Trump Disbands Climate Change PanelThe panel was about to issue a report on the role of human activities in global temperature increase from 1951 to 2010.
More bad news for the environment: According to The Washington Post, President Trump has disbanded an advisory committee to the National Climate Assessment, a group created by Congress in 1990 to examine the long-term effects of climate change. The advisory committee helped disseminate government climate analysis on the effects of climate change to policymakers, academics and private-sector officials. Its charter expired Sunday and will not be renewed.
The Post reports:
The National Climate Assessment is supposed to be issued every four years but has come out only three times since passage of the 1990 law calling for such analysis. The next one, due for release in 2018, already has become a contentious issue for the Trump administration.
Administration officials are currently reviewing a scientific report that is key to the final document. Known as the Climate Science Special Report, it was produced by scientists from 13 different federal agencies and estimates that human activities were responsible for an increase in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 to 2010.
Earlier this month The New York Times obtained and published a copy of the report, which concluded that “evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” and that the available evidence shows that “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse [heat-trapping] gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.” The report is yet to be approved by the Trump administration, despite having been prepared by 13 federal agencies.
The chair of the now-disbanded advisory committee, University of Maryland adjunct professor Richard Moss, told the Post that the group will finish and release the report, even though it won’t be an official government document. He said that “it won’t have the same weight as if we were issuing it as a federal advisory committee.”
This is not the first time the Trump administration’s systematic denial of climate change has been circumnavigated. The scientists who composed the report published by the Times released it out of concern that the administration would suppress its findings. The analysis is what the advisory committee typically would use as a basis for its suggestions to local and private agencies.
The Post also reports that the committee’s work would have been useful, given that state and local officials have pressured the federal government for more concrete guidance on how to utilize climate-change data for future infrastructure. However, the Trump administration continues to demonstrate disinterest in acknowledging climate change:
Last week, the president signed an executive order on infrastructure that included language overturning a federal requirement that projects built in coastal floodplains and receiving federal aid take projected sea-level rise into account. Some groups, such as the National Association of Home Builders, hailed the reversal of that standard from the Obama administration on the grounds that stricter flood requirements would raise the cost of development and “could make many projects infeasible.”
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, said in an interview Saturday that dissolving the climate advisory committee represents “an example of the president not leading, and the president stepping away from reality.” An official from Seattle Public Utilities served on the panel. With the group disbanded, Murray said it would now be “more difficult” for cities to participate in the climate assessment. On climate change, he said, Trump “has left us all individually to figure it out.”
According to a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, eliminating the committee “does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority.” However, the Trump administration has not demonstrated any movement toward approving the report and continues to favor nonrenewable energy sources such as coal.Wait, before you go…
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