If Mick Mulvaney had gone into the Church of Liberal Tropes, set their statue of Michael Mann (affectionately known as the Jerry Sandusky of Climate Change) on fire then peed on it to put it out, he could not have caused a bigger uproar than he did yesterday.
QUESTION: Can you explain a little bit more about what message the President is trying to send by eliminating a lot of funding for science and climate change research, as you mentioned earlier? And just a follow-up later when you get a chance.
DIRECTOR MULVANEY: Sure. A couple different messages. When we talked about science and climate change, let’s deal with them separately. On science, we’re going to function — we’re going to focus on the core function. There’s reductions, for example, I think, in the NIH — the National Institutes of Health. Why? Because we think there’s been mission creep, we think they do things that are outside their core functions. We think there’s tremendous opportunity for savings. We recommend, for example, that a couple of facilities be combined; there would be cost savings from that.
Again, this comes back to the President’s business person view of government, which is if you took over this as a CEO, and you’d look at this on a spreadsheet and go, why do we have all of these facilities — why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three, won’t that save money? And the answer is, yes. So part of your answer is focusing on efficiencies and focusing on doing what we do better.
Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward — we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. So that is a specific tie to his campaign.
Bravo. Someone needed to say this.
And the Trump budget reflects this committment.
The Hill notes
The Trump administration released a budget blueprint on Thursday that proposes a 31 percent cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including a $100 million cut to climate change programs under its purview.
The budget proposal takes aim at climate change programming throughout the budget. It zeros out funding for State Department climate change programs, including American contributions to international climate change accounts, and the budget also reduces funding for advanced energy and renewable power research.
That is only part of the story. Let me go here to Vox where I understand no less that four or their writers hyperventilated their way into an ER while writing this story:
So there’s no more money for work on the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation to control CO2 emissions from power plants, which Trump aims to repeal. (By law, the EPA would still have to work on emission rules for vehicles.) There are cuts to “international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs, and related efforts” — totaling $100 million. We don’t have line-by-line numbers, but that could include killing EPA programs like the Climate Resilience Evaluation Awareness Tool, which helps utilities adapt to extreme weather events.
The budget also proposes eliminating Energy Star, a voluntary certification program that helps companies release energy-efficient products, helping prevent more than 300 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. It proposes axing climate research funding for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, the agency’s scientific research arm, whose overall budget would be cut in half.
Trump is proposing a 5.6 percent cut to the Department of Energy. And, to do that, he would impose a steep 17.9 percent cut — roughly $2 billion — from core energy/science programs intended to accelerate the transition to new (and cleaner) energy technologies.
DOE has a variety of offices that direct early-stage research into solar, wind, nuclear, biofuels, batteries, carbon capture for coal, and other technologies. But these offices also partner with the private sector to deploy new energy tech that’s closer to fruition — the sort of partnership that helped bring about the fracking boom. Trump’s budget proposes shrinking back from deployment and focusing solely on early-stage research, which many conservatives see as the only proper role of government. (Deployment, they argue, is vulnerable to cronyism and amounts to picking winners and losers.)
As part of the Paris climate deal in 2015, the United States pledged not just to cut emissions, but also to offer $3 billion in aid to poorer countries to help them adapt to climate change and build clean energy. So far, the Obama administration has chipped in $1 billion. This was seen as crucial for bringing these countries into the deal.
Trump would end all that. In his budget, he’s proposing to “cease payments to the United Nations’ (UN) climate change programs by eliminating U.S. funding related to the Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds.”
This doesn’t mean that the United States is leaving the Paris climate deal altogether — the White House is apparently still debating that. But it means they don’t plan on contributing any funds toward making the deal work.
But NASA’s Earth Science Division has come under attack from conservatives who don’t appreciate the agency’s forays into climate science and think NASA should focus on space exploration instead. As such, Trump’s budget would trim the agency’s Earth science budget to $1.8 billion — a $102 million cut. That’d include terminating “four Earth science missions (PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR Earth-viewing instruments, and CLARREO Pathfinder) and reduc[ing] funding for Earth science research grants.”
The proposal derides these programs as too “Earth-centric.” For context, NASA’s PACE mission was meant to help climate scientists better understand how aerosol particles and clouds influence climate change — still a key source of uncertainty — and to monitor ocean ecosystems more closely. The OCO-3 program would measure atmospheric carbon emissions with greater precision. DSCOVR, meanwhile, will still monitor solar storms that could harm the grid, but it will no longer use its Earth-facing cameras to monitor things like ozone levels, weather patterns, or deforestation.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant program provides grants for research efforts intended to help coastal communities deal with a wide variety of challenges. Lately, that has included climate change.
As John Upton writes at Climate Central: “Sea Grant research has helped West Coast shellfish farmers cope with water acidification, provided advice to Maryland residents about coping with worsening floods, and promoted the use of grooved nails in roofs to secure panels during storms in the Northeast.”
NOAA? Grooved nails? Srsly?
Climate alarmism has become a cash cow in some parts of the academic world where people without the chops to cut it as a mathematicians, physicists or physical scientists have styled themselves “climatologists” and acquired what amounts to sinecures for publishing bullsh**. Within the government climate alarmism has become a self-licking ice cream cone where more and more money is sucked in to study the climate and the only product of the research is more alarm which demands more money to keep a regiment of barely literate ideologues on the federal dole.
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