NASA’s new mission statement

Via the Center for American Progress (a “progressive” “research and educational institute”):

SCIENCE — ALTERED NASA MISSION STATEMENT COULD HURT GLOBAL WARMING RESEARCH

Without consulting or informing its 19,000 employees, NASA management has removed the phrase “to understand and protect our home planet” from its mission statement. The change was executed quietly in February, but agency scientists have registered its absence only now. Researchers said the deletion means there will be “far less incentive” under the new statement to improve understanding of problems like climate change. The move came after James Hansen, the government’s top climate change researcher, repeatedly invoked the “understand and protect” clause to justify his criticism of the Bush administration, which had heavily edited his studies and prevented him from communicating freely with the media. Hansen believes global warming is accelerating, pointing to the melting Arctic and to Antarctica, where new data show massive loss of ice to the sea. NASA’s spokesperson said that Hansen’s use of the phrase and its sudden disappearance was “pure coincidence,” but Hansen believes the change reflects the administration’s desire to “shift the spotlight away from global warming.”

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