In a National Public Radio interview following President Bush’s recent announcement of his Administration’s plan for an international climate change framework, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin stated that he was aware of climate change but questioned the need to address it and whether earth’s current climate is actually optimal for humans. Griffin also said, “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. I am not sure if it is a problem we must wrestle with.” After significant backlash, Griffin went on to apologize to scientists and engineers in a closed-door meeting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory stating, “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.”

Problems for NASA continued with a 7 June 2007 joint hearing between the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences. The hearing questioned NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb after members of Congress suggested he was abusing his power and therefore could no longer be trusted to carry out the duty of his position. House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) stated, “An IG has to conduct him or herself in a fashion such that the Congress trusts them, the IG’s staff believes in them, the whistleblowing community relies on them and agency managers fear them enough to respect them. IG Cobb has failed on every count.” Several members of the House Subcommittee have suggested that Mr. Cobb should no longer remain in his position as Inspector General.

 


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