NASA has a proved ability to accomplish major engineering feats. Climate change is an immense challenge that involves an extremely complex system--the environment--along with advanced technologies that could be used to measure it and mitigate problems. Each of these facets is a significant scientific and technical hurdle, but perhaps the biggest challenge is to bring everything together into a comprehensive, integrated plan. This will require a coordinated effort of thousands of scientists and engineers, and large-scale deployment, perhaps not unlike the retooling of manufacturing during World War II or the Apollo project. There are few organizations with the relevant capacity, and NASA is one.
But NASA can do more if the new Pres. Barack Obama and Congress give it the chance. The following are nine ways that it can help solve the world's energy and climate change problems: