“I think,” said Al Gore, “that those people” who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming “are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view,” that “they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the earth is flat.” Speaking to 60 Minutes in 2008, Gore was adumbrating his oftrepeated claim that the “science is settled,” and making the inevitably related charge that only “flat-earthers” deny the seriousness of climate change. Flat-earthers, that is, who have an annoying tendency to say things such as this:
The climate has been changing for billions of years. If it’s warming now, it may cool off later. I’m not in favor of just taking short-term isolated situations and depleting our resources just to keep the climate the way it is today . . . I think the world is causing it.
I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect. Not that the planet hasn’t warmed. We know it has or we’d all still be in the Ice Age but it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there’s disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming. They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming.
The moon-landing deniers responsible for these statements are Buzz Aldrin — MIT engineer and the second man to walk on the moon — and Harrison Schmidt — Harvard geologist, the last man to walk on the moon, a former senator, and key signatory to the letter. And, this week, 49 former NASA scientists and astronauts wrote a strongly-worded letter to NASA chief Charles Bolden Jr., deploring the agency’s tendency to “ignore empirical evidence” when discussing global warming, warning that its “advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” and expressing fear that such might lead to “damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.” It notes also that those who dissent from the alleged “majority” of scientists are not few and far between: “With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.”
The science not being settled either way, the pedigree of the authors does not prove anything conclusive. But it does demonstrate that the position, held by hystericals such as Gore and repeated ad nauseam by progressives yearning for control, that only the “uninitiated” could possibly question the IPCC and its ilk is rotten to the core. The NASA employees who signed the missive, remember, were heavily involved in — in Kennedy’s immortal words — sending a man
to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, [in] a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun — almost as hot as it is here today
These are people who mean it when they “request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks” in their output. During the Gemini and Apollo programs, and subsequent forays into space, sloppy thinking would have led pretty quickly to failure, death, and national embarrassment. Al Gore, conversely, has variously claimed to have invented the Internet, been the subject of the movie “Love Story,” and produced a movie so full of errors that a British judge ruled that to show it in schools under the banner of “education” would be against the law. An Internet here, a misleading movie there is nothing to Al Gore, but to astronauts it is the difference between life and death.
Flat-earthers? Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmidt saw the spherical earth from space*, what has Al Gore got?
(*It is worth noting, I suppose, that if the astronauts and scientists at NASA are indeed brilliant serial conspirators — in on global climate change, too — and the moon landing was faked, then its star actors would not definitively know whether or not the earth was flat. The only way properly to resolve this is to ask Al Gore whether he thinks that the moon landing happened.)