Scientists have taken to Twitter to talk about all the important work NASA’s Earth science program does, using the hashtag #ThanksNASA.
Weather forecasts, disaster planning, emergency response, agriculture, water supply & climate change monitoring.#thanksNASA @NASAEarth https://t.co/7IQrzJtCbi
— Michael Busch (@michael_w_busch) November 24, 2016
The researchers who started and spread the hashtag have not called out any political figures, or made any explicit political statements around it. But context is important: On Wednesday, top Trump adviser Bob Walker told the Guardian that the new presidential administration will cut Earth science research at NASA. He suggested that the agency will lose the more than 40% of its funding dedicated to understanding our own planet, and be instructed to turn its attention instead toward exploration and deep space research.
Why? Walker suggested that it has to do with the fact that the US currently focuses too much on what he called “politically correct environmental monitoring.”
NASA’s Earth science program is an indispensable source of data for researchers who study our planet’s melting ice sheets and changing climate.
The results of that research could present a challenge for the President-elect, whose past statements run counter to the scientific consensus that the planet’s climate is warming as a result of human activities. Trump has also suggested that he would remove scientists who study the climate from federal agencies and selected Myron Ebell, a man who has called climate scientists “global warming alarmists,” to lead the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency.
NASA Earth science data is not only used to look at climate change. It is also used to help predict hurricanes, track erosion, and study other subjects that require an eye on our planet from space.
Here are some of the tweets from scientists and others using the #ThanksNASA hashtag.
#ThanksNASA for building the satellites for NOAA that deliver weather data worldwide for so many useful and sometimes lifesaving forecasts https://t.co/M9FBCTYqdu
— Climate Ack!-tivist (@ddhelfrich) November 24, 2016
Are you a scientist who relies on NASA Earth science data for your work? Email me at [email protected], Tweet me at @RafiLetzter, or shoot me a DM and we can set up a time to chat.
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