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The New York Times reported yesterday that in addition to significantly weakening Obama Administration policies and rules that would have cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, now the Trump Administration is working to “recalculate” the risks posed by climate change by ordering scientists to ignore long term impacts beyond 2040 and to omit analysis of the worst-case scenarios in the next national climate assessment report.
Why This Matters: Here we go again. The George W. Bush Administration also tried to squelch the science around climate change — their tactic was to have politicians redraft the scientific conclusions and to put greater emphasis on analysis of uncertainties surrounding climate science at the time. They were unable to succeed because government scientists were able to point to their results and vouch for them — they could object on the merits. The Trump Administration’s plan is more dangerous because by not performing these analyses the ability of outsiders and the government’s own scientists to critique the government’s actions will be diminished. We won’t know what we don’t know. And what we don’t know can and will hurt us.
What This Will Mean For Climate Science: This will lead to incomplete data and analysis on which to base government decisions and plans.
Scientists claim that this will warp the picture of the business as usual scenario because the worst impacts of climate change do not begin until after 2050.
“Nobody in the world does climate science like that,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton. “It would be like designing cars without seatbelts or airbags.”
The Climate Change Strippers: The list of Trump political appointees who have stripped climate change information from official documents is growing.
The Times reported that the “White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040 rather than through the end of the century.”
Some Agencies Are Resisting: Not all government science agencies are planning such changes. A spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, asked if its scientists would limit the use of climate models, wrote in an email, “No changes are being considered at this time.”
As Axios reported yesterday based on insight received from the Biden campaign: foreign policy will look drastically different if Joe Biden defeats President Trump in November— starting with a Day One announcement that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement and new global coordination of the coronavirus response. Why This Matters: Even though most […]
A new study shows that climate change in the 150 years since the industrial revolution has canceled out the prior 6500 years of cooling. The study, conducted by researchers at Northern Arizona University’s School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), examined a new compilation of paleoclimate data along with new statistical analyses and found that millennial-scale […]
There’s been ample research to show that the Arctic is warming much faster than any other region on the planet. However, there’s been little media focus on what’s happening on the opposite side of the planet, until now. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday has revealed that the South […]
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