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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15 August 25, 2015

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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2540-BWB-2015-08-24.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Judith Curry. Topic: Climate science, policy and politics. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Dr. Judith Curry to the show to discuss climate science as Dr. Curry is a noted climate scientist from Georgia Institute of Technology. Follow Dr. Curry on her exceptional blog, Climate Etc. @ http://judithcurry.com. Her faculty page website at Georgia Tech is http://curry.eas.gatech.edu .

In the first few minutes of our 55 minute discussion with Dr. Curry, I asked her for a brief history & time line of when the issue of climate science got the attention of the public and started to be highly politicized. Dr. Curry traced it back to the late 90s and then the 2001 UN Assessment. I asked her about the partisanship, the public being confused, and more and she said these were normal states to be in regarding climate science which she said several times during the show was a “wicked mess.” Dr. Curry then gave us a brief history of warming trends going back hundreds of years, their possible causes and then she talked about the complexity of climate data and how hard it was to correlate, make assumptions with, and to draw useful conclusions for sound policy making. We talked about multiple sources of data collection from space resources to climate models. Regarding climate models, she said they run hot, everyone knows it, but it is very hard to fix the problem and then she explained why. Listeners asked about bias in the data, news reports, even with other scientists. Bias and the use of proxies to spread this or that perspective on climate science was all too common and is a problem. Another of Dr. Curry’s points was that given the problems with climate data, there are “deep uncertainties” regarding the state of climate science but that does not mean the risks should be ignored. The balancing act is to understand the data as objectively as possible to manage the risks in the best way possible. When asked by listeners about regulations, she said that a better way to mitigate possible climate problems was through the use of technology and innovation. Don’t miss her comments about this, especially as she applied them to the energy business. She also brought up the risk of serious unintended consequences to whatever we do, whatever policies we put in place, again because there is so much uncertainty with the data and the subject is very complex and not lending itself to simple solutions. Dr. Doug called the show to ask about solar cycles. Doug kept asking the question though our guest did respond. Specifically, I believe Doug was asking her how solar cycle length correlates with global surface temperatures. Listen to the exchange and see what you think about this mini-discussion. Later Doug sent me a graphical image related to his series of questions but our discussion had moved on plus I had no way of getting the graph to Dr. Curry for discussion. Listeners asked Dr. Curry about emissions, CO2, regulatory mandates and policy. Another question for Dr. Curry focused on scientific consensus regarding climate change issues. Don’t miss this discussion. BJohn asked about planetary science & solar system climate studies. Later, she was asked about testifying before Congress. Dr. Curry said there was a difference between testifying in the House as compared to the Senate. I asked if she had ever given a presentation to the UN or elsewhere. In response, she talked about her recent experience speaking before Parliament in the UK to the House of Commons. Compare what she said about the UK experience to her congressional experience. Near the end of our discussion, Dr. Curry spoke about her climate change and science blog, Climate Etc. per the above URL. If you are interested in these subjects, following her blog would be highly beneficial. Before the program ended, I asked if her graduate students came to the classes with a bias or if they were open minded in their climate science studies. I then asked if climate science in the U.S. was dependent on who the president was and what party was in power. Dr. Curry had very interesting comments on this plus she gave us the recent history of what happened to the field over the past several administrations, both Democratic and Republican. Finally, I asked how important it might be for the general public to have a good, bias free understanding of climate issues. Her response might surprise you so make sure you hear what she had to say about this and science education in general. A last minute question was asked about the famous hockey stick graph, then our guest provided us with good, solid closing comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Dr. Curry through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13 June 12, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2027-BWB-2013-06-11.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Commercial space, regulations, climate science, becoming spacefaring.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed Robert (Bob) Zimmerman to the program (www.behindtheblack.com).  During our 2 hour 3 minute discussion with Bob, we covered a wide area of space, policy, budget and climate science issues.  For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Bob started out talking about the Commercial Space Launch Act of 2004 and his warnings back then about a heavily regulated commercial and NewSpace industry coming out of this particular legislation.  He has now reported on the evolution of regulation for this segment of the industry.  See this article on his blog, http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-red-tape-of-the-space-bureaucracy.  He strongly suggested that the focus was misplaced on excessive safety.  Instead, it should be on risk taking, innovation, and experimental flight.  We also mentioned possible ITAR changes in which human spaceflight vehicles are being considered for addition to the munitions list.  Were this to happen, it might prove extremely detrimental to NewSpace companies and the American space industry.  Pooley both emailed and called the show to stress starting small and with non-human spaceflight missions. Bob and Charles had an interesting exchange on this subject you will want to hear.  Later in the segment, Bob talked about SpaceX and launch rates, comparing the Falcon with the Russian Proton.  We talked about the need for reliable commercial schedules for a launcher to be considered commercial.  We also talked about the successful Orbital Sciences Antares demo flight, ULA and their schedules, plus Arianespace.  Bob then commented on the first powered demo flight for Virgin, then Tim from Huntsville called in to talk abut SpaceX, a possible IPO, Bob’s comments on NASA assimilation, and the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign.

In our second segment, we started with another Pooley email stressing the need to start small & without human spaceflight.  I then asked Bob what he thought of the prospect of continuing to fund & develop SLS.  He said it was on the knife’s edge and to the degree that SpaceX, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, and Orbital can be successful, it will likely hasten the demise of SLS.  Bob then spoke to the bulkhead cracks with the Orion, their repairs and the recent successful Orion test.  Sequestration was next up with Bob having much to say on the subject.  Our next big topic had to do with climate science which I introduced with my perspective of it here in the U.S. and what I know about what is going on in the field in the UK and throughout Europe.  Bob talked about climate models and referenced the work by Roy Spencer who depicts in graph format all 72 climate models referenced by the industry (see www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means).  Bob dealt with many climate science issues so if this topic interests you, don’t miss this discussion.  Later, we talked about the Chinese spacecraft now in orbit for about a two week HSF mission.  Also discussed was the JWST and its impact on NASA astrophysics budget issues, the Kepler Space Telescope, and our on orbit repair capabilities. Both Bob & I used JWST and Kepler as examples of why we need to develop a true spacefaring capability though being able to repair hardware so far out in space is not going to happen for a very long time, if ever.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through his blog or by using zimmerman at nasw dot org.