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March 16, 2017 8:35 AM   Subscribe

The Trump Administration's NASA budget request cancels four climate science missions

"NASA's Earth Science division would receive $1.8 billion in 2018 under the proposed budget, which is $102 million less than 2017 funding levels, but four missions would be canceled outright.

Those missions include the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite to monitor Earth's ocean health and atmosphere in 2022; the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 experiment that would track carbon-dioxide levels from the International Space Station; the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) pathfinder Earth climate instrument for the ISS in 2020 time frame; and, finally, the Deep Space Climate Observatory(DSCOVR), a joint NASA-NOAA mission that is in orbit today and monitoring Earth from space. The OMB budget summary did not include details on why those four Earth science missions were singled out by the Trump administration."
posted by Major Clanger (51 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Works for gun control.

I hope someone is picking up the slack on this, because the US is going to be utterly worthless for the next 4-8 years.
posted by Artw at 8:37 AM on March 16 [23 favorites]


"Well, the oil light on my car keeps coming on. So, I had to have that disconnected"
posted by thelonius at 8:39 AM on March 16 [108 favorites]


NASA should set up a gofundme or kickstarter, like, stat. If only for the sick burn.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:41 AM on March 16 [17 favorites]


Besides Earth science/climate change missions, also on the chopping block: the entire NASA Education office, which runs camps and enrichment programs, provides internships and scholarships for young scientists, and oversees efforts to support women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by zakur at 8:42 AM on March 16 [40 favorites]


The WashPo has an excellent visualization overview of the Trump budget.

I hope someone is picking up the slack on this

In the US there's also NOAA, which runs the weather sats. It too is up for budget cuts although so far it looks like the satellites may stay intact. Other aspects of climate research are threatened though.

Both Europe and China have significant orbital science research projects but I don't know enough to say more than "oh god will someone else save us please".
posted by Nelson at 8:48 AM on March 16 [7 favorites]


"Well, the oil light on my car keeps coming on. So, I had to have that disconnected"

This isn't directed at Thelonius in particular, but this kind of comment is SO common re: conversations about Trump/ fascists conservatives.

And, IMO, it's a waste of text. Trump isn't driving a car, he's the tow guy. They make profits on dysfunction.

We need to change the argument.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 8:53 AM on March 16 [16 favorites]


Congressional Dems should call the GOP's bluff by floating a bill to de-fund all Pentagon spending connected to climate change.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:54 AM on March 16 [12 favorites]


British scientists face a ‘huge hit’ if the US cuts climate change research. Academics fear Donald Trump’s environmental policy may put an end to key data from US agencies. (The Guardian, 14 March 2017)
British scientists say moves to squeeze funding of climate-related research in the US – and of facilities at government laboratories in particular – could be disastrous for work in the UK. And they say Trump’s travel ban is already harming their collaboration with scientists in America, with some researchers pulling out of commitments in the UK because of fears they may not make it back through US visa controls.
The old one-two punch to Scientists and Foreigners, because they're both ... bad for ... what exactly?

Oh right, they scare you about your own bleak future of maintaining this fragile status quo of White, Christian, Male Dominance powered by Extracted Energies.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:54 AM on March 16 [11 favorites]


I fucking hate donald trump.

that is all because my outrage faculty is totally exhausted by this asshat administration.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:11 AM on March 16 [15 favorites]


Oh, well, it's just the place where all of us live and breathe and eat and drink and stuff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by mrdaneri at 9:16 AM on March 16 [13 favorites]


In the future, everyone's steak will be well-done.
posted by valkane at 10:00 AM on March 16 [10 favorites]


NASA should set up a gofundme or kickstarter, like, stat. If only for the sick burn.

It's not legal for them to do this. They'd need authorization in their budget to spend money (and so, peoples' time) on the effort, and they don't have it. I think that ban would even extend to volunteered time by NASA employees, though I'm not sure(*).

That said, it's legal for them to accept donations if not solicit them. So somebody else could set it up, then hand over the money.

(*) Alternatively they could just follow Cheeto Mussolini's shining example: do it anyway, and dare someone to call them on breaking the law.
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:00 AM on March 16 [3 favorites]


the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO)

That one's a real bull's eye, since this bird is designed to verify or refute the only assumptions in climatological computer models that are at all controversial: those regarding the radiance and refractivity of CO2, water vapor and clouds.
posted by ocschwar at 10:01 AM on March 16 [7 favorites]


Both Europe and China have significant orbital science research projects

So does Japan. JAXA has GOSAT in orbit now, as well as GCOM-W1, and both are climate change-related. They also have ALOS-2 in the air, and its a more generic land observation satellite. GCOM and ALOS are active programs, with follow-up satellites in the works.

The work will get done, but the quality of the data is going to go down if the Americans flake out on this.
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:06 AM on March 16 [8 favorites]


I am not going to kickstart a fucking space programme.

That is what Jeff Bezos is for.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM on March 16 [12 favorites]


Let's give the Trump Organization the franchise for a resort hotel on Mars. Watch NASA get funded then.
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:40 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


The pushback on climate change denial is starting to come from some interesting places.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:41 AM on March 16 [8 favorites]


We need to change the argument.

I wish to revert to the time-tested: "The beatings will continue until moral improves."

In the brave new world of alt-reality, metaphor will stand up just fine even after they bring out the whips.

Make Amiraka grate agin.
posted by mule98J at 10:53 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
More properly,
Christ, what a sweet-and-sour-Jesus-on-a-stick asshole.
posted by drhydro at 11:03 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


I just realized that one of the missions on the chopping block is the one that the one that shot this amazing sequence of the Moon passing in front of the Earth's disc back in 2015. So besides all-around usefulness, NASA is losing some of the sensawunda that keeps the public engaged in space.
posted by Quindar Beep at 11:09 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Basically the Republican position is that Jesus made America and nothing beyond it's borders, and that includes all of space.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on March 16


Climate science cannot be confined to universities - it depends on large agencies such as NOAA and NASA with the resources (ie. large teams of experts with sufficient time investment) to develop the sophisticated models that much of the field now relies on. Not to mention the earth monitoring satellite technology developed by NASA. This proposal is absurd, and I desperately hope it fails to be enacted.
posted by piyushnz at 12:02 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


I'm reminded of the people who were upset over Obama's cuts to NASA and the implication that Trump would be more interested in putting money into space programs.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:10 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I hope someone is picking up the slack on this, because the US is going to be utterly worthless for the next 4-8 years.

Well, when the CDC cancelled their big climate change conference because Trump, the nonprofit org where I work (and a few others) teamed up with Al Gore to put it on anyway. We work on climate change, gun violence (not federal, can't stop us!), trans health, racial disparities, reproductive rights, evidence-based public policy, environmental justice, fair labor practices, and a lot of other vital stuff.

I don't mention this as a sales pitch, but because the fact that I go to work every day to help fight back against this horror show is one of the only things that keeps me feeling kind of okay when every day brings new reckless destruction. Feel free to memail me if you'd like to know more.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:12 PM on March 16 [29 favorites]


On the aeronautics side, the budget offers $624 million in funding in a move the OMB said "paves the way for eventual over-land commercial supersonic flights and safer, more efficient air travel with a strong program of aeronautics research."

There's a reason we don't have the Concorde flying anymore. It's not because we don't have the technology. It's that no civilians care to move at supersonic speed in planes. It's not worth it.

So, which campaign contributor is this a handout to?
posted by Hactar at 12:40 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


It's more that it's expensive and you can't fly supersonic over populated areas due to sonic booms, rendering it useless for a lot of purposes, but sinking money into that does seem weirdly specific.
posted by Artw at 1:05 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


I wonder if Trump has any Flat Earth-ers in his cabinet? It wouldn't surprise me and might explain the desire to stop all this space exploration and fake photos of the alleged "round" Earth.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:17 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


There's a reason we don't have the Concorde flying anymore. It's not because we don't have the technology. It's that no civilians care to move at supersonic speed in planes. It's not worth it. So, which campaign contributor is this a handout to?

Trump wants to get to get between NYC/DC/Mar-a-Lago faster? Serious. Maybe he even wants to get back in the shuttle airline business on our dime.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:50 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


lagomorphius: The pushback on climate change denial is starting to come from some interesting places.
The world’s biggest fund manager has threatened to vote out directors of companies that fail to address the risks posed to their businesses by climate change.

In a post on its website, BlackRock, which controls assets worth $5.1 trillion (about £4.2 trillion), said climate risk was a “systemic issue”.

It said it planned to engage with the companies that are “most exposed to climate risk” over this year to help them tell investors – like BlackRock -- about the financial impacts of global warming and the shift to a low-carbon economy.
The concept of the “climate competent board” has surfaced in recent years. For directors of companies in sectors that are significantly exposed to climate risk, BlackRock expects the whole board to have demonstrable fluency in how climate risk affects the business and management’s approach to adapting and mitigating the risk. We have the same expectation of boards wherever a company faces a material, business-specific risk. We would assess this both through corporate disclosures and direct engagement with independent board members, if necessary. Where we have concerns that the board is not dealing with a material risk appropriately, as with any other governance issue, we may signal that concern through our vote, most likely by voting against the re-election of certain directors we deem most responsible for board process and risk oversight.
In an associated briefing note (3 page PDF titled "How BlackRock Investment Stewardship engages on climate risk," dated March 2017), BlackRock made clear how serious it was about the issue, pointing to a letter written to businesses by its chief executive Larry Fink which had said “while we are patient investors, we are not infinitely patient”.
Emphasis mine, with the sub-quote from BlackRock's website.

2017, the year I'm thrilled that fund managers are paying attention to global climate science and acting with force, hoping that their actions will trickle down into politics. Not the sort of trickle down effect I was thinking about, but I'll take it if it means the current US political leadership stops believing they can reshape reality with tweets and rants.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:52 PM on March 16 [11 favorites]


> 2017, the year I'm thrilled that fund managers are paying attention to global climate science and acting with force, hoping that their actions will trickle down into politics.

Too fucking little, too fucking late, but yes, given that the administration is actively moving backwards, every bit counts. At least we won't have inconvenient reports from the NOAA or NASA or the EPA to worry about.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:58 PM on March 16


So, this exists and the take Dogecoin.
Seems their mission is to campaign for the govt to increase funding. Looks like that's a dead end now. Direct funding would be better. Are there any groups that actually try to hit up billionaire nerds to donate money to NASA?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 2:17 PM on March 16


.
posted by twsf at 3:20 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


I hope efforts to preserve the data have been successful, because that shit is going to get expunged as part of the purges at some point.
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


On the supersonic thing, Trump loved Concorde. Supposedly that's what he's been asking Elon Musk about. See here.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:45 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


On the aeronautics side, the budget offers $624 million in funding in a move the OMB said "paves the way for eventual over-land commercial supersonic flights and safer, more efficient air travel with a strong program of aeronautics research."

There's a reason we don't have the Concorde flying anymore. It's not because we don't have the technology. It's that no civilians care to move at supersonic speed in planes. It's not worth it.

So, which campaign contributor is this a handout to?


My God, they're in the pocket of Big Aeronautics! I'll need to add that to my list of giant corrupting forces in politics, right below Big Physics and Big Climate Science.
posted by indubitable at 3:47 PM on March 16


Slashing all the agencies that remind us we have a major problem is a public act of denial. When Trump was elected I tried to gauge the extremes of some of his followers, and all I could come up with was that they were average people ready to ride the blame bus for not making the American dream; by worshiping an angry guy, like them, who also embodies their wished for success. But weirdly, they all seem to have a pretend familiarity with Trump, as though they can speak for him, and as though he would visit them in the hospital to pay their bills or something. I think we're dealing with a mass delusion on a national scale.
posted by Brian B. at 7:40 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Don't worry, soon the military will have all the money, and I'm sure they'll take care of the whole climate thing.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:07 PM on March 16


They'll pretty soon be the only part of the government with any capability/desire to do any kind of reality based planning, so maybe.
posted by Artw at 8:09 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


The military was pretty early on that bandwagon, actually. They've been bitching about the destabilizing effects of climate change and its impact on their operations since sometime in the Bush years. Not that President Cheney or Resident Bush were listening, of course.
posted by wierdo at 8:35 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Hey, the military could do the climate science from on then! They seem to be convinced global warming is a national security threat.
posted by carmina at 9:12 PM on March 16




as a scientist about to go on the job market here in the USA, fuuuuuuuuuuuuck everything
posted by en forme de poire at 11:27 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Trump is literally-and-without-hyperbole dramatically increasing my odds of dying in a volcanic eruption. But her emails...
posted by stet at 12:18 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Come on, USA, this joke is going too far. You have made your point: Anybody can become president. We get it. But it is becoming seriously scary now.

There must be some adults left there who can step in and stop the spiral into violent madness before it is too late for all of us.

Hello...?
posted by Pouteria at 6:30 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


crickets
posted by en forme de poire at 5:21 PM on March 18


On the bright side, the situation is highlighting the ridiculousness of the post WWII concept of executive supremacy in American government. The right was already convinced by Obama, but the left and center, despite Bush the younger, was largely unconvinced. Maybe at some point the other branches will pull their thumbs out of their asses.

Of course, that would require Congress to return to some sense of function and decorum to be workable, so our chances of reeling in the executive branch are very slim regardless of whether the public considers it necessary or not.
posted by wierdo at 3:54 AM on March 19


Seems more like the problem is republicans in any branch, and has been for some time, they just control all of them now.
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Of course, that would require Congress to return to some sense of function and decorum to be workable

of course, that would also require the House of Representatives to be filled with intelligent, decent people that actually represent the citizens of this country instead of their self-interests and the interests of their donors / god to be workable

conclusion: we're fucked
posted by entropicamericana at 6:38 AM on March 21




During the Obama administration, all federal agencies had to release climate change adaptation plans. I read several of them, and from what I recall, the Department of Defense was considerably ahead of the curve since so many of their military bases are in coastal areas.

The Black Rock thing linked upthread is interesting. I have been convinced for some time that the only way meaningful climate change action will happen short of a progressive Congress and a Bernie Sanders-esque president is when the insurance industry starts to refuse underwriting properties in areas threatened by sea-level rise. Though it's hard to see any chance of this happening soon whenever I spend time in south Florida and see all the beachfront development.

NB: Donald Trump does believe in climate change when it comes to one thing - when it gives him a chance to build a wall (around his golf course in Ireland).
posted by mostly vowels at 3:54 PM on March 21


is when the insurance industry starts to refuse underwriting properties in areas threatened by sea-level rise.

I am reminded of that one Kim Stanley Robinson series except in that series a Bernie was elected.
posted by aniola at 3:51 PM on March 22


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