From Earth Orbit to Washington, D.C.
Posted by Bill Nye
01-07-2011 20:22 CDT
Honoring Senator Mikulski's Leadership
About a week ago, I attended the meeting of an organization I am excited about: the Alliance for Earth Observation. The conference was remarkable. There were people from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the United States Geologic Survey, and other government agencies who came to meet with people from industries that rely on good long-term climate information to run their businesses. The keynote speech was presented by Carl Hedde, a very knowledgeable representative from the insurance industry. He pointed out how valuable observations from space can be in assessing risk and costs back here on Earth. Shortly after this fascinating morning talk, along with longtime friend of the Society, Nancy Colleton. I made my way to Senator Barbara Mikulski's office.
There, I had the opportunity and privilege to present the Alliance's Leadership Award to Senator Mikulski. She has been a longtime supporter of space exploration, not only on behalf of her constituents, but on behalf of the citizens of the United States and people everywhere. The Senator recognizes and emphasizes the importance of observing the Earth from space, so that we can understand our changing climate and prepare for the future. What we can learn from spacecraft informs our decisions regarding agriculture, transportation, communication, and urban planning.
Climate change is a serious business; Senator Mikulski has worked to help us understand it for a long time. I'm delighted that the Planetary Society was invited to participate. It's one more way we're helping people everywhere know and appreciate the Earth's place in space.