Texas A&M University 2014 Climate Change Statement

Someone sent me this link and statement about a month ago. This climate change statement from Texas A&M University (TAMU), from their Department of Atmospheric Sciences (faculty) replaces an earlier undated statement with similar content. The earlier statement is archived somewhere in Horizons (www.aiaahouston.org/horizons).

Today this link is not working. Houston experienced a bad storm last night, so this is probably the reason for the trouble in College Station Texas USA, but here is that link:


A PDF file was sent to me. It contained this statement, so here is an image of that statement:

The 2014 climate change statement from the Texas A&M University Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

It mentions 1.5 degrees in item (1) above. That should say Fahrenheit (F). Multiply by 5/9 to convert to Celsius (C). That converts to 0.83333 (repeating 3) degree C. That is what I recall, 0.8C over the last 140 years. In the above text, it is about 132 years.

The range 2.5 to 7 degrees F above is 1.38888 (repeating 8) to 3.88888 (repeating 8) degrees C. That is in addition to roughly the 0.8C mentioned above.

The IPCC is the best source for climate change information, though their reports are the lowest common denominator. Their charter requires them to use the most conservative language when describing the threat of climate change. The IPCC website is http://ipcc.ch.

The above text refers to the position statement of the AGU. Its title is Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action.

The solution: reduce greenhouse gases! Learn what you must as a citizen and tell others about it. Change is required! Enough science is settled to know that urgent action is required. The science work continues, but we know enough to avoid delay. Still the USA delayed, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia deny the science. This is an incredible challenge. China cannot succeed with the USA, and vice versa. The developing world cannot succeed without the developed world, and vice versa. Time is running out. Public policy changes are required. Political changes are required. It is a complicated subject, but it can be simplified. I hope most people understand the challenge, but quite a few influential people deny the science.

Almost 200 nations agreed to 2C as a limit for global average surface temperature increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution (about 1880), and Earth already reached 0.8C over the last 140 years. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to make that change. Carbon dioxide is the most important one, but methane and others are also greenhouse gases.

The consequences of human-induced climate change are already terrible. What portion of 13 feet of storm surge from Hurricane Sandy was due to human-induced climate change? One foot? See the IPCC and other sources for those consequences.

Recommended books: Merchants of Doubt (2010) and This Changes Everything (2014).

Climate Science Denial MOOC

Good news! A great course is available for free, for anyone connected to the internet. Its title is Making Sense of Climate Science Denial. “Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.”

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course.

John Cook of SkepticalScience.com is the creator, or one of the creators. I just finished week 1 of 7. This is a free course. We have an option to pay $100. Excellent new video interviews include Ben Santer, Naomi Oreskes, Katharine Hayhoe, and Michael Mann. Those names alone ensure this is a great course. Many more scientists are interviewed and many more scientists are involved in creating this course.

I am sure you can catch up easily if you start late now. They estimate 2 hours of work per week.

Here is the long form of a link to this course:


I hope to find you there. As the title of the AGU position statement says, Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action. AGU: American Geophysical Union.

By the way, in the 2013 charts by Sandrine Dixson (Her last name is hyphenated there, so this is the shorter form.), her chart 7 says that business as usual (RCP8.5) as likely as not leads to a temperature increase of 4C by the year 2100. Multiply by 1.8 to convert to Fahrenheit. Climate: everyone’s business. Related data is in the 2014 IPCC Working Group 1 document. I think it starts on page 1013 of Chapter 12. That 4C is compared to the 2C that more than 100 nations agreed to as a limit for global average surface temperature increase since the start of the Industrial Age. We already reached 0.8C.

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

RCP: Representative Concentration Pathway

Thanks to Salon.com for telling us about this MOOC. The article’s author was Lindsay Abrams, their environment journalist.

Two tree sparrows in Armand Bayou seen from the Bay Area Park boardwalk. Monday, May 4, 2015. (Click to zoom.) Image credit: Douglas Yazell.

Climate Change Notes, Urgent Action Required

[2015 03 21] A few quick notes.

Title of the position statement of the American Geophysical Union: Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action.

Two good books: Merchants of Doubt (2010) and This Changes Everything (2014).

Charts from a dinner meeting presentation on climate change science & public policy can be found at the bottom of this web page at the moment: www.aiaahouston.org/iac. The presenter is Dr. Barry Lefer of the University of Houston. His specialty is air pollution. As I recall, at one point he said that for the past 100 years, natural variation is undetectable compared to human influence.

Please be sure to watch some climate change episodes of Moyers & Company, the PBS television show. See www.billmoyers.com. The interview with Katharine Hayhoe is especially good.

Please join 350.org. To start, it is a free email signup.

The Guardian (http://theguardian.com) also features excellent climate change journalism. A recent article uses the headline, Florida employee ‘punished for using phrase climate change.’


Climate Change and NASA

NASA continues to do great work on climate change, as always. Here is something from one of the NASA FAQs (frequently asked questions).

See http://climate.nasa.gov

See http://climate.nasa.gov

The AGU (American Geophysical Union) position statement is titled, “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.” That science is as settled as science can be, as settled as the age of the Earth and the role of evolution on life, including human life.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is an award-winning source for climate change science communication and public policy. They shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

As we can see from the image, NASA does not promote particular public policies. Even the AMA (American Medical Association) published a climate change position statement, referring to their support for the work of the IPCC. Who else can join the AGU and the AMA in publishing a position statement?

My sighting and photos of an adult bald eagle fishing with two Opsrey

I was walking my dog Friday, September 26, 2014, and I had my camera (20x optical zoom, automatic mode, sports mode) with me. I photographed a bald eagle and two Osprey. About a year ago, a couple told me that bald eagles were sighted here in Houston at Armand Bayou years ago, nesting, and creating a second nest farther down the bayou, farther away from people. The sight of this bald eagle was a big and pleasant surprise. I will place one photo here for now. I have a few photos of it. In one photo, the bald eagle has a fish in its claws. In another photo, one of the two Osprey has a fish in its claws.

My PowerPoint slides are available in PDF format via this website:


Here is that link in a clickable and more concise form.

Great to see a bald eagle

A bald eagle and an Osprey. The wingspan for an Osprey is up to one inch less than 6 feet (Wikipedia). The wingspan for a bald eagle is up to 8 feet (Wikipedia). In this photo, the Osprey has a fish in its claws.

And below are two more pictures of a bald eagle (the same one, I guess) at that same place. It is being attacked in air by an Opsrey. These photos are from Friday, October 3, 2014, my second bald eagle sighting, one week after the first sighting. I photographed both sightings!

A bald eagle and an Osprey

Bald eagle and Opsrey again

Bald eagle and Osprey again

Bald eagle and Osprey again

The 2010 book Merchants of Doubt mentions eagles and falcons being saved by the work of Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 book Silent Spring. Her book talked about DDT, pesticides, and ecosystems. In the first paragraph of MoD’s Chapter 7, bald eagles are mentioned. The MoD book explains in its Chapter 7 that suddenly in 2007, an internet “Rachel was wrong.” campaign appeared from the CEI. (I will not bother to define the acronyms of these conservative think tanks for now. Calling them conservative is being too nice to them, by the way.) Conservative and Libertarian. AEI. The Cato Institute. The Heartland Institute. They are free market fundamentalists.

In 1972, the successful solution in the USA to the problem of DDT and other pesticides was implemented, including government regulations.

“Mass murderer.” “Worse than Hitler.” That is how they described Rachel Carson in 2007 with their “Rachel is wrong” campaign.

“After Rush Limbaugh parroted the ‘Rachel was wrong’ attack, the CEI promoted him for the Nobel Peace Prize.” That sentence is from MoD, an exact quote, except that the book spells out the acronym for CEI.

The MoD authors are Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway. I recommend the book. The full title is Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Eric M. Conway is the NASA/JPL historian.

Of course, climate change is is the news now with Eric Schmidt talking about ALEC, another one of those free market fundamentalist groups. Here is a link to an article from the Guardian. The quote by Schmidt about ALEC is from an NPR show, the Diane Rehm show. Here is the link to that transcript from NPR. And here is that quote from that show of Monday, September 22, 2014:

[Start quote.]

Hi, yes. Thank you so much for taking my call, Diane.
I’m curious to know if Google is still supporting ALEC, which is that fund lobbyist in D.C. that are funding climate change deniers.
We funded them as part of a political game for something unrelated. I think the consensus within the company was that that was sort of a mistake. And so we’re trying to not do that in the future.
And how did you get involved with them in the first place? And were you then disappointed in what you saw?
Well, the company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts. What a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring. And the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying.
Eric Schmidt. He’s executive chairman of Google. He’s former chief executive officer of Google from 2001 through 2011. His new book is titled how Google works. Eric Schmidt, it was a pleasure to talk with you. And maybe we’ll talk again.

[End quote.]



Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

[July 30, 2014]

I recall reading that this book has never been out of print. It first appeared as two books, Volumes 1 and 2, it seems. This famous American Civil War winning General later served two consecutive four-year terms as President of the USA, and at the end of his life, he completed his best-selling memoirs in two volumes. Mark Twain was his publisher, as I recall.

I purchased a square-bound softcover printed-on-paper version of this book quite a few years ago. I read it and liked it, though I found long stretches of the narrative held little interest for me. I often wanted to re-read that story about the popularity of tobacco in Mexico. The war with Mexico occurred before our 1861-1865 Civil War. This week I downloaded these two free e-books from the Apple iBooks store. I found that tobacco story easily since I can search for words such as tobacco.

I am sure these books are in the public domain. I will check on that later by using Wikipedia. I note here that Volume 1 in this e-book form is produced by Glen Bledsoe and contains additional proofing by David Widger.

I place a few quotes here from Volume 1.

In my early days, every one labored more or less, in the region where my youth was spent, and more in proportion to their private means. It was only the very poor who were exempt. 

[...] While my father carried on the manufacture of leather… I detested the trade, preferring almost any other labor; but I was fond of agriculture, and of all employment in which horses were used. 

[...] I did not like to work; but I did as much of it, while young, as grown men can be hired to do in these days, and attended school at the same time. 

[...] I noticed, however, a few years later, when the Mexican war broke out, that most of this class of officers discovered they were possessed of disabilities which entirely incapacitated them from active field service. They had the moral courage to proclaim it, too. They were right; but they did not always give their disease the right name.

Next I focus on a few long quotes from U.S. Grant about Texas, our war with Mexico which resulted in the transfer of Texas to the USA, and our Civil War.

In May of 1845, Grant procured a leave for 20 days. He visited St. Louis. He asked a lady’s father for permission to marry. It was granted.

Grant introduces us to Camp Salubrity. They stayed there for 6 months before the first death occurred, and that was by accident.

[...] There was no intimation given that the removal of the 3rd and 4th regiments of infantry to the western border of Louisiana was occasioned in any way by the prospective annexation of Texas, but it was generally understood that such was the case. [...] Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation. It was in instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. Texas was originally a state belonging to the republic of Mexico. It extended from the Sabine River on the east to the Rio Grande on the west, and from the Gulf of Mexico on the south and east to the territory of the United States and New Mexico-another Mexican state at that time-on the north and west. An empire in territory, It had but a very sparse population, until settled by Americans who had received authority from Mexico to colonize. These colonists paid very little attention to the supreme government, and introduced slavery into the state almost from the start, though the constitution of Mexico did not, nor does it now, sanction that institution. Soon they set up an independent government of their own, and war existed, between Texas and Mexico, in name from that time until 1836, when active hostilities very nearly ceased upon the capture of Santa Anna, the Mexican President. Before long, however, the same people-who with permission of Mexico had colonized Texas, and afterwards set up slavery there, and then seceded as soon as they felt strong enough to do so-offered themselves and the State to the United States, and in 1845 their offer was accepted. The occupation, separation and annexation were, from the inception of the moment to its final consummation, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which the slave states might be formed for the American Union. 

Even if the annexation itself could be justified, the manner in which the subsequent war was forced upon Mexico cannot. The fact is, annexationists wanted more territory than they could possibly lay claim to, as part of the new acquisition. Texas, as an independent State, never had exercised jurisdiction over the territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. Mexico had never recognized the independence of Texas, and maintained that, even if independent, the State had no claim south of the Nueces. I am aware that a treaty, made by the Texans with Santa Anna while he was under duress, ceded all territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande-, but he was a prisoner of war when the treaty was made, and his life was in jeopardy. He knew, too, that he deserved execution at the hands of the Texans, if they should ever capture him. The Texans, if they had taken his life, would have only followed the example set by Santa Anna himself a few years before, when he executed the entire garrison of the Alamo and the villagers of Goliad. 

In taking military possession of Texas after annexation, the army of occupation, under General Taylor, was directed to occupy the disputed territory. The army did not stop at the Nueces and offer to negotiate for a settlement of the boundary question, but went beyond, apparently in order to force Mexico to initiate war. It is to the credit of the American nation, however, that after conquering Mexico, and while practically holding the country in our possession, so that we could have retained the whole of it, or made any terms we chose, we paid a round sum for the additional territory taken; more than it was worth, or was likely to be, to Mexico. To us it was an empire and of incalculable value; but it might have been obtained by other means. The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times. 

This is an incredible history of Texas and the American Civil War, but Grant is a reliable reporter in my eyes. This does not agree with the Wikipedia version of these stories, as I recall. I will compare those sources again later.

[...] Under these circumstances, I gave up everything like a special course of reading, and only read thereafter for my own amusement, and not very much for that, until the war was over. I kept a horse and rode, and staid [stayed] out of doors [outdoors] most of the time by day, and entirely recovered from the cough which I had carried from West Point, and from all indications of consumption. I have often thought that my life was saved, and my health restored, by exercise and exposure, enforced by an administrative act, and a war, both of which I disapproved. 

Below is the last paragraph of Chapter 3 (Volume 1):

At Camp Salubrity, and when we went to New Orleans Barracks, the 4th infantry was commanded by Colonel Vose, then an old gentleman who had not commanded on drill for a number of years. He was not a man to discover infirmity in the presence of danger. It now appeared that war was imminent, and he felt that is was his duty to brush up on his tactics. Accordingly, when we got settled down at our new post, he took command of the regiment at a battalion drill. Only two or three evolutions had been gone through when he dismissed the battalion, and, turning to go to his own quarters, dropped dead. He had not been complaining of ill health, but no doubt died of heart disease. He was a most estimable man, of exemplary habits, and by no means the author of his own disease. 

Chapter IV is titled Corpus Christi-Mexican Smuggling-Spanish Rule in Mexico-Supplying Transportation. Mexican Smuggling refers to that tobacco story that I plan to include in this post.

[...] Corpus Christi is near the head of the bay of the same name, …

[...] Tobacco is cheap, and every quality can be produced. Its use is by no means so general as when I first visited the country.

The tobacco story starts with Corpus Christi above and ends with, “Its use is by no means so general as when I first visited the country.” That is four paragraphs. I am not typing them here for now, but I will probably fill in those quotes later. Briefly summarized, when tobacco is only sold to a privileged group and is very expensive (and production is controlled), everyone wants tobacco, and everyone obtains it. Most obtain it via smuggling. Much later, when it is cheap and can be grown anywhere (and can be sold to anyone, and the quality varies), far fewer people use tobacco.


Brevet_Second_Lieutenant_Ulysses_S._Grant_in_1843. Click to zoom. Source: Wikipedia. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_S._Grant.


Climate Change Public Policy Quotes of Importance from 2007 and 2012

[July 6, 2014]

This blog post compares a 2012 quote from Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway (from their book Merchants of Doubt) to a 2007 quote from former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

After my 1981-2011 Honeywell aerospace engineering career, climate change arrived on my radar in late 2011, though earlier I had seen Al Gore’s Academy-award-winning documentary movie An Inconvenient Truth. I heard a few climate change denialists make presentations in a NASA/JSC building. A month later, 3 university professors made climate change presentations in that same building, invited by those same organizers. Of course, the presentations of these university professors were in agreement with the United Nations IPCC, the NASA climate website, and professional science groups such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU). I knew I leaned to believing the second set of those presentations (some of those presentations from those two sessions are available online), but I remained on the fence until October 23, 2012. On that date, PBS Television in the USA showed the Climate of Doubt episode of Frontline, a one-hour TV show of weekly (but not 52 weeks per year) investigative journalism. Frontline featured climate change denialists in their own conference, the 8th conference in a series of climate change denialism, with the Heartland Institute featured prominently. In fact, the 9th conference in that series is now approaching soon (in Las Vegas, as I recall), though I concluded they were canceled after the Frontline broadcast.

Of course, one free source of information to sort this out is Robert Brull’s 2013 report. The Drexel University press release is found by searching the internet for Not Just the Koch Brothers. The report’s title includes the words Institutionalizing Delay. The Heartland Institute is mentioned in that report. The report focuses on the climate change denialism public policy funding from 2003 to 2010, and reports that American conservatives have successfully created controversy from scientific facts about climate change since the Heartland Institute took on the subject of climate change in 1989. Brull also worked with Stanford University on that report. A John Baez website provides high-resolution images of the figures from this Brull report.

Before comparing an Oreskes/Conway quote to a Michael Griffin quote, here is a global warming image file obtained via Wikipedia.

NASA global warming image via Wikipedia (Click to zoom.)

NASA global warming image via Wikipedia (Click to zoom.)

Here is the caption for the image from Wikipedia:

Caption for global warming image from NASA via Wikipedia (Click to zoom.)

Caption for global warming image from NASA via Wikipedia (Click to zoom.)

The PBS television show in the USA, Moyers & Company, is excellent, and the related website is www.billmoyers.com. He presents the first few pages of the Oreskes/Conway book Merchants of Doubt in a blog post dated May 16, 2014. I have the Apple iBooks sample, and the very next paragraph contains the Oreskes/Conway quote I wish to present here. The shortest form of this global warming quote is, “First they [Setiz and Singer, and a handful of other scientists who joined forces with think tanks and private corporations to challenge scientific evidence on a host of contemporary issues] claimed there was none, then they claimed it was just natural variation, and then they claimed that even if it was happening and it was our fault, it didn’t matter because we could just adapt to it.”

This is a 2012 book, and I will now compare that last part of that quote to Michael Griffin’s 2007 quote. Here is the Wikipedia article containing the 2007 quote from Michael Griffin, NASA Administrator from 2005 to 2009. Griffin seemed to be in agreement with the above climate change denialist quote, “… even if it [global warming] was happening and it was our fault, it didn’t matter because we could just adapt to it.”

The NASA Earth Observing System satellite fleet started in 1997 and contains about 20 satellites now [Wikipedia], all used for climate change studies. It is painful to know that a NASA Administrator would say that. It requires time for American citizens, including me, to sort out this subject of climate change, but thanks to many sources, including the recent television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, it is now becoming obvious to American citizens.

Here is part of the Griffin quote from that Wikipedia article:

In a follow-up interview to his May 31 interview with NPR‘s Steve Inskeep airing June 1, 2007, on NPR News’ Morning Edition, Griffin said the following:

“I have no doubt that global—that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change.
First of all, 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, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings – where and when – are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.”

Some climate scientists referred to his remarks as ignorant. In particular, James E. Hansen, NASA’s top official on climate change, said Griffin’s comments showed “arrogance and ignorance”, as millions will likely be harmed by global warming. Jerry Mahlman, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that Griffin was either “totally clueless” or “a deep antiglobal warming ideologue”.



Climate Change and State Governors in the USA

Climate Progress published an excellent map, and the link for that article is provided below. This map shows the 50 states of the USA, color-coded based on the climate change track record of the state governor.


That relates state governors and climate change.

Like Ta Nahisi Coates on the PBS television show Moyers & Company, I compare that to maps of the northern and southern states during the American Civil War of 1861-1865. Coates wrote the June 2014 cover story for the monthly magazine, the Atlantic. The article title was the Case for Reparations. He pointed out that those Southern states reject the Medicaid extension option for ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, harming black Americans more than anyone, once again, in addition to the current American mass incarceration. Once again, black Americans are injured, he says. A relevant book is the New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Also, a new book by Ian Haney Lopez is Dog Whistle Politics. He asserts that between the Civll War and the start of the Jim Crow era (after World War 2), the situation for black Americans from Texas to North Carolina was worse than slavery, thanks to convict leasing. Lopez points out that once the Civil War ended, neither slavery nor indentured servitude were allowed, except for those justly convicted of a crime. Haney explains that before the Civil War, many slaveholders described their slaves as peaceful, but once the Civil War ended, they were described as violent and dangerous. How convenient!

Here is the text of Section 1 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the USA from the Wikipedia article:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Below is a map from Wikipedia of the Confederacy from the American Civil War.

Map of the states and territories claimed by the Confederate States of America

Map of the states and territories claimed by the Confederate States of America. Wikipedia. Click to zoom.

The link for that Wikipedia page is:


Here is a map from Wikipedia of the Union during the American Civil War (1861-1865):

Map of the division of the states during the American Civil War. Blue (the U.S. Army’s uniform color) indicates the Union states; light blue represents Union states which permitted slavery (border states); red represents Confederate states. White or unshaded areas were territories. Wikipedia. Click to zoom.

Here is the full link for the above map:


The Late Frederick Ira Ordway III

The Late Frederick Ira Ordway III (April 4, 1927- July 1, 2014)

[July 3, 2014, Douglas Yazell]

A giant of the aerospace world died this week, and we offer our tributes and a few words about our connections. First, here is a link for an obituary article in the Quad-Citites Daily newspaper website, serving Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, and Shoals in the American state of Alabama. He is described there as Professor Ordway of Huntsville, so he enjoyed living in the NASA/MSFC (Marshall Space Flight Center) community. Here is that link spelled out:


A great friend sent me the news, probably from this NASA Watch link:


Here is the Wikipedia article link for Frederick Ira Ordway III:


I led a team on an 18-month project to reprint the 1952-1954 magazine articles, “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!” Wernher von Braun led a team of editors, writers and artists creating those articles in eight issues of the weekly magazine Collier’s. Our Horizons Collier’s team became the first to reprint those articles page-by-page and in high resolution. Horizons is the newsletter of AIAA Houston Section, and AIAA is the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Horizons was and probably will continue to be bimonthly (or monthly), free, using the PDF format, all-volunteer, and approximately 36 pages per issue. Fred Ordway was kind enough to join our Horizons Collier’s team, and his name was listed in each of our eight issues of Horizons as a member of our Horizons Collier’s team. His contribution was mostly contained in a few email notes, as I recall, but we knew we could call on him, and his participation was a source of great pride for our team.

The Horizons website page is here:


The July / August 2012 issue of Horizons was our part 1 of 8 parts for the Horizons Collier’s series. Here is the link for low resolution (23 MB) version of that issue:


Here is the link for the high resolution (87 MB) version of that issue:


Professor Ordway allowed me to print in Horizons the contents of a short email note (lightly edited) he wrote to me. Here is the original text of that note dated June 12, 2013:

 Yes. indeed, all OK, and a splendid article, indeed.
    I of course have all the Collier’s series; and, by the way, was introduced to Wernher von Braun by Professor Fred L. Whipple at a Hayden space symposium in 1952 in New York. Dr. Whipple chaired the Department of Astronomy when I studied the subject at Harvard–class of 1949.
    Back in 1952 I was working at the Guided Missiles Division of Republic Aviation on Long Island and frequently attended American Rocket Society meetings in New York; I had joined the ARS as a student member when I was only 13–in January 1941!..
    With best wishes and many congratulations, Fred Ordway

He wrote again on June 21, 2013:

Hi, Douglas, you can certainly use my words in your important effort. By the way, The American Rocket Society merged with the Institute of Aerospace Sciences to become the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, widely referred to as the AIAA. Good luck and best wishes, Fred Ordway

Incidentally, I see the Wikipedia article states (with two references) that Professor Ordway joined the American Rocket Society (ARS) in 1939, though Ordway specified 1941 above.

AIAA was created in 1963 by merging the two societies mentioned above. One of those started in 1930, and one started in 1932, so AIAA celebrates 1931 as its birth year. I note that NASA was created in 1958, and Sputnik was launched in 1957.

We probably first contacted Ordway to ask about copyright expiration dates for the Collier’s series. Later, it was only Arthur M. Dula who was able to help us with that question, along with Shirazi Jaleel-Khan from his office.

With great admiration, we say goodbye to our Horizons Collier’s series teammate Frederick Ira Ordway III. May we all dare to do such great things as he did in his career.
In closing, below is a screen capture image of the advertisement (All of our Horizons Collier’s series advertisements were presented at no charge for Horizons team members.) we carried in each of the eight issues of Horizons in our Horizons Collier’s series:

A screen capture image of the Ordway advertisement in every issue of Horizons Collier's series www.aiaahouston.org (Click to zoom.)

A screen capture image of the Ordway advertisement in every issue of Horizons Collier’s series www.aiaahouston.org (Click to zoom.)

That website address above is for Apogee Books: http://www.cgpublishing.com/index.html. Ordway’s book The Rocket Team can be purchased there. We highly recommend the book.

In fact, when we use that Apogee Books website address above today, it leads to a short tribute to the late Frederick Ira Ordway III. From there, we can click to continue to the Apogee Books website.

Amelia Earhart Mystery News June 2014

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia (click to zoom)

The Miami Herald presents an excellent new article about the Amelia Earhart mystery. The new article is dated June 29, 2014:


It says Ric Gillespie and TIGHAR found a metal plate on Gardner Island which matched Earhart’s plane in some ways except the rivet pattern was different. Now Gillespie announces that a new photograph is found (news article dated June 29, 2014) showing Earhart’s airplane just before its last takeoff, with that window replaced. It was a last-minute replacement, not recorded, so it could explain the difference in rivet patterns.

I note that even the Wikipedia Earhart article explains that Earhart’s windows were replaced. One Wikipedia photo caption is this:

“Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E. During its modification, the aircraft had most of the cabin windows blanked out and had specially fitted fuselage fuel tanks.”

And even in a 2012 TIGHAR photograph from this news source:


we see that window was already replaced.

But in 2014, in the news article of June 29, 2014, we are told that the window was only replaced at the last moment of Earhart’s round-the-world flight, in that last week before her last takeoff. That appears to be certain, in any case: it was a last-moment replacement of that window, using an aluminum plate.

By the way, we have a Houston connection to this story, or we once had that connection. That article starts on page 34 here:


That is the May 2011 issue of Horizons. In fact, I had just started as Editor of that publication on April 11, 2011, so that was difficult. That issue was published a few days late compared to its April 20, 2011 deadline, so we called it the May 2011 issue, but it was the March / April 2011 issue, so to speak.

That news article reports that Ric Gillespie’s work has often been criticized. It also reports that TIGHAR is working to confirm those matching rivet patterns. If confirmed, that would be good evidence. Even if the rivet patterns are not confirmed, this appears to be good new evidence. If accurate, then Earhart’s airplane was there and used as a source of radio broadcasts asking for help, then sank there. One day, if her airplane is located at the bottom of the ocean in that location, the mystery will finally be solved. No rush, but her life and work are often too much criticized and not enough praised.