Recent record-breaking cold temperatures attributed to a polar vortex "mean very little" in terms of climate change, University of Houston professor Larry Bell said Wednesday.
Bell, author of "The Climate of Corruption"
and a Forbes magazine and Newsmax contributor, told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview that climate change has been going on "for a long time, millions of years, and it will continue doing it for a long time to come."
"It's tempting to say, oh boy, see, you were all wrong, but actually [the extreme temperatures] mean very little in climate change."
Bell said "it's tragic" that scientists cannot get government funding to look at natural causes of climate change, but "treacherous" that funded scientists won't tell the truth about such change.
"[Very] respectful scientists who do research who are getting funding and know that there's no crisis, or they know there's no reason to believe there is one, won't speak up and say 'no, let's get cool heads on this, let's reassess this,'" he said. "To me, the silence is damning of people that know better."
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Bell, who heads a graduate program in space architecture, also decried the lack of public interest in space.
"People aren't interested in space for lots of reasons, and there's a broad interest but it's very thin," he said. "I'm in favor of a much smaller government, and NASA is a great example of government bureaucracy run amok. But nevertheless, we should broaden our horizons. There are legitimate reasons for us to think on a higher plane to pursue space."
He charged that at the governmental level "there's no coherent plan" for U.S. space flights, and that hopes now lie in the commercial sector.
"I was a little skeptical about how much they could accomplish, but I'm really impressed by the amount of progress they're making in a short period of time, and they're bringing new technology to NASA," he said.
"The next question is what would finance the exploration stage as we go beyond that. If we're going to reignite public interest, it has to be a program that's ambitious and exciting, but that makes it also a long-term program, which has to be sustained through these different political changes, and it seems like every new presidency has to put their own stamp on things and they have to kind of start over again."
Bell, however, is pessimistic about the Obama administration.
"It is a bunker mentality and it's the sense that 'we're not so sure about 2014 right now, and rather than go down totally as a lame-duck legacy, let's push forward and have history remember us for having accomplished certain agendas that we couldn't accomplish, blaming Congress.'"
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