California Will Launch "Its Own Damn Climate Satellite" As Battle With Trump Intensifies

Governor Moonbeam is ready to launch the #resistance into space.

During his closing remarks at a climate change summit in San Francisco last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown revealed that his state is making preparations to launch a satellite that will "figure out where the pollution is." Apparently, this is what Brown had in mind when he vowed that California would be "ready to fight" Trump's climate change policies. The satellite, Brown said, will be a collaborative project between San Fran-based Planet Labs and California's Air Resource Board.


Here's Politico with more.

"We’re going to launch our own satellite - our own damn satellite to figure out where the pollution is and how we’re going to end it," Brown told an international audience on the final day of the San Francisco gathering.

California will work with San Francisco-based Planet Labs to launch a satellite capable of tracking climate-altering emissions, Brown said. The effort will lean on the expertise of the state’s Air Resources Board, which has taken the forefront in pursuing climate-related innovations.

The governor’s choice of words in making the announcement deliberately echoed his late 2016 challenge to Donald Trump, amid rumors that the incoming administration would undercut NASA’s climate research role.

"If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite," Brown said at the time, after musing on his celestial history: "I remember back in 1978 I proposed a Landsat satellite for California. They called me 'Governor Moonbeam' because of that," he said.

Judging by Brown's comments, the so-called "climate change" conference was as much about defying President Trump as it was about discussing clean-energy alternatives to fossil fuels. Indeed, Brown attacked the president as a "fool" and a "criminal" while claiming that, during the Trump era, "science is under attack."

"In California, with science under attack - in fact we’re under attack from a lot of people, including Donald Trump, but the climate threat still keeps growing. So, we want to know what the hell is going on all over the world, all the time."

In addition to showcasing California’s ambitious efforts to blunt climate change, the Global Climate Action Summit shone an international spotlight on the state’s continued defiance of the Trump administration. That dual theme of California’s leadership and Washington’s failure recurred throughout the week.

The day after signing a bill compelling California to eventually derive 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources, Brown lashed out at the Trump administration’s proposed weakening of methane regulations as an "insane" act that “borders on criminality.” Asked on Thursday about Trump’s climate legacy, Brown offered some choice words.

"On the path he is now? I don’t know: liar, criminal, fool. Pick your choice,” he told reporters. Later in the day, he signed bills seeking to augment the number of clean cars on the road.

Maybe Brown can contract SpaceX to launch the satellite. After all, Elon Musk has demonstrated a commitment to clean energy solutions, even if his track record of successful satellite launches is somewhat more suspect.