This week, I read an article on Vox about the contradictions between the new report on climate change and the way that Trump acts about climate change. The report came out of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), which is an United States government interagency organization on climate change. The report explicitly says, “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.” It also shows many charts and graphs that outline the changes overtime, as well as the projected changes.
Both of these charts display concerning data about climate change. Of course, projected data can change, but it should be concerning to a lot of people.
This does not reflect the sentiments about climate change that Trump has reflected in the past. He has called climate change a hoax, proposed a budget that cuts funding for climate research, talked about withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and the executive branch has removed references to climate change from websites. However, the administration did not interfere with the release of this report, even though it seems to strongly go against Trump and his administration’s sentiments.
What I found interesting about this article is that it seemed to frame it as a negative that the administration didn’t interfere with the publishing of the report. I would prefer to have this information out there than have it censored. I think that this article shows interesting points about how contradictory the report is to the general sentiments of Trump and the administration. The Whitehouse spokesperson also made a statement about the report changing the tone of the report, saying “the climate has changed and is always changing”. He also essentially said that the report also reflected this uncertainty. While I do think that it’s concerning that there’s so much contradiction between the report and these statements, I think it’s overall a positive that this report was released in this way. It’s written in a very accessible way that would be understandable to most people. I wish that the article had spent more time on the content of the report, instead of comparing the sentiments of the two. I think that the general public would benefit more from seeing this report and having it talked about in the news than from seeing these contradictions. I think that it’s wonderful that this was published despite the sentiments of the administration. I also think that it’s important that this information is widely accessible because it’s concerning and needs to be talked about. This report is refreshingly honest and paints a grim picture of the future. I hope that this is an eye opener for some people, despite the apparent blindness of the current administration.