US tries to bury report on climate change’s dire health, economic impacts on the US itself - Following China and others the US has done its own peer-reviewed research on climate change
“Black Friday” took on a darker connotation last week when US officials suddenly pushed forward the release date of climate scientists' latest report on the dangerous impacts of climate change in the United States. The report had been scheduled to come out in two weeks, but scientists were told to get it finalized on short notice so it could be released on a busy Friday instead.
The latest US National Climate Assessment report—available in an exceptionally readable format online — is a second volume, and it follows last year’s volume on the physical science of the climate system. The 2017 report was written by a large group of volunteer scientists and approved by federal agencies, and it summarized peer-reviewed climate research by explaining that climate change is real and the result of human activities.
The new report goes into what we know about the impacts climate change will have on life in the US. It’s also organized in a practical way: there are chapters covering particular types of communities, specific aspects of infrastructure, and each region of the country. This makes it easier to think about how multiple impacts can build on each other, making it easier for readers to find the most relevant sections.
The statement the White House put out in response to press questions about the report claims that it “is largely based on the most extreme scenario,” which is false (fake news?). A range of future emissions scenarios — the standard set currently used in climate science — is presented everywhere in the report.
In a recent interview with Axios, President Trump was asked about last year’s National Climate Assessment report. He answered that he had not seen it and did not accept its conclusion that human activities are clearly responsible for climate change. Trump answered, “I can also give you reports where people very much dispute that,” but no such report based on peer-reviewed science exists because the evidence and research provide no support for that position.
UPDATE: On Monday, President Trump said of the report, "I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine." But when asked about the report's description of the great economic impacts of continued climate change, he answered, "I don't believe it."