Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Donald Trump gives the signing pen to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on June 18. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said he’s not getting pushback from Trump administration officials over his recent, high-profile endorsement of the scientific consensus that human activities are the dominant cause of global warming.

"The administration has been very supportive of my position. Nobody's given me a hard time about it at all"
— NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, in an interview with Axios

Why it matters: Bridenstine leads one of the world's top climate science research agencies, so his position on this issue will influence support for studies that in turn form the basis for policy decisions. Yet he's out of step with senior Trump officials.

He stands alone: Bridenstine is the only high-profile Trump appointee to become more confident about the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change once he got into office. He said studying climate science is not, and should not be, controversial.

"What I find, Republicans and Democrats can disagree about what to do about what we are learning, but everybody, everybody on both sides of the aisle believes that we should study and understand what is happening to the planet because it is changing and everybody knows that," he said.

Still, the Trump administration proposed steep cuts to NASA's climate programs in the next fiscal year. However, Congress restored most of the funding during the appropriations process.

Going all the way: In May, Bridenstine became the sole Trump administration official to fully endorse the findings of the federal government's National Climate Assessment. Other Trump officials either ignored this report or downplayed it as a product of the bureaucracy.

The old Bridenstine: In an interview with Axios earlier this week, Bridenstine said he has long recognized that the climate is changing. "Since my nomination, there have been a number of, I think, inaccurate narratives about my position on this," he said regarding his climate science stance.

Bridenstine said he understood the problem of climate change while in Congress, and cited his support for an amendment to a defense bill that called for a study on how climate change was affecting our "defense posture."

"... As a Navy person, I've seen firsthand that we are having to defend territory in the Arctic where we never used to have to defend before. That the Russians are doing activities in the Arctic that they never used to be able to do and that we should understand how climate change is affecting our national security posture. So, as a Navy person and somebody on the Armed Services Committee, it's pretty clear that the Arctic ice used to be there and now it's not," he said.

Be smart: Bridenstine does have a history of making comments questioning the causes of climate change. His climate change views, as well as his positions on social issues and background as a politician were the main reasons his nomination barely squeaked by the Senate on a vote of 50 to 49.

In a 2013 floor speech, for example, Bridenstine erroneously claimed that “Global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago. Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with sun output and ocean cycles.”

In reality, the top 5 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010, and the recent National Climate Assessment explicitly rejected natural cycles as causing global warming.

The bottom line: Bridenstine says he aims to keep NASA "above the fray" on climate change, and the same might be said about how he aims to conduct himself in this role. "All we want to do at NASA, is make sure that we are providing the absolute best science so that policy makers can make good decisions," he said.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!