It appears the walls of reality are beginning to close in on climate change deniers.
Friday, the White House released the fourth National Climate Assessment, which confirms what scientists have been warning us about for decades: human activity is the primary cause of global warming, and dire consequences like sea level rise of eight feet by century’s end and more catastrophic weather are guaranteed if we fail to act accordingly.
Despite President Donald Trump’s opinion that climate change is a “Chinese hoax,” and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt’s insidious reversals of the previous administration’s progressive climate policies, the White House did not attempt to circumvent the report’s legally mandated release.
The assessment states:
“It is extremely likely that human influence has been 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.”
In addition to averring “no convincing alternative explanation,” the document also serves as a tacit sign of how reliable multiple government agencies are at fulfilling their responsibilities despite the current administration’s indefatigable opposition to their endeavors.
For example, scientists continue authoring papers and issuing reports on climate change as political appointees alter news releases and prohibit civil servants from publicizing their scientific conclusions.
Prohibiting the dire report’s release would violate a 1990 law requiring it every four years.
One of the report’s lead authors, Robert Kopp, climate scientist at Rutgers University, and expert on sea-level rise, said:
“I think this report is basically the most comprehensive climate science report in the world right now.”
It verifies the United States is presently experiencing more extreme heat, rainfall, and wildfires; more than 25 coastal cities are battling increased flooding; seas could rise by between 1 and 4 feet by the year 2100; rise of over eight feet is “physically possible.”
When it comes to rapidly elevating atmospheric greenhouse gases, the report states:
“There is no climate analog for this century at any time in at least the last 50 million years.”
The assessment’s most alarming part, though, warns of climate scientists’ inability to foresee all tipping points or rapid environmental changes that could introduce “new states that are very different from those experienced in the recent past.”
Still, this didn’t stop the Trump administration from criticizing it.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement:
“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. In the United States, energy related carbon dioxide emissions have been declining, are expected to remain flat through 2040, and will also continue to decline as a share of world emissions.”
The Trump White House is not the first to have taken issue with the report.
A senior official at the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the George W. Bush administration edited some government science reports’ contents.
Despite its dubious outlook on the report’s findings, though, the current administration decided to publish the assessment without altering it.
David Fahey, the study’s lead author and atmospheric scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said, despite suspicions to the contrary:
“I’m quite confident to say there has been no political interference in the scientific messages from this report. Whatever fears we had weren’t realized. … This report says what the scientists want it to say.”
Hopefully this revelation will be the impetus the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs to reverse his inhumane stance on the most existential threat humanity faces today.
Image credit: commondreams.org