by Countable | 11.6.17
President Donald Trump has called climate change a "hoax". Numerous other senior administration officials have also publicly questioned the science documenting climate change and its significance. But now the White House has released a Climate Change report that contradicts those assertions, verifying that climate change is real and that humans are the only plausible primary cause.
In early August scientists involved in the formulation of the Fourth Annual Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated climate assessment report authored by scientists from 13 different agencies, leaked a final draft to the press. They were concerned that the White House would bury the report because it offered conclusive evidence not just of the existence of climate change, but also of human’s responsibility for it, directly contradicting the beliefs of many in the administration.
However, the report has now been released and, according to lead author Carl Mears, quoted by Ars Technica, there was no political meddling in its formulation or release:
"I didn't see any signs of political interference for the chapters I was involved in. The comments from the agencies appeared to be from scientists, and most if not all were directed toward making the report clearer and easier to understand."
The report, highlighted by NBC, states clearly that a global rise in temperature is accelerating rapidly, and that there is no other plausible cause but humans:
"This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century, For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence."
For their part, the administration, via White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah, skirted the issue, acknowledging the existence of changes in climate, but dodging the question of human culpability:
"The climate has changed and is always changing. As the Climate Science Special Report states, the magnitude of future climate change depends significantly on 'remaining uncertainty in the sensitivity of Earth's climate to [greenhouse gas] emissions."
The administration has rolled back a host of rules and regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, aimed at curbing carbon emissions, which are believed to be a primary driver of climate change. They also have removed the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which aims to set global goals for combating climate change.
Are you heartened by the release of this report? Do you think it will, or should, change the policy direction of the administration? What do you hope comes of the firm conclusions it contains, that global temps are accelerating and humans are to blame?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: NOAA / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable