the technological, scientific, and environmental vision of Al Gore, our Global Environmental Ambassador

This groundbreaking invention on the part of Al Gore that could now save this world from the catastrophic affects of the climate crisis still sits in a warehouse in Maryland after being scrubbed in January 2006. As usual, “budget” is the answer for why it sits, but I believe it goes deeper than that.

Don’t know what Triana was? Not surprising, since Republicans did all in their power from the late nineties by using their partisanship and hatred for Al Gore to see it fail and keep it secret. Now it is dead, and so are some very high hopes for measuring the affects of climate change from deep space. Once again, political partisanship trumped the best interests of not only our country, but our world.

From The NY Times:

Scorched Earth

Some info on this and a link showing the technological, scientific, and environmental vision of Al Gore, our Global Environmental Ambassador.

Scripps Calls For Quick Launch Of Triana

Al Gore-Leader in Technology

Al Gore-Inventor of Triana

Triana was the brainchild of Mr. Gore literally dreamed up by him during a restless sleep in 1998. His idea was to place a spacecraft in orbit far enough away from Earth (one million miles to be exact) to get 24 hour continuous images of the entire globe which is impossible with existing satellites because they are too close.

After battling in Congress with what Republicans trashed as “Gore’s screen saver,” the $135 million project appeared to have survived their ambushes, rising costs, and scientific scrutiny. It was slated for launch early in 1999. Then it was pushed back to after 2000… Now, it will never take off, and that is truly sad especially in light of the affects of the climate crisis we are experiencing all over the world. This satellite would give us a chance to see the Earth in motion from the side of the sun in a continuous 24 hour view that would have been able to be seen on a cable channel by us (and particularly students) in order to be better prepared for catastrophic events taking place due to climate change.

Although some scientists building Triana admitted to feeling ambiguous about it originally, they claimed that Mr. Gore’s idea to observe Earth from deep space could prove to be revolutionary. The hope in launching it was to gain insight into climate change by measuring how much energy Earth absorbs and reflects into space, and to measure levels of aerosols that affect the ozone layer from around the world.

It certainly would have been not only a momentous achievement for Mr. Gore, this planet, and for our future, but also would have been a fitting payback to those like former President George Bush who dubbed Al Gore, “Ozone Man.” Of course, we all know how his idiot son felt about it. He probably couldn’t even pronounce it. I cannot for the life of me understand how people can claim to care for this planet when they would scrap such a visionary and revolutionary mission as this, yet continue to spend money we don’t have on weapons of war and death. And scrapping this entire program was done secretly, quietly, and in my view maliciously.

For besides providing ways to pick up atmospheric patterns not readily apparent to satellites that scan only one region or continent at a time, the Triana mission could have blazed a trail for more deep-space Earth observation and inspire replacement of some low-orbit satellites. It is said that Al Gore had long wondered how to get more photos like those from the Apollo moon missions when astronauts captured the first pictures of Earth as a whole from great distances. Those images had a deep effect on him as he kept a huge blow-up photo of the Earth on his White House office wall.

This is the account of how he came upon this idea:

As he tells it, he awoke from a dream at 2 o’clock in the morning, logged onto the Internet, “went to a couple of sites and figured out how to do this.” What he learned about was the orbital point called Lagrange-1 about 1 million miles away, where the gravitational attraction from the sun equals that of Earth. Satellites placed at L1 move in an orbit that mirrors the Earth’s, with our planet’s sunlit half always in view. A few probes have been sent to L1, mostly for research on the sun. But surprisingly, NASA had never seriously considered placing an Earth observatory at L1, even though it provides what scientists now say is a natural vantage point for that purpose.

He then proposed the satellite in March 1998 that would transmit continuous television images from L1 and cost no more than $50 million. He dubbed it Triana in honor of Rodrigo De Triana, the sailor who first observed the New World on Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage. NASA then announced several months later that a contract had been given for it to Valero, but it came up to swift opposition in the Republican Congress. The House of Representatives cut off funds for Triana in May 1999, in what was clearly a partisan move by people who hate science.

After that an NAS committee of 10 scientists was formed, and in the end they reported that Triana did have scientific merit. Work on it continued but then was halted, and now it will never be seen as the entire program has been scrapped by NASA. Once again because of hateful, bitter, partisan BS that has done nothing but stop the scientific advances necessary for us to peacefully explore our universe and to also warn of impending disaster as this 24 hour view would have facilitated, will it now not see the light of day. And I have not seen one Democrat stand up for Al Gore’s work on this satellite in Congress as well, and that too is sad. One reason why I don’t happen to have faith in the Washington DC beltway to truly care about this issue, even now as it needs to be cared about.

It is sad, but it is only one more action to show where Republicans in this government really stand on breakthrough advances that would give us a better understanding of our world, and others who constantly let them win…And damn them for it, because this is not about partisan political grudges, this is about saving lives.

I mention this now because of the reports from thousands of scientists, the IPCC, the NAS, the UN, and many other scientific reports that have now given the window of our planet’s sustainability not long before it closes. And this was the one tool we could have had to not only gauge that damage, but use to work quicker to mitigate it.

Personally, I think Congress should work to redeem themselves and bring Triana up to the forefront again in light of the damage done to this planet by the climate change we are responsible for. I think that since we can always find money when it comes to waging wars of aggression, we damn sure can come up with what is needed to launch this satellite that will aid us in our quest to reverse the damage we have done.

Shame on Congress for turning their backs on this clearly out of partisan political rancor. We are now reaping the whirlwind for it.

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