Last month, Donald Trump proposed to end NASA’s core mission of earth sciences as a means to combat climate change by throwing sheer ignorance at the problem. Yesterday, Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown replied perfectly to the challenge posed by our federal government abandoning its duty to study and seek ways to protect America from the deleterious effects of climate change:
“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” said Brown to loud applause. “We’re going to collect that data.”
Ending NASA’s earth sciences mission would disrupt scientific research across America, devastating the very thing which powers our nation’s high levels of productivity to create a proverbial economic “tide that lifts all boats.” According to Business Insider Trump’s plan would mean:
…Failing to launch, shutting down, or turning over the suite of satellites that provide the trove of data NASA releases about the Earth and its land, oceans, and air. That data set is critical for tracking hurricanes, coastal erosion, glacial melting, land use, wildfires, and even the approach of solar storms. Scientists across disciplines — and the world — have since told Business Insider that such a move would hurt their ability to do research.
Trump’s plan would, however, leave our country’s coastal areas – including his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach – totally exposed to damaging rising tides as climate change melts our world’s polar ice caps faster than ever, including this year’s stunning heat wave in the Arctic. Rising tides are already threatening South Florida’s supply of clean drinking water, much of which is held in underground aquifers threatened by saltwater intrusion.
Governor Brown is living example of the aphorism Donald Trump falsely attributes to Gandhi, but actually, has its roots in America’s worker’s unions: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
In the era when governments held a monopoly on space exploration and launches, Brown was called Governor Moonbeam for proposing that California should launch a satellite when he served from 1975 to 1983. Now, it would be a mere matter of appropriation and contracts for California to hire SpaceX or another private space company to launch their satellite into space. President Obama signed a reasonable regulatory basis just last year to encourage future growth in the industry, marking a bi-partisan agreement to give America’s fledgling private aerospace industry more room to grow.
Today, Governor Brown’s is being hailed as a visionary politician and his widely hailed leadership of America’s largest state. Brown’s voice and ideas will be even more crucial as the country braces for a Republican era of federal deregulation and privatization that plans to wipe out environmental protections alongside scientific advancements.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.