[Marxism] U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump Officials
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 3 12:22:28 MDT 2017
NY Times, Nov. 3 2017
U.S. Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change, Contradicting Top Trump
By LISA FRIEDMAN
Phoenix experienced record highs in June. The report says there are “no
convincing alternative explanations” other than human activity to
account for rising global temperatures. Credit Ralph Freso/Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The Earth is experiencing the warmest period in the history
of civilization and humans are the dominant cause of the temperature
rise that has occurred since the start of the 20th century, according to
an exhaustive scientific report unveiled Friday by 13 federal agencies.
The report was approved by the White House, but it directly contradicts
much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change.
Over the past 115 years global average temperatures have increased 1.8
degrees Fahrenheit, leading to record-breaking weather events and
temperature extremes. The global, long-term warming trend is
“unambiguous,” the report says, and there is “no convincing alternative
explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the
power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.
The findings come as the Trump administration is defending its climate
change policies on several fronts. The United Nations convenes its
annual climate change conference next week in Bonn, Germany, and the
Trump delegation is expected to face harsh criticism over President
Trump’s decision to walk away from the 195-nation Paris accord on
climate and top American officials’ stated doubts about the causes and
impacts of a warming planet.
“This report has some very powerful, hard-hitting statements that are
totally at odds with senior administration folks and at odds with their
policies,” said Philip B. Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research
Center. “It begs the question, where are members of the administration
getting their information from? They’re obviously not getting it from
their own scientists.”
The Earth has set temperature highs for three years running, and six of
the last 17 years are the warmest years on record for the globe. Weather
catastrophes from floods to hurricanes to heat waves have cost the
United States $1.1 trillion since 1980, the report says, and it warns
that such phenomena may become common.
“The frequency and intensity of extreme high temperature events are
virtually certain to increase in the future as global temperature
increases,” the report notes. “Extreme precipitation events will very
likely continue to increase in frequency and intensity throughout most
of the world.”
In the United States, the report finds that every part of the country
has been touched by warming, from droughts in the Southeast to flooding
in the Midwest to a worrying rise in air and ground temperatures in
Alaska, and conditions will continue to worsen.
“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,” the report states.
“Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and
beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades will
depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases
emitted globally and on the remaining uncertainty in the sensitivity of
Earth’s climate to those emissions,” it adds.
The climate science report is part of a congressionally mandated review
conducted every four years known as the National Climate Assessment. The
product of hundreds of experts and scientists within the government and
academia and peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences, it is
considered the United States’ most definitive statement on climate
But the Environmental Protection Agency has wiped references to climate
change from its website and barred its scientists from presenting
scientific reports on the subject, and its administrator, Scott Pruitt,
does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to warming.
Rick Perry, the energy secretary, asserted Wednesday that “the science
is out” on whether humans cause climate change.
Jim Bridenstine, the Oklahoma congressman whom President Trump nominated
to lead NASA, came under fire this week from multiple lawmakers
demanding to know his position on climate change. “Carbon dioxide is in
fact a greenhouse gas,” Mr. Bridenstine allowed, but declined to say if
he accepted it as the primary cause of climate change. He did pledge
that scientists would not be punished or reassigned for working on or
speaking about global warming.
Yet none of those agencies nor the White House moved to stop the
report’s publication, and the White House Office of Science and
Technology Policy signed off on the final release, despite fear among
some scientists involved in the research that the Trump administration
would block it or seek to water it down. That, researchers said, now
creates an unusual situation in which government policies are in direct
opposition to the science it is producing.
Christopher Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the
Environment at Stanford University, called that “tragic.”
“This profoundly affects our ability to be leaders in developing new
technologies and understanding how to build successful communities and
businesses in the 21st century,” Mr. Field said. “Choosing to be dumb
about our relationship with the natural world is choosing to be behind
the eight ball.”
Critics of climate change science attacked the report as the product of
holdovers from former President Obama’s administration, and also
chastised the Trump administration for allowing it to be published.
Others said the science may be valid but those findings should not
affect laws to address the rise of emissions.
“I really don’t think that determines policy at all,” said Marlo Lewis
Jr., a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Mr. Lewis
said he does not deny that the majority of warming is caused by man-made
emissions. But, he said, “The thing is, I’m also going to affirm that
there are risks of climate policy as well as climate change. To me the
real issue is, where do the risks lie? Suppressing your economy is never
a good solution.”
The report finds with very high confidence that the average annual
temperature over the contiguous United States has increased by 1.2
degrees Fahrenheit (0.7 degrees Celsius) since 1986, relative to the
previous century. It is projected to rise, scientists said with an
equally high degree of confidence, about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.4
degrees Celsius by midcentury. That will mean hotter days and nights,
particularly in urban and densely populated areas.
The report finds with high confidence that if greenhouse gas
concentrations were stabilized at their current level, the world will
still see at least an additional 1.1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree
Celsius) of warming over this century.
“This new report simply confirms what we already knew. Human-caused
climate change isn’t just a theory, it’s reality,” said Michael E. Mann,
a distinguished professor of atmospheric science and the director of the
Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. “Whether we’re
talking about unprecedented heat waves, increasingly destructive
hurricanes, epic drought and inundation of our coastal cities, the
impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. They are upon us. That’s
the consensus of our best scientists, as laid bare by this latest report.”
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