The second man on the moon says he is ‘sceptical about the claims that human produced carbon dioxide is the direct contributor to global warming.’
In recent years Dr Aldrin, who holds a doctorate of science in Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, has been outspoken on a wide range of issues.
He has been a huge proponent of sending humans to Mars to colonise the red planet, outlined by his book ‘My Vision for Space Exploration’ released last year.
And he told MailOnline it should not necessarily be just to further our exploration efforts, but also to ensure the survival of the human race.
He has a bachelor of science degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York and a doctorate of science from the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology for a thesis titled ‘Guidance for Manned Orbital Rendezvous’.
Dr Aldrin is one of very few early astronauts to have a background in science. This earned him the nickname ‘Dr Rendezvous’ during the Apollo programme.
The nickname ‘Buzz’ comes from his youngest sister repeatedly calling him ‘buzzer’ instead of ‘brother’. In 1988, he legally changed his name to Buzz.
On 11 November 1966 he set a record for the longest spacewalk at the time, five and a half hours, during the Gemini 12 mission. He solved many of the problems that had plagued previous spacewalks, notably using handrails and footrests to prevent over-exertion.
On 20 July 1969, he became the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong. The first words from the lunar surface were actually spoken by Dr Aldrin when their spacecraft touched down, when he said: ‘Contact light’.
He resigned from Nasa in July 1971 and later the Air Force. Since then he has remained an advocate of space exploration, penning papers and books including ‘Return to Earth’ and the recent ‘Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration’.
This inevitably leads to questions about our own planet – for example, are humans causing global warming that will render our world uninhabitable?
‘In the news today I hear about the large solar flares, which is an indication of the power of the sun to influence Earth and our climate,’ Dr Aldrin said.
‘My first inclination is to be a bit sceptical about the claims that human-produced carbon dioxide is the direct contributor to global warming.
‘And if there is that doubt, then I think an unbiased non-politically motivated group of people worldwide, representing us instead of creating taxes like the carbon tax, should examine the output of different nations that might contribute to the very large cycles of warming and cooling that have taken place long before we started to have humans producing emissions.
‘In a short period of time it appears to some people [that humans are] the cause of global warming – which is now called climate change – [but] climate change has certainly existed over time.’
It’s a position that will no doubt strike a chord with Nasa, who have been performing extensive climate missions in recent years to find out the impact humans are having on the climate.
‘You can tell I’m not too bashful about some of my feelings,’ he says,’But I try and limit them to areas that I feel my development of innovations and thinking can be brought to bear on challenges that are facing civilisation here on Earth.’
He also bemoans some of the excessive funding that is allocated to climate change research, saying: ‘Space is not as enthusiastically supported by the world and by the American people anywhere near as much as it was during the pioneering years of the 60s and 70s.