Trump Wants to Defund NASA’s Climate Science Research

Trump Wants to Defund NASA’s Climate Science Research December 20, 2016

In an entirely unsurprising development, Donald Trump’s adviser on NASA says he wants to gut the funding for the Earth Science division, the one that deals with climate science and global warming, and put the money into deep space research instead.

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Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

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.

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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.”

This is incoherent nonsense. If your concern is that climate science has become “politicized” then what good would it do to move it to another agency? Would it magically become depoliticized if it was under a different agency? The fact is that much of what we know about the progression of global warming — and no, Mr. Trump, it’s not a Chinese hoax, you dumbass — comes from satellite data. That’s why NASA does so much of it. Other agencies do other types of research as well, but this idea of moving that space-based climate research to another agency is just so much bullshit to cover up the fact that Trump wants to gut all such research. And his adviser really wants to talk about politicizing science?

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