May 31, 2007
Contact:
Leah Yoon | 

NASA ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL GRIFFIN
NOT SURE THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS A PROBLEM
ON NPR NEWS MORNING EDITION
TOMORROW, THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2007

TRANSCRIBED EXCERPT BELOW; AUDIO AVAILABLE THURSDAY MORNING AT
WWW.NPR.ORG


May 30, 2007; Washington, DC Ė NASA Administrator Michael Griffin tells NPR News that while he has no doubt ďa trend of global warming exists, I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.Ē

In an interview with Steve Inskeep airing tomorrow on NPR Newsí Morning Edition, Administrator Griffin says ďI guess I would ask which human beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think thatís a rather arrogant position for people to take.Ē

Transcribed excerpts of the interview are below. All excerpts must be credited to NPR Newsí Morning Edition. The interview airs tomorrow morning, Thursday, May 31. Local stationís air time of the program is available at www.npr.org/stations. Audio of the interview will be available at www.npr.org. Television usage must include on-screen credit with NPR logo.

-NPR-


STEVE INSKEEP: One thing thatís been mentioned that NASA is perhaps not spending as much money as it could on is studying climate change, global warming, from space. Are you concerned about global warming?

MICHAEL GRIFFIN: I am aware that global warming -- Iím aware that global warming exists. I understand that the bulk of scientific evidence accumulated supports the claim that weíve had about a one degree centigrade rise in temperature over the last century to within an accuracy of 20 percent. Iím also aware of recent findings that appear to have nailed down -- pretty well nailed down the conclusion that much of that is manmade. Whether that is a long term concern or not, I canít say.

MR. INSKEEP : And I just wanted to make sure that Iím clear. Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?

MR. GRIFFIN: I have no doubt that global -- that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of earthís climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesnít change. First of all, I donít think itís within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think thatís a rather arrogant position for people to take.

MR. INSKEEP : Is that thinking that informs you as you put together the budget? That something is happening, that itís worth studying, but youíre not sure that you want to be battling it as an army might battle an enemy.

MR. GRIFFIN: Nowhere in NASAís authorization, which of course governs what we do, is there anything at all telling us that we should take actions to affect climate change in either one way or another. We study global climate change, that is in our authorization, we think we do it rather well. Iím proud of that, but NASA is not an agency chartered to quote ďbattle climate change.Ē

(END)