To the President-elect,
please consider that if climate scientists of the past had not been supported by wealthy patrons we of the 21st century would know little if anything about how to warn people that a hurricane, storm surge or tornado is imminent.
Please, let us go to the moon again, by all means, but not at the expense of more accurate knowledge of our own planetary environment. Can the world not fund both of these worthy scientific endeavors? I am sure that the people of many nations would be proud to be associated with NASA's proud acheivments via their nation's share of the essential tax dollars.
We have come a long way in our knowledge of weather and climate over the last two centuries or more. Please, let us not rest on our laurels.
There are words better than mine which describe the benefits of climate science. I cite them here, below.
The atmosphere affords an ample and extensive field for the researches and contemplation of the Philosopher; and altho' many important and interesting discoveries have already been made in it, yet a great, perhaps the far greater part of this field, remains unexplored, and hid from human knowledge; and notwithstanding farther discoveries may be yet made, it is very probable, from its extent, and the extreme subtilty of the several parts of which the atmosphere is composed, and from our confined situation and limited understandings, that it may remain so to the end of the world.Signed
But altho' we can never attain to a perfect knowledge of the substance and properties of the Atmosphere, yet from what is already known by observation and experiments, many of the appearances of wind and weather that are daily exhibited near the surface of the earth may be rationally accounted for: and as the principal part of the affairs in life are deeply interested in the winds and weather, it naturally follows, that every discovery which tends to a knowledge of their primitive causes, and how they operate in producing the seasons, in different countries, situations, and climates, with the connection and effects the seasons in each climate may have upon the rest - so that from a knowledge of the seasons in one or more climates, a judgment may be formed of that in another; or what is of still greater consequence, that from a knowledge of a number of bygone seasons, an estimate may be formed how a future may turn out, together with every thing that may tend to throw any light upon the seeming uncertainty of the winds and weather must certainly be of the most essential service to mankind.
Murdo Downie, 1801
The passage cited is from
Observations upon the nature and properties of the atmosphere
The effect of HEAT and COLD in it.
The THEORT and CAUSE of WINDS.
The RISE and FALL of VAPOUR
The CAUSE of SQUALLS, TORNADOES,
and HURRICANES, and of
the VARIETIES of WEATHER.
TO WHICH ABE ADDED,
ON THE MOON's INFLUENCE UPON THE ATMOSPHERE,
AND THE RISE AND FALL OF THE MERCURY IN THE BAROMETRICAL TUBE.
A Master in the Royal Navy, and Author of the " Marine Survey of the East Coast of Scotland."
Source document: archive.org