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The Trump administration has shut down a $10 million ground-based carbon measuring program that was being run by NASA.
The program, dubbed Carbon Measuring System (CMS), was a collection of 65 ground-based research projects.
Although Congress fended off the budget and mission cuts [proposed by the Trump administration], a spending deal signed in March made no mention of the CMS. That allowed the administration’s move to take effect, says Steve Cole, a NASA spokesperson in Washington, D.C. Cole says existing grants will be allowed to finish up, but no new research will be supported.
The Science article takes the typical journalistic approach of the past century, innocently assuming that this research is vital and must be funded and that it is a tragedy that it is being cut. Mainstream reporters today seem incapable of exercising any skepticism when it comes to government spending.
Look, this research might be worthwhile. Then again, maybe not. More importantly, why is NASA funding this ground-based climate research? The agency’s task is the exploration of space. This work has nothing to do with that task. If environmental scientists need this work done, they need to go to the appropriate funding sources, which in the federal government would be NOAA, EPA, or the Department of Energy, not NASA.
Meanwhile, it appears that much of this work is going to be made somewhat redundant anyway, with the launch of several carbon monitoring satellites by both NASA and Europe, one of which is already in orbit, according to the article.