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It Gets Even Worse: Trump Plans to Eliminate NASA Climate Research

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 15:57
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This image shows the winds and warm mass of air associated with a large cyclone that swept the Arctic in late December 2015-early January 2016, thinning and shrinking the sea ice cover. Credit: NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio/Alex Kekesi, data visualizer.

Climate change is one of the issues in which the sheer derangement of the American right wing and Republican Party is most evident. Despite the fact that the vast majority of climate scientists in the entire world are convinced human beings are causing dangerous changes in the Earth’s climate, the Republican Party continues to either minimize the peril or deny it outright.

Some of these people are paid by energy industries to spread these falsehoods; others are religious fanatics convinced that only their god has the power to change the Earth’s climate. Whatever the motivation, this denialism is absolutely rampant in the American right, and is endangering the whole world by thwarting action to mitigate the effects of global warming at every turn.

Donald Trump is a prime example. He’s labeled climate change a “hoax,” and said it was started by the Chinese to destroy America’s economy.

And he’s poised now to act on these deranged convictions. A senior Trump adviser says he plans to

eliminate NASA’s climate research because it’s “politicized science.”

NASA’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.

Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”.

“We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

“My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”

The dishonesty of this last sentence is stunning — because having politicians decide which type of science research NASA should do is the very definition of “politicized science.”

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  • Fokofpoes

    “The dishonesty of this last sentence is stunning — because having politicians decide which type of science research NASA should do is the very definition of “politicized science.”

    Hypocritical denial much? Do you perhaps want to recall and mention the history of NASA?

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