A slew of new data releases, search programs and advances in telescope technology are setting the stage for the next era in the search for extraterrestrial life.
While most of the focus in the Congress this summer has been on raising the debt ceiling, there are other legislative activities which deserve some much needed attention from the science community. The House of Representatives is considering several bills that would have wide-reaching effects for science and research, especially in terms of climate change and the environment.
First, grey wolves are no longer covered under Endangered Species Act because of a motion by Congress to remove them, an unprecedented use of power that troubles some experts about the protections for other species. An appropriations bill still in debate originally banned adding more animals to the endangered species list. In several other bills, the funding for climate change research and planning has been specifically banned. Meanwhile, NOAA's plan to make its climate information more accessible has been stalled and NASA's James Webb Space Telescope may lose its funding entirely.
Kasey White, a Project Director within the Office of Government Relations at AAAS, sat down with MemberCentral to talk about these pending bills. She lays out what the bills are, how they impact the environment and science, and what the future might look like for science, research and the environment.
- New York Times article Republicans Seek Big Cuts in Environmental Rules (July 2011)