12 May, 2010

Heckuva Job, Georgie!

So, today, my intrepid companion emails me this link, and so I was prepared a few moments ago when I stopped watching a program I'd recorded on my DVR and got this:

Y'see, there's a satellite that's been knocked out, likely due to a solar flare, and it's wreaking havoc up in space as it drifts out of control.  Encore movie channels are suffering the consequences of the Bush regime's short-sightedness.  And how do I know Bush is to blame?  Because I recently finished reading Our Choice:
During the time when [the DSCOVR] satellite was built, experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were deciding how to replace an older satellite that was already at the L1 point warning engineers about large solar storms that can disrupt cellular telephone communications, electricity distribution equipment, and other electronic equipment sensitive to large solar flares.  From the L1 point, the light from these solar flares is visible 90 minutes before the plasma from the storm hits the planet.  That's enough warning time to harden sensitive electronic equipment and avoid expensive outages and repairs.

Since the older early warning satellite (called the Advanced Composition Explorer) was about to wear out, NOAA decided to put the replacement for it onto the satellite intended to measure global warming and provide a constant full color picture of the earth.

We still haven't seen that live TV image of the earth.  The old satellite has not been replaced, because the Bush-Cheney administration canceled the launch within days of taking office after the inauguration on January 20, 2001, and forced NASA to put the satellite in storage.  It is still there, nine years later, waiting to be launched.  As a result, the older satellite could stop working at any moment; it is already two years past its predicted lifetime.

One of its key instruments is already dead; another now routinely fails during peaks of solar flares, when it is needed most.  Several important global industries are at risk of being exposed to heavy losses by damage from solar flares.
Bet you a dollar poor Galaxy 15 didn't get protected from said solar flare because ACE went down.  And so, a great many cable stations are down, I get to see the off-air screen and have my eardrums pierced by that gawdawful shriek they play, and I'm sitting here contemplating all of the other delicate and essential bits o' equipment that keep this modern world running that might go down next.  Encore, I can live without.  But some of those satellites up there do much more important jobs that ensure I've got a steady stream of chick flicks for my Muse.  And all that's threatened because George W. Bush and his merry band of fuckwits decided we didn't need no stinkin' early warning systems.

So, heckuva job, Georgie.  I hope you got to enjoy the fruits of your stupidity as well.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

Apparently, the Obama Administration has decided to launch the thing. The new NASA budget includes an increase in the earth sciences budget, which was neglected under the previous Administration.