The Trump administration can’t change climate science or make it go away. Now, federal agencies are being forced to hide it. This violation of the law and the whole truth should stop.
Climate change is happening. Humans are causing it. Negative effects are being seen in all regions of the country. Without actions to reduce those effects, the nation’s economy will shrink.
The data and conclusions are in the Fourth National Climate Assessment. This legally mandated, quadrennial collection from scientific and economic agencies across the entire federal government is comprehensive, authoritative and scary.
Drastic, probably irreversible and certainly economically damaging impacts are growing slowly. After 2050, that growth will become supercharged.
Unfortunately, the climate report totally contradicts Trump administration rationale for rolling back environmental regulations. That is why, prevented by law from keeping it secret, they quietly released the report on Friday of the Thanksgiving weekend. Its impact might not be noticed.
Climate activists were not so easily fooled. An upsurge in organizing in response to the report’s data began immediately. Worse, groups suing the administration for backpedaling on the Clean Air Act can force the government to follow the report’s conclusions in making policy as the law requires. What’s an administration beholden to polluting industries, outdated ideologies and science deniers to do now? The answer is diabolical.
All government reports on the effects of climate change must now stop at 2040. The future beyond that date will seem to be on the same slow trajectory even though the science says otherwise. Bad science, bad reporting, good politics for conservatives.
This bastardization of science is a big win for those determined to profit from fossil fuels as long as current equipment and the air hold out. It is a devastating loss for the reputation of United States government scientific reporting, currently considered the world’s gold standard. It is also a cynical and cruel exchange of future benefits for short-term profits and electoral advantages.
These new limits violate a 1990 congressional mandate that climate assessment be done to help the U.S. and the world “understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” Agencies should ignore the restrictions and publish complete scientific truths.