Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Providing climate data to the world is apparently a top Californian government spending priority.
‘We’re launching our own damn satellite’ — Gov. Jerry Brown says California will go to space to fight climate change
By EVAN HALPER
Gov. Moonbeam is finally sending California into space.
Jerry Brown closed his climate summit in San Francisco on Friday with a dramatic announcement: California will launch its own satellite into orbit to track and monitor the formation of pollutants that cause climate change.
“With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own damn satellite,” Brown said in prepared remarks. “This groundbreaking initiative will help governments, businesses and landowners pinpoint — and stop — destructive emissions with unprecedented precision, on a scale that’s never been done before.”
The state will develop the satellite with the San Francisco-based Earth-imaging firm Planet Labs, a company founded by former NASA scientists in 2010. The state may ultimately launch multiple satellites into space, according to the governor’s office. The California Air Resources Board is in the process of developing the monitoring technology used by the satellite. No date has been set for the launch; the process is expected to take several years.
Brown’s announcement came in quickly delivered remarks at the close of the three-day gathering and received a standing ovation from many in the audience. Two activists who stood up on their seats saying Brown is “not a climate leader” were carried out of the auditorium by security.
The suggestion that the satellite will “pinpoint and stop destructive emissions” seems a bit ominous, given that the satellite’s capabilities have not yet been finalised. But I guess on the positive side we should all be happy California has so much spare cash they can spend millions of dollars on global projects which provide minimal return to Californian taxpayers.