spend his own money. But NASA officials have a responsibility to accurate, unbiased, nonpartisan science. For Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate science is more than suspicious -- it's a clear conflict of interest. 

But the issues don't stop here.  Hansen received an earlier $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation, an organization run by Kerry's wife, which he followed by publicly endorsing Kerry.  Hansen also acted as a paid consultant to Gore during the making of his global-warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," and even personally promoted the film during an NYC event.

After the the GISS data error was revealed, Hansen finally agreed to make public the method he uses to generate "official"  temperature records from the actual readings. That process has been revealed to be thousands of lines of source code, containing hundreds of arbitrary "bias" adjustments to individual sites, tossing out many readings entirely, and raising (or lowering) the actual values for others, sometimes by several degrees.  Many areas with weak or no rising temperature trends are therefore given, after adjustment, a much sharper trend.  A full audit of the Hansen code is currently underway, but it seems clear that Hansen has more explaining to do.

George Deutsch, the NASA intern who resigned over the censorship fallout, said he was initially warned about Hansen when starting the job, "People said ... you gotta watch that guy. He is a loose cannon; he is kind of crazy. He is difficult to work with; he is an alarmist; he exaggerates.'" 

Hansen's office did not return a request from DailyTech for an interview for this article.

Update: Hansen has denied receiving direct funding from OSI.  Investors Business Daily is standing behind the story, claiming the funding first passed through the Government Accountability Project, which then used it to package Hansen for the media.


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RE: Blog or article?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/26/2007 2:44:54 PM , Rating: 4
Jason Mick, Michael Asher and myself all solicited GISS for interviews. None received a response.


RE: Blog or article?
By McTwist on 9/26/2007 3:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
That is a shame then.


RE: Blog or article?
By TomZ on 9/26/2007 3:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously Hansen realizes that these kinds of allegations could easily cost him his job, or worse.


RE: Blog or article?
By onelittleindian on 9/26/2007 3:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it funny that the people who disagree with Mick never try to silence him? Its only those who don't agree with Asher that start talking censorship.


RE: Blog or article?
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/26/2007 3:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect.

Go back and read my Drought and Antarctica articles.

A number of Mike's supporters condemned those articles and said that Dailytech shouldn't be posting them.

Lots of people would love my voice silenced, as some would Mike's.

Of course neither will happen, thankfully.

If you don't believe me, take a look, the comments are there.


RE: Blog or article?
By onelittleindian on 9/26/2007 3:32:47 PM , Rating: 1
Becaues you responded to his blogs within hours posting exactly opposite headlines, which made DT and you both look silly. No one was trying to silence your viewpoint itsself.


RE: Blog or article?
By TomZ on 9/26/2007 3:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
That's right - and I just reviewed some of the comments, and I couldn't find any really that said that you (Jason) should not express your views. There was mainly some criticism about how your post was presented, as onelittleindian said.


RE: Blog or article?
By Ringold on 9/26/2007 6:15:21 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
and I couldn't find any really that said that you (Jason) should not express your views.


Researchers Agree: Dueling Headlines Cause Global Warming


RE: Blog or article?
By McTwist on 9/26/2007 5:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, I never said anything about censorship. I was merely questioning whether this belonged in the Blogs section as well as looking for clarification between the difference between the blog pots and articles. Did I say I disagree with him?


RE: Blog or article?
By Murst on 9/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Blog or article?
By James Holden on 9/26/2007 6:36:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You should know by now not to question Masher.

I'm not so sure that is true. It got Jason Mick a job.


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