Trump NOAA Cuts Bad For Boulder, Rest of Planet

The Boulder Daily Camera’s Charlie Brennan reports on growing unease in Boulder, home to numerous important federal environmental research facilities including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, as the Trump administration prepares to take a hacksaw to parts of the government that don’t comport with the new president’s vision–like climate science:

Little more than a month ago, Boulder scientists were publicly counseling a cautious, wait-and-see approach to feared budget cuts by the administration of a president who has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by China.

They waited, and late last week, they saw.

A report appeared Friday from the Washington Post, which had obtained a four-page memo outlining a 17 percent budget cut for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which the newspaper called one of the nation’s premier agencies for climate science.

One critic of those proposed cuts pointed out that the $990 million savings would fund the Department of Defense for 12 hours…

It’s not a surprise that President Donald Trump intends to make large cuts to climate research given his statements on the campaign trail. But as those consequences of Trump’s victory move from hypothetical to reality, the manifold implications are setting in:

A widely circulated posting Saturday for Forbes by Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, and 2013 president of the American Meteorological Society, explored the far-reaching ways in which NOAA affects everyday life…

Shepherd, who is also director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program, said it was “beyond the scope” of his intentions to “get into the politics.”

He sticks instead to the simple facts of what a 22 percent slashing of the satellite division, or a 5 percent cut to the National Marine Services Service or 5 percent reduction to the National Weather Service — which are also both under NOAA — could mean.

Although the goal of these cuts would be to strike a blow against climate change “alarmism,” the effects may be felt in areas of the economy that have little to do with that one admittedly significant aspect of NOAA’s job. Neglect of NOAA’s coastal erosion programs, for example, could undermine hurricane recovery efforts. A reduction of weather forecasting information hurts the ability of Americans to prepare and respond to all kinds of events.

And yes, this is likely to cost Boulder some very good jobs. Republicans don’t like to factor the value of government employment into the strength of the larger economy, but the fact is, these are high-paying jobs that drive secondary economic growth just like good jobs in the private sector do. For their impact on the economy alone, these are not jobs that Coloradans of any political persuasion should want to go away.

All told, Trump’s plans for neutering climate science are bad news locally, in ways that won’t take decades to come to fruition. The long-term damage these cuts could result in is of course the more important story, but our local economy will feel the pain first.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Hurting Boulder is not a bug. It's a feature.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Indeed. A slap at a liberal influence and perhaps even a big FU to Congressman Polis as a bonus.. but, ultimately…

      A feature designed to help the border wall get built (they will skim it off, somehow) and to line the pockets of enumerable weapons and munitions providers as we ratchet up our military activities and go back to the 1890s with our environmental policies. Are they going to repeal NEPA next?

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        No, re repealing NEPA. But it's just a matter of time before Rob Bishop and his cronies in the Utah congressional mafia set their sights on "clarifying" NEPA. Right now, they're busy trying to undo all the good enviro stuff the Obama administration did in its last year as they do the bidding of the oil & gas industry. And the bill to open up wilderness areas to mountain bikes is back, but by Rep. McClintock from Calif. as the primary sponsor. 

    • bullshit!bullshit! says:

      Trump wants to hurt all centers of intellect. Boulder should be proud to be on the list.

      Resist!

      • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

        You mean like the Porta Potty Peeper? Never underestimate the value of a CU education.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          Looks more like a harvard man to me, Pear.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Interesting in that the linked article says nothing about the convicted perp being a CU graduate. More fake news from Passionate Prune? 

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Didn't we discuss not feeding the trolls in their attempts to hijack an article? Just kidding. 🙂  What's a bummer for me is that they will stick a knife in the Forest Service so that the only funds left will be for the private contractors to fight the inferno wildfires. 

            • Lucy MontroseLucy Montrose says:

              PP reminds me of my Republican dad– he has a great little cognitive immune system in place to keep my liberal ideas from infecting his psyche.

              And the "natural killer cells" of said immune system have to be the throwing out of trivial details to throw us off our game– like some nobody looking in Portapotties who happens to be a CU grad, and who may or may not exist. 

              Stay on your game. Keep focused. Carry a notebook with you at all times if you have to. And if they criticize you for that… of for being fact-based, or educated… you know they have nothing.

               

               

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                Though the pooper peeper incident occurred in boulder, nothing indicates the perp was a cu grad.   My bet would be he's from Liberty University

                .

              • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

                You must be new to Colorado. Hell, it was world wide news. I remember the Japanese every produced a virtual reenactment of the crime. Guess you were busy trying to sell Dad on Bernie. Stay away from porta potties in Boulder the next bite in the ass may be more than a figure of speech.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Agreed.  If Trump likes you then you are a reprehensible individual in real life.  If he and the Russian mafia are out to get you then the odds are that you are a decent person.

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