My response to Time Magazine's new article:" NASA's Climate Communications Might Not Recover From the Damage of Trump's Systemic Suppression," by Laura Tenenbaum

Time Magazine has a new article by an embittered "climate communicator" named Laura Faye Tenenbaum, who is furious that the Trump Administration tried to refocus NASA on science, rather than her own field of "communication" (propaganda). I doubt that Time will reply to my email, forwarded below.


---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: David Burton<>

Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 4:28 AM

Subject: Climate science vs. climate politics

To: <>


Dear Time editors,

I am very disappointed that you ran such a misleading article. Will you please give me the opportunity to write a rebuttal?

Obviously this email is much too long for a Time letter, but you may consider it as the draft of a proposed guest op-ed.

It was the Obama administration, not the Trump administration, which did enormous damage to NASA's scientific mission, by their heavy-handed politicization of climate science.

However, like most large organizations, NASA is a mixed bag. They still have fine scientists doing excellent work, even though they also have "science communicator" hacks producing dishonest propaganda -- like the author of your article, Laura Faye Tenenbaum.

Contrary to her spin, the bulk of actual scientific evidence indicates that man-made climate change is modest and benign, and CO2 emissions are net-beneficial rather than harmful. Ms. Tenenbaum's alarmism is the product of politics and superstition, rather than science.

In fact, NASA measures the beneficial effects of CO2 emissions and manmade climate change, from satellites. This is a NASA video:

Here's some additional information about how CO2 and manmade climate change are greening the Earth:

Pioneer climatologist Svante Arrhenius identified the major effects of CO2 emissions, more than a century ago. He was, at the time, one of the world’s most prominent scientists, having won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry five years earlier. He predicted that CO2 emissions would be highly beneficial for both mankind and the Earth's climate. He wrote:

"By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind."

A few years later, in 1920, Scientific American reported on German agricultural experiments, measuring the effects of elevated CO2 on a wide variety of crops. They confirmed Arrhenius: elevated CO2 is tremendously beneficial for all of the crops that they tested. In fact, it is so beneficial that they called CO2 "the precious air fertilizer."


History has proven them correct.. Many thousands of subsequent agricultural studies have confirmed those results, over the last century.

In Arrhenius' time, and through all of human history until recently, famine was one of the great scourges of mankind: the "Third Horseman of the Apocalypse." But widespread famines are becoming a distant memory, and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is one of the reasons.

Crop yields are outpacing population growth for several reasons, but one of those reasons is rising CO2 levels.

If we didn't have the improved agricultural productivity which we enjoy due to elevated CO2 levels, we could approximately make up for the loss by cultivating more land, but it would take a LOT of land. Converting all of the world's rainforests, both tropical and temperate, to agricultural use, would nearly do it.

Climate change is a highly politicized issue, so, as is the case for any politicized issue, if you want to understand it then you need to seek out balanced information. If you want to learn about the SCIENCE of climate change, instead of Ms. Tenenbaum's political spin, here's a list of resources which can help:

It has:

● accurate introductory climatology info

● in-depth science from BOTH skeptics & alarmists

● links to balanced debates between experts on BOTH sides of the issue

● information about climate impacts

● links to the best blogs on BOTH sides

Working all that into a guest op-ed will be quite a chore, but I'm willing to do my best, if you're willing to run it. Can you give me some guidance about what changes you would need?

Warmest regards,

Dave Burton

Cary, NC

IPCC Expert Reviewer (AR5 WG1, and AR6 WG1)

M: 919-244-3316