Trump to Planet Earth: Fuck You
Plans to End NASA Climate Research
by Raymond Lotta | December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Donald Trump has declared climate change, a well-established scientific fact, to be a "hoax." He has promised to reinvigorate coal mining, one of the most destructive-to-the-planet sources of energy. He has pledged to overturn domestic environmental regulations—and break the U.S. out of the few and woefully inadequate international agreements that limit emissions of carbon dioxide.
In short, Donald Trump aims to remove any and all restraints on the ability of U.S. capital to plunder the planet in pursuit of profit and greater empire. But this is only part of the ominous picture.
In the last few weeks, Trump has also floated out his intention to strip NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) of $2 billion that goes towards climate research. NASA is a federal government agency that oversees civilian space exploration and conducts research about Earth's atmosphere. He has done this through his so-called "science policy advisers," dangerous and lying buffoons who deny the reality of global warming (although one apparently welcomes it).
Trump's "science" advisers make the absurd charge that climate research is nothing but a bunch of "politically correct environmental monitoring"—and therefore NASA should just stick to outer space. In fact, his proposed defunding of climate research is a targeted attempt to impede and block knowledge about human-induced global warming that would have serious implications for humanity and the planet—and for science itself.
I. If this plan to stop NASA Earth-science research goes through, it would have disastrous effects on efforts to monitor and counter global warming:
» NASA has helped build, launch, and operate 15 Earth-science satellites that track global rainfall, rising surface temperatures and greenhouse (carbon-trapping) emissions, retreating glaciers and ice sheets, soil moisture and vegetation growth, and much more. These Earth-observing satellites are the most advanced in the world. They deliver detailed information, much like an x-ray does in a hospital.
» NASA's climate monitoring and models are used by research labs around the world. Earth scientists vitally depend on this information.
» With this satellite technology and information, it is possible to monitor floods and droughts and hurricanes; to detect soil moisture patterns that influence agricultural production systems; ocean changes that affect navigation and shipping; environmental conditions that allow health workers to anticipate the spread of illnesses caused by mosquitoes.
II. Imperialist criminality that cuts two ways:
» On the one hand, the U.S. is the largest cumulative contributor to carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. This has everything to do with the fact that U.S. capitalism-imperialism has historically developed along paths highly destructive to Earth's environment. Fossil fuels became and remain central to the profitable functioning of U.S. capital, and to America's life-destroying global dominance (the genocidal U.S. military runs on fossil fuels).
» On the other hand, as result of the U.S.'s dominant position, its global empire in the world and the unequal concentration of wealth and advanced productive forces in the U.S., a disproportionate share of scientific personnel, technology, and technical capacity is also concentrated in the U.S.
And much of the world depends on NASA's research into what is happening to planet Earth. Any significant blow to this research would have profound effects worldwide. The work of Earth scientists would be hobbled. The worldwide network of measuring stations that monitor temperature, water salinity (salt levels), and air currents would be hurt. The ability of governments, institutions, and agencies to make policy in response to and in anticipation of changes in temperature, rainfall, severe weather, and so on, would be impaired.
This at a time of rapid global warming, extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and more that will directly and indirectly affect the lives of billions on the planet. It is criminal! The system of capitalism-imperialism, driven by the competitive quest for profit and more profit, is the underlying cause of global warming. And now this same system, in the extreme incarnation of Donald Trump, stands ever more as the barrier to humanity acting with the requisite speed and scope to address a climate crisis that imperils ecosystems and life itself.
All the research conducted by NASA under Obama did not prevent him from presiding over the breakneck expansion of oil and natural gas production, especially fracking, with all its adverse environmental consequences. The difference now, if Trump gets his way, is that NASA would officially turn a blind eye to global warming.
III. The attack on global warming research: an assault on science and evidence-based thought that serves a viciously chauvinist political and ideological agenda:
» The fascist agenda that Trump is seeking to coalesce and implement mocks and bullies certain arenas of science. It aims not only to suppress NASA's observations of the Earth from space and the ability to analyze and understand climate change. It also derides science and the scientific method of knowing the world as it actually is and is actually changing. The fascist forces ridicule global warming as an indulgent hobby-horse, a "special interest" of pampered environmental activists and scientists. Facts don't matter, empirical and rational thought don't matter. No, whatever is declared to be true is true.
» And the fascist agenda of 'making America great again'—it never was!—promotes an ultra-chauvinist contempt for any and all that is not white, territorial America. An expanding coal industry and coal exports contribute to rising sea levels that could inundate Pacific Islanders...who cares...fuck them all and the planet too.
All this emphasizes: In the name of humanity, we must REFUSE to accept a fascist America!
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