"It’s like having the fox guard the chicken coop": Scientist slams having Ted Cruz oversee NASA

CUNY professor, Dr. Michio Kaku, explains why NASA is so important

Published January 15, 2015 4:08PM (EST)

  (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)
(Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

On Wednesday evening's "The Ed Show," CUNY physics professor Dr. Michio Kaku spoke about the future of NASA, and had some dire warnings about Senator Ted Cruz.

As of last week the GOP took control of the Senate, and with that came a tectonic shift in leaders and committee chairmen. This change plopped Senator Ted Cruz at the head of the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which as my colleague Lindsay Abrams pointed out puts the often anti-science Cruz overseeing NASA.

"It’s like having the fox guard the chicken coop," Dr. Kaku began. "Don’t be surprised if all you have left are chicken bones."

The Senate subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness oversees NASA's budget. Prior to chairing the subcommittee, Cruz has attempted to slash NASA's funding.

Host Ed Schultz wondered if the scientific community was worried about Cruz's new position.

"Science is the engine of prosperity," Dr. Kaku explained. "The wealth, the jobs of the world are dependent upon science. It’s the goose that laid the golden egg. But if you kill the goose, don’t be surprised if wealth, jobs, innovation, competitiveness go out the window because of ideology."

Beyond having previously attempted to cut NASA's budget, Cruz also refuses to acknowledge man-made climate change. This view, Dr. Kaku speculated, could color how Cruz treats NASA.

"He could allow the manned space program to go forward, because the Houston Space Center is based in Texas, after all," the physics professor stated. "On the other hand, he may decrease the funding for investigation of the atmosphere -- in other words, global warming. We need the data in order to predict how hot the Earth will get into the future."

Without NASA "we’re gonna be going blind," Dr. Kaku warned. He is also worried about the politicization of climate change, which 97 percent of climate scientists agree is happening and is man-made, according to NASA.

"We’re not gonna know which way the atmosphere is going, and then it’s strictly a question of political football, as to how the presidential candidates align on this question," Dr, Kaku stated. "We have to have data. That’s the bottom line."

Watch below:

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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