Apr 22, 2008

New Climate Change Lab for New Mexico?

Keith Cowing, SpaceRef.com

Editor's note: Word has it that a $400 million earmark for a climate research center is being prepared on behalf of Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) who is retiring. Think of this as legacy pork.

This climate change research center would not run be run by NASA or NOAA or EPA. Nor will there be any competitive bidding. Instead it would be run through the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) which runs Los Alamos National Laboratory located in Domenici's home state of New Mexico.

With all the arm waving and complaints about NASA not doing enough on the issue of climate change you'd think that this effort would go to NASA or if not NASA, then to NOAA. That is, if climate change research was really the prime overarching intent of this proposed allocation.

One mechanism whereby this pork might begin to work its way into the funding que is via the Supplemental Intelligence Authorization Bill which is due for mark-up this week. If this does not work then other approaches are under consideration. Scott O'Malia, a minority staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee is reportedly taking the lead on pushing this legacy pork through.

Sen. Domenici serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is chairman of that committee. Domenici is also Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. Talk about a one-two punch.

Apparently other members of the Senate and key House appropriators only learned of this activity in the past few days.

The National Nuclear Security Administration and the Supplemental Intelligence Authorization Bill are such logical places to put climate change funding, right?

Happy EarthPork Day.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much would it cost to build a biosphere around the place and just weld it shut?

Anonymous said...

"How much would it cost to build a biosphere around the place and just weld it shut?

4/22/08 1:07 PM"

What is your point? That you are an idiot? Ok we get now.

Anonymous said...

"How much would it cost to build a biosphere around the place and just weld it shut?
4/22/08 1:07 PM"

It would cost $400 million, thank you.

Anonymous said...

SOLD!!!

Anonymous said...

Does this have any chance of passing?

Anonymous said...

Now I know Sen. Domenici has lost all reason....what a way to go out, a tax bill of 400 million what a shame. This idea could not be sustainable for even 1 year. What a sad end.

Anonymous said...

If the aimless and misdirected laser fusion effort could dispose of Billions, there should be no problem, considering the LANL history, with disposing of 400 Million.

Anonymous said...

"What is your point? That you are an idiot? Ok we get now."

Skim a little off to build a vessel around this guys head and weld it shut.

Anonymous said...

Clearly you all don't realize the key research and development LANL does in the climate program. The ocean models are a key component in the community climate models. It makes perfect sense, whether you LANL bashers like it or not.

Everyone cries about the lack of diversification efforts. When one starts to possibly pay off, it is "pork" and not in line with what we do at LANL. You all are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

What are we going to do without good ole Pete?

Anonymous said...

The biosphere would cost 400 billion, not million, you idiots. I know it is supposed to be funny, but it is sad commentary on the closed minds of some people.

Climate research would be a good for LANL and the world. LANL does have some good simulation capability. It is not good that NNSA would administer it. That must be a bad joke. It will never happenif NNSA is in charge, so there is no point in bad-mouthing it.

Anonymous said...

I can see LANL getting more funds for climate research, but $400 million in one year? That would be equal to about a third of the total weapons budget at LANL!

LANL has no way to effectively make use of $400 million per year for climate research. There aren't that many climate researchers at LANL. Even $40 million might be tough to use given the current size of the staff that does climate modeling.

The majority of this money would end up being wasted. If past history is any guide, I would envision many weapons physicists with funding problems suddenly concluding that they are qualified to be funded by this program as experts in climate modeling. Is that what LANL really wants to do?

Yes, let's see LANL get $400 million in new funding, but let's see it put to effective use for a variety of national security issues that LANL can handle.

Anonymous said...

What's worse is that there is the possibility to have another bush clinton debacle on our hands. I'm scared. If she has a chance of winning we might as well nuke ourselves and turn over the keys to the chinese. Why draw out the suffering?

Anonymous said...

I guess there is a potential for McCain, there are alot of ABC (Anybody but Clinton)voters out there. How do you think Bill made it in the first time?

Who really think she can function independantly, or maybe this is just a scam for him to get another 8 years in office.

Anonymous said...

"What's worse is that there is the possibility to have another bush clinton debacle on our hands. I'm scared. If she has a chance of winning we might as well nuke ourselves and turn over the keys to the chinese. Why draw out the suffering?

4/22/08 11:11 PM"

Oh please, this is bs and you know it. If anybody would turn over the keys to the Chinesse it would be Bush.

Anonymous said...

According to Domenici LANL must have a bleak future to try this kind of stunt. You must realize that the first year he is out of office the funduing for this (400 million) pie in the sky, will rocket down to 0 (Zero). What a waste of money, Sen. Domenici I am ashamed of you! You are beganning to sound like Sen Ted S.(a bridge to nowhere) from Alaska. No wonder our economy and satate of affairs is going down the tubes, and Domenici the tunner up to the King of Pork. This country has a dark future because of this type of spend, spend, and spend.

Anonymous said...

The article says nothing about this proposed program being done at LANL. It speaks of NNSA "which runs Los Alamos National Laboratory...." and that would also include Sandia or possibly a new location in NM all together - that kind of money could replicate modeling capability AND talent resources.

Anonymous said...

This climate change research center should be located at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research), up in Boulder.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is weird. I wonder if Pete recalls that he was one of the guys who split the NNSA, and hence LANL, from DOE science 8 years ago? Since when does the NNSA do climate?

Hoist on his own petard.

Anonymous said...

"and that would also include Sandia or possibly a new location in NM all together"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Sandia does much in the area of climate research. If so, then using SNL as a LANL partner on this $400 million NM project would largely be wasted. Sadly, I suspect that dementia is beginning to take over St. Pete's mind. This looks like a desperate Last Hurrah effort by Senator Domenici before he leaves Congress in January.

Anonymous said...

The $400M would be a national program, some of which would come to LANL.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, this is bs and you know it. If anybody would turn over the keys to the Chinesse it would be Bush.

4/23/08 5:29 AM

Nah, Clintons would sell out to the Chinese. They always sell to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

"Nah, Clintons would sell out to the Chinese. They always sell to the highest bidder.

4/23/08 9:38 PM"

False, it is Bush that would sell out to the Chinese. He is loyal only to global super elite. He and his kind hate the vast majority of Americans.

You can say what you want about the Clinitons but they would not sell out the United States like our current admistration is already doing.

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys see the problem? It's LANL as usual. There is no proposal, there will probably be no competition for the monies like the rest of the research community must endure. Someone will decide that secrecy is appropriate and the "results" will not be visible. This is no way to treat science and explains the pitiful performance of LANL patents- perhaps the worst in the country.

Anonymous said...

Why has the local paper not picked up on this very "strange" last ditch effort by Sen. Domenici to spend 400 million here in NM?

Anonymous said...

Care to explain the "pitiful performance," 7:14?

Anonymous said...

LANS' upper management can be expected to use this $400 million windfall to load up the program with lots of expensive managers. We'll be lucky if we see 25 cents of every dollar used for actual climate research.

I can see it now. Bechtel will suddenly realize they have tons of people they can shovel into LANL job positions to tackle "climate research". Bechtel will also decide LANL needs a new $200 million building (managed, designed and built by Bechtel, of course) to house this new program.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:31,

Find someone familiar with the LANL CO2 laser R&D program. They'll describe how the research showed that the Infra-Red laser showed, in the R portion, that the wavelength was far too long. In spite of the finding, very large amounts were spent on big laser development to no purpose. The Antares program, you will find, was declared a success and terminated the same day. You may not recall the debacle
but it still colors the world's regard for LANL programs.

Anonymous said...

False, it is Bush that would sell out to the Chinese. He is loyal only to global super elite. He and his kind hate the vast majority of Americans.

You can say what you want about the Clinitons but they would not sell out the United States like our current admistration is already doing.

4/24/08 9:28 AM


you just contridicted yourself "He will sell out to the super elite" - the clintons sell to anyone..they ain't no discernin, they's just white trah from arkaseesaw.

you are right, bush has so damaged this country... but why let it continue? Why not stop it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks 6:37, but what does that have to do with patents? Or did you mean that the performance was patently (i.e. obviously) pitiful?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just curious.

Anonymous said...

Sig Hecker is fine human being and scientist, but IMO, like most scientist he does not have a clue about management (be it a Lab or any Organization). He's at best a scientist and nothing more.

Being a wonderful scientist provides no prerequiste to managing people and organizations.

As long as LANL is under DOE/NNSA the leader is rrelevant.

Read Sig's statement... "I would say now sixteen years, the regulatory environment at these laboratories has become so risk averse that we essentially can't get work done anymore."

16 years ago folks..,. you just now woke up and you think it started with LANS...it began in the Weapons Complex in the early 1990's and much before George Bush Pinheads...

What a bunch of boobs...