Here comes another blow to the U.S nation. Apparently, president Trump spoke his mind and now NASA has to eliminate its research over climate.
Why the sudden change of heart? It seems climate science is facing some pretty desperate times.
President Trump even began to favor deep space exploration. But is he aware of the dangers that could possibly come from shutting out NASA’s research over our climate?
Research Lead by NASA Stopped Abruptly
Sources have it, Trump plans to eliminate the entire database over climate lead by NASA.
This may appear a rather bold decision taking into consideration how scientists warned us of the consequences.
London School of Economics and Political Science, Bob Ward stated:
“[the proposal was] a shockingly stupid move that would deal a very severe blow to global research on environmental change across the world.”
But the plan to cut the climate research funds did not begin just now. In fact, starting with 2015, the Republican part of the Congress was trying to reduce the funds for climate research. Instead, they wanted, even back then, to replace it with deep space exploration.
But Trump changed sides again, during an interview with the New York Times, denying his previous anti-climate statements. Should we think of those as mere lies?
The Guardian went as far as reporting the story from Bob Walker’s perspective, one of Trump’s campaign adviser. This is what he said during an interview:
“We see NASA in an exploration role, in deep space research.
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.”
Further Views on Climate Change
It can actually happen. Senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Kevin Trenberth also revealed to the Guardian that by going through with this plan, it
“could put us back into the ‘dark ages’ of almost the pre-satellite era. It would be extremely short sighted.”
Even scientist Michael Mann from Penn State University added his views on the topic:
“Without the support of NASA, not only the U.S. but the entire world would be taking a hard hit when it comes to understanding the behavior of our climate and the threats posed by human-caused climate change.”
The Scientific American reached a conclusion. If Under Obama’s presidency the program evolved, under Trump’s ruling it might fade away.
“Now set to hold majorities in both the House and Senate, Republicans appear likely to support forthcoming Trump administration proposals to pare back NASA’s Earth science budget, which grew by some 50 percent under the Obama administration. That boost, which gave Earth science the lion’s share of NASA’s science funding, has sustained a growing fleet of satellites that collect data demonstrating climate change’s reality: rising surface temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions, retreating glaciers and ice sheets, and shifting patterns of rainfall and vegetation growth, to name a few.
Earth science’s preferred growth under Obama—the fact that it has grown over all of NASA’s other science—has created a big political target on its back and validated, in a sense, Republican interpretations of its partisan nature,” says Casey Dreier, director of space policy for The Planetary Society. “And this is taking place in a new political dynamic of strong, near-universal condemnation and skepticism of climate change by the Republican Party, without a Democratic president and key members of Congress that used to push back. That’s a bad double whammy for Earth science.”
Trump Administration Gone Wrong?
Right now, scientists fear for the changes that the program will have to go through. Mostly, they believe that the cuts implemented by Trump will not offer the results expected by the president.
The threat to NASA is real. And we may as well start believing that a disaster in global warming is heading our way.
Director of the Climate & Energy College at the Melbourne University, Malte Meinshausen feels disappointing regarding the outcome:
“While deep space exploration enables us to have big dreams, understanding planet earth enables us to live better lives and actually save lives.”
The NASA Aqua satellite comes into discussion as well. Malte continued to note how it
“now delivers unprecedented detail about the water cycle, and the patterns of carbon- dioxide concentrations.
Those satellites are what the X-ray instrument is in any hospital—vital to our understanding where the patient planet Earth is sick and what the root causes are.”
The Sydney Morning Herald also holds a statement by Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute in London. He declared that:
“[cutting research funds] would be a shockingly stupid move that would deal a very severe blow to global research on environmental change across the world”.
“Stopping all funding would, for instance, mean abandoning satellites that monitor the Earth’s surface, and would be an enormous waste of billions of dollars of scientific research.”
Does Trump know something that the public doesn’t? Is climate change an issue?
But There is Hope
But climate scientist Gavin Schmidt gives us a glance of hope. In his opinion, the federal bureaucracy might save NASA’s funds.
He believes that thanks to the size and complexity of the bureaucracy, it might not be possible to cut funds that drastically.
He released an interview for Business Insider, stating:
“When I first started working for the federal government I got frustrated, like why are we stuck in this pattern? Why are decisions that are made so difficult to reverse? Why is it so hard to shift anything? And it’s hard because there’s a lot of people and there’s a lot of moving parts and there’s a huge amount of money. But now I’m thinking, ‘Oh, you know what, it’s a good thing that that things can’t be changed on a dime.’
Chopping off science just to prevent people from talking about climate change won’t work, you need science for hazards, for weather forecasting, and climate comes along for the ride.
During the [George W.] Bush administration we had climate skeptics rewriting reports and trying to control what’s said to the media. But the planet kept warming. We kept reporting on it. We kept improving the science that underlies our understanding of why it’s changing. And we will work to continue to do so.”
In the end, nobody knows what president Trump is in fact thinking. Will he keep his promise to end the research established by NASA? Will our world start to face any consequences?
Maybe it’s just a matter of time, but sooner or later citizens will find out Trump’s real intentions.