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Trump names climate science denier to run NASA

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ThinkProgress

warming-since-1880-shows-acceleration-in-recent-years.

In a Friday night news dump, the White House announced that President Donald Trump Plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), a climate science denier to be administrator of NASA.

Bridenstine is a politician without any scientific credentials, unlike previous NASA chiefs, and for that reason his nomination has already been criticized by both Florida’s senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), Politico reports. Rubio said, “I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program.”

NASA scientists have led the way in documenting the scientific reality of climate change. But in 2013, Bridenstine not only gave a speech on the House floor filled with standard denier talking points, he actually ended his remarks with a demand that President Obama apologize for funding research into climate science.

“Mr. Speaker, global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago,” claimed Bridenstine, “Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with Sun output and ocean cycles.”

Although Bridenstine serves on the House science committee, those remarks were in contradiction to well-established science at the time–and indeed to NASA’s own research. Back in 2010, a NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) science brief summarizing recent research, explains, “A study by GISS  climate scientists recently published in the journal Science shows that atmospheric CO2 operates as a thermostat to control the temperature of Earth.”

That science brief concluded, “There is no viable alternative to counteract global warming except through direct human effort to reduce the atmospheric CO2 level.”

Bridenstine’s denial has not diminished. Indeed, he recently tweeted a Breitbart endorsement of his proposed energy legislation.

 

jim bridenstine tweet

Many experts have been worried Trump–a climate science denier who has appointed many deniers to top Administration posts–would pick a denier to run NASA.

Indeed, right after the election, Dr. Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA GISS, tweeted:

gavin S tweet

So warming didn’t stop in 2003, and, in fact, 2016 did become the hottest year on record. Now 2017 is on track to be the hottest year on record not boosted by an El Niño.

The truth is that while “planetary warming does not care about the election,” humanity very much cares that the Trump Administration is doing everything it can to undermine climate science and climate action. Bridenstine’s nomination deserves widespread opposition.

UPDATE:  John Holdren–an environmental scientist who served as Obama Science advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for 8 years–emails ThinkProgress, “Bridenstine’s stance on climate change reveals him to be a fact-averse, scientifically illiterate ideologue and a danger, if confirmed by the Senate, to NASA’s leadership in space science and Earth science alike.”

Source: ThinkProgress. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • Chris Drongers

    Ignorance of the scientific method, disdain for evidence based decision making; if expressed in actions on policy, funding, debates, and finally legislation these things will accelerate the retreat of the USA from world leadership in science, industry and through lack of money, its ability to influence world affairs including who they trade with and on what terms.

    The end of empires always causes distress, the more so when the keys to power are wilfully surrendered.

  • Tim Forcey

    From the book “Where wizards stay up late – The origins of the internet” by K. Hafner and M. Lyon: President Eisenhower “loved the scientific community. He found scientists inspiring – their ideas, their values, and their value to the country – and he surrounded himself with the nation’s best scientific minds.”

    • Adam Lucas

      One of the few accurate points made in an otherwise fanciful book which denies the mountains of evidence for the involvement of the US DoD in mandating and driving the technology of the internet. Ironic when it was Ike who warned us all about the military-industrial complex. Now we have Tillerson and a bunch of generals running US foreign policy: should it surprise any of us that they don’t care too much about NASA having its climate science research knobbled???

  • Joe

    The Bridenstine….there are no words. The Earth is flat, The Earth revolves around the Sun, official world temperature measurements are other peoples numbers and …Elvis is still alive and performing in Las Vegas.

    • Ren Stimpy

      If The King was still alive he’d weigh 850kg by now – because in his final years he was gaining weight at about the same rate as the earth is currently gaining heat – a totally unsustainable rate. Thankyou, thankyou verymuch.

      • Joe

        …see you at Graceland

  • Alexander Dudley

    If Mar-a-Lago gets smashed by Hurricane Irma this weekend, I wonder if Trump would even consider whether climate change is actually a thing?

    • Marcus

      He would claim Obama and Hillary caused it