Last updated on: 4/10/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

Harrison H. Schmitt, PhD Biography

Title:
Geologist, Honorary Associate Fellow of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and former US Senator and NASA Astronaut
Position:
Con to the question "Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?"
Reasoning:

“The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn’t the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather…
The current levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, approaching 400 parts per million, are low by the standards of geological and plant evolutionary history. Levels were 3,000 ppm, or more, until the Paleogene period (beginning about 65 million years ago). For most plants, and for the animals and humans that use them, more carbon dioxide, far from being a ‘pollutant’ in need of reduction, would be a benefit…

We know that carbon dioxide has been a much larger fraction of the earth’s atmosphere than it is today, and the geological record shows that life flourished on land and in the oceans during those times. The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.”

Cowritten with William Happer, “Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide,” wsj.com, May 8, 2013

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the study of climate. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the study of climate.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Honorary Associate Fellow of Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1994-present
  • Honorary Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • Expert, Heartland Institute
  • Chairman and President, Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy, 1994-1998
  • US Senator (R-NM), 1977-1983
  • Assistant Administrator, Energy Programs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1974-1975
  • Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar, California Institute of Technology, 1973-1975
  • Scientist-Astronaut, Apollo 17, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dec. 6-19, 1972
  • Former Project Chief, lunar field geological methods, US Geological Survey
  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard University, 1961
  • Fulbright Fellowship, Norway, 1957-1958
Education:
  • PhD, Geology, Harvard University, 1964
  • BS, Science, California Institute of Technology, 1957
Contact Info:
Phone
505-293-3575
Email
schmitt@engr.wisc.edu
Website
americasuncommonsense.com
Other:
  • Navy Helicopter training, 1967
  • Air Force Jet Pilot Training, 1965-1966
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?