You know all those distressing satellite photos of retreating glaciers and open water in the arctic? Or how about those terrible photos of the ravaged landscapes around the Canadian oil sands? Worry no more. They’re going to be gone.
Oh, we’ll still be wrecking the environment, but you won’t see pictures of it now. Donald Trump has a new vision for NASA, and it involves turning a blind eye earthward.
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.
This is far more political than maintaining the earth science program, which provides immediately useful information and unambiguous returns on investment. You know why he’s cutting these programs.
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.
Revealing reality is now political, especially when your views have nothing to do with reality.
Although…maybe it’s psychological. Looking at ourselves and our own planet is too much like introspection, and we know the Donald doesn’t do that self-awareness thing.