Keep in mind that we won’t send men to Mars. The concept is far outside our technological ability, it adds precisely zero mission capabilities that robots can’t or won’t soon be able to do and the next president will almost certainly cut off the project. This Mars mission exists to keep NASA scientists away from politically incorrect studies about global warming, climate and the evolution of the universe.
The government’s ability to understand and predict hurricanes, drought and climate changes of all kinds is in danger because of deep cuts facing many Earth satellite programs and major delays in launching some of its most important new instruments, a panel of experts has concluded.
The two-year study by the National Academy of Sciences, released yesterday, determined that NASA’s earth science budget has declined 30 percent since 2000. It stands to fall further as funding shifts to plans for a manned mission to the moon and Mars.
More at the NYT.
As a result, the panel said, the United States will not have the scientific information it needs in the years ahead to analyze severe storms and changes in Earth’s climate unless programs are restored and funding made available.
“NASA’s budget has taken a major hit at the same time that NOAA’s program has fallen off the rails,” said panel co-chairman Berrien Moore III of the University of New Hampshire. “This combination is very, very disturbing, and it’s coming at the very time that we need the information most.”
Someone could argue that this disappearance of research funds at the same time that studies are finally nailing down the problem of global warming is purely a coincidence, if someone wanted to be wrong. This administration systematically disappears any information that might cause political discomfort. It’s so much easier to simply deny problems, and thereby punt them along to some other administration, than do the right thing and deal with them. More.
Via Garance Franke-Ruta.