GOES-15 satellite in assembly. This satellite, launched in 2010, studies the Earth's weather and climate for NASA.
The struggle over Global Warming takes on a new dimension. Three years ago, President Obama gave NASA a new directive to build new satellites to study the problem of Global Warming, and to use its resources to push the government's agenda of using AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming, meaning "man-caused") to legislate new rules against energy providers and new rules to change how Americans live. This agenda would cause many job losses and cost the American taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars, in an attempt to "stop" Global Warming. Appointed by President Obama, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden (former shuttle astronaut and BIG fan of Barack Obama) has accepted this mission enthusiastically and directed NASA resources and facilities to cooperate in this endeavor. This effort has been pushed relentlessly by NASA's Goddard Space Center director Jim Hansen, who recently said that Global Warming is morally equivalent to slavery, and earlier said that people denying Global Warming should be prosecuted! Hansen has been politically active beyond his NASA responsibilities, working as an environmental advisor for AL Gore during his run for the Presidency (and well paid for the effort), as well as being arrested several times since 2009 for actively protesting energy issues such as the Keystone pipeline.
Well, things are getting tougher for NASA to follow the President's lead and the failing push for Global Warming belief. Yesterday, 49 NASA astronauts, scientists and employees sent Adminstrator Bolden a letter of complaint, stating that NASA should "refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites." The group is concerned that NASA's Earth studies have not proven yet that Man-made carbon dioxide release is causing Global Warming, and in fact that there is a great unsettled debate about if it is actually happening. This contradicts the politicalized belief in AGW, and its adherents who claim that the science is "settled". You can read more of the letter and its argument here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/04/astronauts-condemn-nasa’s-global-warming-endorsement/469366
In fact, NASA's own studies are now showing that the Global Warming danger does not even exist! Data from NASA satellites, climate stations and new studies are showing that there actually hasn't been warming for the last 15 years. Even Britain's own East Anglia Climatic Rwsearch Unit (which has previously been a HUGE proponent of AGW) now supports the studies which show the SUn itself has largely been a culprit in the cycles of warming and cooling over the centuries. Now, it seems the Sun is entering a period of little sunspot activity, which relates to the 11-year solar cycles. If the Sun continues in this direction, we may even see unusual COOLING in the climates which is reminiscent of several "mini-ice-ages" recorded in the last 500 years. To read more about the new studies, go here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming--Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html
So what is NASA to do? Well, for one thing, they might consider firing Jim Hansen, who has been very controversial and in fact embarrassing to the agency. He continually takes money from pro-AGW political groups (such as Al Gore) and his recent arrests do nothing for the reputation of NASA. Second, how about actually performing some science? Pay attention to the actual data coming in and stop "spinning" it to match the demands of the White House.
Harrison "Jack" Schmidt, one of the signers of the petition. He was the only scientist among the astronauts to explore the lunar surface on Apollo 17.