Editor’s note: This post was updated on Feb. 21, 2017
Back in November 2016, a senior adviser to then President-Elect Donald Trump urged the new administration to shut down NASA’s world-leading climate science work. The thinking, apparently, was that turning away from facts about climate change would make it go away.
That idea, which is now gaining traction also in Congress, would not only be devastating for global efforts to keep our climate safe, but a severe problem for anyone who depends on cutting-edge weather prediction – including farmers, states vulnerable to destructive storms, businesses and our economy as a whole.
The problem is that climate and weather research comprises a “seamless suite” of services. Advancements in climate modeling support critical weather prediction modeling.
Since weather prediction and short-term climate prediction (think El Niño, drought and so on) are important to all Americans, cuts to climate research at NASA would have large economic consequences and negative impacts on efforts to protect American lives and property.
This work is particularly important in dealing with weather disasters occurring across the southern tier of the United Sates. And as the climate continues to change, weather prediction will become ever more important for preparedness and planning.
Cuts to climate research at NASA would have large economic consequences and negative impacts on efforts to protect American lives and property.
The bigger picture is that climate change is on a path to cause trillions in damage to our economy, according to Citibank estimates. That’s why so many leading businesses want to keep us on track to cut carbon pollution. If we don’t we will be leaving a terrible burden for our children.
Science makes America great
America was born in an age of reason. Our founders respected science.
Science made America what it is – it helped us win World War II, the space race, the Cold War and made us the preeminent global power.
Weather and climate prediction have provided incalculable value to our economy and saved untold numbers of lives.
Slashing vital research on climate – as suggested by Bob Walker, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who served on Trump’s NASA transition team – will hurt everyone, no matter who they voted for.