NASA And The New Director …

Dr. Ben Carson – Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Rex Tillerson – Secretary of State

Betsy DeVos – Secretary of Education

Jeff Sessions – Attorney General

Scott Pruitt – Director of the Environmental Protection Agency

The above is a list of just a few of the cabinet members appointed by Donald Trump who are the complete antithesis of the jobs they hold.  I have written at length about each before, so I need not repeat myself here.  However, yesterday a new name was added to the list: Jim Bridenstine for Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

nasa-logoUnlike every other NASA director in the history of the agency, Bridenstine has no science credentials … no background in scientific research, no college degree in any hard science, zip.  His degrees were in business, economics and psychology. In fact, Mr. Bridenstine is an anti-scientist … a climate change denier who seems to believe that, despite the lack of a related education, he knows more than the scientists who have devoted their entire careers to study and research.  This is the man who may soon be in charge of our space program, folks.

Bridenstine has taken climate-change denial to new levels.  In 2013, he gave a lengthy speech to the House of Representatives enumerating his points for disputing the scientific results of climate change. “Mr. Speaker, global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago. Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with Sun output and ocean cycles.” But he then went on to demand that President Obama apologize for funding climate change research!

NASA chart.jpgNASA has been at the forefront of climate change research, and 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. There is no viable alternative to counteract global warming except through direct human effort to reduce the atmospheric CO2 level.”

nasa-2.jpgBoth Senators from Florida, republican Marco Rubio and democrat Bill Nelson, criticized the Bridenstine’s nomination.  Florida, of course, is connected to NASA through the Kennedy Space Center located in Titusville, Florida.  “I just think [his nomination] could be devastating for the space program,” said Rubio. “The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician,” said Nelson.

Because I am not ‘science-savvy’, have never understood more than basic scientific concepts, I shall simply say that NASA’s Earth Science Division is a key player in providing data and scientific research on environmental issues, including climate change.  NASA’s research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena is world-renowned. Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change.

However, since last November, Trump has made it clear that he intends to cut funding for this division and expects NASA to focus only on space exploration, not earth’s environment.  His nominee for director of NASA seems to fit well with his goals of defunding all federally funded environmental research.

Bridenstine, it is said, has long lobbied for ‘opening commercial access’ to space.  What does that mean, exactly? I cannot say for sure (I told you … science is NOT my strong suit) but Bridenstine is a strong advocate for drawing private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin more deeply into NASA’s exploration of space, and he mentions ‘commercial use of the moon’s resources’.  Okay, fine, I suppose, but if we do not address climate change, none of that has any relevance now, does it?

nasa-3Bridenstine’s nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and here is where I think there may be some hope.  Given the partisanship in the Senate, no democrat is likely to produce a ‘yea’ vote.  So … it only requires 3 republican senators to vote against Bridenstine’s nomination and he will fail to be confirmed.  Marco Rubio has already expressed concerns, so if he sticks by his guns, there is one.  Since Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacists after the Charlottesville attack three weeks ago, many republicans in both the House and the Senate are growing disillusioned with Trump.  And, he has added insult to injury, insulting a number of his own party.  And let us not forget the devastation wreaked by last week’s hurricane on the gulf coast of Texas. My hope is that at least two other republican senators are fed up enough to deny him this confirmation, for Bridenstine and NASA will not be a good combination. Once again, Trump has chosen what may be the worst possible candidate to fill a position.  Let us hope the Senate puts the brakes on this one.

bridentine

Jim Bridenstine

28 thoughts on “NASA And The New Director …

  1. Jill, many things bother me about the retrenching on federal climate change fight, but let me focus on one thing which is usually overlooked. If your country is one of the global leaders in intellectual capital on a major industry, why would you gut that effort? NASA, NOAA, EPA are thought leaders on climate change, so this White House incumbent says throw it all away. This would be akin to the 1928 Yankees telling Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth they need to take a seat on the bench. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree, and I addressed this in part in another comment just a minute ago. The storms and aftermath globally should be a wake-up call. Will it be, to Trump & Pruitt? Time will tell, but I won’t hold my breath. I’m a born skeptic, I guess. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, I mentioned in a post that Exxon-Mobil dared scientists to review their data on climate change. A group of Harvard scientists did. They found 83% of the Exxon-Mobil peer reviewed scientific work said climate change is real and man-influenced. Yet, management ads and reports said the science was inconclusive 81% of the time, which is directly at odds with their scientists. This is the reason the company is being sued separately by employees and shareholders for undervaluing the company by climate change misrepresentation. They are also being investigated by the SEC and two state AGs for the same issue. Messers. Trump and Pruitt, how do you respond to that?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quite so. On my recent trip to Pennsylvania, I pulled off the interstate for fuel & coffee. I had my choice of an Exxon or a Shell. I purposely chose the Shell, for the very reasons you listed and also because of the good work Royal Dutch Shell is doing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jill, along your lines, I try not to stop at BP for their pushing the envelope and poor response on the BP Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. At least Exxon-Mobil’s shareholders voted to require management to report on climate change activities. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • Agreed … I had forgotten about BP. If I were planning to buy a car (I’m not, for I don’t see much point) I think I would go with a hybrid and thus deprive the oil companies of my business altogether!

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  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Any surprise here? No … we have confirmed the pattern! Cabinet members’ mission: dismantle the agency they ‘lead’, destroy any progress and reverse back. Only hope: some politicians ‘grow a set’ … and grassroots keep pushing back! ✊🏽

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Jill,
    I remember a time when certain foolish people who voted for him believed that he would hire the best and the brightest but instead he has filled most posts with the richest idiots who would willingly kiss up to him. Let’s hope the senators finally honor their oversight duties by not confirming him.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Dear, I’m starting to feel I’m a conspiracy theorist.Maybe Trump is alien(well for sure he isn’t human) and has been sent here to completely break up the US so it can’t continue with space exploration. I can imagine this idea of exploiting the moon’s natural goodies going down well, where we mine until there’s not enough left to affect our tides or reflect the glow in the evening.We’ll go on so long ignoring climate change that the only thing we can concentrate on the end are domes to cover each of the states as separate entities, no more co-operation. Of course I have a long way to go yet to weave George Soros and bankers into my theory, but it’s a start.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHA!!! It sounds to me as if you are onto something here! I’m thinking I see a new book in the making! It would, no doubt, be a best-seller among certain groups … why, you might even score a tour of the Sunday morning shows over here! (See my reply to Roger about my vision of ‘commercial access’ to the moon)

      Funny you mention bubbles over the individual states. About the time Trump announced his intent to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords, I had the thought of the EU and other global partners insisting on a bubble to cover the entire U.S. in order to keep all those carbon emissions where they belong! Once again goes to show that great minds think alike!

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this’ll be fun.
    I can’t wait to see how they try to make the mining operation twixt Earth and Moon work, or does commercial access mean planting big advertising signs on the Moon’s for ’24/7 coverage’ of your product!’?
    It’ll be bound to upset some of the incumbent’s constituency ‘cas they’ll have to face up to the fact that the Earth is not flat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m unclear about what the real meaning of ‘commercial access’ is, but I rather envision, given who’s steering the ship and his … err … business inclinations, a hotel (named, of course, after you-know-who) standing some 40 stories tall, with affiliated restaurants (5 star, of course) and shoppes, then a shuttle-like vehicle to transport those with more money than good sense to visit. A free moon-tour would, naturally, be provided and tourists would be allowed to break off small chunks of the “cheese” of which the moon is made to take home as a souvenir. Perhaps even tracks for a tram-like ride into one of the many craters. And later, once business has picked up, perhaps even an amusement park 🎠 for the kiddies with space-themed rides and … well, can we see $$$ adding up? And what about a casino? Americans love an opportunity to throw their hard-earned money into little machines and get nothing, not even a gumball, in return! Why, Roger, the possibilities are endless!!! What’s that you say? Oxygen? Oh pffftt … no problem …. that will be … err … worked out … somehow …

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: NASA And The New Director … – The Militant Negro™

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