Budget Axes NOAA’s Climate Service

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While the EPA’s climate work survived last week’s confrontation over government funding, another area of climate research that did not. The Climate Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was killed before it even really got started. (Details of the budget cuts have been emerging pretty slowly. The full bill is here. The relevant section is on page 218.)

The vision for the NOAA climate desk was to bring a bunch of the climate work the agency already does under one umbrella in order to improve the organization and distribution of information on the subject. Climate Science Watch outlined the main goals of the service last year, and NOAA has a prototype for the division’s website over at Climate.gov that should give you a decent sense of what the division was supposed to do.

Basically, NOAA’s climate service would have provided up-to-date information about climate in order to better inform the public and policymakers. Much like the agency’s weather service, it would offer a way to share the agency’s work monitoring, modeling, and assessing data. But budget cuts now bar NOAA from using any funds to create this climate division.

The GOP hates anything that has the word “climate” attached to it, but I don’t anticipate that this cut will functionally change NOAA’s work. NOAA is already doing this work, so this is a cosmetic cut more than anything.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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