See no evil, hear no evil...
The important thing about global warming is that it is a theory, and thus it is falsifiable. If there are doubts about the validity of this theory, we can design an experiment that would reliably falsify the theory if it were, in fact, wrong. NASA has designed and built such an experiment, called Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). It would sit at the L1 Lagrange point between the Earth and the Sun, where it can continuously observe the Earth's daylight side. From this vantage, it would calculate an accurate, up-to-the-minute energy budget for the whole planet. It would also collect detailed measurements of the atmospheric and surface composition of our planet.
If anthropic global warming is a bad theory, then DSCOVR would shoot it down in a hurry. On the other hand, if the theory is correct, as most climate scientists have concluded already, DSCOVR would provide us with simple, conclusive evidence gathered with uniform methodology.
But the global warming skeptics, or at least the ones in Congress, have never been interested in actually falsifying the theory. They were much happier wallowing in ignorance.
Republicans didn't buy it. In 1999, GOP Congressmen put the project on ice, calling it the "Goresat," a "multimillion-dollar screen saver." Dick Armey, then House Majority Leader, quipped, "This idea supposedly came from a dream. Well, I once dreamed I caught a 10-foot bass. But I didn't call up the Fish and Wildlife service and ask them to spend $30 million to make sure it happened."Science ran a letter from Francisco P. J. Valero titled Keeping the DSCOVR Mission Alive. I will quote the relevant part since most people don't have access to articles in Science :
Lost in the grandstanding was the critically important science behind DSCOVR. In January 2006, NASA quietly canceled DSCOVR altogether, citing "competing priorities." Many in the scientific community are incredulous that such an important mission might be lost to rank partisanship. "Gore favored it," says Dr. Park. "This administration is determined that a Gore experiment is not going to happen. It's inconceivable to me." Climate analyst Trenbeth said, "It makes no sense to me at all either from an economic or a scientific viewpoint. That leaves politics."
Our proposal was selected by NASA after rigorous scientific and technical reviews. Solar activity observations were added at NASA's request to satisfy scientific needs and NOAA's operational requirements for space weather monitoring. DSCOVR is firmly based on the ideas developed by the science team. The transmission of live images of Earth added to the educational outreach component of the mission but was by no means the primary objective.France and the Ukraine have offered to launch it for us, but NASA has rebuffed their offers.
Many scientists, both in the United States and abroad, view DSCOVR as one of NASA's most important and innovative Earth science missions. The satellite has been built and could still be launched in time to provide synergistic data coincident with current and future orbiting systems. It offers great potential both as a source of fundamental scientific observations and as a pioneering Earth sciences mission from deep space.
Next time you find yourself arguing with someone about global warming, tell them that the experiment to prove or disprove it, once and for all, was canned by Congress when the Republicans were running it. By their own admission, they canned it because they wanted to humiliate Al Gore. All we have to do is launch the damn thing, instead of letting it sit in a box at Goddard Space Flight Center at the cost of a million dollars a year.