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Trump’s budget attack on science

Trump’s budget is everything scientists have been fearing

The outline cuts at least $7 billion for research on climate change, diseases, and energy, VOX  by  Mar 16, 2017, The top-line numbers of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal should give the nation’s scientists shivers. The administration doesn’t seem to think science should be a priority at all.

The blueprint released today is preliminary. The administration still needs to draft a full budget, which we won’t see until May. And ultimately, it’s up to Congress to decide who gets what.

But what’s important about this budget proposal is that it tells the public and Congress where the president’s concerns lie. And they don’t appear to be issues like climate change, disease treatment and prevention, or basic research funding for universities.

In all, we count up least $7 billion in reductions to science programs, including:

  •  A $5.8 billion reduction in funding to the National Institutes of Health (18 percent of its total budget.) Most of the NIH’s budget goes to funding research in health care in universities across the country.
  • A $102 million cut to NASA’s Earth science programs, eliminating four NASA Earth science missions completely:
  1. PACE — a program for measuring changes to ocean ecosystems by tracking concentrations of chlorophyll (what makes algae green) from space.
  2. OCO-3 — a yet-to-be-launched space station module to track atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  3. DSCOVR — the “deep space climate observatory,” which is partially run by NOAA. (The budget doesn’t mention if NOAA will retain this program.) DSCOVR is an early warning system for solar storms, and has capabilities to detect changes in levels of ozone and other pollutants in the atmosphere.
  4. CLARREO Pathfinder — the “Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory.” It’s set to be launched in 2020 to amass highly accurate records of climate change on Earth so scientists can make more precise predictions about the future.
  • A $900 million reduction in the Energy Department’s basic science research. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — a $300 million program that provides grants for energy research — is wholly eliminated because “the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research.”
  • A $250 million cut in NOAA grants “and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education including Sea Grant.”
  • And not to mention the many changes coming for the EPA and how the country combats climate change. Vox’s Brad Plumer has more on that here.……….http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/16/14940444/2018-budget-trump-science-nih
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March 17, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, politics, USA

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