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Jim Brindenstine, new administrator of NASA, in his first public meeting at the agency

May 2018


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New NASA Chief Says He Will Protect Climate Research

After his previous rejection of climate science, Jim Bridenstine tells employees he will keep politics out of the agency’s work

Via E&E News / Scientific American - May 18, 2018


(A)t a town hall meeting for NASA employees yesterday (May 17), where he was asked to clarify his previous comments denying human-caused climate change. Bridenstine acknowledged that humans play a significant role in global warming, using stronger language than he has in the past.

“I don’t deny the consensus that the climate is changing, in fact I fully believe and know that the climate is changing. I also know that we humans are contributing to it in a major way... Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, we’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”

Bridenstine, who is the first politician to run the agency, said he would keep politics out of NASA.

“We need to make sure that NASA is continuing to do the science, and we need to make sure that the science is void and free from political kind of rhetoric and to do that, what we do and have been doing,” he said.

Bridenstine said he would protect NASA’s climate research, which has repeatedly been targeted for cuts by the Trump administration and House Republicans.

Bridenstine said he would accept the recommendations of the decadal survey of earth science conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Those recommendations include a series of missions that would provide insight into all of the ways that humans are transforming the planet.

“NASA is the one agency on the face of the planet that has the most credibility to do the science necessary so we can understand it better than ever before,” Bridenstine said.

The decadal survey is designed to set the course for earth science research at NASA, NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey...

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