Resignation of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin
U.S. President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress
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It also bears particular responsibilities as world's largest civilian space agency and a significant consumer of both funding and tangible resources.
NASA must be led with scientific integrity and intelligence.
National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. reports that NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has said, on the record in an NPR interview aired Thursday, May 31, 2007, that while he accepts that the climate of Earth is in fact warming, he disputes the idea that this global warming is necessarily a bad thing.
In the NPR interview, Griffin says it is arrogant for any particular humans to determine for other humans that the current climate is superior to some subsequent climate which might be much warmer.
To frame the climate crisis as Griffin does, as an issue of choice among humans and no more, displays a titanic extreme of arrogance.
For the head of a globally-significant scientific agency to display such devastating ignorance - or such overwhelming politicization - on the outstanding scientific issue of our generation is simply unacceptable.
This is not just a matter of misspeaking in casual remarks, or of poor judgement by a high official. As previously reported, under Michael Griffin (and the Bush administration), NASA has deliberately lowered the priority of crucial earth monitoring satellite missions, in favor of pork-barrel show-treks off-planet.
As the world's pre-eminent scientific satellite operator, NASA has a vital role to play in the global monitoring, analysis, and response to the climate crisis. While personed space exploration may be an inspiring technical challenge and an exciting human prospect, in this time of documented global crisis, the needs of planet Earth itself must be our highest priority.
We join our names together to petition for the immediate resignation of Michael Griffin from the position of NASA Administrator, and in calling for a prompt redirection of NASA priorities toward the vital space-science needs of a planet spinning into unprecedented crisis.