The president-elect, Donald J. Trump announced shortly before Thanksgiving that he is looking to cut down research funding for NASA’s Earth Science department in charge with monitoring the environmental changes. Although his advisors hide behind the premise of discouraging what they call politicized science, many people believe that Donald Trump is looking to facilitate his partners’ business plans that profit from climate change.
However, the news is not all bad. Donald Trump also said that he will place the space exploration programs before all others, in an effort to help humans explore the solar system by the start of the next century. Moreover, the senior campaign advisor, Bob Walker admitted in a press release that the administration can’t simply put an end to the ongoing NASA environmental programs concerning climate change.
Nevertheless, the administration can cut the funding for future programs. Bob Walker says that they will be entrusted to other agencies that focus primarily on climate change and Earth sciences. One of the main reasons the administration calls for a halt in NASA’s climate research department is that Bob Walker is not convinced that the climate change is caused by humans. Moreover, he claims that as many as half the researchers investigating global warming doubt that human activity has a role to play in the environmental changes.
The only problem with Mr. Walker’s statement is that in 2016 alone 97 percent of registered climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for the climate change.
However, this is not the first time the Grand Old Party is trying to cut investments for NASA’s environmental research. Back in 2015 as well as earlier this year, the Congressional Republicans tried to cut off the funding for climate research invoking space exploration as a pretext.
More importantly, this decision did meet with strong opposition from the scientists.
“It could put us back into the dark ages of almost the pre-satellite era”, says Kevin Trenberth with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
He supplements his statement by pointing out that in order to survive, humans need to have a deep knowledge of the Earth’s changes, especially when it comes to climate. Understanding how storms work or being able to respond to droughts and earthquakes is essential for ensuring life on Earth. Moreover, he disapproves of Donald Trump’s views as he says that Earth observations are more important than space research, which he only sees as a luxury rather than a necessity.
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