California has announced that it will be launching its own satellite, which will be used to track and study greenhouse gases. The announcement came last month on the heels of an announcement by former Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned that we, as a planet, need to be doing much more to reverse the effects of global warming.
Governor Jerry Brown spoke on the last day of a climate change summit, where he said that California will be launching its “own damn satellite to figure out where the pollution is.” The satellite will help researchers determine the sources of the emissions that are responsible for our planet’s warming.
The project itself will be run by several scientists who used to work for NASA and formed a company called Planet Labs. What’s more, the data collected from the research will be completely transparent, the data available for anyone to view thanks to a partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund. The partnership and satellite announcement comes on the heels of the Trump Administration announcing intentions to cut funding for NASA’s climate research.
The satellite announcement is just one of many environmental projects announced by the California government in recent months, including the bill that has committed the state to go 100% carbon free with its power supply by the year 2045.
California isn’t the only community that has committed to such efforts. Various other cities around the world have pledged to go “green” with new construction projects and vehicle fleets for its municipalities. Businesses like Walmart and Ikea have also made pledges to reduce their carbon footprints over the coming years, as well as taking actions to prevent deforestation.
We’re still a long way from where we need to be, according to officials. John Kerry was part of the 2015 global Paris Climate agreement, which Donald Trump chose to remove the United States’ participation from last year. Kerry referred to the action as “one of the single greatest acts of irresponsibility by a president of the United States anywhere at any time.”
California is just one of many states, local governments, and business that have elected to do their own part in reducing their environmental impact, regardless of what the federal government is doing.