Inskeep : 有人說"NASA美國航空航天局不盡其能力的花費它所能負擔的最大預算從事研究氣候變化(全球性變暖)"。您關注全球性變暖嗎?
Griffin : 我知道, 全球性變暖存在。我獲悉, 大多數科學證據支持"在上個世紀期間地表溫度上升攝氏一度(誤差+-20%)。我還知道最近一些研究結果顯示那暖化大部分是人的活動造成的。至於那是不是值得我們長遠的憂慮, 我不知道。
Inskeep : 您對於"暖化是人類必須與之搏鬥對抗"的命題有任何疑義?
Griffin : 我沒有"全球性變暖存在"的疑義。我只是不確定我們現在必須與之"搏鬥"。 "暖化是問題"的假設是"假設今天地球的氣候狀態是(人類生存)最佳的氣候"
, 這個命題假設今天地球的氣候是真正我們所要的, 並且值得我們採取(昂貴的)手段來確保它不變的最適化氣候。 首先, 我不認為"保證氣候不改變"是在人類的能力範圍內, 正如百萬年來地球的歷史所顯示的那樣。 其次我想問的是, 哪裡的人, 哪個時代的人有這個特權來達成"協議", 來決定我們這裡,當今的"特殊"氣候, 永遠是未來所有人類的最佳的氣候?
Inskeep : 您的想法會影響你預算配置嗎? 有事(暖化)正在發生, 且那是值得關注的, 但您不肯定您要與他對抗, 因為"正規軍也許會打敵人"?
Griffin : NASA的規章中根本沒有任何地方授權我們去採取行動來改變氣候, 無論使之變冷或變暖。 我們研究全球性氣候變化, 那是在我們的授權, 而且我們認為我們做的很好。 我為那是值得驕傲的, 但NASA並不是被創立來"對抗氣候變化"的單位。
這樣的一篇訪談竟掀起軒然大波是不是更證明了"左派終將我們帶向極權社會"的疑慮? 身為一個自由人的你能夠坐視紅衛兵將我們的(言論)自由剝奪嗎? 我可不能.
附錄 1. 他的"道歉文": “Unfortunately, this is an issue which has become far more political than technical, and it would have been well for me to have stayed out of it.” “All I can really do is apologize to all you guys.... I feel badly that I caused this amount of controversy over something like this.”
附錄 2 NPR 訪談.
NASA administrator Michael Griffin defends the space agency's programs, including plans for a permanent moon base and manned missions to Mars. He also says that while NASA studies climate change, the agency has no authorization to "take actions to affect climate change in either one way or another."
The following are excerpts from Griffin's conversation with Steve Inskeep, edited for clarity:
It has been mentioned that NASA is not spending as much money as it could to study climate change — global warming — from space. Are you concerned about global warming?
I'm aware that global warming exists. I understand that the bulk of scientific evidence accumulated supports the claim that we've had about a one degree centigrade rise in temperature over the last century to within an accuracy of 20 percent. I'm 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 longterm concern or not, I can't say.
Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?
I have no doubt 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 Earth's 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 doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's 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 that's a rather arrogant position for people to take.
Is that thinking that informs you as you put together the budget? That something is happening, that it's worth studying, but you're not sure that you want to be battling it as an army might battle an enemy?
Nowhere in NASA's 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. I'm proud of that, but NASA is not an agency chartered to, quote, battle climate change.