20070929 Marc Morano’s Round-up, 29 September 2007
NASA's James Hansen Claims He's Being 'Swift-boated' by Critics
By Noel Sheppard
September 28, 2007 - 12:55 ET
A fascinating new liberal defense mechanism has arisen in the past
couple of years: Whenever you want to dodge criticism, just claim you
are being swift-boated.
In fact, this has become such a part of political parlance that
Microsoft Word now recognizes the term "swift-boated" without
highlighting it as errant. Isn't that special?
With that in mind, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space
Studies, James Hansen, is claiming that recent accusations made about
him - that he was involved in a GISS report in 1971 predicting an ice
and that he received money from multi-billionaire George Soros
are nothing more than swift-boating by his critics.
Of course, folks who offhandedly use this defense seem to forget that
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) actually never proved that any of the claims
made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were false.
Similarly, in Hansen's case, though he admirably tried to deflect
he also failed to thoroughly refute the claims made against him
(emphasis added, h/t NB reader M. Hoff):
So it was a bit of a surprise when I began to be inundated a few days
ago with reports that I had issued proclamations five years earlier, in
1971, that the Earth was headed into an ice age. Here is how this
First on 19 September 2007 a Washington Times article by John McCaslin
reported that a 9 July 1971 article by Victor Cohn in the Washington
Post had been discovered with the title "U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age
Coming". The scientist, S.I. Rasool, is reported as saying that the
world "could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new
"This is an old story: Rasool and (Steve) Schneider published a paper in
Science on that day noting that if human-made aerosols (small particles
in the air) increased by a factor of four, other things being equal,
they could cause massive global cooling. At Steve's 60th birthday
celebration I argued that the Rasool and Schneider paper was a useful
scientific paper, an example of hypothesis testing, in the spirit of
good science. But what is the news today?
Mr. McCaslin reported that Rasool and Hansen were colleagues at NASA and
"Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a
new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above
"What was that program? It was a 'Mie scattering' code I had written to
calculate light scattering by spherical particles. Indeed, it was useful
for Venus studies, as it helped determine the size and refractive index
of the particles in the clouds that veil the surface of Venus. I was
glad to let Rasool and Schneider use that program to calculate
scattering by aerosols. But Mie scattering functions, although more
complex, are like sine and cosine mathematical functions, simply a
useful tool for many problems. Allowing this scattering function to be
used by other people does not in any way make me responsible for a
What did Hansen use to prove that he was being swift-boated? An article:
posted at the website of Salt Lake City's CBS-TV affiliate KUTV.com: "A NASA scientist, who is now sounding the alarm over global warming's threat to the planet, once believed that pumping too many greenhouse gases into
the air would have the opposite effect -- a modern day ice age."
Wow. So, an article published by a television station in Salt Lake City,
which admittedly took this story too far, represented swift-boating,
Excuse me, but the piece in the more well-read paper, the Washington
Times, accurately reported the facts, as did NewsBusters. At issue was
that the same government agency which is now forecasting imminent
planetary doom at the hands of global warming did indeed predict a
looming ice age 36 years ago.
Care to address that rather than a bad article published at a television
website in Salt Lake City, James?
Sadly, Hansen used largely the same smokescreen tactic to deflect
scrutiny regarding money allegedly sent to him by one of George Soros's
"The latest swift-boating (unless there is a new one among seven
unanswered calls on my cell) is the whacko claim that I received
$720,000.00 from George Soros. Here is the real deal, with the order of
things as well as I can remember without wasting even more time digging
into papers and records."
No, James, nobody would want you to waste time digging into papers and
records that offer verifiable facts. We're much more comfortable you
presenting your case "as well as [you] can" from memory without all the
documents involved, especially since no media are holding your feet to
the fire concerning the matter.
But I digress:
"I did not receive one thin dime from George Soros. Perhaps GAP
[Government Accountability Project] did, but I would be surprised if
they got $720,000 (that's a lot of Mercedes). Whatever amount they got,
I do not see anything wrong with it. They are a non-profit organization.
Seems like a great idea to have some good lawyers trying to protect free
By the way, in case anybody finds out that George Soros INTENDED to send
me $720,000 but could not find my address, please let me know! We are
pretty hard pressed here."
To buttress his position, Hansen copied a letter sent by GAP and his
counsel to NASA chief Michael Griffin asking for assurances he would
"not be punished for exercising his rights under the First Amendment,
Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), and the Anti-Gag Statute to share
his internationally-renowned expertise on climate change."
Amazingly, Hansen - whose views have been widely reported by the global
warming obsessed media for years with seemingly no restrictions -
claimed the Bush administration had threatened him to be quiet on such
subjects, and he was making Griffin aware of his involvement with GAP,
as well as his desire for there to be no repercussions.
Although this letter demonstrated his association with GAP, this in no
way explained why Hansen's name was mentioned so prominently in the 2006
Soros Foundations Network Report:
"James E. Hansen, the director of the Goddard Institute for Space
Studies at NASA, protested attempts to silence him after officials at
NASA ordered him to refer press inquiries to the public affairs office
and required the presence of a public affairs representative at any
interview. The Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower
protection organization and OSI grantee, came to Hansen's defense by
providing legal and media advice. The campaign on Hansen's behalf
resulted in a decision by NASA to revisit its media policy."
Nowhere in Hansen's "I'm getting swift-boated" passion play did he
address what this "campaign on Hansen's behalf" orchestrated by Soros's
foundation involved, or why he was so prominently named in this annual
Furthermore, Hansen conveniently ignored the footnote in the balance
sheet of this report indicating (emphasis added): "The Strategic
Opportunities Fund includes grants related to Hurricane Katrina
($1,652,841); media policy ($1,060,000); and politicization of science
As the phrase "politicization of science" was included in the Investor's
Business Daily editorial that broke this story Monday, Hansen might have
been more forthcoming by addressing what he thought was meant by this
term, especially as his critics claim that this is indeed what he has
been doing for years.
And, it would have been nice if he offered an opinion concerning whether
or not the $720,000 paid for "politicization of science" might have
indeed gone to GAP.
Regardless of these oversights on Hansen's part, we don't know whether
he received a dime either directly or indirectly from George Soros or
one of his foundations. However, a LexisNexis search indicated that not
one major media outlet has mentioned one word of this matter.
Now, consider what would have happened if Investor's Business Daily, or
any major newspaper, had published an editorial stating that the head of
the Environmental Protection Agency, Stephen Johnson, had received
$720,000 from ExxonMobil. Or, that such a contribution was made to Sen.
James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
Do you think the press would be much more interested in this story?
Might they be at this very moment demanding an investigation of the
matter, or just ignoring the whole thing?
Once again, regardless of what the truth is concerning Hansen's
connection to Soros, the idea that no press outlets are pursuing this
story to assist in the finding and dissemination of the facts is further
evidence of media complicity concerning advancing global warming
hysteria and assisting whatever the liberal agenda is at the time.
-Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of