A disaster for humanity

Phil Plait tells us Trump is apparently going to cut off the funding for NASA’s climate research.

In an interview with the Guardian, Bob Walker, a senior Trump adviser, said that Trump will eliminate NASA’s Earth science research. This is the mission directorate of NASA that, among other important issues, studies climate change.

In other words, Trump and his team want to stop NASA from studying climate change. From the article:

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.

So that’s horrifying.

If this slashing of NASA Earth science comes to pass, it will be a disaster for humanity. This is no exaggeration: NASA is the leading agency in studying the effects of global warming on the planet, in measuring the changes in our atmosphere, our oceans, the weather, and yes, the climate as temperatures increase. They have a fleet of spacecraft observing the Earth, and plans for more to better understand our environment. That’s all on the chopping block now.

Especially irritating are the details of what Walker said. Calling climate change research  “politicized science” is so ironic you could build a battle fleet out of it, because it was the GOP who politicized it. They are the ones who attacked it as a party plank, they are the ones who have been taking millions in fossil fuel money to fund an organized disinformation campaign about it, they are the ones who harass climate scientists.

“Politicized” – honest to christ. It’s not politicizing to think it’s probably not ok to continue destroying the climate for the sake of our short-term gain while leaving the catastrophe for future generations to deal with.

Walker said the research should be done by NOAA, which Plait points out is outrageous since the Republicans have been relentlessly attacking NOAA for the past two years.

There’s one other exasperating thing Walker said, and it’s a pants-on-fire doozy:

Walker, however, claimed that doubt over the role of human activity in climate change “is a view 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.”

That is complete garbage. “Half the climatologists”? In reality, at least 97 percent of climatologists agree that humans cause global warming, and the data show you can’t explain the current rising temperatures without human influence.

climate consensus

And need I remind you, this is all happening while the planet has seen a string of record breaking heat, month after month, where the Arctic sea ice is melting in unprecedented ways, where President Obama has said climate change and its denial is a threat to national security, and a top military advisory board has said the same thing.

I find it outrageous that Trump won this presidency in large part by stoking fear in people, yet he denies the single biggest thing we actually should be scared of.

We’re screwed.

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