Robert Zimmerman

I have not only been fortunate to write about some of the most exciting moments in space history, I have also had the great and grand fortune to actually go where no one has gone before.

When I was college (around 1974) I stayed up late one night to watch the movie Citizen Kane. When the movie was over I was left breathless with wonder at its clarity of vision. Hungry to see more movies like this, I scanned the television dial and stumbled upon the opening shots of the classic and equally great MGM film, Grand Hotel.

For the next twenty years I dedicated myself to making movies, hoping to create films as entertaining and as meaningful.

Instead, I ended up making a large number of very bad low budget horror films in the New York City area. Sometimes I was the key grip. Sometimes I was the production manager. In later years I wrote screenplays and helped produce several films.

Most of these movies were mindless, mediocre, and completely forgettable. By the mid-nineties I had had enough, and decided to change careers.

During these same years I was also cultivating other interests, almost all of which had to do with the human instinct for exploration. I got a master’s degree, studying early America colonial history because I was curious to learn how the most successful pioneer societies organized themselves. I followed the space program from childhood because I saw it as the future of the human race. (I also thought it was exciting and fun!)

And I got involved in cave exploration, because I simply didn’t have the math skills necessary to make it as a NASA astronaut but still had the desire to explore unknown territory. And from what I could learn, caving was the one physical activity in which it was still possible for ordinary people to go where no one has gone before.

Robert Zimmerman in a Cave
photo by Jim Gildea

Since my first wild cave trip in 1984, I have explored hundreds of caves in the United States, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, and Ukraine. I have been involved in a number of projects, pushing and surveying virgin cave passages, walking in places previously untouched by human hands. I have even become a cartographer, drawing the maps of the caves I have helped discover and survey.

Once, I was even trapped inside a cave for 10 hours because of a flood.

Even as I was having all these cool adventures, in 1996 I began the slow transition from movie-maker to full time non-fiction science writer. I had decided that — instead of making dismal, violent movies that said nothing positive about human nature — I would focus on telling the exciting stories of scientists, engineers, and astronauts in their never-ending efforts to push the limits of human experience, either as researchers trying to solve the mysteries of nature or as explorers trying to push the unknown.

Today, I have no regrets, having written four inspiring histories about the first forty years of space exploration as well as more than a hundred magazine and newspaper articles about the adventure of science and astronomy. (Even more important, the career change brought me to the Washington, D.C. area, where I was fortunate to meet my wife Diane, who makes everything I do worthwhile. At the same time I also became Bob KB3IWD, gettting my ham radio technician’s license.)

In the next two decades, the human race will begin the actual exploration and settlement of the solar system. I am honored to be able to tell that story, especially because the words I am writing are describing the founding heritage of all future generations — generations who will look back at Earth and see it only as the Old World.

Robert Zimmerman can be reached zimmerman at nasw.org



  • Pingback: Why things break in space « Go4EVA

  • Paul Marynowych

    goodsearch.com, charityusa.com, isearchigive.com, fundraising-solutions.org, and givingmart.com

  • JIM

    so often C2C has climate deniers on. Since I teach HS science it is exceedingly aggravating when George Noory gives these folks such a vast platform without a voice from the scientific community to present the evidence.

    If you are not a denier I hope you drive home the facts so Noory’s listeners get the majority opinion.



  • The very fact that you use the insulting term “denier” for anyone expressing skepticism in science tells me that you do not understand the scientific process at all. I lost relatives in the Holocaust, and to equate someone who simply has doubts about the accepted global warming paradigm with those who deny the murder of seven million Jews is beyond despicable.

    Please read these two posts from my webpage to get the essence of what I think about climate science:

    Deniers of Science

    Al Gore and the silencing of debate

    I suspect you will not like what I say and will then dismiss it without any thought. Too bad. I speak not from mere opinion but from almost a decade of dedicated research in the state of the climate field. Unlike most people and politicians with opinions about this stuff, I actually have read literally hundreds and hundreds of scientific papers, from all sides, in order to get an understanding of the confusing state of the climate field. My conclusion: no one really understands the climate or knows exactly what is happening, and anyone who claims they do is a downright liar.

  • Howard Hughes

    So, according to you (and your technical training is?) the United States and the world’s top climatologists, oceanographers and glaciologists are all “liars”? Your beloved NASA is lying about global climate change too? But calling you a climate change denier (and for some reason you’re equating that to holocaust deniers, which makes no sense and has nothing to do with climate change), is “despicable”? But it’s okay to call people who have years of professional training and decades of first hand experience, conducted cutting edge and state of the art experiments “liars” is ok because you’ve read hundreds of scientific papers. Are you sure you understood them? Because my readings of hundreds of scientific papers, afters years of professional training and decades of first hand experience says your “conclusions” are irrelevant. After all, YOU readily admit at the top of your very thin bio that YOU “simply didn’t have the math skills necessary to make it as a NASA astronaut.” But you have the math skills to understand the hundreds of scientific papers you read? Instead, you got a “a master’s degree, studying early America colonial history”. Well, excuse me Mr. Zimmerman, in that case you most be a foremost expert in climatology, and you must be named Science Advisor to the President post haste. And tell us more about solar activity because you have a PhD in Astrophysics, right? You’re an expert in stellar astrophysics, right? Nope.

  • I have interviewed hundreds of scientists and have also found that the best scientists in the climate field are decidedly uncertain about what is going on with the climate. I also never claimed I know what is going on. I don’t. What I find wrong is anyone who claims they are certain about the science, that “the science is settled.” It is not.

    Science is never settled. Science demands that we allow everyone to question every conclusion, at all times. Otherwise, we lose the chance to learn something.

    I suggest you read the two links I gave to Jim. It will give you a better idea of where I stand. Trust me, I do not consider myself the foremost expert in this subject, in the slightest.

  • Howard Huges

    I ssuggest you read:

    Levermann A, et al., (2013) The multimillennial sea-level commitment of global warming.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110(34):13745–13750

    Solomon S, Plattner G, Knutti R, Friedlingstein P (2009) Irreversible climate change due to
    carbon dioxide emissions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(6):1704–1709.

    The National Academy of Science are and these experts are “liars”?

    That paper is about one winter. Weather, Seasons, natural oscillations are all real. Global climate is not one winter or one summer It’s not even 5-10 winters or summers.

    I strongly encourage you to read these papers talking about global climate change in the context befitting it’s complexity, over hundreds to thousands of years.

  • Howard Hughes

    Just because there are uncertainties about certain details and short-term timescales, doesn’t mean there isn’t broad consensus about the overall long-term trends.

    Barnosky AD, et al. (2012) Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere. Nature

    See, you are perpetuating this language of “hoax” nonsense. The National Academy of Science, NASA and NOAA don’t take part in hoaxes or fudge data! That is absurd. This is not Dallas Nov 22nd 1963. This is not a conspiracy.

    “Political reasons to create the illusion of warming”? The long-term hundreds to thousands of years of temperature data, CO2 data and sea-level rise data is not in the least reliant on satellites, the evidence is indisputable in the ice, the atmosphere, and in the geological record. Five years of satellite data means nothing!

    George HW Bush signed the Kyoto Protocol, Clinton did nothing on climate. This is not about politics and it has NOTHING to do with solar cycles over the LONG TERM.

    You’re exactly right you don’t know what’s going on.

    The overarching movement science is never over. But scientific questions get settled all the time.
    “Science [DOES NOT] demands that we allow everyone to question every conclusion, at all times.” That’s why it’s called peer-review. A house wife living in Sheboygan has the right to question anything she wants, thats called democracy, not science.

  • Howard Hughes

    Nevertheless, I share your great enthusiasm for space and space science, and you’re efforts to expand our imaginations and dream about what’s out there is as critical as ever. Kennedy lifted this country and lifted the planet by choosing to go to the moon! Best of luck in your continued investigation of climate change
    and your space-related pursuits. Sincerely, Mr. Hughes ;~)

  • We will have to respectively agree to disagree. However, the global warming advocates in the science community will have to explain, which they as yet cannot, why every single one of their climate models, which had predicted that the global climate temperature would continue to rise in lockstep with the increase in carbon dioxide, have all failed to predict the pause in temperature increase that has taken place over the past 18 or so years, even as CO2 continues to increase. See this link, written by one of the world’s top climate scientists.

    Look in particular at the graph there. It doesn’t disprove the theory of human caused global warming. It does however illustrate how very uncertain the science is.

  • Howard Hughes

    First of all, calculating the global average temperature of the entire planet is extremely difficult. You can’t use a single thermometer! ;~) Second, temperature does not and will not increase evenly everywhere on Earth. More heat goes to the poles and their are positive feedback loops, lees reflective ice, more dark absorbent ocean water and accelerates. However, as I mentioned previously there are natural short-term oscillations and it has been demonstrated that a great deal of that missing atmospheric heat went into the oceans. Finally, I strongly encourage you to take another look at that graph, we are talking about tenths of degrees difference in the overall temperature of the entire planet! Over 18 years, there are natural ups and downs, but the long-term trend is clearly up up and away!!!

  • David Schwartz

    Hello Mr. Zimmerman,

    I enjoy listening to your interview on the John Batchelor Show and your various insights on topics ranging from space launches to satellite to asteroids. It is on the latter-most topic I send you this comment.

    I recently attended a conference during which the founder of the site Asterank discussed how he created the site by pulling data from various sources (typically raw txt file data), using an open-source visualization layer, and creating a nifty tool for tracking the potential mineral mining value of an asteroid (and cost to get there).


    Just thought I’d share.



  • One undeniable fact is that most of the climate predictions and so called “science” is based on atmospheric models that can accurately predict weather for 1 or 2 weeks at best, and often fail in their predictions for even the next day. So when scientists start talking about “deniers”, it makes me sad to see that such a perspective is so strong in one part of the scientific community.

    When politicians fund scientific endeavor, the agenda of the politicians will dominate. So, as long as there is some political opinion to support, some “scientists” will spend a lot of time, effort, and tax payer money to generate stuff to support it.

    Just look at the concentration of scientific minds that existed in Germany in the early 20th century. Then look at the accomplishments that happened in physics, chemistry, and other branches. Most of those accomplishments were done by those who went against the commonly accepted ideas; where would we be with Einstein, for example.

    Human caused global warming is based on a theory that does not always refer to nature, but often refers to complex mathematical models that (despite their complexity) are NOT able to even adequately account for water vapor in the atmosphere – the most abundant green house gas. We see in the ice sheets at the poles a history over many thousands of years that describes climate changes that have nothing to do with carbon emissions from human beings.

    I am so tired of watching politics ruin everything it touches. Science is not immune from their reach, unfortunately.

  • Sorry, I meant to say: where would we be WITHOUT Einstein.

  • Mike Nelson


    Listened to you on the JBS tonight and hate to dash your hopes, but being in the FLASH memory business I am pessimistic wrt Oppy’s future prospects. I’m not sure of the specific technology node for Oppy’s memory, but the error behavior as described is an ominous sign. The reason is that FLASH memory degrades over time (i.e it physically wears out as you use it), so you can only write to it a finite number of times before the cells become unstable. Radiation doesn’t help, but those effects are quite localized and fairly easy to map out. Reaching the endurance limit is a global phenomena as the controller tries hard to evenly spread out the write cycles across the drive (called wear leveling). A good rule of thumb is that you will see 10% of lifecycle media errors over the first 90% of life, and then the remaining 90% of errors in the last 10% of life. Therefore I expect that things will gradually get worse in the months ahead, and that Oppy probably has about 1 year of ever-degrading FLASH memory operation left given that it is 11 years old.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it. If you want to understand the issue better Google on “FLASH memory endurance” and you should find lots of hits.

    Keep up the good work. I listen to JBS all the time and in particular for your segments, and enjoy BtB too.


  • Interesting, and not surprising. The one saving grace from the recent memory problem is that during the last three months they figured out how to operate Opportunity with no flash memory at all, essentially working only with RAM that was lost each night when they had to shut down. From this experience they now can argue that they could continue to use the rover effectively, even if the flash memory should eventually go bad.

  • Don Bancroft

    I remember a quote from someone that went something like “Science is truth distilled through doubt”.
    I can’t find it at the moment, but there’s this-
    “…It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress which comes from a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.”
    “Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.” – Richard Feynman

    command+f and type “doubt” for more at –

  • Jeffrey L. Colton

    I listen to any space talk I can find and can’t find an answer to my question. . .which is. . . .
    Why are all our efforts fixated on Mars. We went to the moon. I would seem that a colony there would be a good stepping stone to Mars eventually yet the moon is ignored like an unwanted child. It’s omission from the dialog is incredible. What’s going on? ? ? Why the complete disregard for the moon.
    I have heard some bizarre explanations. Your thoughts? ? ?

  • The fixation on Mars is based on ignorance and politics (which seem to go together too often unfortunately). I have written and spoken about this repeatedly in my appearances on the radio and on my webpage.

    1. The moon is a great place to learn how to build a base on another planet. It is close by, and easy to get to and from.

    2. A space station is a great place to learn how to build an interplanetary spaceship. My book, Leaving Earth, was written entirely to illustrate this point.

    3. Do both, and then you will have the technology, skills, and abilities to go to Mars. Try to go to Mars before you have done both and you will almost certainly fail, or if you succeed it will be a shallow and very temporary success.

  • It has been completely proven that we were scientifically created and “What” God is

    My web pages are on search engines and everything is free.

    The Humane Genome Project’s Discovery Proves Mankind was
    Scientifically Created by God. And there is no way it could naturally happen.

    The Adam and Eve Method of Genetic Engineering, We were Created, by Robert Kress
    Read how 2 chimpanzee chromosomes were fused by a 150,000 base pair sequence
    to make our human chromosome two. Evolutionists will not be able to explain
    this one.

    Genesis One, God Created our Solar System

    Interviewed by Art Bell:
    8/16/96 John Qurine/guest, SOHO evidence, new red shift model,
    said that SOHO was taking Spectroscopic pictures of a close star.
    There was no Red Shift.
    Then a Corona Flare of ionized particles passed in between SOHO
    and that star.
    Suddenly there was a large Red Shift.

    Conclusion: Charged particles can Red Shift light rays.
    And as light travels from far away occasionally it passes close to
    charged particles, gives up a little energy to them and in doing
    so Red Shifts a little each time.
    The greater distance a light ray travels the more charged particles
    it passes, the more it is Red Shifted.

    The Star of Bethlelem

    KJV Bible UFOs Outlined and Explained, by Robert Kress

    When YOU know “What” God is,
    YOU will Know how he does things at the Second Coming.

    ZEC 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations

    Earth destroyed verses. This is Why God Lifts us Off Earth

    Resurrection is Medically bringing Someone Back to Life.

    Ten Examples of Resurrection, some ate food after, and Prophecy Verses

    Is a spirit words or a ghost? 22 Examples

    The Iniquity that Preachers, Rabbi’s, and Evangelist’s Die the 2nd death For REV 21:8

    Eight Examples of my 100 or so Bible pages, each is a subject,
    just the verses, very little Bla, bla, bla.
    Free Computer Bibles, type in words or phrases to find things.
    My pages are in the 1769 KJV Bible.
    Everything is free on my web site.

    From http://www.robertkress.com

    Thankyou for your consideration,
    Evangelist Robert Kress, U.S.A.

  • Joy Williams

    Tonight someone called into Coast to Coast tonight and asked you not “why is there gravity” but “what causes gravity”? You thought he asked “why is there gravity” which goes into philosophy, but what causes gravity is probably gravitons, which though we haven’t actually detected them yet, probably explains why gravity is one of the wimpiest, yet persistent forces in the universe. It’s one of the great scientific mysteries, but a flip answer would be, “Nothing causes gravity, the universe just sucks”.


  • To your last line I can only say, heh.

    To me, the simple answer to the question “what causes gravity?” is mass. If that is what the caller wanted I’m sorry I misunderstood. However, even then this really isn’t a satisfactory answer, because the next question immediately rises: why does mass cause gravity? You suggest gravitons, but here you are beginning to move into the more uncertain areas of physics which are often just on the edge or already creeping into philosophy and belief systems.

  • j

    Taken into consideration that the warm waters dumping into the earth can possibly cause some glaciers to melt won’t have much of an effect when you take into account that the Earth does naturally go through cycles and that we are now going into the equinox of the Earth’s 26,000 year precession. Not to mention that Earth is also slowly moving away from the Sun on it’s ecliptic that essentially even if the earth is warming that Earth’s climate will eventually be evened out as it slowly moves away from the sun (as it should actually get colder.) In all actuality the Earth is not warming; rather it will be gradually (hundreds-6000yrs) cooling into another ice age. This is an more exact science to understand than all of your “climate change” opinions. Man made climate change may actually be needed to escape extinction. Further supporting iced earth is the fact that carbon in the atmosphere would actually cool the earth because it blocks heat from the sun. Lets get with the picture “global cooling” is a far better term. Also note that automobile emission may also have a local or metropolitan climate effect possibly making it warming (heat reflecting more off of tarmac) during the summer and carbon blocking more heat from the sun during the winter. These might hinder results as well.

  • I would like to have you as my guest on the show. My show runs on LNM Radio and on Art Bells Dark Matter Radio Network and High point radio 1700AM & 100.5.FM & K98Talk Thank you & I look forward to your response. Here is the link to my website http://www.latenightinthemidlands.com

  • Dark matter is recycled star systems and solar systems of a galaxy.
    We have seen black holes at the center of many galaxies.
    We have seen jets of ‘dark matter’ being shot out of the poles of the black hole
    at the center of our galaxy.
    And we have seen halos of ‘dark matter’ of 10 times the galaxy’s size around galaxies,
    as said by Michio Kaku on 7/11/2000.

    Dark matter is galaxy matter pulled into the huge black hole at the center a galaxy,
    recycled into raw matter, and launched out of the poles.
    This matter might take 10 times as long to fall back to the plane of our galaxy
    as it takes to cycle through the galaxy, in 2 to 4 generations of stars,
    and fall into the black hole at the center. (One Dark Matter Cycle)

    All black holes crush matter down into raw matter, electrons and protons.
    See Diagram of a Black Hole and text.


  • Sherry Johnson

    FYI: This poster is not Howard Hughes from The Unexplained Podcasts.

  • jburn

    Hi Robert.
    I found this story interesting, might make good grist for the mill of ideas.

    It’s about the guy who created a home made of concrete and it withstood one of the local “wild” fires that crossed over his land.

    Future versions of this home could be 3D printed. This has a nice tie-in to creating more environmentally resilient structures which can better withstand fires, floods, earthquakes, etc, using modern technology versus stick built homes.

    Would forest fire fighting be as important if the homes didn’t burn. What role should we take in preventing them? Are homes made of trees becoming the equivalent of using horses for transportation — toys for the wealthy but not all that practical.

    Off world applications — they won’t be making houses out of sticks (up there) and this technology could be transferable.


  • Hello I am Michael Vara the host of Late Night in the Midlands & I would like to have you as my guest on the show. I would like to set up 2 1/2 hrs give or take if we may. We have a large listener base.

    My show is also run on Art Bells Dark Matter Radio Network and High point radio 1700AM & 100.5.FM also K98Talk & SHR Media.
    Thank you & I look forward to your response. Here is the link to my website http://www.latenightinthemidlands.com

    Michael Vara

  • Orson

    HH does not seem to recognize what the IPCC said in their Third Asessement report:

    “In climate research and modeling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. ”


    All the hype and bluster about “general trends” is not the same actual sound science.

  • Hello,
    I wanted to share with you this great audio where Robert Zimmerman explains the significance behind the cracks NASA scientists have discovered on Mars’ moon Phobos.
    You can listen here: http://bit.ly/1RQxeeE
    if you could please share it on your page
    thanks Dana

  • Richard Blakely

    Hello Behind The Black,
    Robert Zimmerman, at the end of 2015, you were asked the question about the cause of “gravity” again on Coast to Coast AM. I think, like diamagnetism, only a few materials must have some anti-gravity, and all elements probably do not have anti-gravity. In fact, photons have not been tested to see if they have gravity or anti-gravity. The “Gravity Research Foundation” offers prizes for essays on gravity.

    Since the Earth is not really flat, the universe is probably not really expanding, and therefore photons probably have gravity. This “must” be true because photons traveling for billions of years have a redshift. In fact, redshift occurs because photons travel at the speed of light, and gravity travels at the speed of light (proven already), and so gravity shock waves must occur as photons travel for billions of years in space. I think, photons lose energy very slowly since they emit gravity shock waves.

    Extending the theory, since photons “must” have gravity due to redshift being a fact, other particles without mass may have gravity. Particles may exist with “negative equivalent mass” similar to the “positive equivalent mass” of photons. For example, since photons “must” have gravity, and they “must” have positive mass, it may be that particles with “negative equivalent mass” might have anti-gravity.

  • Phil Veerkamp


    One molecule of the Face of God . . .


  • Wayne

    Mr. Z–
    Been meaning to mention to you, ref the website–
    – Completely appreciate you have practically zero advertising. (will be donating & book-buying, soon!)
    – BtB loads into my browser super-fast, ‘like’ 5-10 seconds max, complete–everything. ( & I have low speed DSL over twisted-copper.)
    -Btb has never crashed by browser, ever. (& I use IE v 11, with all it’s bugs & problems. Refuse to use MS-Edge until I’m forced into it.)
    -I see your hosting people use SSD, that appears to make a big difference, at least in my case.
    –Been utilizing the Search function recently– very cool, fast, & highly informative.
    (I have a personal policy against bloated websites, endless adverts & scripts.)
    Kudos to you & them!

    Phil Veerkamp:
    -Cool video, thanks! downloaded the “super-HD” version from YouTube.

  • C. J. Kelly

    Mr. Zimmerman, just had the pleasure of reading Genesis. Fantastic work. I’m sorry it took so long to give it a read. Now, I will get onto the rest of your library. Thx, C.J. Kelly.

  • Thank you for the kind words. If you want to get autographed copies, there are links here on BtB to buy the books directly from me.

  • Doug

    I thought you would find this funny. It’s a model rocket launch of an SLS at Pad 39.

    Surely, a prediction of the future. This turd will never fly.


  • Heh. Though I think it is probably unfair to the students who built this model to link them with SLS. Their work didn’t cost as much, didn’t take forever to build, and probably was fixable and launchable within a week of this failure.

  • John Eric Thompson

    great information. Thank you for making this site

  • W. Robin Wansley

    Hi Bob,

    Thought you might like this.

    I enjoy your visits on the John Batchelor Show and your website and agree with your politics.



    The South Pole turned into giant neutrino detector:



    Here are two links.

  • Mr. Zimmerman,

    I have listened to you on the John Batchelor show for a few years now and have even responded to Mr. Batchelor’s invitation to support your website. If you are inclined I would like to ask for some guidance.

    I am a dentist in Waco, TX. For the past 20 years since I left service in the US Air Force, there has been a local MD (pathologist) who has regularly written guest op-eds in the Waco Tribune Herald warning of the ravages of global climate change. He has made recommendations and harsh warnings and even threatened dire outcomes if we don’t take action. There is never an opposing perspective in the editorial page and I have decided that his tripe has to be responded to.

    While the erstwhile doctor quotes pseudoscience and sounds sound to the public, I feel that the points that he makes are rubbish and clearly not based in sound science but rather fear huckstering. I need to arm myself with facts as part of my proper response.

    Can you recommend a website where I can begin the armemant process so as to counter such bogus claims as, “97% of scientists agree….”?

    Thank you for any assistance,

    Steve Childress

  • wayne

    (Dr.) Steve–

    Yow… that is one NICE dental-office, you have in Texas!
    ( If I ever need a dentist in Waco, I’m calling you up! )

    You should be able to find a lot of material, right here at Behind the Black, just use the site-search feature. Mr. Z regularly posts threads on “climate.”

    (threads on rockets/space, cosmology, Trump, and “warming,” produce a lot of commentary & back-n-forth)

  • wayne

    Steve– just plug in a few search terms & you’ll be composing a high-quality Editorial before the end of the week!


  • Steve,

    Wayne’s suggestion to use the search box on Behind the Black (located near the bottom of the right column) is of course a good idea. I focus on facts, and post often on the subject of climate and the dishonesty that is slowly corrupting that field of science.

    When you do search BtB, look especially at climate posts that have a long comment thread. There you will likely find discussions where a global warming advocate arrived here and tried to debate the issue with me and my readers. There is lots of good information and links in those threads.

    You could also take a look at “Climate and Sun bibliography” link at the top of BtB. This includes many basic references that I’ve researched over the years.

    Finally, the two most useful general climate sites I use are Watts Up With That and Climate Depot. Both provide many links to many stories. Real Science is also useful in that the author has been in the lead in noting the tampering of data that NOAA and NASA have been doing to the data to make it look like the climate is warming.

    This should give you a good start.

  • John Berry

    [regarding Richard Blakely’s post on January 2nd 2016 at 7:40am]
    @Richard Blakely:
    Allow me to challenge your thinking, regarding Gravity (based upon numerous statements that I have heard Michio Kaku say about Gravity/Newton/Einstein). First, let me point out that ‘gravity’ does not really exist. It was simply a word and/or concept that Newton “invented” to TRY to describe the mysterious hidden phenomenon that drives the motion of falling objects. Later, when Einstein came onto the scene, Einstein proposed that, because Space and Time exist together in a continuum (i.e. if you move through Space, you move “less” through Time; if you stop moving through Space, you move “more” through Time; there is always a trade-off between Space and Time), Space itself is malleable !! As a result of Space being malleable, Einstein realized that ‘gravity’ (which actually does not exist; it was just a notion invented by Newton) does not “pull” objects down to the Earth, but rather, it is SPACE (which is malleable; co-existing in a trade-off continuum with Time) that PUSHES objects toward the center of the Earth. So, it is NOT the case that objects DO or DO NOT possess ‘gravity’. It IS the case that objects warp Local Space SO AS TO cause SPACE to PUSH other objects TOWARD the center of the original object in question. I forget who first said “The solution to any problem lies in the proper posing of the actual question.” The real question, in this case, would seem to be “Which objects possess the means to warp Local Space so as to exhibit the phenomenon that we commonly call Gravity?” The CAUSE of Gravity was elucidated by Einstein; it is merely Force or “tap”-able Energy that exists in a region due to Local Space being properly warped.
    [NEW Question!!: Suppose that permanent magnets, regarding their Magnetic Field, attract para-magnetic objects due to a “special” warping of Local Space. What must the nature of the “special” warping of Local Space be so as to readily attract Iron while exhibiting very little RELATIVE attraction for objects such as Strawberries or Bananas? What if it turns out that ALL forces are merely the result of Unique Warping of Local Space? How would someone re-write equations to represent THIS notion ?]

  • Insomnius

    Imagine one day we discover or develop the technology of launching space vehicles into outer space by turning the gravity of said object off. We could fling the spacecraft into outerspace with a variable speed, of 0mph to 1,000mph, depending on the latitude of the launch!

  • Hello Robert:
    There are spirals of less gravity than the norm on the surface of the Earth; and if research is opened, they will tell of WHY pyramids and ancient monuments. The two I am most sure of are at Giza and in Florida. The Egyptian one passes directly over the three peaks of the three pyramids and its less gravity caused the Giza area to become a plateau. The one in this hemisphere begins at Corkscrew Marsh; as it grows it passes over the area of Coral Castle and then goes over the keys, which it drew up to become islands. The math pattern of the spirals appears to be a golden-mean spiral. There are other suspects such as the curve that passes over Machu Pichu, Cuzco and two other ruins in South America. See, the once and future Osiris.blogspot.com. . . . A new math is waiting, one that will give us a better understanding of the 26 dimensions of string theory, of dark matter (as aether) and will require a reassessment. Call if you like; my telephone number is 928-414-1197 — after 3:30 PM (mst) is best. Please respond. Joe Richardson

  • Ted

    Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Z! Always enjoy your spots with John Batchelor.

    Ted KE8CAG

  • Gary7

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!!!! And besides, where would all these conspiracy and de-bunkers be if the paranormal community and shows such as C2C did not embrace their views and make them known? Naw, give Mr Zimmerman his platform, and even though some aspects of his and others seem far fetched it’s up to us to make the final decisions…….what I do find odd is why the feds and others are still screwing around with chemical conventional rockets when in the real world massive triangles using exotic propulsion systems zip into space and time with regular schedules………………..money should be spent there and enlighten our civilization of it’s existence ……………….talk about that will ya?????

  • Jennifer Williams

    More than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts (and counting) urge the incoming president to take six crucial steps

    I do not like your constant commentary on the “no proof” of climate change, Please educate yourself on this before commenting on radio shows like coast to coast.

  • Hi Jennifer: Take a look at the menu at the top of my webpage and click on the link for “Climate and Sun Bibliography.” You will find a pretty extensive list of the research I have done on the subject of the climate. I make my living writing about science. I make sure I understand the subject.

    Just because you “do not like” my commentary means nothing. I am not hear to make you like me. I am here to express my perspective, based on solid grounded research. If you disagree you will need to present me facts that support your position.

  • You are correct on the Carbon climate forcing, three sided fake debate. The Darth Big Warmists and Luke Little Warmists both claim ‘warming’ from phantom back radiation which does not exist.

    coasttocoastam.com/show/2015/03/18 > Climate Change & Thermodynamics

    Has link to my website, also recommend….”Volcanic CO2″ at Geologist-1011.mobi

    “Corollation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global Warming” by Dr Arthur Viterito

  • I listened to most of your interview on Coast To Coast AM last night and your thoughts on colonizing Mars. In your enthusiasm for that subject I think you left out some critical information. I attended a lecture at Columbia University on this very subject. Mars, like Earth, depends upon volcanic activity for much of the oxygen it once had. It’s last volcanic activity was about 500,000,000 years ago. Due to Mars’ low gravity the escape velocity is 5 km/s, while the escape velocity on Earth is approximately 11 km/s. These two factors are what actually limit how much of an atmosphere Mars can generate or retain. Regardless of our efforts to create an atmosphere it will simply escape the planet’s gravitational attraction.

  • Charles: You are right of course. I could not possibly cover the entire subject in the time available. I personally believe that the terraforming of Mars will always be confined within artificial constructs. The planet itself, as you know, cannot hold onto any atmosphere we create.

    Time to go to bed.

  • Alex

    Mr. Zimmerman, you said: “The planet itself, as you know, cannot hold onto any atmosphere we create.”

    That might be true, but the process will take many million of years. Time enough for a human civilization there.

  • Life on Mars or any planet is very likely when you look at life on earth. The diversity of the extreme cold, hot, deep underwater with no sun, and how a frog can hibernate most of the year and come out during a rain storm in Arizona. We can go on and on with life that lives a few hours or life that changes from one creature to another. I believe life exists everywhere in one form or another.

  • Anthony Domanico

    Mr. Zimmerman,

    I recently discovered your work via The Space Show. We have similar thoughts on a lot of topics. I enjoyed your policy paper. I would like to ask you a few general questions. Do you think the policy paper will be effective given that policy makers are clearly motivated by getting the biggest piece of the pie for their constituents? If you exclude the government markets (domestic and foreign), do you think the private sector could support a Bigelow space station? If not, when will it be sustainable without government as an anchor customer? Based on your comments on The Space Show, it sounds like you don’t put much stock in ULA’s plan to reuse the engines on the first stage. What do you think about their plan to have a reusable upper stage, the system they dubbed ACES? I hope our elected officials will realize the value of our blossoming private space industry. Rather than fighting over the pie, let’s make the pie bigger!


  • Anthony Domanico: Thank you for the kind words about my writing.

    I can’t answer your questions in detail here. You need to read my books (all available here at BtB) and follow me to get my overall perspective on all these questions. However, I will say that I routinely alternately between optimism and pessimism when it comes to the government and private commercial space. Some days it looks like the government has finally gotten it. Other days it looks like the government is working to squelch private enterprise and freedom.

    As always, the fight for freedom never ends. Its greatest advantage is that it works, producing wealth. That sells it better than anything.

  • Please also go to http://supersymmetry.com this is my URL to observe my systems moving from 2 Eccentric Mass Load Systems CW and CCW rotating about their respective axis, and observe many systems moving from rotational eccentric mass load energy. This web site also describes the current Conservation Laws of Physics, Conservation of Angular Momentum only apply to symmetrical operations about a center axis of rotation. I am pointing out the Emmy Noether’s 1915 Conservation Laws are completely dependent upon Symmetrical operations. My systems are physical experimental proof that eccentric load mass systems can move from rotational energy.
    China in the recent past few years have asked me to set up my URL in China and I just deleted their email requests, that had links. I keep one of China’s email in my email records.
    You may also click on this link to enter http://www.space.com/22707-china-satellite-activities-perplex-experts.html and see for yourself that China is moving satellites that are able to move to other satellites, and we admit we do not know how China is moving Satellites in space.
    You may also enter this link to enter https://www.technologyreview.com/s/408558/mining-the-moon/ There you can learn about the millions of tons of helium 3 on the surface of the moon, and the Helium 3 can be used for nuclear power with no nuclear waste to worry about, to generate electric power. You will also see that China is planning to go to the moon and mine the helium 3. http://www.mining.com/china-is-taking-lunar-mining-seriously-65595/

    I am requesting your help to open a update and new direction in Physics. Also to make sure China does not take the lead in the Space Development of moving systems in Space and take the lead in the He3 lunar mining. We need to make sure that the United States of America is first to mine the helium 3 on the surface of the moon.
    Please open the link in the email to me from the National Science Foundation below “NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II,” for all the requirements to complete a NSF Proposal.
    Let me know if you have any questions?

    Thomas L Navarro
    President Force Equals Mass Times Acceleration Inc.
    2914 Benton Street
    Wheat Ridge, CO 80214

  • David

    Mr. Zimmerman, I enjoy your site and would like to post comments occasionally. However, I do not use e-mail and thus do not have an e-mail address to give you. May I post comments without one?

  • David,

    As you can see, it appears that if you can. Welcome and comment away!

  • jhon

    When are you going back on the Bachelor show? You have been on when you were away before. I need my fix.

  • jhon: Thank you for your support. I should be doing my next podcast tomorrow, September 5.

    This particular trip was hampered by terrible internet service in Glacier and Capitol Reef National Parks. We also had no cell service in Glacier. Nor did we have a phone in the room. It was literally impossible to do an interview with John Batchelor, or anyone.

  • AJ

    Hi Bob,

    Your interviews on The John Bachelor Show have quickly become my favorite podcasts. So much is happening in space these days and you always find a way to bring us up to speed in a facinating and exciting way. Love it!

    I’m working in the Japanese game industry, helping Japanese companies bring their novel sized games to the west through crowdfunding. I’d like to mix my passion for Mars exploration with a new project. Could you recommend any adventure books about Mars? I’d love to reach out to the authors to discuss a collaboration between them and a Japanese studio to turn their story into a game.

    Thank you!

  • AJ: Amazing. You ask about any adventure books about Mars and I am about about announce something here on BtB in only a few weeks that might apply directly to what you asking for. That’s all I will say right now about this personal project but stay tuned.

    If I had to recommend any classic books about Mars this second, my first choice is always Robert Heinlein’s Red Planet.

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words, and as I said, stay tuned.

  • AJ

    Thank you very much for the reply and suggestion. For the record, mind reading is only a hobby ;) Very much looking forward to your announcement!

  • AJ

    Hi Bob,

    I just finished reading Pioneer. It was fast-paced and intense. I couldn’t put it down.

    Yes, amazing that you came out with this book literally a week after I brought up Mars, especially considering it’s history. Wow.

    Your description of the asteroid crater was terrifying. I imagined the detail was related to your cave exploration experiences, but based on your bio, you wrote this before your first “wild cave trip”?

    I’m still contemplating what made me keep cheering for Maxwell! He’s far from your typical charismatic lead character. I’d love to know how he came to be.

    I also stopped to wonder if the 13th day on Hellfire was a Friday haha.

    With your permission, I’d like to spend some of my own time coming up with ideas to adapt Pioneer into a “visual novel” type game that would help fuel the interest in space exploration. I’m submitting my email address and I’d be happy to talk in more detail.

    I agree with your preface. “This is a good book!” You really dug up a gem.

    Thank you for such a fun read,

  • wayne

    You need to talk Mr. Z. into releasing the graphic-novel version of Pioneer!
    (And a “50th anniversary” edition, as it were, of Genesis for 2018.)

  • Tom Lynn

    Bob, I listen to you on the John Batchelor Show whenever I am at work, and you are also on the program.
    I have also explored your website.
    If I may be so bold, I would suggest that you segregate the space stuff all in one place, and all the other stuff in a whole nuther place.
    Also, I see a role for you in our space program as an administrator. Have you considered this, and would you accept?


  • Tom Lynn: Thank you for your support.

    As for your suggestion, sorry but no. Whenever others have previously suggested this it has usually been because they disagree with my perspective, and rather than learn from the political stories that I post, they desire instead to segregate them into a ghetto where they won’t have their “safe space” violated by facts that bother them. I won’t do that. Every story I link to is factual, carefully chosen by me because the facts there are documented. If the truth bothers you, then you need to question your own open-mindedness.

  • Tom Lynn: As to whether I would consider a position as an administrator or manager at NASA, the real question is whether anyone would ever offer it to me. Personally, I think hell will freeze over before any politician from either party would have anything to do with me. I am simply too honest and straightforward. I brown-nose no one. (See for example this post by me about a Mike Pence speech about space earlier this year.)

    These days, our politicians want toadies to do their bidding. Not my cup of tea.

  • Michael Smiley

    i dont want to have a monthly billing but would rather make a one time credit card contribution. how can i make that happen?

  • Michael Smiley: First of all, thank you for your willingness to donate to my website. I appreciate it far more than you can imagine.

    The tip jar at the top of the right column gives the option to either subscribe or donate. If you click on the Paypal DONATE box, it will allow you to do so through paypal, using your credit card.

    Does this work for you?

  • Tim Metcalfe

    Hello Bob,

    I ran across an article about the south pole telescope and it seems something you may have discussed at one time or another, however, I may have missed it. Is this a worthwhile project?

    Hope you and Diane are doing well, Tim

  • Tim Metcalfe: All is well with us. I hope all at 12th Precinct are doing well as well.

    There are a handful of astronomy telescopes at the south pole, the most significant of which is Icecube, which is embedded inside the ice so as to detect neutrinos. I am not sure which project you are referring.

  • Fred K

    Bob, Here’s an evening pause recommendation:


  • wayne

    Fred K–
    FYI— Mr. Z’s email address is in the last sentence of the About text, just email him a list of your Pause suggestions and he will get back to you directly.

  • Janet Mattson

    Dear Mr. Zimmerman,

    I completely enjoy listening to your segment on The John Batchelor Show. I wish I had someone as interesting as you as one of my schoool teachers.

    In August, I made a donation to your website through PayPal and wonder if it was received.

    I thank you for those segments and your informative website.

  • Janet Mattson: Yes, your donation was most gratefully received and deposited in my account. I thank you for it.

    I admit that I do not send out individual thank you notes, because the number of donations and subscriptions has been increasing at a rate that makes it difficult to keep up.

  • eliza kay

    Sorry to be off topic a bit …. but I’ve been trying to find out, with no success —
    What has happened to The John Batchelor Show ?? .. He seems to be strangely absent, and I thought you might know what’s up.

    thanks much if you can answer.
    e. kay.

  • eliza kay: John is taking a break for a week or two.

  • Dear Bob,

    I am an artist painting oil on canvas. I am interested in space knowledge inspired by a B.S.degree in biology but deep in my soul I am an artist. I have a strong desire to paint oil on canvas. My exposure to Hubble images has inspired some oil paintings and here are some links to images of my space paintings:



    Thank you for your website and for your conversations with John Bachelor.

    Gregory A Page

  • henry vanderbilt

    Whoops, that was supposed to go to “The Washington Empire strikes back!”

    And now I can’t post it there because “duplicate comment detected!”

    Oh well…

  • henry vanderbilt: I thought this comment was in the wrong place. :)

    If you copy the comment so you have the text, I will delete this comment so you then post it in the right thread. Just let me know if you want to do that.

  • henry vanderbilt

    Sure! I have a copy, go ahead. Thanks!

  • henry vanderbilt: Done. Go ahead and repost.

  • henry vanderbilt

    Aargh. I still get the “duplicate comment detected” error. The deleted misplaced comment must still not be completely purged from the system somehow. Maybe delete just sets a don’t-display-it flag?

  • henry: It is completely deleted. This baffles me.

    Do something for me. Change the wording just slightly and try again. If that doesn’t work, I will contact my anti-spam service to see if this can be fixed.

  • henry vanderbilt

    And that worked. Thanks!

    Always good to meet someone else whose idea of a wild Saturday night sometimes involves arguing about space on the net

  • henry: Actually, this is a break from a fun day of cave surveying.

    Feel free to comment anytime!

  • Maria Faustina

    Hi Bob! Love to listen to you on the John Batchelor Show! Fan of all things space since making a papier-mâché model of the solar system in the second grade! Don’t ask how long ago that was! ;)
    When are you starting a Twitter account? Would love to share more of your content there! Thanks so much!

  • Maria Faustina: Thank you for the kind words.

    However, I do not do Twitter, and never will. I consider it to be a terrible forum for writing. There is no way one can express complex thought in those short bursts. Instead, people tend to pass quick emotional insults back and forth. Most of the stupidest so-call “controversies” of the past five years have been generated on twitter by people pushing them, with no content at all. Every single one should have been ignored.

    Twitter is also a dishonest company, saying they provide a open and unbiased platform while working to censor conservative thought. It has a leftist agenda, and lies about it.

    All in all, an immoral venue. I have better things to do with my time.

  • wayne

    Joe Rogan Experience #1258 –
    Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde & Tim Pool
    March 5, 2019

  • Tom Donohue


    Evening Pause suggestion: Anna Tivel – Anthony. This recording has some sound issues (bass .. at least on my monitor) but she certainly pours herself into the song. A diamond in the rough with lots of potential IMHO.



  • Simon Mytton

    Hi Bob,

    I don’t know if your aware of this but the BBC have produced a podcast called ’13 Minutes to the moon’. Well worth listening to and maybe to pass on to your readers.

    Here is the link (They I’m not certain it works outside the UK but should be available somehow).


  • Jerry Greenwood

    Any thoughts on the FEDOR robot that was just delivered to ISS. It’s appearance seems to be something not designed for a weightless environment. It’s legs will be useless there as there is no need to stand. Are the Russians just training it to operate in that environment?

  • Timothy Boulton

    Ice based Radiation protection

    Artificial gravity on the ride to mars


  • PLEASE…..
    The carbon in -all- “fossil fuels” was LOCKED OUT of the Carbon Cycle.
    Decaying forest/plant material+fires rejects -millions- of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
    When fossil fuels are burned (oxidized) the carbon goes -back- into the carbon cycle as CO2 is rejected
    into the atmosphere, -forcing- the growth of -new- green biomass until % CO2 is ~ zero (ppm), while fixing atmospheric oxygen at “20.946” %: solar energy is -converted- into chemical potential energy
    (new biomass) and this -vast- energy renews, naturally, via the carbon cycle/photosynthesis.
    The fixing of atmospheric oxygen at 20.946 % has been observed for about 100 years, and is important
    evidence of a -precision- closed loop automatic control system.
    Specially note the burning of hydrogen (H2+O2) produces -no- CO2 and -may- damage the carbon cycle.
    This engineer believes the worldwide coal layers and “fossil record” were laid down by a worldwide
    catastrophic flood (e.g. uprooted trees/plants, sudden burial prevented decay, etc.).

    PetitionProject.org 30,000+ scientists who -reject- “man-made global warming”, including
    Dr. Seitz, past president U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and famous
    Los Alamos physicist, Dr. Edward Teller.

    In TRUTH, the burning of “fossil fuels” has made the Earth GREENER.

  • David A. Danello

    12 February 2020
    This is not a comment but a rather urgent email to RZ and JohnB
    which are otherwise very difficult to contact with important info.

    A large fraction of the current Democratic candidates for President
    -cannot- honestly take the all-important Constitutional Oath of Office
    required by the Constitution,
    as proved by their radical, far left Marxist backgrounds.
    One of them even took his cold war era honeymoon in the COMMUNIST USSR,
    knowing it murdered MILLIONS.
    His very frequent railing of the USA as a “RACIST NATION” smells as coming from Marxist theory.

    This matter also applies to at least 3 current judges on the U.S. Supreme Court (2 by Obama).
    Obama is a Marxist, as proved by his radical background and Marxist Weather Underground friends
    in Chicago, and recent infamous/historic Presidential trip to COMMUNIST Cuba.
    ref. RADICAL RULERS…. by former L.A. Times reporter Robert Knight.
    The Enemy Within… by Michael Savage (WABC, WCBS).

    How can nobody be saying or doing anything about this all-important matter ? How ?

    Please FORWARD this email w/verified delivery, if possible, to:
    Michael Savage, Red Eye Radio (Texas), Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al.

  • TJMorrill

    Keep up the wonderful stories and I really enjoy when you come on the John Batchelor show in DC/WMAL

  • Rizzo

    I saw on this blog a link to the article of Nora Noffke on the possible presence of microbial induced structures. At the same time I was amazed not to see any reference to my papers on Martian microbialites. Maby because International Journal of Astrobiology is less important than Astrobiology?
    I would gentle ask to Zimmerman to include links or indication to my papers (I will also be available to send the items to all those who will ask for them at my address: enzo45.rizzo@gmail.com) .
    Many tanks

  • Rizzo: I report what I think is interesting and noteworthy. I don’t give a hoot what journal it came from.

  • Hi Bob,
    Comander Cobra, a good friend of mine had you on his show on KGRA. Sadly I didnt get to listen to it. I am an astronomer who somewhat shares your perspective on the Global Warming fiasco. Gore consistently used bad data, sometimes forged data, to show that man made (human made) GW was happening. It became a political football and when science finally weighed in it quietly became “Climate Change”…. You cant have GW if its actually getting colder in some areas of the world right? Then a few scientists said that the chill occurring elsewhere actually was a SYMPTOM of GW… Really… They said that. Being an astronomer and an exoplanet astronomer as I am means we need to know how Earth works so that we can get a glimpse as to how how other Earth-like planets’ environments may operate. Watching his GW fiasco unfold years ago I just sat back knowing that humans could not contribute to the problem as much as they said we do. I am right of course but its SCIENCE that vindicates the point not ME.
    Yes its important people all over the world realize we are stewards of the planet. Gore deserved his nobel prize for that awareness… But NOT for assisting in another way for a government to extract a vapor “carbon” tax on companies. That was a malevolent move…

    I will check into the KGRA archives to listen to commanders show with you. My show is on 8-10 on sundays on KGRA.. SkyTour Radio, an all astronomy and extraterrestrial life show based on SCIENCE… Go figure right? haha!!

  • Marc Dantonio: Thank you for the kind words. Be glad to appear on your show any time as well.

  • Stewart Dale Spencer

    I recently heard your appearance on C2C from July. It’s hard to keep up with all the interesting shows but I always enjoy hearing you. Your comments on covid, etc. resonated with me. I just subscribed to support your work. It’s a small price to pay for such great content but I know there is power in numbers so I wanted to do my part. Thanks for what you do.

  • Steward Dale Spencer: Thank you for the kind words and the support. You cannot imagine how much it means to me in these dark days.

  • I stumbled on your blog today, and it was nice to read that there is another person out there refusing to wear a Face Diaper, as one of my favorite writers Eric Peters (epautos.com) has taken to calling them.

    I haven’t been able to go shopping (curbside groceries, no eating out) or to the dentist for several months, but I’m hanging in there anyway, hopefully things are going ok for you too.

    It’s important for the remaining few sane people to know that there are others like them out there. Take care!

  • William Boil

    Hi Robert, is the following really from your pen ?

    It is strange that you place so much importance on an old Clinton lie about his relationship with an intern, when R. Senator McCarthy lied and made life unbearable for many talented Americans, the R. Neo Cons launched the longest wars in American history on lies. R. President Nixon tried to stay in power with a long list of lies and now R. President Trump and cronies has spent the last months promoting lies with little time spent on the pandemic.. Sorry I find your choice of argument rather absurd.

  • We Are Borg

    Just discovered this site, like your work / thoughts / philosophy, definitely worthy of a Borg book mark!

    Re. Climate Change, some brief observations:

    1. Did it ever occur to anyone that a warming Earth might be a GOOD thing?

    2. Prior to around 3 or 4 million years ago there was no permanent Arctic, it all melted in the summer. The Isthmus of Panama had not yet formed; North and South America were not connected so ocean currents flowed smoothly from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Once the land bridge formed, warmer Atlantic currents were directed northward, sucking up slightly more moisture on the way. Once it was cold enough, that extra moisture turned into snow. The process took millions of years, but each year winter Arctic polar ice hung around a little longer, keeping temps below freezing a little longer as well. Over time, this situation allowed more snow to accumulate on the ice until the ice simply didn’t completely melt during the Summer.

    3. Trust me, you do NOT want permanent ice in the Arctic! In terms of environmental change, it doesn’t take much for it to start expanding and push its way south (think “Little Ice Age”). If avg. summer temps drop even slightly year-over-year, that ice won’t recede and will just keep slowing building ; in as little time as couple of decades, you got yourself permanent glacier on the move. I believe we’ve had something around 30 periods of glaciation since the Isthmus of Panama formed, some worse than others, all of them resulted in profound changes to the environment including substantial species extinctions.

    4. CO2 really isn’t a very effective “greenhouse gas”, WATER VAPOR is far better, as are sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid aerosols (mega-tons of which spew out of super-volcanoes). Every time we burn a fossil fuel, we release lots of gaseous H2O into the atmosphere, no one is protesting that (at least not yet!).

    5. But if you’re STILL paranoid about CO2 levels, relax! Let Mother Earth deal with the problem by increasing the amount of global vegetation. Plants CONSUME (i.e., “sequester”) CO2 better than anything humans are going to devise (even with government subsidies). More CO2 stimulates the growth of more vegetation. It irks me to no end to see people protesting the alleged evils of fossil fuels but turn a blind eye to the rape of the Amazon forests over the past 50-yrs. Nothing soaks up CO2 like a healthy rainforest, and we just killed the largest one on the planet! OBTW: the Earth’s oceans are the PRIMARY regulator of CO2 as they have a huge capacity for soaking up the stuff.

    Re. your thoughts on Mars. I TOTALLY AGREE!! Sure, we should land on Mars — some day — but it should be on our way to somewhere else. To date, there’s NOTHING of any industrial value on the planet save for some salt brines and possible CO2 / H2O deposits at the poles. Nothing to get all worked up over. Every major probe / explorer we send there costs 3 – 4 billion dollars. I say we use that money to build permanent space station complete with artificial gravity; use it as a way-station to launch shuttles to the Moon. Sweet-be-jeezus, Arthur C. Clarke laid out the groundwork for this 75 yrs ago, Stanley Kubrick showed us what’s possible in his opus, “2001: A Space Odyssey”. We have two opposable thumbs now, we can build this stuff!

  • Jhon

    What happened to John Batchelor? Have you been in contact with him? I hope he gets back on somewhere and you continue with your appearances.

  • Jhon: Batchelor’s show is now on the CBS radio network. You need to find your local affiliate to hear him live. The podcasts of his various segments and interviews (including mine) are all available however here.

  • Kevin


    Waiting eagerly for your return to the John Batchelor show and podcast. Will you be back? Have you ever thought about starting your own podcast? Any suggestions for a good space-related podcast?

    Thanks for all you do.

    Go Commercial Space!

  • Jeff: Sorry about that. The old PSC webpage is gone, and I don’t remember what exact story I was linking to here. Suffice it to say that in my life I have mapped somewhere around 3 to 4 miles of virgin cave passages, places that no one had ever been before.

  • Hello Robert and His Audience,

    For a great novel to delight, amuse, entertain, interest and motivate conservatives and independent thinkers, please consider my literary book, “Republic of Equality – 2033: A Romantic Comedy and Political Thriller,” set in a socialist totalitarian future projected from recent political and cultural developments.

    For more info, consider reading the book summary and strong editorial and customer reviews on the Amazon book page. You can click the Amazon link image below, or search the Amazon book section with the title and author, or copy and paste this Amazon link into Google: http://www.amazon.com/Republic-Equality-Romantic-Political-Thriller-ebook/dp/B08XP3981X

    I guaranty you’ll love the book and will want to spread the word.

    Thanks sincerely,

    David Hejna

    Conservative Writer and Retired Lawyer

  • Hey Bob, kudos. It’s my third month for me, I think, of your Option 1. That’ll be a big $6, or $24 a year. Not much on a day-to-day basis, I know, but my opinion is just as good as anyone who might send you more. And I hope they do, because I’m poor, they’re rich, and you deserve it. As for my brethren poor at 50-cents per week: guess what, there’s a lot more of us! We can enable Bob to do his thing, which we love, instead of flipping burgers or vanishing to write the great novel. The cost is hard to notice, unless you’re up against the wall, so the real question is: “Who is more worthy?” So yeah, I love to visit your website, Bob. Here’s my support. Go for it
    I grew up with Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Leinster, Pohl, Niven and all the others. My mother let me stay home “sick” for every space shot broadcast on black and white television. I met Ray Bradbury at a hang gliding contest in Owens Valley in 1982. We both agreed that hang gliding – launching from a mountain with feather-light wings on your back – was the most extraordinary accomplishment of humankind other than spaceflight. (Sorry, powerheads.) I’ve followed NASA forever. But if I want to know “what’s happening right now,” you are the go-to source, Bob. That’s special. No body does it better. Thanks for cutting through the noise and giving us the straight scoop. And not just on space stuff.

  • wayne

    Interesting website!

  • Rick Masters: Thank you for the kind words, and the monthly subscription. Both are appreciated far more than you can imagine.

    Based on your website, you almost certainly would like one of the articles I wrote for Invention & Technology back in 1998, How to Fly Without a Plane. It told the story of Francis Rogallo and the invention of the hang glider. I got to interview him personally. A most amazing and old-fashioned American.

  • Bob, I found your article from Invention & Technology

    Francis Rogallo’s invention made the flying wing simple and transportable. I learned to fly on a rogallo. I doubt I would have bothered with a conventional hang glider with an empennage. Too cumbersome. But conventional foot-launched hang gliders have been around a long time. Glenn Curtis required his novice pilots to learn basic maneuvering on them. Jimmy Doolittle had his first crash on one. Volmer Jensen was soaring his hang gliders in ridge lift before WWII.

    The dark side of Rogallo’s legacy were the hundreds of deaths in the early years of the hang gliding renaissance he inspired, many from unrecoverable dives to the ground caused by the sail losing its airfoil shape and luffing during an attempted stall recovery. It was not until the rogallo was redesigned with reflex in the later 1970s that hang gliding became much more reliable. The earlier versions of the rogallo became regarded as deathtraps, and yearly fatalities dwindled into the teens worldwide as these were replaced by evolved versions with semi-rigid sails and double surfaces. Today most hang gliding fatalities can be attributed to pilot error

    But at least rogallos had simple airframes and could maintain their airfoil shape. The paragliders that began gaining popularity in the early 1990s, often collapsed in turbulence, but that did not deter enthusiasts (for reasons I cannot comprehend). When your article was published in 1998, less than 150 soaring parachutists had died on paragliders. Today that number exceeds 2,000, constantly averaging over 100 deaths per year worldwide. Unlike the early rogallo, even modern paragliders are faced with an apparently unsolvable and inherent safety issue. They cannot hold their airfoil shape in rough air and fall out of the sky.

  • Paul

    I love your appearances on the John Batchelor Show. They are usually the highlights of my radio listening time. I’m sure I am not the only listener who would like to hear a weekly show or podcast of your own! Any plans?

  • Paul: Sorry, I don’t have plans at the moment to put together a podcast. I don’t have the time nor the equipment.

    If someone else came along willing to run it for me, I am sure we could work a deal however.

  • Randy

    Sir…thoroughly enjoy your site and find it quite refreshing. I was wondering if you had caught that news story of the meteorite crashing into a home in B.C. Very interesting as it is 4.5 billion years old. Check out the “National Post” for story. Thanks again for your insights. Keep up the good work.

  • Mark

    Mr. Z. – I noticed on your post dated Oct 13th regarding Australia, the post dated Oct 21 regarding Korea, and on the Oct 22 post covering Ukraine & Canada, you did not mention that those countries were part of the Artemis Accords.

    I’ve read on BtB your take on the “Artemis Accords” characterizing them “as a clever diplomatic work-around of the Outer Space Treaty.” (Quote from your Oct 14th at 8:23 pm comment).
    Given the now intensified US competition with China in the Space arena, I am hoping that you may consider revising that opinion since the “Artemis Accords” may be developing into an informal alliance focusing on commercial space.

    Besides NASA, the development of the Accords and U.S. relations with those countries who have signed up is handled by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Commerce.

    If you have time, to get another perspective please read this weeks article from The Hill ‘America must build a stronger coalition to project its power in Space’.


    This is a serious article written by Capt. Bates, who is a planner at Space Operations Command, which is a field command of the Space Force.

    Lastly, both the Korea & the Ukraine/Nova Scotia stories start with “The New Colonial Movement” (which you named in 2005).

    Perhaps, given that 16 years have passed, if an international space story involves a member country of the Artemis Accords, these stories could start with “The New Artemis Federation” or something similarly catchy. Just an idea to consider.

    Enjoy your weekend, and I look forward to hearing your next John Batchelor episodes.

  • Mark

    Bob – To supplement what I posted about above (Oct 22 at 6:12 pm), here are two additional foreign policy orientated articles on the Artemis Accords for your consideration: They are both from ‘The Hill’, and although tilting left, this site does have good coverage of government agencies, legislative decisions, and is read daily by Congressional staff. These are both opinion pieces by Mark Whittington, and he makes a strong argument that “The first race to the moon was a head-to-head competition between the United States and the Soviet Union with bragging rights as the prize. The current race to the moon features the “Artemis Alliance” pitted against an axis of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation.

    ‘The new race to the moon: the Artemis Alliance vs. the Sino-Russian Axis’



    ‘Japan is joining the push to return to the moon’


    Finally although you haven’t posted it yet on BtB, good job on your end of week conversation with John Batchelor. I have his Audioboom site bookmarked, and am glad you are now linking to it in your posts.

  • Mark

    Mr. Z. I really am just trying to give you a heads up regarding the ‘Room’ where the Political Chessboard regarding U.S. Space Policy is being placed.
    You and I will never be invited to that ‘Room’ but one can get a fairly good idea of the direction for US future space initiatives by getting an occasional glance at where the chess pieces lie on the board between moves.

    I do understand the significance of commercial space, and that you are one of the few voices telling that story. Just remember that the ‘chessboard’ determines where federal funds end up, and that has a major effect on Commercial Space. That is why I initially pushed back on your Australian Lunar Rover story, discussed my view on how the National Security State may be spinning the Chinese Hypersonic story, and sent the above two comments expressing my view that the Artemis Accords may be developing into an informal alliance focusing on commercial space, but that also has larger strategic foreign policy goals.

    So I hope that ties a nice ribbon bow on my thoughts for your consideration this weekend, and with that I’ll repeat all the relevant links I previously mentioned.

    Article written by Capt. Bates ‘America must build a stronger coalition to project its power in Space’:


    The two opinion pieces by Mark Whittington: ‘The new race to the moon: the Artemis Alliance vs. the Sino-Russian Axis’ & ‘Japan is joining the push to return to the moon’:



    Then lastly there is the report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that details the aggressiveness of the Chineses Space program which is a fusion of Chinese Civilian Space and the CCP controlled Military, and which currently is allied with authoritarian Russia.


    Finally I’ll leave you with the verses from one of the hit songs of the musical Hamilton, where Burr gives his view of the famous Compromise of 1790:

    “But decisions are happening over dinner
    Two Virginians and an immigrant walk into a room
    Diametrically opposed
    They emerge with a compromise
    Having open doors that were previously closed
    The immigrant emerges with unprecedented financial power
    A system he can shape however he wants
    The Virginians emerge with the nation’s capital
    And here’s the pièce de résistance
    No one else was in the room where it happened
    The room where it happened
    The room where it happened”

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    I just want it noted for the record that as of Jan 8th 2022, I answered an important question from the commenter known as ‘Questioner’, and his gracious reply (consistent with his moniker) was “Thank you for the very valuable listing. That’s more than I hoped for. I’m going to print this out now and look into it. I certainly have questions about that.”

    All it took was my 623 word reply and hours of my research. All worth it:)

  • Charles Wainwright

    How about some more information about Relativity Space and Terran 1
    3-D printing

    for your apppearances on John Batchlor

  • Charles Wainwright: When Relativity Space finally gets close to launch, I will then report it. Right now they have set no launch date, as far as I know.

  • Bill Robinson

    Here’s an Evening Pause just in time for Valentine’s Day, James Taylor’s “The Water is Wide”:


  • Andrew Winter

    I would love to see you cover, perhaps as an “uncertainty of science” article, the biggest volcanic eruption most of us never heard of. It happened just last year and produced a shock front the circumnavigated the globe TWICE.


    Just picked up the link to that story today. The link was to an American Thinker article. THAT article provided the above link. It was bigger than Mt Pinatubo.

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