Budget legislation likely to launch NASA above climate politics

Under Obama, NASA spent more on climate change than on space exploration

The U.S. Senate recently passed a NASA Transition Act of 2017 to cut the agency’s funding for global warming “research” and get back to focusing upon space exploration priorities NASA was originally created to pursue. The bill will very likely be passed the in the House and signed into law by President Trump.

Senior Trump campaign advisor and former Republican Rep. Bob Walker told the Guardian that there is no need for NASA to do what he previously described to be “politically correct environmental monitoring.” Instead, “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.”

Walker added that while he believes that climate research is necessary, ” . . . it has been heavily politicized, which has determined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”

Peter Navarro, another senior Trump campaign adviser and transition team member, agrees. The two coauthored an October 2016 Daily Caller opinion piece arguing that, “Human exploration of our entire Solar System by the end of this century should be NASA’s focus and goal.”

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R, TX) told E&E News, “By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero-out Earth sciences,” but that “I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and that there are another dozen agencies that study Earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that.”  Rep. Smith further stated:

“Our weather satellites have been an immense help, for example, and that’s from NASA, but I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that. Meanwhile, we only have one agency that engages in space exploration, and they need every dollar they can muster for space exploration.”

NASA’S budget for Earth and climate studies increased by 63% under the Obama Administration. Whereas other NASA science functions, including astrophysics and space technology, receive $781.5 million annually, Earth and climate currently get $826.7 million.

Much of NASA’s climate research budget slashing pain will be self-inflicted with no thanks to alarmist global warming reports perpetrated by its activist Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), a small climate modeling shop located in a midtown Manhattan office building.

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While inappropriately bearing the distinguished name of father of modern rocketry Robert H. Goddard, GISS should definitely not be confused with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a major national scientific and engineering center.

Ironically, GISS reports depend primarily upon sparse surface data (not the far more reliable satellite measurements available since 1979) which is mostly supplied by others.

Check the issuing source the next time you hear media reports claiming that “NASA says that blah, blah year, month, day is hottest in record.” If mentioned at all, you should not be surprised to see that it came from GISS.

Its former director was James Hansen, a politically protected Civil Service employee cum anti-fossil energy activist who was arrested four times for noncompliance with police orders during public demonstrations.

Hansen was most recently handcuffed on February 13, 2013, in front of the White House alongside actress Daryl Hannah, Sierra Club founder Adam Werbach, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, former NAACP president Julian Bond, and a few dozen others protesting to block the Keystone XL pipeline.

Remarkably, none of these events resulted in his removal as “NASA’s top climate scientist.”

True to form, in January 2015 GISS, now headed by climate alarm blogger Gavin Schmidt, rolled out a report that 2014 was the hottest year ever measured.

That claim was based upon available records dating back to 1880 — nearly a century before accurate global satellite records existed.

Schmidt has since admitted that the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38%.

According to satellite measurements, 2014 (a major El Niño year) was the third-warmest in 36 years since measurements have been recorded, with no statistically significant temperature changes since 2001.

It’s tragic to see the agency that applied solid science to put humans the moon become mired in political science.

Nevertheless, Schmidt “warned” then President-elect Donald Trump in an interview with The Independent, a British online newspaper, that scientists are “not going to stand” for any interference with their work.

Asked if he would resign if his new administration adopted an extreme form of “climate change denial,” Schmidt replied that this was “an interesting question,” but one which would not cause him to quit “in or of itself.”

While no one I know denies that natural climate changes, his employment position very well may.

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About the Author: Larry Bell

Larry Bell

CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."

  • Wally

    The neo-Marxist takeover of NASA reminds me of the leftist takeover of National Geographic.