July 15, 2018

US Diplomats Advised to Give Generalized Answers to Paris Climate Deal Questions

11 August 2017, 02:17 | Cameron Gross

Fake News: NYT's 'Leaked' Climate Report Was Online for Months

Climate change worse, faster than projected, scientists tell Trump in leaked report

The report needs approval from the Trump administration.

The draft report concludes that average temperatures over much of the world in recent decades have been much higher and have risen faster than at any time in the last 1,700 years.

In that review, NAS said the draft report "is impressive, timely and generally well-written", and cited its "breath, accuracy and rigor".

Many Democrats, who have already complained that Trump has rolled back climate policies and targeted funding for climate-related research, said they have good reason to worry that the White House might interfere with the report. The process for developing the 2018 report started under the Obama administration and has continued quietly during the first months of the Trump presidency. It has been signed by the National Academy of Sciences.

The New York Times has not yet issued a correction on the story.

"This is the most comprehensive science report that has been published outside of the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to my knowledge", co-lead author Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told the BBC.

The report warns that even if we completely curb carbon-spewing gases immediately, the Earth will heat by 0.3 degrees Celsius under current calculations. Even so, why not leave the report available on the website for interested members of the public to read? In an era where the threat of climate change is downplayed or utterly denied, the report is a sobering reminder that it is a very real danger, and had it not been leaked on August 7 to The New York Times, it might not have reached the public.

The report said that through greenhouse-gas emissions and widespread deforestation, humans were conducting an "unprecedented experiment" with the climate system. What remains to be seen is whether the White House will accept the facts presented and correct its regressive environmental policies.

President Donald Trump has promised to bring back coal mining jobs, extend oil pipelines, and reduce government subsidies for clean energy initiatives and now U.S. scientists are fighting back.

The Reuters news agency reported Tuesday that a cable sent Friday to USA embassies by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson provided prospective questions foreign government officials could ask diplomats and suggested answers.

"The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

"There's a warming trend - the climate is changing", EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Fox News.

By law, federal agencies must produce a combined Climate Science Special Report at least every five years.

It notes that worldwide it is "extremely likely" that more than half of the global temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to humans.

"The National Climate Assessment seems to be on autopilot because there's no political that has taken control of it", said Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Some scientists were concerned that the administration could amend or suppress the report. "Without major reductions in these emissions, the increase in annual average global temperatures relative to pre-industrial times could reach 9 degrees Fahrenheit or more by the end of this century".

The Trump administration plans on approving the climate report by the deadline and releasing it in the fall. "I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt at the moment", he says.

The biggest sign, so far, about what the Trump administration might do about the report came from Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, who on Tuesday told the Today Show that she saw no reason the White House would reject the findings.

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