In his address to the National Academy of Science in 1963, President John F. Kennedy said that science is the “source of understanding man’s own nature.” Almost 50 years later, that remains the lens through which we view the benefits of science and scientific research.
In recent weeks, as discussions on balanced budgets and reduced deficits abound, some of the results are a staggering blow to scientific research and 21st Century competitiveness. In the context of earth science, the approach is flawed. On the one hand, deficit discussions ignore largely the cost-effective, multi-faceted, and often life saving benefits the study of earth science has brought to our country and the world over the last 50 years. Second, except among the uninformed, the debate over the human causes of climate change is one without scientific merit.