In what might be a craven diversionary tack to bury the release of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) Volume II on Black Friday, Trump tweeted on November 21st “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?”
'Absolute Disgrace': When No One Looking, White House Plans to Dump Major Climate Report on Black Friday The administration just announced Wednesday that the National Climate Assessment Volume II would be released Friday afternoon Environmental groups, journalists, and climate scientists are reacting to the Trump administration's decision to release a major climate report the day after Thanksgiving—a move some are describing as an effort to bury an assessment packed with an "astonishing amount of science," and they are hoping to see that effort backfire "bigly." "It's an absolute disgrace to bury the truth about climate impacts in a year that saw hundreds of Americans die during devastating climate-fueled megafires, hurricanes, floods, and algal blooms," said National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O'Mara. (November 22, 2018) Common Dreams)
What’s important (and obvious) is that the NCA reports (there have been 4 of them, each more dire) by 13 governmental agencies responsible to “develop and coordinate a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”(1) is so incredibly different from Trump’s playing-dumb stance on this worldwide crisis. Playing dumb means you never have to say, “I will lead on this worldwide crisis and do so justly for all mankind.
I wrote this back in 2014 with the release of the NCR3:
The release of the third National Climate Assessment, which will direct President Obama’s Climate Change efforts until he leaves office, proves Climate Change is happening now. Tragically, the release of the NCA earlier this month has been met with distain by the few, but very powerful and influential, leaders of the Climate Change denial camp:
A power grab by political con artists “Here are the top 10 reasons Congress should ignore advice to pass major legislation to combat climate change:…,” (May 21, 2014) Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
This is tragic because, despite all reason to the contrary, Climate Change deniers have a good chance of not only staying in control in the House, but maybe taking over the Senate. Thirteen agencies of our government (Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics & Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, and Agency for International Development) not only participated in the findings of the NCA, but their actions will be based on this particular study. If our Congress is jammed up with Climate Change denial, all the efforts of these agencies of our government to fulfill their responsibilities to the NCA will be castrated. (May 30, 2014, The 2014 Climate Change elections)
My projections on how a power change in Washington would damage our ability to address Climate Change have come to pass. We are decades behind addressing this crisis on a scale and timeframe that will matter. There will be climate and environmental disruptions no matter what we do, though we can tone it down and even halt the worst if we make societal transformations.
As I await the NCA4 Vol. II later today, I remember having a chance to see and comment (the public was asked to comment for about a month) on Volume II last year. It focused on how Climate Change will impact regions like the US Northeast. I found it quite alarming and I’ll just have to wait a few more hours before I see the official Volume II release today.
In the meantime, it’s helpful to read NCA4 Volume 1 and understand how Volume II will differ from Volume I and the last report—NCA3.
Most fundamentally, the majority of the report’s focus has shifted from national-level chapters to regional chapters, in response to public demand for more localized information on climate impacts. As a result, the regional chapters provide more detail, the Great Plains chapter has been split into separate Northern and Southern Great Plains chapters, and a new chapter focusing exclusively on the U.S. Caribbean has been added. Volume II also reflects a number of advances in the science of climate change impacts and adaptation with the inclusion of new national-level chapters on Air Quality; Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests; and a chapter on Sectoral Interdependencies, Multiple Stressors and Complex Systems. Finally, and again in response to public feedback and input, the report reflects three cross-cutting contextual advances: (1) added international context, (2) enhanced coverage of the economic impacts, and (3) greater focus on risk-based framing. (NCA4 Vol. I and II: FAQs, GlobalChange.gov)
So, it’s a little before 2PM on Black Friday and the FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT Volume II has been posted online.
In the moral sense, you should read it. You should get everyone you know to read it. You should make sure your media covers it. Our climate scientists have done their job. Some of our media have done their job. Now we need to make sure this US climate report doesn’t get buried.
I haven’t had a chance to read all of it yet, but I’m going to finish it and report on the most salient points in later essays. Meanwhile, remember this volume II covers the regional impacts of Climate Change, like our Northeast:
“By 2035, and under both lower and higher scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), the Northeast is projected to be more than 3.6°F (2°C) warmer on average than during the preindustrial era. This would be the largest increase in the contiguous United States and would occur as much as two decades before global average temperatures reach a similar milestone.36.” (Chapter 18, 2018, Northeast FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT Volume II)