This disadvantage forces the affirmative to consider the potential costs of their plan. As you have no doubt realized, there are many ways to improve the world, but almost all of them are costly. Humanity, and especially the United States government, has a very limited amount of resources that it can use in order to solve problems. Every year, NASA is assigned as set budget by Congress to conduct all of its operations. This year, NASA received 18.7 billion dollars that it could choose to spend how it liked. Predictably, NASA had many more possible projects than it had money for, so it was forced to choose some over others.
The uniqueness evidence indicates that a shift is occurring in NASA right now. At the request of President Obama, the agency is beginning to focus less on exploring space, especially with human astronauts, and beginning to allocate more money towards studying the Earth itself. Specifically, it is planning to fund experiments and satellites that would allow it to more effectively track carbon dioxide and climate change, which many scientists think is important to eventually solving the problem.
The plan forces a tradeoff. NASA’s budget doesn’t get any bigger as a result of the plan, so in order to do the plan, NASA has to choose something to cut. The evidence indicates that NASA sees a choice between space-focused programs and ones that focus on Earth. Because the plan is focused on space exploration, money will likely come from the budget for Earth sciences.
The impact to this is that NASA will not be able to effectively monitor climate change, which may mean that we feel more of the negative effects of global warming in the future.
CO2 – Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is the result of many human activities, such as driving a car or burning oil to heat a house. Carbon dioxide is frequently mentioned as one of the gasses that is contributing to the global warming problem.
Greenhouse gasses – Gasses believed to be responsible for climate change. While C02 is the most well known, water vapor, methane, nitrus oxide, and ozone, also function as greenhouse gasses. They get their name because they prevent energy from the Sun from escaping back into space once it reaches the Earth, much the same way that a glass greenhouse traps energy inside it to keep plants warm.
Fossil fuel – Fuels created by the slow decomposition of dead organisms. They are mostly made of carbon. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, oil, and natural gas.
Emissions – the product or discharge of something. When someone refers to emissions, they refer to greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere.
Climate change – Refers to the phenomenon that the Earth’s climate and mean temperature are changing over time. It has been well documented that in the last half century that the average temperature of the Earth has increased. Many believe this increase is a result of human activity and releasing many greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Heliophysics – A branch of space science that explores the interactions between radiation given off by the sun and the atmospheres of planets. The study of solar flares is done under heliophysics.
Monies – money set aside for a specific purpose
Global Precipitation Mission – An attempt by NASA to continually measure the Earth’s atmospheric moisture.
Correlated – Two things are correlated if they have a mutual relationship or connection.
Post facto – After the fact
Budget – An allocation of money for a specific goal.
R&D – Research and Development
OCO – Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a NASA satellite mission intended to provide global space-based observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
GRACE – Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, a satellite system run by NASA that makes detailed measurements of the Earth’s gravity field.
Budget Tradeoff 1NC [1/2]
A. Uniqueness. NASA is shifting its priorities. While its budget will not increase, it will spend more money focusing on the observation of Earth and not the exploration of space. Spaceref.com, 6/8/2011, “NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science & Technology”, 6/8/11, http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=33782 Euroconsult, the leading international consulting and analyst firm specializing in the space sector, along with the consulting firm Omnis, today announced the findings of a study today foreseeing a significant shift in NASA spending toward Earth science and R&D programs and away from legacy spaceflight activities. According to the report "NASA Spending Outlook: Trends to 2016," NASA's budget, which will remain flat at around $18.7 billionfor the next five years, will also be characterized by significant shifts from space operations totechnology development and science. With the shift in budget authority, NASA Centers focused on Earth observation, space technology, and aeronautics will see increases in funding, while those involved in human spaceflight will see major funding reductions. Indeed, the termination of the Space Shuttle program will lead to a budget cut over $1 billion for Space Operations, resulting in a 21% budget cut for the Johnson Space Center. Overall, the agency's budget for R&D will account for about 50% of all NASA spending.
B. Link. A push for space exploration as a result of the plan causes cuts in the budgets of Earth science programs. Brian Stempeck, Environment and Energy Daily Senior Reporter, 4/29/2005, “Climate Change: NASA space missions may undermine climate studies,” April 29, Environment and Energy Daily,
A member of the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council told a House panel yesterday that the White House's push for further space exploration missions is coming at the expense of earth research programs, including a key effort on climate change science. Berrien Moore, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and a co-chair with the National Research Council, toldassembled House Science Committee members yesterday about the findings NRC has uncovered so far as it prepares a final report on federal earth science research due out in late 2006. "Recent changes in federal support for Earth observation programs are alarming," NRC scientists concluded in their interim report . "Opportunities to discover new knowledge about Earth are diminished as mission after mission is cancelled, descoped or delayed because of budget cutbacks." NASA'sdecision to shift its priorities toward space exploration is putting current earth research programs "at risk of collapse," Moore said. And presidential initiatives such as the Climate Change Research Initiative and the subsequent Climate Change Science Program are some of the most at-risk programs, he said.