Trump administration shuts down $10 million carbon measuring program at NASA


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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.

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5 comments

  • Phill O

    In order to keep the research funding, we already know the result that will be achieved.

  • D. Messier

    The story explains whu the program is important by taking to people who understand what the program does. If you’re prone to thinking everyone who has concluded global warming is a serious threat is lying just to get grant money, it’s easy to throw up your hands and say who know?

    It’s the basic approach of the Trumpies. We don’t want to know. And we don’t want ro fund research that gives us an answer we don’t want. Meanwhile we’ll keep pocketing millions from the oil and coal industries. Tools.

  • Edward

    D. Messier wrote: “And we don’t want ro fund research that gives us an answer we don’t want.

    The article never says that the program was for finding answers, just that it was to monitor EO2 emissions in order to manage such emissions in order to support the Paris climate accords. From the article:

    “If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement,”

    The article also makes assumptions for the reason for the cancellation, contradicting the stated reasons. I got the impression that only one reason would satisfy the reporter, so he stated it despite — or because of — the explanation that he didn’t want.

    But what troubles me most is how people who pretend to be so concerned about carbon emissions are willing to allow Brazil to burn down its rain forest without complaint and to allow China (the world’s leading emitter of CO2) to build scores of coal fired power plants, also without complaint. All this article talked about was Trump, not the leading problem makers or solvers.

    Less troubling, but troubling nonetheless, is the part where the reporter failed to mention that Trump has stated that NOAA, not NASA, is the appropriate agency for climate research. Since NOAA has fudged historic data sets, that point is one of the many on which I disagree with him.

    From the article:

    “The topic of climate mitigation and carbon monitoring is maybe not the highest priority now in the United States,” he says. “But it is almost everywhere else.”

    Do I understand this correctly? Not only do I have to pay more for my pharmaceuticals so that the rest of the world can pay a lower price for all the drugs developed in the US (are there any developed elsewhere anymore?), and not only do I have to pay more for virtually all the new technologies that come out so that the bugs can be worked out and better efficiencies developed here in the US so that I get stuck with the less efficient heritage systems while the rest of the world gets the less expensive, more efficient versions of these technologies, but now I am supposed to pay more in taxes because 75% of the world’s economy is too cheep to spend a little of its own money on its own priorities?

    (Did I forget to mention the part where my country is scorned as an aggressor nation because the rest of the world continually asks us to be the world’s policeman? Where is the gratitude for all that we do?)

    Meanwhile, the US met its Kyoto goals without any appreciation from other countries and only complaints that we didn’t sign on. Then they expected us to happily sign onto the Paris accord? It seems to me that the priority of everywhere else is not climate mitigation and carbon monitoring but to rag on the US for doing as well as the other countries aspire to do.

  • wodun

    It’s the basic approach of the Trumpies. We don’t want to know. And we don’t want ro fund research that gives us an answer we don’t want.

    Believers in AGW apocalypse often produce bad science but believers refuse to question their own beliefs because any admission of being wrong gives support to their perceived enemies. This leads to people who consider themselves to be rational not telling the truth because the truth damages their narratives.

    That many of the AGW apocalypse believers are communists and funded by Russia and Saudi Arabia also goes without examination by the devotees.

    $10 million is a drop in the bucket for the money generated by AGW apocalypse followers to spend on political campaigns, terrorism, and extreme left militant activist groups. Perhaps if the issue is so important, they can steer money away from violent groups and causes and political campaigns in order to invest some money doing science?

  • Robert Zimmerman, thank you for your blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

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