THE GEORGE JARKESY SHOW WELCOMES ASTRONAUT WALT CUNNINGHAM, APOLLO 7 PILOT, TO THE SHOW, ALONG WITH JOHN ENGELS of AxoGen
Walter Cunningham was born in Creston, Iowa on March 16, 1932. He graduated from Venice High School in Venice, California, where a building has since been named for him.
After high school, Cunningham joined the U.S. Navy in 1951, and began flight training in 1952. He served on active duty as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 until 1956. From 1956 to 1975 he served in the Marine Corps Reserve program, ultimately retiring at the rank of Colonel.
Cunningham received his Bachelor of Arts and literature degree in 1960 and his Master of Arts degree in 1961, both in physics, from the University of California at Los Angeles. He then worked as a scientist for the Rand Corporation while pursuing a doctorate.
Cunningham during the Apollo 7 mission.
In October 1963, Cunningham was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA. On October 11, 1968, he occupied the lunar module pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7. Although the flight carried no lunar module, Cunningham was kept busy with the myriad system tests aboard this first launch of a manned Apollo mission. He then worked in a management role for Skylab and left NASA in 1971. In 1974, he graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and later worked as a businessman and investor in a number of private ventures.
In 1977, he published The All-American Boys, a reminiscence of his astronaut days. Cunningham was also a major contributor and foreword-writer for the 2007 space history book In the Shadow of the Moon.
In 2008, NASA awarded Cunningham the NASA Distinguished Service Medal for his Apollo 7 mission.
Currently he is a radio personality and public speaker. In the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon Cunningham was played by Fredric Lehne. Cunningham is a global warming skeptic.
Global warming views
Cunningham has been an advocate against the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). In 2010, he published a pamphlet titled “Global Warming: Facts versus Faith” in which he states: “The current debate is not unlike Galileo’s historic disagreement with the Catholic Church, or the battle over evolution versus creationism. In all three cases, facts are pitted against faith and science against religion. The conflict over global warming has deteriorated into a religious war between true believers in AGW and non-believers, the so-called “skeptics”. This report was published by the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank engaged in “dispelling myths about global warming”. The Heartland Institute has, in its publications, made four points:
“Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth’s climate. “The most reliable temperature data show no global warming trend.”A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization. “The best strategy to pursue is one of ‘no regrets’.”
In an editorial published in the Houston Chronicle on August 15, 2010, Cunningham argued that the empirical evidence does not support the claims of global warming. The editorial, titled “Climate change alarmists ignore scientific methods”, stated his opinion that the global warming debate hinged on four key points. “About 20 years ago,” he stated, “a small group of scientists became concerned that temperatures around the Earth were unreasonably high and a threat to humanity. In their infinite wisdom, they decided: 1) that CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels were abnormally high, 2) that higher levels of CO2 were bad for humanity, 3) that warmer temperatures would be worse for the world, and 4) that we are capable of overriding natural forces to control the Earth’s temperature. Not one of these presumptions (opinions) has proven to be valid.”
BEST OF CLIP
John Engels is a co-founder of AxoGen and is AxoGen’s Vice President. Since November 2002, he has provided operational and financial leadership for AxoGen and managed the company’s strategic and product development partnerships. Since the completion of the merger, Mr. Engels has served as Vice President of the combined company. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Engels worked as a consultant, working for the University of Florida, Saffron Hill Ventures and PA Early Stage Partners, among other companies. Mr. Engels also worked from 1993 to 1997 for CACM, a boutique investment banking firm. Mr. Engels is currently a member of the board of directors of Oxicool, Inc., a privately-held company developing new cooling technologies. Mr. Engels holds a MBA in Management and Operations from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from the University of Chicago.
AxoGen (OTCBB: AXGN) is a regenerative medicine company with a portfolio of proprietary products and technologies for peripheral nerve reconstruction and regeneration. Every day, people suffer traumatic injuries or undergo surgical procedures that impact the function of their peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves provide the pathways for both motor and sensory signals throughout the body and their damage can result in the loss of function and feeling. In order to improve surgical reconstruction and regeneration of peripheral nerves, AxoGen has developed and licensed patented and patent-pending technologies, which are used in its portfolio of products. This portfolio includes Avance® Nerve Graft, which AxoGen believes is the only commercially available allograft nerve for bridging nerve discontinuities (a gap created when the nerve is severed).
AxoGen’s portfolio also includes AxoGuard® Nerve Connector, a coaptation aid allowing for close approximation of severed nerves, and AxoGuard® Nerve Protector, a bioscaffold used to reinforce a coaptation site, wrap a partially severed nerve or isolate and protect nerve tissue. AxoGen is bringing the science of nerve repair to life with thousands of surgical implants of AxoGen products performed in hospitals and surgery centers across the United States, including military hospitals serving U.S. service men and women.
AxoGen is the parent of its wholly owned operating subsidiary, AxoGen Corporation. AxoGen’s principal executive office and operations are located in Alachua, FL.