Trump To Scrap NASA Climate Research In Crackdown On Science

Forum Reference: November 17th, 2016, West Hawaii Forum on “Hawaii’s Climate Change Challenge” 

November 29, 2016

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by NASA as part of a so-called crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

NASA’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

This would mean the elimination of NASA’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. NASA’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.

Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for NASA to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”.

“We see NASA in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

“My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing NASA programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”

A senior Trump adviser said there is no need for NASA to do what he has called ‘politically correct environmental monitoring’.

Trump has previously said that climate change is a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese, although on Tuesday he said there is “some connectivity” between human actions and the climate.

There is overwhelming and long-established evidence that burning fossil fuels and deforestation causes the release of heat-trapping gases, therefore causing the warming experienced in recent decades.

Walker, however, claimed that doubt over the role of human activity in climate change “is a view shared by half the climatologists in the world. We need good science to tell us what the reality is and science could do that if politicians didn’t interfere with it.”

It (Trump) could put us back into the ‘dark ages’ … Space research is a luxury, Earth observations are essential.

Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research

It’s understood that federal government scientists have been unnerved by Trump’s dismissal of climate science and are concerned that their work will be sidelined as part of a new pro-fossil fuels and deregulation agenda. Climate scientists at other organizations expressed dismay at the potential gutting of Earth-based research.

Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said as NASA provides the scientific community with new instruments and techniques, the elimination of Earth sciences would be “a major setback if not devastating”.

“It could put us back into the ‘dark ages’ of almost the pre-satellite era,” he said. “It would be extremely short sighted.

“We live on planet Earth and there is much to discover, and it is essential to track and monitor many things from space. Information on planet Earth and its atmosphere and oceans is essential for our way of life. Space research is a luxury, Earth observations are essential.”

Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University, said NASA has a “critical and unique role” in observing Earth and climate change.

“Without the support of NASA, not only the US but the entire world would be taking a hard hit when it comes to understanding the behavior of our climate and the threats posed by human-caused climate change,” he said.

“It would be a blatantly political move, and would indicate the president-elect’s willingness to pander to the very same lobbyists and corporate interest groups he derided throughout the campaign.”

NASA has appointed two officials, Tom Cremins and Jolene Meidinger, to lead the transition to the new Trump administration. However, the president-elect’s team has yet to formally review the space agency.

“The NASA community is committed to doing whatever we can to assist in making the executive branch transition a smooth one,” a NASA spokesman said. “The agency remains focused on the future, a future that will improve our understanding of our changing home planet from NASA’s unique platforms in space.”

source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/nasa-earth-donald-trump-eliminate-climate-change-research

Pacific Islands nations to Trump: ‘save us’ from global warming

Forum Reference: November 17th, 2016, West Hawaii Forum on “Hawaii’s Climate Change Challenge” 

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has message for the world: climate change is not a hoax, as US President-elect Donald Trump has claimed.    The next head of the UN global climate talks has appealed for the US to “save” Pacific islands from the impacts of global warming.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said that the islands needed the US now as much as they did during World War Two.

Mr Trump has promised to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and scrap all payments for UN global warming projects.

But as he accepted the role of president of the Conference of the Parties for the year ahead, the Fijian leader took the opportunity to call on to the next US president to step away from his scepticism.

“I again appeal to the President-elect of the US Donald Trump to show leadership on this issue by abandoning his position that man-made climate change is a hoax,” said Mr Bainimarama.

“On the contrary, the global scientific consensus is that it is very real and we must act more decisively to avoid catastrophe.”

He also made a direct call to the American people to come to their aid in the face of rising seas, driven by global warming.

“We in the Pacific, in common with the whole world, look to America for the leadership and engagement and assistance on climate change just as we looked to America in the dark days of World War Two.    “I say to the American people, you came to save us then, and it is time for you to help save us now.”

After two weeks of talks here in Marrakech, participants arrived at a consensus on the next steps forward for the landmark climate treaty.

This gathering saw the opening of CMA1, the Conference of the Parties meeting as the signatories of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rises.

CMA1 will be the formal UN body that will run, manage and set the rules for the operation of the Paris treaty.

The participants also agreed the Marrakech Proclamation, a statement re-affirming the intentions of all 197 signatories to the Paris deal.

Seen as show of unity on the issue in the light a possible US withdrawal, countries stated they would live up to their promises to reduce emissions. The proclamation also called on all states to increase their carbon cutting ambitions, urgently.

 

The participants also agreed the Marrakech Proclamation, a statement re-affirming the intentions of all 197 signatories to the Paris deal.

Seen as show of unity on the issue in the light a possible US withdrawal, countries stated they would live up to their promises to reduce emissions. The proclamation also called on all states to increase their carbon cutting ambitions, urgently.

Some of the poorest nations in the world announced that they were moving towards 100% green energy at this meeting.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum said that the 47 member countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Yemen, would achieve this goal between 2030 and 2050. And they challenged richer countries to do the same.. The talks will continue in 2017 with a new US delegation picked by the Trump administration.

America’s first wave-produced power goes online in Hawaii

Forum Reference: Energy forums of September 2015 and September 2016 for more information on Clean Energy options for Hawai’i 

By some estimates, the ocean’s endless motion packs enough power to meet a quarter of America’s energy needs and dramatically reduce the nation’s reliance on oil, gas and coal. But wave energy technology lags well behind wind and solar power, with important technical hurdles still to be overcome.

Hawaii would seem a natural site for such technology. As any surfer can tell you, it is blessed with powerful waves. The island state also has the nation’s highest electricity costs — largely because of its heavy reliance on oil delivered by sea —

 

Candidates for the office of Mayor

Forum Reference: June 22nd, 2016, West Hawaii Forum “Meet the 2016 Hawaii County Mayoral Candidates” 

This West Hawai’i Forum was very informative with candidate’s offering their plans, insights, and ideas on the future direction for Community government.  As important as the cheif exectuive job for Hawai’i County is, a record low voter turn out in the primary and for the race for mayor produced a new mayor without a mandate.

Mayor-elect Harry Kim was elected to office in a record low Hawai’i county voter turn-out during the August 2016 primary.  In a crowded field of 13 mayoral candidates, Kim won with 51% margin over his nearest rival, Wally Lau.  Less than 15% of the County’s registered voters placed their ballot check mark next to Kim’s name. Hawai’s election rules ensured his primary win was final

All registered candidates for the office of Mayor had been invited with individual tables provided for each candidate with the opportunity to meet the community. The Forum provided each candidate the opportunity the candidates to appear on-stage before a large audience representing a board sector of community.  Please visit the Past Forum web page and take a few minutes to browse through the forum video for details on Mayor-elect Kim’s vision for Hawaii County.