Letter: Reagan knew the importance of basic research

First Published      Last Updated Mar 17 2017 05:00 am

Repudiating virtually the entire scientific community, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, "I would not agree that [CO2's] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see."

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Republican chairman of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, sides with science. "Rising carbon emissions have been a contributing factor to climate change for decades. That is a scientific fact and the reality facing communities like my district. The EPA is tasked with the very responsibility of helping to lower the impact of carbon emissions, and for Mr. Pruitt to assert otherwise without scientific evidence is reckless and unacceptable."

Nowhere do our hopes take more visible form than in the quest of science. And for the past 40 years, the government has been our leading sponsor of basic research. But one thing is certain: If we don't explore, others will, and we'll fall behind. It is an indispensable investment in America's future. The remarkable thing is that although basic research does not begin with a particular practical goal, when you look at the results over the years, it ends up being one of the most practical things government does.

Not one of the words of the preceding paragraph are mine. They are Ronald Reagan's, verbatim, from his radio address to the nation on the Federal Role in Scientific Research on April 2, 1988.

Gerald Elias

Salt Lake City