By Dan Shapley
The United States government has been a leader in the scientific study of climate change, even if the rest of the world often takes those studies more to heart. A cornerstone of the country's scientific research -- its high-tech satellites -- will be turned away from climate, however, under a plan that has just come to light. The government has good reason to be skeptical about the satellite research -- the program is way over budget and way past due. But the decision to halt construction of two satellites is being criticized because it will reduce our ability to understand changes in the climate. The loss of two satellites puts a dent in the fleet of orbiting sensors studying the climate, and that, federal scientists said, puts the "overall climate program in serious jeopardy", according to a story in the June 5 Los Angeles Times.