by Timothy Birdnow
The U.S. is beginning to lose its satellite earth observation capabilities according to a recent National Research Council report.
From Space Daily:
"The report cautions that the nation's earth observing system is beginning a rapid decline in capability, as long-running missions end and key new missions are delayed, lost, or cancelled.
"The projected loss of observing capability will have profound consequences on science and society, from weather forecasting to responding to natural hazards," said Dennis Hartmann, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.
"Our ability to measure and understand changes in Earth's climate and life support systems will also degrade."
Why are our capabilities degrading?
According to the article:
"The new report finds that although NASA responded favorably and aggressively to the decadal survey, the required budget was not achieved, greatly slowing progress.
Changes in program scope without commensurate funding, directed by the Office of Management and Budget and by Congress, also slowed progress. A further impediment, the report says, is the absence of a highly reliable and affordable medium-class launch capability."
The Obama Administration is starving NASA and the other agencies involved in launching and maintaining satellites as well as operating, collating data, and whatnot.
We knew this to be the case; President Obama has directed NASA to change its overall mission from exploration to encouraging Islamic self-esteem.
He has slashed NASA's budget for planetary research from 1.5 to 1.2 billion. He has cancelled the space shuttle, the planned lunar spacecraft called Orion, as well as plans cuts to funding for Mars studies.
Now, were this part of an austerity program that saw across-the-board cuts Mr. Obama could be excused, but this is not part of a general austerity program, and the Administration continues to spend money at a rate that would make some very intoxicated sailors in port blush. Yet he cuts NASA, and especially cuts funding to Earth studies. Why?
While the purveyors of Anthropogenic Global Warming become more vocal, declaring the debate over, they do so as the data becomes more scant. There has been a huge reduction in the number of surface-based temperature stations worldwide in recent years. The loss of actual surface measurements is made up through statistical norming, where we assume a certain temperature from readings at other stations (in other words, a guess) and by greater use of satellite data. Unfortunately for the Warmists, data hasn't been friendly to their cause, and that must be remedied.
How do you remedy such a situation? You cut back on hard data; the models you employ then are used to extrapolate what you think is happening. Cutting satellite funding empowers the model makers and the "experts" who study and extrapolate the decreasing amount of data. In short, it makes guesswork more important -- which means we can claim the planet is warming without any real data.
It's a magic trick. It's a climatological three card Monty game. With less data that can actually be challenged you make it harder to dispute, more fudge factor that can be put out as factual.
While we cannot say this is the sole reason for the cuts, it seems a likely one, given the Obama Administration's eager embrace of Global Warming theory, and their strange reticence to spend money on the gathering of evidence to prove that human industrial emissions are causing the planet to warm.
Global Warming alarmists build their case on a warming trend that is statistically marginal, and gray data is to their benefit. They are demanding enormous changes to the way we live, to the way we work, travel, to our entire way of life. This can only be accomplished if the public can be convinced it's getting warmer, even if there is no solid evidence to confirm that fact. "Experts" anointed by these same people must be the final word, not the data.
They have done this before. The ban on DDT, for instance, was based on gray statistics, and it persists despite considerable evidence that DDT saves lives. They did this with nuclear power. They did this with Alar. They are in the process of doing this with BPA, an additive to harden plastics.
But they have tried such a monumental power grab before; carbon dioxide is a byproduct of virtually every human activity, including breathing. It requires absolute proof that CO2 emissions are endangering our civilization . That proof just isn't there, but the stakes are too great to admit that; there are huge amounts of money and a power that a Caesar or Pharaoh could only have dreamed about at stake. They are demanding nothing short of the fundamental reorganization of the human condition, with world government to regulate emissions.
That should make better data a priority. That the Obama Administration is cutting funding to this speaks volumes.
Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis based writer. His website is www.tbirdnow.mee.nu
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.