Mitchell Anderson

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Mitchell Anderson is a Vancouver based researcher and writer.

He worked for eight years as a staff scientist at Sierra Legal Defence Fund and has written extensively on environmental and social policy issues for a variety of national and international publications.

His blog is found at:

Whitehouse Stonewalls DSCOVR Information Request

If you're not interested in the issue of climate change, fine, but this story is as much about that as it is about a new ruling that further erodes your right to information from your government.
Digging up information on the cancellation of the DSCOVR climate satellite mission has been like pulling teeth. The dental work continued this week, this time with the Whitehouse.

Last month, I filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to the Office of Administration in Washington DC, asking for copies of any records “relating to the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, formerly known as Triana, from the period January 1, 2000 to the present.” (documents attached to the end of this post).

Update: someone just sent this Washington Post article to us, seems we're pretty justified in our outrage.

How Much Is Monitoring Climate Change Worth?

Part 6 in our “Uncover DSCOVR” series featuring science writer Mitchell Anderson
Like any government body, NASA has to decide where is best to spend it’s finite resources. These decisions aren’t easy but they are essential to ensure that the funds entrusted by the taxpayer are allocated in a coherent and thoughtful way.
Looking through that lens, it is hard to imagine how NASA saw fit to cancel DSCOVR after it was built – ostensibly due to lack of resources – when they are continuing to shovel literally billions of dollars on two mega projects that arguably have no scientific merit whatsoever. I speak of the International Space Station (ISS) and the proposed manned mission to Mars.

Could DSCOVR be saved by NOAA?

Here is the latest bizarre twist in our investigative series on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

To recap, NASA was given over $100 million in taxpayers money to build a spacecraft that would look at the energy budget of our planet from a unique perspective. Even though it is fully completed over five years ago, it is still sitting in a box at the Goddard Space Centre.

According to leading scientists in a recent paper in the esteemed journal Science, this spacecraft would dispel much existing uncertainty about the pace of climate change.

FOIA, NASA, DSCOVR - My Acronym Hell

My last posting was about my teeth-pulling exercise to get information from NASA about their bizarre decision to cancel DSCOVR.

Last year, I filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to NASA for all documents relating to the decision to cancel DSCOVR. Almost a year later, I got about 80 pages of documents - mostly letters from concerned scientists about the cancellation of the mission. NASA withheld all their internal documents so I filed an appeal. Last July, I got my response: Bupkis (that’s Yiddish for goat shit).

So in the interest of full disclosure, I am posting my FOIA request, all the documents from NASA, and my highly unsatisfactory appeal res

Uncover DSCOVR Part 3: Digging for Answers from NASA

My entry into the DSCOVR mission intrigue happened last year when I pitched the idea to SEED magazine for a feature article on the project.
DSCOVR was quietly killed by NASA in January 2006 and it seemed awfully strange to me that a fully completed climate satellite costing $100 million would be mothballed after it had been built.
Stranger still was that virtually every scientist I interviewed as I researched this piece expressed something between guarded disappointment to full-blown outrage that what they considered crucial mission had been canceled.
This is part 3 in Mitchell Anderson's investigative series on the DSCOVR climate satellite. Please help us in our research on this important project by donating to DeSmogBlog. Thanks to all those people who already have.

How Politics Conspired to Kill DSCOVR

This is the second in DeSmogBlog's investigative series called “Operation Uncover DSCOVR.
Back in 1998, before he wasn’t elected president, and long before he hit the Hollywood “A List” with An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore had an interesting idea.
It was a dream actually.
Gore woke one morning remembering how powerfully he was affected by the iconic “blue marble” photo taken on December 7, 1972 by the crew of Apollo 17 on their way to the moon.

A DeSmogBlog exclusive investigation into NASA's DSCOVR climate station

Somewhere in Maryland is a metal box containing a fully completed climate spacecraft called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) that could save the world.

What happened? How could the US government possibly justify killing DSCOVR given the importance of climate change and after over 90% of the project expenses had already been incurred? What role did petty partisan politics play in this? Did the oil lobby have any influence on this decision?

Over the next few months I'm going to dig into the history of DSCOVR, the reasons why it was canceled, and why NASA refuses to release any internal documents on the decision to kill the mission.

Click here to donate to our research project and help find out who killed the DSCOVR project.

Science is a fussy profession

Science is a fussy profession. For example, it is generally frowned on to not disclose your funding sources or conflicts of interest – and for good reason.

Take the recent study by Yale University, which found that industry-funded studies of soft drinks are far less likely to find negative impacts.

Anyone for a DSCOVR Bake Sale?

A satellite that might save the world has been sitting in a metal box in a NASA building for the last five years - very likely due to the cynical politics of climate change.