Harrison Schmitt : biography
Awards and honors
- NASA Distinguished Service Medal (1973)
- He was made an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of America for his efforts in geoscience in 1984.
- 1989 Recipient of the G. K. Gilbert Award
- One of the elementary schools in Schmitt’s hometown of Silver City, New Mexico was named in his honor in the mid-1970s. An image of the astronaut riding a rocket through space is displayed on the front of Harrison Schmitt Elementary School.
- AAPG’s Special Award has been changed to the Harrison Schmitt Award in 2011. It recognizes individuals or organizations that, for a variety of reasons, do not qualify for other Association honors or awards. Schmitt received the award in 1973 for his contribution as the first geologist to land on the moon and study its geology.http://www.aapg.org/business/honors_awards/special.cfm
Schmitt denies the scientific opinion on climate change, linking global warming to human activity. In repeated comments, Schmitt has sought to downplay the risks posed by climate change, and suggest instead that climate change is a tool for people who are trying to increase the size of government. He resigned his membership in the Planetary Society because of its stance on the subject, writing in his resignation letter that the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision-making." He spoke at the March 2009 International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute., Fox News, Feb 16, 2009 He appeared in December that year on the Fox Business Network, saying "[t]he CO2 scare is a red herring".
In a 2009 interview with libertarian talk-radio host Alex Jones, Schmitt asserted a link between Soviet Communism and the American environmental movement: "I think the whole trend really began with the fall of the Soviet Union. Because the great champion of the opponents of liberty, namely communism, had to find some other place to go and they basically went into the environmental movement." At the Heartland Institute’s sixth International Conference on Climate Change Schmitt said that climate change was a stalking horse for National Socialism.
Schmitt co-authored a May 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal opinion column with William Happer, contending that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are not significantly correlated with global warming, attributing the "single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas" to advocates of government control of energy production. Noting a positive relationship between crop resistance to drought and increasing carbon dioxide levels, the authors argued, "Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.". The progressive organization Media Matters for America responded to the column with criticism based on information from a July 1, 2010 Skeptical Science blog.
Schmitt is one of the astronauts featured in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon. He also contributed to the book NASA’s Scientist-Astronauts by David Shayler and Colin Burgess.