Trump has picked a climate science-denying partisan politician, Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine, to head NASA. Photo: Sue Ogrocki / AP

By Linda Stasi
2 September 2017

(New York Daily News) – Dear Donald,

Hurricane Harvey could be your defining moment; the moment that changes your presidency from the chaotic mess of threats, bitterness and bilious paranoia to one of rationality and reasonableness.

You, sir, could be the President that saves the planet.

There is no denying that our weather is getting more severe, that the oceans are rising, the Arctic ice is melting and hurricanes are wreaking ever-more havoc each time one pummels another part of the country.

Harvey has officially brought the most destructive rainfall in our nation’s history — more than 51 inches in some areas of Houston. As many as 42,399 humans are in shelters. Sure they can rebuild, but we’ve seen the horror first hand before. Rebuilding takes decades and sometimes it never happens, despite the fancy talk.

Yet in the face of all this, you, Mr. President, have chosen to nominate a climate change-denying partisan politician, Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine, to head NASA. How can you even think of such a man to head the most important nonpartisan science, space and aeronautical research and development agency in the country? No, make that the world.

As this planet heats up, we have to look to space. That won’t be done if the man heading NASA denies the science and looks down on the truth of what’s happening in our atmosphere. Scientists are in agreement that while climate change might not have caused Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, and other natural disasters, warmer air does hold more moisture and thus has a much greater capacity to make weather events much worse. Harvey, for example, is now being called an unprecedented natural disaster. […]

This is a guy who demanded that President Obama apologize for funding climate change research! He doesn’t believe in climatic research yet he wants to head the agency that sent humans to the moon and will one day send us to Mars due to advances in technological and atmospheric research?

This is a guy who has repeatedly said there is no credible evidence — in the face of credible evidence — that greenhouse gasses contribute to climate change and so opposes regulating emissions. [more]

After a devastating hurricane, Trump still picks a climate change denier to head NASA


By Sofia Lotto Persio
2 September 2017

(Newsweek) – The White House announced President Donald Trump’s preferred pick to head NASA on Friday night, but the choice is already proving unpopular, with Florida senators criticizing Trump's choice.

The man nominated is Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine, who would become the 13th administrator of the national space agency upon Senate approval. The role’s responsibilities include serving as senior space science adviser to the president, leading the agency and managing its resources.

However, Republican senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson, both of Florida, home to NASA's space center at Cape Canaveral, have criticized the appointment of someone political and with a perceived lack of experience. […]

Unlike previous NASA administrators, the 42-year-old Michigan native does not have any formal qualifications in science or engineering, having earned a triple bachelor's degree in economics, psychology and business from Rice University, and later an MBA from Cornell University. […]

Bridenstine was a strong supporter of Trump’s presidency and was interviewed for the second time for the role in April, as he confirmed to an Oklahoma publication. But Rubio said he is worried the nomination has more to do with politics than competence.

“I just think it could be devastating for the space program. Obviously, being from Florida, I’m very sensitive to anything that slows up NASA and its mission,” Rubio told Politico.

“It’s the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it’s at a critical juncture in its history,” Rubio said. “I would hate to see an administrator held up—on [grounds of] partisanship, political arguments, past votes, or statements made in the past—because the agency can’t afford it and it can’t afford the controversy.”

Democrat Senator Nelson echoed Rubio’s concerns. “The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician,” he said in a written statement to Politico. […]

In a speech on the House floor in 2013, Bridenstine bashed then-President Barack Obama for spending “30 times as much money on global warming research as he does on weather forecasting and warning,” exaggerating the discrepancy, as Politifact verified. [more]

Why Donald Trump's NASA Chief Pick Is so Controversial

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