Hearings earlier this year in the Senate have likewise seen Republicans such as Ted Cruz saying NASA needs to refocus on its “core mission,” exploration.“Since the end of the last administration, we have seen a disproportionate increase in the amount of federal funds that have been allocated to the Earth science program, at the expense of, and in comparison to, exploration and space operations, planetary science, heliophysics, and astrophysics,” Cruz said.
In addition to other problems in the bill, it cuts earth science funding by more than $320 million. Earth science, of course, includes climate science. Despite the fact that in January NASA announced 2014 was likely the warmest year since 1880, it should come as no surprise that the majority wants to cut funding for climate science. Embarrassingly, just last week, every single Republican member of this committee present voted against the notion that climate change might be caused by people.Of course, NASA’s earth science program is much, much more than just climate science. The research is used by the Department of Defense to help keep our troops safe. It is used to improve electric and gas utility load forecasts and to document the variability of water available for agricultural use. It helps us understand the implications of thinning ice cover in the Arctic. It helps us predict floods, droughts and hurricanes. And it helps us track wildfires and volcanic ash. Basically, NASA’s earth science program provides critical measurements and research on planet Earth as a system and how it is changing over time.
The research performed and supported by the [NASA] division helps us understand the world we live in and provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability, among other concerns. The applicability of these missions cannot be overstated given their impact on your constituents.
“[T]he evisceration of Earth sciences means this bill is seriously, critically flawed. I have written about this again and again: Republicans in the House and Senate don’t want NASA studying Earth, because they think (or say) that global warming isn’t real, or isn’t a problem, or whatever talking point they’ve been told to use this week.. . .If you think I’m mad, I am.
[T]he bill that puts at risk the 10,000 jobs at Goddard and would have “huge, deep, lasting” impacts on jobs in her [Edwards’] district and at a place where she once worked: “I will not stand by quietly and enable that to happen.”