The continuing debate over climate change became part of a March 12th Senate subcommittee hearing over NASA funding that was chaired by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
During the hearing, Cruz asked NASA administrator Charles Bolden what was the core mission of the organization. Bolden responded by saying, “Our core mission from the very beginning has been to investigate, explore space and the earth environment, and to help make this place a better place.”
Cruz disagreed, saying that space exploration was what inspired boys and girls to become part of NASA’s mission. He also stated that the supposed shift was due to a loss of focus.
Later, Cruz also seemed to dismiss the idea of studying earth instead of space, but Bolden indicated that the shift was intentional. That was because of a the organization making a concerted effort to reduce the cost of exploration as they extend that focus deeper into the solar system.
Bolden also indicated that the increased funding that has come in connection to earth science, “has enabled us to understand our planet far better than we ever did before.”
Conservative politicians, of which Cruz is considered one of the most prominent examples of, have spent years trying to discredit the concept of climate change, calling it a hoax and a waste of money.
Cruz has hinted at running for the Republican nomination for President in 2016, but will be in with a number of candidates who are equally trying to establish their credentials with voters.