Calif to launch ‘Gov Moonbeam’:
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)