GOP Wants To Focus Efforts On Space, Not Climate Change

First Posted: Feb 20, 2017 03:20 AM EST

President Donald Trump's new administration is setting Earth aside. Instead, it is focusing on space explorations, aiming to restrict climate change research.

According to The Huffington Post, the GOP wants to abandon climate change research, which accounts for only $2 billion of NASA's $20 billion budget. At a recent House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing, Chairman Lamar Smith said that he wanted to "rebalance" NASA's mission to allow agencies to take over the research. But at this point, it remains unclear which of these agencies are expected to pick up the slack.

Climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt, who has been appointed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, vowed to cut the EPA's budget and staff in accordance to Donald Trump's campaign promise. It was also noted that the EPA has orders from the administration to avoid tweeting anything regarding climate change. Despite the order, NASA posts climate change updates on its Facebook and Twitter handles, adding warnings about rapid global changes in the process.

Meanwhile, Smith noted that he wants funds to go into space exploration, adding that he would "like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change. We only have one agency that engages in space exploration, and they need every dollar they can muster for space exploration."

Still, NASA remains undeterred, with spokesperson Steve Cole being quoted by The Washington Post to have said that the change in administration has not altered their way to communicate science. "We're doing our jobs, it's business as usual," he said.

On Thursday afternoon, the agency went as far as tweeting a work of aerial photographer Timo Lieber on its timeline, captioned, "I want to put images right in front of people that #globalwarming is, in fact, happening." It is a direct contradiction to the president's stand as a global warming doubter.

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