Colbert on Trump’s Science Denying NASA pick

September 9, 2017

Waiting for the Friday-before-Labor-day news dump might have seemed like a good idea till Harvey showed up.

FYI, Climate Hawks has a petition drive against this appointment.

USA Today:

WASHINGTON — Jim Bridenstine, the Oklahoma Republican congressman President Trump tapped late Friday as NASA’s next administrator, is someone who champions commercial access to space, thinks a return to the moon is vital to U.S. strategic interests, and has dismissed the science behind climate change.

If the Senate confirms the 42-year-old former Navy flier, he would be the first elected politician to hold a job that’s been the purview of scientists, engineers and astronauts.

Bridenstine, who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology and the Armed Services committees, doesn’t have a formal science background. His last job before being elected to represent Oklahoma’s 1st District in 2012 was as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.

Tulsa Today:

It is Bridenstine’s 21-month stint as the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum that is at issue and an official statement from Board Chairman Barbara Smallwood was distributed that begins, “The Tulsa Air and Space Museum is neither for nor against any candidate in any election.”

“While at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Jim Bridenstine developed the QuikTrip Air and Rocket Racing Show and the Land the Shuttle Campaign, both of which garnered tremendous visibility for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. While Mr. Bridenstine was executive director attendance increased at the museum. In August 2010 Mr. Bridenstine voluntarily resigned from his position as Executive Director at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum in order to follow his orders in the Navy Reserves. “

In direct response TASM board member James E. Bertelsmeyer, released the following:

“As a longtime supporter of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum (TASM), it is my opinion that the best day for the museum was the day that Jim Bridenstine left.”


“While these issues have since been corrected by his successor, during Jim’s tenure at TASM, as I recall, the membership numbers were down, employee and volunteer morale was very low and the finances and certainly the financial reporting were arguably the worst they had been in recent years.

“While I respect Jim’s service to our Country as an aviator, I can’t imagine how he is qualified to run a Congressional District if, in my judgment, he can’t effectively manage our Air and Space Museum,” Bertelsmeyer wrote.

The planetarium at TASM is named after Bertelsmeyer.


On the Issues:

Q: Do you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?

A: No. The Earth’s climate has always varied substantially as demonstrated by pre-industrial human records and natural evidence. There is no doubt that human activity can change local conditions, but on a global scale natural processes including variations in solar output and ocean currents control climatic conditions. There is no credible scientific evidence that greenhouse gas atmospheric concentrations, including carbon dioxide, affect global climate. I oppose regulating greenhouse gases. Doing so will significantly increase energy prices and keep more people in poverty.



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