WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) Chairman and CEO Ronald D. Sugar has called for a national initiative to transform the vast amounts of global climate data being collected by various earth observation systems into the practical, decision-quality knowledge needed to address the challenges of global climate change.
"It may well be time to take the next step -- to create a higher-level structural mechanism, under government leadership, which builds on our scientific successes to date," said Sugar. "What I am calling for is for the new administration to undertake a national initiative to leverage those investments to provide broad access to decision-quality climate knowledge. This is a really hard problem, but the pay-off will be enormous."
In a speech delivered Dec. 5 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Sugar said this was an opportunity for the incoming Obama administration to leverage past and current investments in earth observation systems and demonstrate global leadership on a difficult issue.
The full text of Sugar's speech is available at: http://www.northropgrumman.com/presentations/2008/120508_rds_csis.html
Sugar said this evolution of our climate understanding "could open up a new world of benefits and opportunities that we might not now even imagine" and that "many of the tools and techniques required to do this have already been developed by the defense and information technology industries." One way to achieve this vision "could be through the establishment of what might be called Regional Decision Support Centers."
This core of technical capabilities and expertise that has been developed by the national security industry could and should be applied to the challenges of climate change.
Sugar cited public-private partnerships such as the Apollo mission and the Human Genome Project as precedents. The knowledge created from these efforts resulted in benefits to society that were astronomical and frequently unforeseen.
"Our president-elect has made clear his intentions to act," Sugar said. "If our nation's leadership inspires American innovation, it may now be within our power to ensure that our responses to the coming climate changes are not merely reactive, but are proactive."
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Gus Gulmert Northrop Grumman Corporation (703) 875-8450 firstname.lastname@example.org