Delingpole: NASA’s Jim Bridenstine Has Badly Let Down President Trump on ‘Climate Change’

Oklahoma Congressman-elect Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, gestures as he speaks in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. Bridenstine replaces five-term Republican congressman John Sullivan, who lost in the primary election. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP/Sue Ogrocki

NASA’s new administrator Jim Bridenstine has done his president a grave disservice.

Perhaps he thinks he has just been politic – canny even – by publicly reversing his stated position on man-made climate change and declaring himself a true believer.

“I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot,” was the excuse he recently gave to the Washington Post.

He added:

 “I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we’ve put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we’ve seen. And we’ve done it in really significant ways.”

But this was an unforced error which has needlessly hampered the Trump administration’s war on the Climate Industrial Complex.

It’s the kind of cynical positioning you might have expected from a RINO swamp appointee in either of the Bush administrations. But it’s entirely inappropriate in the Trump era: there’s a war to be fought here and there’s really no space for fainthearts – not even when those fainthearts are Republican ex-congressmen with a distinguished past as US Navy fliers.

There are lots of things Bridenstine could have told the liberal media when quizzed about his views on climate change.

He could have pleaded the Fifth: “Look, my primary job is to restore NASA’s tarnished reputation as an institution for space exploration. So you’ll understand, I’m sure, if I don’t undermine this difficult task at so early a stage by answering loaded questions which have more to do with politics than NASA’s function.”

Better still, he could have said: “Glad you asked this question. And it’s one of those contentious issues I believe NASA can help solve. That’s why I’ll be encouraging NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies to work closely with any of the administration’s efforts to reassess the state of global warming science, so as to ensure that policies which affect all American taxpayers are based on evidence rather than dubious computer projections…”

What he didn’t need to do is throw the cause of skeptical science to the wolves.

Surrendering to a worthless opposition is bad enough. But what’s inexcusable is handing those scheming ingrates a weapon with which to beat the good people on your own side.

“I read a lot”?

What was Bridenstine thinking?

Does he seriously want to put out the message that the primary difference between the climate skeptic position and the climate alarmist position is that the latter group has done the most thorough reading, whereas the skeptics have just kind of made their stuff up from the top of their heads?

Needless to say, the alarmists haven’t stopped crowing

Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann has tweeted:

Yes, I apologize for once calling him “The Wrong Stuff”. He’s certainly regained my respect.

As Climate Depot‘s Marc Morano told me:

“Something is very wrong when Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt approve of Trump’s pick for NASA.”

and

“Bridenstine would fit in previous GOP administrations when you expect to have sellouts, but not in a Donald Trump Administration.”

I agree. And so, I think, will almost anyone who appreciates the magnitude of the task facing Donald Trump in draining the swamp and cleaning up the mess left by his predecessors, especially Obama. The U.S. – nay the world – was just one election cycle away from leftist Armageddon. Trump arrived only just in time…

NASA, for example, had been reduced to a combination of Muslim-outreach program and chief promulgator of climate change alarmism, using dodgy statistics provided by its house green activists – first James Hansen, subsequently Gavin Schmidt – at NASA GISS.

It needed a completely new broom. And the man needed to wield that broom needed to be a fearless figure in the mold of Trump’s bravest and most able administrator, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency.

I would go in even harder on what I see as Bridenstine’s treachery. But since old school NASA stalwarts say that in most other respects he is an excellent pick, perhaps we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Apollo-era veteran Thomas Wysmuller tells Breitbart News Network:

I believe Jim Bridenstine was trying to diffuse what is essentially a non mission-critical issue, as the Potomac estuary will not inundate NASA Headquarters anytime soon, or within anyone’s lifetime either.  NASA is an agency far different, than the one I worked in during the Apollo days, and the challenge Jim faces will be getting it back to a no-nonsense, measured and validated data orientation.  Catastrophic SLR and runaway temperature rise is part of the nonsense, and he will be very wise to systematically sidestep it for the short term.  

In fact, he’s entered a proverbial hornets nest without a smoke pot and his best strategy will be to methodically let the NASA “hive” settle down.  There is much to do there, Major Mission Critical Work (repeat three times), and having a climate oriented disruption during his first few months is not in his, or the nation’s, best interest.  My guess is that he intelligently quickly read the “lay of the land” and is acting accordingly. 

He has his hands full and they need to rapidly wrap around things that really matter.  Guess what:  Climate isn’t one of them, but things like developing a rational manned space program and launch (& return) capability along with developing CIS Lunar Space most certainly is. Re-transitioning NASA back to its role as a fountainhead of technology development for the Nation and the World should be added to the list.  Ending reliance on unpublished models for policy recommendations?  That belongs there too! 

There are more things that I won’t bother to list here – many more in fact, but one thing is abundantly clear:  Of all the choices that President Trump could have made to run the Agency, he has chosen Jim Bridenstine brilliantly, and I see Jim Bridenstine’s star rising brightly as he returns NASA to greatness.

Let’s hope Wysmuller is right and that Bridenstine is able to prove himself in other areas.

But the fact remains that there was no excuse for Bridenstine’s frivolous, dishonorable and weaselish U-turn on man-made global warming.

When your president is up against a Climate Industrial Complex so mighty and all-encompassing it embraces everyone from the United Nations and the European Union to the Pope, the best thing you can do if you’re unable to stand strong is to keep your mouth shut.

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