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In a garishly concerted effort to make sure everyone knows they really aren't pulling some sort of elaborate prank by hopelessly denying climate change, the GOP is now putting their money where their status-quo-kissing mouths are — NASA. The Republican-helmed House Science committee (oxymoron alert) has effectively gutted funding for Earth studies from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and now — NASA's Earth Science division.
The GOP-supported bill reportedly boosts the general space flight budget by $200 million (that's about 3 bucks in space dollars), but deceptively slashes the Earth Science division's 2016/2017 budget dramatically.
The Market Business talked math so we don't have to:
The Orion capsule and the Space Launch System rocket will benefit by adding millions of dollars, with planetary sciences seeing a $150 million boost as well. Earth Sciences will be cut from $1.947 billion to $1.45 billion and will eventually drop down to $1.2 billion under a budget restraint.
Of course, thinking people are not pleased. The Planetary Society says they "cannot support the full bill as written." NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says the current bill "threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate and our ability to prepare for and respond to earthquakes, droughts, and storm events." However, the best line of the night goes to former deputy project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission Marshall Shepherd who says the budget cuts will take NASA's Earth Sciences program "from the 'enhanced' smartphone era back to the first-generation flip phones or maybe the rotary phone."
Well put, Marshall. It would appear the Republican attitude toward climate change is something akin to "F*ck it. Let's just move."