Congress Expects ‘Yuge’ Fight With Enviros Over NASA’s Global Warming Budget

Gavin Schmidt

President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are gearing up for a fight with Democrats over NASA’s global warming budget.

Democrats suspect Republicans will slash some of the more than $2 billion NASA spends on its Earth Science Mission Directorate — the group that researches global warming and earth science.

Trump has tapped former Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Walker as a senior adviser to his NASA transition team — a man who thinks NASA should do less “politically correct environmental monitoring” and more space exploration.

While Trump has not explicitly pledged to cut these programs, he has called global warming a “hoax,” “mythical,” a “con job,” “nonexistent,” and “bullshit.”

“NASA should be focused primarily on deep-space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies,” Walker and Peter Navarro, another senior adviser to the Trump campaign, wrote in an October opinion piece. “Human exploration of our entire solar system by the end of this century should be NASA’s focus and goal.”

Spending on earth sciences has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, making it the largest and fastest growing budget of any NASA science program. The agency now spends more on environmental research than many of its other science functions, including astrophysics and space technology. Those programs only get $781.5 million and $826.7 million, respectively.

“A number of prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill think that NASA should not be involved to the degree that it is in Earth science,” Jeff Foust, a senior writer at the trade publication SpaceNews, told “I would certainly expect to see some sort of development in terms of potential reduction to NASA’s Earth science program.”

Climate scientists are already pushing back against the Trump administration.

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the agency’s top climate scientist, threatened to resign if Trump stopped funding the agency’s global warming programs.

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Comments (3)

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    Trump stops funding NASA’s global warming programs AND Dr. Gavin Schmidt resigns? Wow, that’s a Win-Win for the United States and the planet!

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    Need Another Space Agency.

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    Schmidt threatened to resign ? Really ? Now he is a comedian . Resigning would get no severance pay . Not going to happen .

    Threats to an employer by a senior management person based on the employees own negative public speculation can be grounds for dismissal with cause and no severance .
    NASA can no longer stand to have it” s well respected brand for space study ruined by failed climate model projections and adjusted data climate projects .

    Returning NASA to it’s core competence and saving $ billion for other priorities is long over due . If Great Britain or someone else wants to get in the hot air forecasting business go ahead .
    Lead on Mr. Trump .

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