The Trump administration is trying to undermine the federal government’s National Climate Assessment by barring scientists from including longterm forecasts and showing worst-case scenarios, The New York Times reports.
Among the administration’s repeated attacks on climate science is a new order from Trump’s appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, to climate scientists to only use computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040 instead of 2100, as had been done previously.
“Scientists say that would give a misleading picture because the biggest effects of current emissions will be felt after 2040,” The Times reported. “Models show that the planet will most likely warm at about the same rate through about 2050. From that point until the end of the century, however, the rate of warming differs significantly with an increase or decrease in carbon emissions.”
Officials told The Times that as a result, the next National Climate Assessment report will not include worst-case scenario projections despite evidence that “the earth’s atmosphere could warm by as much as eight degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century” which would “lead to drastically higher sea levels, more devastating storms and droughts, crop failures, food losses and severe health consequences.”
Trump panel plans to question climate science consensus:
Along with undermining the climate science, Trump has put together a panel that will seek to question the scientific consensus around climate change, The Times reported.
The panel is headed by Princeton physicist William Happer, who has repeatedly denied the idea of man-made climate change while espousing the benefits of carbon dioxide.
“The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” Harper said in a CNBC interview in 2014.
Happer’s effort is backed by Trump national security adviser John Bolton.
“Mr. Happer and Mr. Bolton are both beneficiaries of Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the far-right billionaire and his daughter who have funded efforts to debunk climate science,” The Times reported. “The Mercers gave money to a super PAC affiliated with Mr. Bolton before he entered government and to an advocacy group headed by Mr. Happer.”
Scientists slam Trump administration’s willful ignorance on climate change:
Scientists said that the Trump administration’s move to undermine the climate science reporting would paint a falsely optimistic picture.
“Nobody in the world does climate science like that,” Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton, told The Times. “It would be like designing cars without seatbelts or airbags.”
“It is very unfortunate and potentially even quite damaging that the Trump administration behaves this way,” added Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “There is this arrogance and disrespect for scientific advancement — this very demoralizing lack of respect for your own experts and agencies.”