Trump's Pick To Head NASA Doesn't Believe Humans Cause Climate Change




 

President Donald Trump has finally made his choice for NASA's next chief, but the nominee has been met with opposition from scientists and politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Opponents argue that Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), who must be confirmed by the Senate, is a poor choice for the NASA administrator's job. The three main points of contention? He's political, lacks scientific credentials and doubts that humans contribute to climate change.

Florida's two U.S. senators - Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson - already have spoken up against Bridenstine's nomination.

"The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician," Nelson told Politico.

Bridenstine, 42, would be the first elected official to hold the NASA administrator job.

Rubio told Politico the appointment "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 said.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center is located in Florida.

Bridenstine, who first won his House seat in 2012, has no background in science or engineering. He is, however, a former Navy combat pilot and the former executive director of the Air & Space Museum & Planetarium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has also repeatedly expressed a passion for space exploration, and since 2016 has been a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

He's a fan of commercial space travel, and has backed such efforts by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. He also wants to tackle the problem of space debris and to conduct more research on the moon.

Still, some of his foes worry that as NASA's chief, he would rein in the agency's work on climate change.

Bridenstine has previously criticized the amount of money NASA spends on climate research. In 2013, he sponsored a bill seeking to slash funding to the climate change studies conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Astronomer and science blogger Phil Plait lambasted Bridenstine's nomination in a post on Monday.

"Climate change due to global warming is one of the greatest threats facing us as a species. The leader of the world's premier space agency should at the very bare minimum be willing to admit it exists," said Plait.

Bridenstine expressed his skepticism about the human factor in climate change during a 2016 interview with Aerospace America magazine.

The climate "has always changed," he said. "There were periods of time long before the internal combustion engine when the Earth was much warmer than it is today."

The previous NASA administrator, Charles Bolden Jr., resigned from his post in January when Trump took office. Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr. has been serving as acting administrator. It's the longest the agency has gone without an official chief.

Lightfoot said in a statement Friday he was "pleased to have Representative Bridenstine nominated to lead our team."

"Of course, the nomination must go through the Senate confirmation process, but I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition and sharing the great work the NASA team is doing," Lightfoot said.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner Planning to Search Saturn Moon Enceladus for Alien Life Before NASA Can
Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner Planning to Search Saturn Moon Enceladus for Alien Life Before NASA Can

A Russian billionaire plans to scour one of the solar system's mysterious moons for alien life and he could end up getting there faster than NASA, the New Scientist reports. Yuri Milner, who founded the $100 million 'Breakthrough Starshot' project, has set his sights on Saturn's moon Enceladus, which scientists have designated one of the prime spots in the known universe where life could exist. Research by NASA so far shows that the Moon has something resembling an ocean thanks to a geyser that sprays a plume of molecular hydrogen into space-a sign that Enceladus could have hydrothermal vents and thus be habitable for some species.

Climate Change Will Make Some Animals Dumb, Say Scientists
Climate Change Will Make Some Animals Dumb, Say Scientists

Hot environments aren't great for brains.

NASA Technology: Space Scientists Reinvent the Wheel With Chainmail for Mars Missons
NASA Technology: Space Scientists Reinvent the Wheel With Chainmail for Mars Missons

NASA is happy to say it has reinvented the wheel. The alloy NASA used, nickel titanium, also has a "memory"-an ingenious solution to the Achilles' heel of earlier spring tires, which remained dented after rolling over a particularly sharp rock. When tested on simulated Martian terrain at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the new tires quite literally bounced back.

An asteroid from a DIFFERENT SOLAR SYSTEM was just discovered in ours
An asteroid from a DIFFERENT SOLAR SYSTEM was just discovered in ours

Pause your game of Asteroids, space fans! Astronomers spotted an interstellar asteroid traveling through the Milky Way. (We'd forgive you for reading that intro…

Tuesday's Morning Email: One Of The Longest-serving Congressmen Reportedly Settled Complaint Over Unwanted Advances
Tuesday's Morning Email: One Of The Longest-serving Congressmen Reportedly Settled Complaint Over Unwanted Advances

TOP STORIES (And want to get The Morning Email each weekday?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.