James Hansen: Ideologue or Scientist?

by Doug Bandow on January 30, 2009

James Hansen of NASA is one of the leading climate alarmists, and possesses a scientific credibility lacking in the Goracle.  But Hansen really has become a parody of himself, more activist than scientist.  His supervisor at NASA was a skeptic.  And as Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote a year ago:

If you’ve paid any attention to the global warming debate, you’ve heard of James Hansen.

Hansen is the politicized NASA climate scientist who virtually invented the global warming issue in the broiling summer of 1988 when he was the star doomsayer at Senate hearings called by Al Gore.

Since then, Hansen has received better press than Mother Teresa. In hundreds of interviews and glowing profiles, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has been treated as objective and/or infallible by an adoring mainstream liberal media.

Yet Hansen’s not even close to being an objective scientist. He is openly ideological and rabidly partisan. His political pals and financial patrons are liberal Democrats — Gore, John Kerry and left-wing groups funded by George Soros and Teresa Heinz.

Nor is Hansen part of the hallowed scientific “consensus” on global warming. He’s much more apocalyptic. He still predicts faster and much greater sea-level rises, ice-sheet meltings and species extinctions than the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Hansen’s Teflon credibility wasn’t even scratched after the August revelation that since 2000 he and his fellow scientists had been incorrectly crunching the data from about 1,200 ground weather stations that NASA uses to take the country’s annual average temperature — and which the unquestioning mainstream media used as “proof” the country has been getting hotter every year since 1998.

Maybe Hansen will be proved right.  But these days he seems more interested in ideology than science.

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