Michael Griffin, NASA’s director, gave an interview to NPR recently. Part of the interview dealt with NASA’s plans to establish a base on the Moon, and send astronauts to Mars. The other part of the interview dealt with NASA’s response to Global Climate Change.
Mr. Griffin said that NASA’s mission statement didn’t refer to climate change. They study it, but have no plans to promote programs aimed at changing the climate. Mr. Griffin thinks humans have no place to question climate change. He thinks we should let it run it’s course, implying that we may find that future climate better than today’s.
NASA used to be different. Chances are, you’re wearing something right now that was developed with space technology. From Velcro to Teflon, NASA has always tried to promote its contributions to our society. Global Climate Change is a central topic for our society, NASA would normally be involved at every level. Mr. Griffin’s lack of interest in climate change either reflects a change in the culture of NASA or a desire to promote a political agenda.
He’s a political appointee, after all. He has a built in agenda to promote. BUT, As a science agency, NASA should have more than a wait and see attitude towards important scientific issues.