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Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, left , and Walt Cunningham, Apollo 7 astronaut, in front of the Apollo 14 capsule at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Cunningham has signed a letter demanding that NASA stop endorsing global warming.
In an unprecedented slap at NASA's endorsement of global warming science, nearly 50 former astronauts and scientists--including the ex-boss of the Johnson Space Center--claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world's top space agency.
Challenging statements from NASA that man is causing climate change, the former NASA executives demanded in a letter to Administrator Charles Bolden that he and the agency "refrain from including unproven remarks" supporting global warming in the media.
"We feel that NASA's advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a
thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate
drivers is inappropriate," they wrote. "At risk is damage to the
exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA's current or former scientists and
employees, and even the reputation of science itself."
The letter was signed by seven Apollo astronauts, a deputy associate administrator, several scientists, and even the deputy director of the space shuttle program.
NASA had no immediate comment.
In their letter, the group said that thousands of years of data challenge modern-day claims that man-made carbon dioxide is causing climate change. "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 (NASA's) Goddard Institute for Space Studies leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled," they wrote.
is filled with stories about the impact of climate change on the earth, animals, and ecosystems. Most administration officials agree with the position NASA has taken.
"The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA's history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decision or public statements," the critics added. Their letter was heralded by outspoken global warming critic and author Leighton Steward who said, "These American heroes, the astronauts that took to space and the scientists and engineers that put them there, are right to criticize NASA's advocacy of an extreme and unsubstantiated position."