As Ray Weymann reminds us in “What happened to Donald Trump’s ‘open mind’ on climate change?” (Dec. 21), NASA is one of America’s most trusted institutions. One of its missions is an irreplaceable Earth science program, excelling in capturing and interpreting its own satellite data required for fine-tuning weather and climate models against actual observations.
But President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet choices all share a strong anti-science bias. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, fears that programs will be ended by people who don’t understand or appreciate their value, saying that science can’t be “ordered up by politicians (and changed) as often as their principles.”
During the confirmation hearings, the Senate must remember that letting fossil fuel interests keep America on the sidelines carries an unacceptable opportunity cost. By the time we realize our mistake, China and Europe will have insurmountable technology leads in today’s sustainable energy revolution.
More importantly, with America marching backwards for the next four years, the world’s climate change effort will lose the momentum our scientists could provide to save coastlines, water supplies, farms, forests and oceans to an unstable climate that no longer supports humanity.
Michael Segor, San Luis Obispo