ABC Only Quotes Scientists Displeased With NASA Chief’s Global Warming Statement

As NewsBusters reported Thursday, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin did an interview with NPR wherein he stated, “I am not sure that it is fair to say that [global warming] is a problem we must wrestle with.”

Friday, ABC News’ Bill Blakemore wrote a piece for that network’s website asserting, “NASA administrator Michael Griffin continues to draw the ire of preeminent climate scientists inside and outside of NASA, as well as members of Congress, after apparently downplaying the need to combat global warming.”

In the article, Blakemore and co-author Clayton Sandell chose not to interview anyone that agreed with Griffin’s views, even as a press release was being distributed by “scientists from around the world who came to Griffin's support”:

Said Dr. Walter Starck, an Australian marine scientist, "Griffin makes an important distinction between the scientific findings of climate change and dramatic predictions of catastrophic consequences accompanied by policy demands. The former can be evaluated by its evidence, but; the latter rest only on assertions and claims to authority. Alternate predictions of benefits from projected changes have been proposed with comparable authority and plausibility."


Another Australian, who testified before a Senate panel last year, Professor Robert Carter, observed, "My main reaction to Michael Griffin is to congratulate him on his clear-sightedness, not to mention his courage in speaking out on such a controversial topic."

Dr. Tim Ball, a Canadian climatologist, responded: "Griffin's statement is sensible because it allows time for the testing of the man-made global warming hypothesis to continue as it should."

"I certainly support Griffin's comments," said William Kininmonth, a former head of the Australian National Climate Centre. "Not only is it speculative to claim that humans can in any way influence the course of climate but it is arrogant to suggest that today's climate is getting worse than it has been in the past.”


Kansas geologist, Lee Gerhard added, "Griffin's statement focuses on the hubris that affects much of public policy. It is great to know that someone out there besides geologists understands that humans do not dominate earth's dynamic systems.”

Said Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, "Claims of major, impending catastrophe are speculative and go far beyond what has been credibly established by researchers to date. Hence Griffin's view is not at all controversial or out of step with available evidence, and he should be commended for having the courage to say it. The fact that it took courage, however, points to the deeper problem that questioning the catastrophic propaganda we hear so much is now considered politically incorrect."

Dr. Pat Michaels at the University of Virginia agrees: "NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's statement about whether or not it is in fact a "problem" is supported by a scientific literature that his employee, James Hansen, appears to ignore.”


Finally, Harvard University physicist Lubos Motl praised Griffin's climate comments, calling them "sensible." On his public blog, Motl said he applauds Michael Griffin and encourages him to act as "a self-confident boss of a highly prestigious institution." "I have always believed that the people who actually work with hard sciences and technology simply shouldn't buy a cheap and soft pseudoscientific propaganda such as the 'fight against climate change,'" Motl added.

Nice list of skeptical scientists, wouldn’t you agree? Mightn’t it have been appropriate for Blakemore and Sandell to quote at least one of these folks?

Instead, the ABC piece again cited NASA's Global Warmingist-in Chief James Hansen, who NewsBusters reported about on Thursday. The article also quoted Michael Oppenheimer, “a Princeton University atmospheric scientist and lead author of some of the latest reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," and the always handy anonymous NASA scientists who “asked that their names not be used because they did not want to jeopardize their careers.”

Isn't it wonderful how news agencies can always find anonymous sources to quote when no one wants to go on the record?

Regardless, quite a nicely balanced article from ABC, wouldn’t you agree? After all, from this piece, you wouldn’t know that there were any scientists that came out strongly in support of Griffin’s statements.

Think that might have been the point, or am I just getting too cynical for my own good?  

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.