Editor's note: The following selection is repeated - verbatim - from an ongoing "Ask the Administrator" dialog with Mike Griffin, located on InsideNASA, and can be viewed by anyone at NASA:
Question(s): As you are no doubt aware, a recent Washington Post article entitled, 'Cutbacks Impede Climate Studies', describes Earth Science research funding cuts that impact Earth Science research. It is my understanding that many people on our home planet believe that Global Warming/Climate Change is the number 1 challenge to our survival as a species. If that is the case, then perhaps Congress should give the Agency an emergency supplement that will enable NASA to perform this important climatic change research at or beyond the current level of vigor.
concern regarding global warming. What can we do as an Agency, and what plans do you have as Administrator to address this decrease in Earth Science research that may prove pivotal to the health of the planet and to our survival as a species? From:Michael Dodson,Kennedy Space Center
Response (on 31-Jan-2007): I cannot, and do not wish to, comment on what Congress ought, or ought not, to do. Regarding agency-level decisions, Earth Science is presently about 25% of our Science Mission Directorate (SMD) portfolio, and is one of four divisions. Any discipline can always use more money. I think Earth Science is getting an equitable amount.