President Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency under Scott Pruitt do not want Americans to understand the dire consequences of climate change. President Trump has called it a Chinese hoax, and several Republicans have argued that since it still snows, climate change can’t be much of a problem. The depth of the Republican Party’s science denial coupled with its undying commitment to the fossil fuel industry is breathtaking — and even led to Trump withdrawing the United States from the historic Paris Climate Accord.

Now, a group of scientists has surreptitiously released a draft copy of the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report to The New York Times. They did so because they were afraid that the Trump administration would suppress it.

From the draft report’s Introduction:

Since the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA3) was published in May 2014, new observations along multiple lines of evidence have strengthened the conclusion that Earth’s climate is changing at a pace and in a pattern not explainable by natural influences. While this report focuses especially on observed and projected future changes for the United States, it is important to understand those changes in the global context (this chapter).

 

The world has warmed over the last 150 years, especially over the last six decades, and that warming has triggered many other changes to Earth’s climate. Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea level; and an increase in atmospheric water vapor. Rainfall patterns and storms are changing and the occurrence of droughts is shifting.

This report has yet to be “approved” by the EPA. It may not be. But the scientists did the right thing by making sure that this information was released to Americans and the broader global community.

Climate change isn’t and shouldn’t be considered a partisan issue. All of our children and grandchildren will have to live in the world that we leave them.

– Staff

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