Trump Administration Promises To Kill NASA’s Primary Climate Science Division

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(EnviroNews World News) — Donald Trump will crack down on “politicized science,” and his first target is NASA’s Earth Sciences Division. According to Trump senior advisor Bob Walker, the President-elect’s administration will cut the budget for that program altogether.

“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.”

NASA, an acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is one of the foremost research institutes for earth sciences, examining everything from ice and clouds to temperature and climate change — something Walker describes as “politically correct environmental monitoring.”

Scientists around the globe are deriding the suggestion that NASA focus primarily on “deep space exploration,” in part, because NASA is uniquely positioned to see the planet as a whole from space. Its satellites, and its specialized scientists, are something that other institutions lack.

Trump’s budget would stand to gain the $2 billion that NASA’s Earth Sciences Division was slated to receive. In comparison, its space exploration programs receive about $2.8 billion.

But NASA is no longer the only game in town when it comes to space exploration. Several private companies are working on getting their ships out into the solar system and onto other planets. However, when it comes to climate science on the Earth, according to several scientists who collaborate with NASA, it is the best game in town.

Two agencies that could possibly receive the windfall for “earth-centric” studies are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Neither agency launches satellites in space and both are much smaller than NASA. NOAA works on predicting the weather and environmental monitoring with about a fourth the budget of NASA. The NSF has an operating budget about a third the size of NASA’s.

In an interview with Scientific American, Waleed Abdalati, a geographer at the University of Colorado and former NASA Chief Scientist said, “A loss of our observational capabilities would be like closing our eyes.”

Republicans have long sought to cut funding to agencies that study climate change. Trump is just the next in line to make sure it happens.

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