Calif to launch ‘Gov Moon­beam’:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Cal­i­for­nia Gov Jerry Brown said Fri­day that the state plans to launch its “own damn satel­lite” into or­bit to bat­tle cli­mate change.

The man the late Chicago colum­nist Mike Royko fa­mously dubbed “Gov Moon­beam” made the an­nounce­ment at the con­clu­sion of a two-day cli­mate sum­mit he or­ga­nized in San Fran­cisco.

Brown said state of­fi­cials will work with the San Fran­cisco-based com­pany Planet Labs to de­velop a satel­lite to track cli­mat­e­change caus­ing pol­lu­tants. Brown said the earth-imag­ing com­pany has launched 150 satel­lites.

“With sci­ence still un­der attack and the cli­mate threat grow­ing, we’re launch­ing our own damn satel­lite,” he said.

The Demo­crat, who is leav­ing of­fice at the end of the year, didn’t an­nounce a launch date or di­vulge a cost es­ti­mate.

Brown’s of­fice said gov­ern­ment scien- tists and staff will work on the project, but that no state money will be spent directly de­vel­op­ing the satel­lite. Pri­vate do­na­tions are be­ing made by San Fran­cisco in­vest­ment banker Richard Lawrence and his wife Dee Lawrence along with the Jeremy and Han­nelore Gran­tham En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust.

Brown fore­shad­owed the an­nounce­ment in a De­cem­ber 2016 speech to the Amer­i­can Geo­phys­i­cal Union in San Fran­cisco a month af­ter Trump’s elec­tion. The then-pres­i­dent elect had threat­ened to scrap NASA’s cli­mate change fund­ing. (AFP)

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