Donald Trump plans to put NASA‘s focus back on space exploration and cut away programs that study climate change.
Bob Walker, an adviser to Trump, told The Guardian that the incoming president wants to keep NASA away from ‘politicized science.’
Other government agencies can take on climate research, he said.
‘We see NASA in an exploration role, in deep space research,’ Walker told the publication. ‘Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.’
Donald Trump plans to put NASA’s focus back on space exploration and cut away programs that study climate change. The above photo is from NASA’s Antarctic mission, where scientists are observing changes in polar ice
An adviser to Trump said the incoming president wants to keep NASA away from ‘politicized science’ – ‘earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission,’ he said
Walker admitted that some of that work would continue at NASA.
‘My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing NASA programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies,’ he said.
Adding, ‘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.’
Trump has said that climate change is a ‘hoax’ and he’d ‘cancel’ an international agreement to combat global warming.
Yesterday he told the New York Times that he was reconsidering his position on the 196-nation accord, known as the Paris agreement, that was put into place by the Obama administration.
‘I’m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it,’ he said.
NASA’s Earth Science Division collects data on temperature fluctuations, the oceans, sea ice and glaciers and tracks severe weather.
‘To study the planet from the unique perspective of space,’ it’s web page says, the NASA division ‘develops and operates remote-sensing satellites and instruments.’
‘We analyze observational data from these spacecraft and make it available to the world’s scientists.’
A blog post from last week draws attention to the Montreal Protocol and ‘the climate warming effects of chemicals that were supposed to be better for the ozone layer.’
Walker called the division’s work ‘politically correct environmental monitoring.’
Democrats and environmental groups have derided Trump as a ‘climate denier’ over his refusal to say that human activity is making the world warmer.
Trump told the New York Times on Tuesday, ‘I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much.’
Walker told the Guardian Trump’s skepticism is ‘shared by half the climatologists in the world.
‘We need good science to tell us what the reality is and science could do that if politicians didn’t interfere with it.’
NASA’s Earth Science Division is set to receive $2 billion in funding in 2017. Another $2.8 billion is appropriated for space exploration
NASA’s Earth Science Division is set to receive $2 billion in funding in 2017. Another $2.8 billion is appropriated for space exploration.
President Barack Obama increased NASA’s budget by $6 billion dollars in 2010 and controversially directed the government agency to spend its resources on developing an asteroid mission and and sending a manned spaceship to Mars.
NASA poured billions into plans to build a permanent base on the moon in the previous administration but fell so far behind that Obama nixed it.
Trump’s proposed changes to NASA are also generating push back.
Penn State University’s Michael Mann, a climate scientist, accused Trump of playing politics with the government division.
‘Without the support of NASA, not only the US 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,’ he told The Guardian, ‘It would be a blatantly political move.’
Mann said it ‘would indicate the president-elect’s willingness to pander to the very same lobbyists and corporate interest groups he derided throughout the campaign.’