Written by ICECAP
Sep 11, 2008
Note to NASA: Fire Dr. James Hansen, Now!
I've been wrestling with this topic for hours now as to how to best present it in this forum. I finally decided to simply just write it as I see it. It has been an ugly day for law and common sense in the world. Vandalism in the name of ecological causes is now "ok" thanks in part to Dr. James Hansen, of NASA GISS coming to the defense of eco-vandals.
Certainly I want a cleaner world, and better energy resources with focus on the future. But, sanctioning vandalism for these causes is not the way to get there. What do I want from NASA as a taxpayer- Science, solutions, and inspiring ideas turned into reality. I don't want political activism in the name of science. After thinking awhile about this, I've come to the following conclusions:
1- A NASA scientist siding with vandalism as a "lawful excuse" is an inappropriate abuse of the position. It was a question of law, not of science.
2- Dr. Hansen cannot separate himself from the agency as private citizen in this case, because he was brought in as an "expert witness". Even if he paid his own way and took personal time, his presence was based on taxpayer funded research.
3- It appears Dr. Hansen has violated the code of ethics posted on the NASA Office of General Council webpage.From the Goddard Institute for Space Studies web page: GISS is a component laboratory of Goddard Space Flight Center's Earth Sciences Division, which is part of GSFC's Sciences and Exploration Directorate. Thus Hansen falls under these ethics rules. Specifically, Dr. Hansen's defense of vandalism in the name of a cause he believes in fails under the NASA Misuse of position rule. If he received compensation of any kind, such as airfare, rooms, board etc. to appear as a NASA expert, he would also be breaking other NASA conduct rules.
4- As keeper of data, specifically the GISTEMP dataset, he has now brought the impartiality of that data into question due to his activism in areas unrelated to scientific research. Certainly Dr. Hansen has a body of work that is impressive, there is no disputing that. But it is time for Dr. Jim Hansen to go. Thanks to him, GISS as a dataset is no longer impartial. We have potential bias from the gatekeeper of the data that can't be separated from the data. If he can come to the defense of lawbreakers in the name of his global warming cause, then it is an even easier jump to allow that same bias to creep into scientific data he is responsible for and his conclusions drawn from that data.
If you feel the same way, your recourse is to write to
Michael D. Griffin
c/o NASA Public Communications Office
Washington, DC 20546-0001
(202) 358-0001 (Office)
(202) 358-3469 (Fax)
OR use their ONLINE SUBMISSION