A new report released by a groups of over 50 US government scientists asserts that the rapid pace at which modern climate change is occurring is almost definitely driven by human activity — making for a blunt contradiction of the stance taken by many members of the current administration of President Donald Trump.
In particular, burning fossil fuels is a primary driver of modern climate change — whether through power plant emissions, the transportation sector, etc.
“For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence,” the report reads.
“The National Climate Report is an annual assessment mandated by Congress,” Steve Hanley writes on CleanTechnica.
“The NCR claims that the ‘business as usual’ approach, much favored by the Trump administration, will lead to some nasty consequences for people living in North America. Average temperatures over the central part of the country would rise by 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Prolonged drought conditions in the west would seriously damage the nation’s ability to grow enough food to feed its citizens. Rising oceans would inundate almost all of America’s coastal cities. Further north, temperatures in the Arctic would increase by 18 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Reuters provides more: “The report, which is required by Congress every four years, was written by scientists from government bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It reinforces the conclusions drawn by an overwhelming majority of scientists around the world in recent years that emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global warming, leading to sea level rise, flooding, droughts, and more frequent powerful storms.”
Donald Trump claims global warming is a hoax. That view is shared by the current head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, who has publicly commented that he “did not believe” that carbon dioxide emissions were a primary driver of modern climate change.
Notably, White House spokesman Raj Shah commented on the release of the new report: “The Administration supports rigorous scientific analysis and debate and encourages public comment on the draft documents being released today.”
Getting to the takeaway, back to Steve’s coverage: “Okay, that’s the word from the scientific community. Either humans come together in a concerted global effort to rein in carbon emissions or face a future where famine and flooding — and the armed conflicts they will lead to — are the norm. One would think that rational people would find that an easy choice to make. But history teaches us that armed conflicts are plentiful, and examples of global cooperation are few. In fact, if you can think of one, please share it with us.
“Nothing, it seems, can make us realize that using the earth as a communal toilet is a bad idea. It’s like trying to understand at some basic, existential level that we are all going to die someday. The reality is just too awful to confront, so we deal with it by not dealing with it. Fouling our own nest must be okay because that’s what humanity has always done and we’re still here, aren’t we? Surely, we will always be here, right?”