Taking Climate Denial to New Extremes

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa_goddard/4678389619/sizes/m/in/photostream/">via Flickr</a>.

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The spending plan the House GOP was supposed to roll out on Thursday included a number of cuts meant to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from doing anything about climate change. But Republicans had to take that plan back to the drawing board Thursday night after tea party members claimed the package of cuts didn’t go deep enough. And if a trio of House members get their way, we won’t ever have to worry about the climate—since we won’t know what’s happening with it, anyway.

This week, Reps. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Sandy Adams (R-Fla.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah) called for a budget that would “reprioritize NASA” by axing the funding for climate change research. The original cuts to the budget outlined yesterday would have cut $379 million from NASA’s budget. These members want climate out of NASA’s purview entirely, however. Funding climate research, said Adams in a statement, “undercuts one of NASA’s primary and most important objectives of human spaceflight.”

“NASA’s primary purpose is human space exploration and directing NASA funds to study global warming undermines our ability to maintain our competitive edge in human space flight,” said Posey.

The total budget request for NASA for 2010 was $18.7 billion. Of that, just $1.4 billion was for its earth science division. The agency’s climate programs—which include modeling and satellite monitoring—are a subset of that. They are responsible for monitoring data that is crucial to our understanding of how our planet works—ocean temperatures, sea level, the ozone layer, sea ice, and, of course, how carbon dioxide emissions are affecting the atmosphere. The increase in funding requested for climate last year was intended to make up for cuts to the program under the Bush administration. But even with that proposed increase, the earth science program accounted for a mere 7.5 percent of NASA’s total budget.

Here’s the letter the three GOPers sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) and Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf (R-Va.) this week.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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