War on science: Don’t let the Trump admin censor its comprehensive climate change report
As the news appeared this week about U.S. Department of Agriculture employees being told to avoid the term “climate change” in their work, the draft of a new report on climate change also appeared. That report, published Monday by The New York Times, is, according to Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, among “the most comprehensive climate science reports” ever to be published.
It confirms what we already know: There are going to be severe effects in the United States from the warming of the planet caused by human activity, and some of those effects aren’t just in the pipeline to show up much later this century, but already beginning to happen.
The assessment is one done every four years since 1990 under congressional mandate and is due to be published in 2018.
Given the stance of the Trump regime—which is based on denying climate science and outright lies about the changes that are coming faster than was thought to be the case a decade and even five years ago—the worry is that the White House will order the report suppressed:
The authors note that thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of scientists, have documented climate changes on land and in the air. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change,” they wrote.
The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it. […]
“It’s a fraught situation,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and international affairs at Princeton University who was not involved in the study. “This is the first case in which an analysis of climate change of this scope has come up in the Trump administration, and scientists will be watching very carefully to see how they handle it.”
So far, the regime’s response has been press secretary Sarah Sanders criticism of the Times for publishing and reporting on the assessment “without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies
directly involved with climate and environmental policy.”
Pr*sident Trump himself has labeled climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese and a “con job” on the American people. He has presided over removal of scientists from an Environmental Protection Agency advisory board and attempted to turn back policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur the spread of facilities using solar and wind for fuel. It is thus no stretch to expect the White House could choose to order a rewrite of the assessment downplaying what scientists from 13 federal agencies are saying about climate change with more force than previously.
The resistance has a crucial task in this matter. We must encourage in every way possible those who have drafted this report to refuse to retreat from their professional assessment and refuse to tell the lies the malignant crew of scientifically illiterate ideologues that have taken over in Washington.
(Originally appeared at our DailyKos.)