Bush-administrasjonen har omfordelt penger fra klima til romfart, slik at USA vil vite mindre om planeten og klimaforandringer om fem år enn idag, sier en ledende NASA-forsker.

Drew Shindell er leder av NASA Goodard Institute for Space Studies. Han har stått frem og fortalt hvordan Bush-administrasjonen har utvannet forskning og gjort den ufarlig. Ikke bare det, nå er penger overført fra klimaforskning til romforskning, slik at man vil vite mindre om planeten og klimtruslene om fem år.

Q: As a physicist and climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, you recently testified before Congress about ways in which the Bush administration has tried to prevent you from releasing information on global warming. Can you give us an example?
A: Sure. Press releases about global warming were watered down to the point where you wondered, Why would this capture anyone’s interest? Once when I issued a report predicting rapid warming in Antarctica, the press release ended up highlighting, in effect, that Antarctica has a climate.

Q:If your department is that politicized, how does that affect research?
A: Well, five years from now, we will know less about our home planet that we know now. The future does not have money set aside to maintain even the current level of observations. There were proposals for lots of climate-monitoring instruments, most of which have been canceled.

A: Well, it’s a NASA decision following the directives from their political leaders. The money has been redirected into the manned space program, primarily.

Q: Are you referring to President Bush and his plan to send Americans to Mars?
A: The moon and Mars, yes. It’s fine to do it for national spirit or exploring the cosmos, but the problem is that it comes at the cost of observing and protecting our home planet.

Q:Why is NASA involved in climate research in the first place?
A: There is no federal agency whose primary mission is the climate, and that’s a problem, because climate doesn’t command the clout that it should in Washington. Since NASA is the primary agency for launching new scientific satellites, it has ended up collecting some of the most important data on climate change.

Shindell kaller forslagene som sirkulerer i Kongressen for «baby-steps». Noen vil ta snøen på Sørlandet som bevis på at planeten ikke blir varmere. Shindell får spørsmål om klimaendringene betyr at vinteren blir borte.

On the plus side, will New Yorkers one day be able to walk down Broadway in the dead of winter and get a tan? No, it’s not going to get sunnier. Same amount of sun. Just hotter.

Political Heat

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