“[H]uman influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”


The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday calling human activity the dominant driver of global warming, a conclusion at odds with White House decisions to withdraw from a key international climate accord, champion fossil fuels and reverse Obama-era climate policies. To the surprise of some scientists, the White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of potential sea-level rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100, and details climate-related damage across the United States that is already unfolding as a result of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming since 1900.

Whether it was out of cluelessness or institutional lack of self-awareness, the Trump Administration just did something which runs completely counter to their ideology. Despite having denied the validity of global climate change since Day One, the administration’s National Climate Assessment is clear and unequivocal- it’s almost entirely driven by human action. By warning of seas rising as much as eight feet by 2100 and continued rising temperatures, the report makes it clear that mankind is ruining the only home we have.

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the document reports. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

The President has stated he wants to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord, push fossil fuels, and undo every climate policy pursued by his predecessor. Then his administration releases a report stating unequivocally that there’s “no convincing alternative explanation” for global climate change.

This glaring contradiction raising a couple of good questions:

1) Is the President’s desire to obliterate every iota of Barack Obama’s legacy blinding him to the truth?
2) Is he more concerned with lining the pockets of some of his wealthy backers?
3) Or does he simply not care about what ignorance and denial may potentially do to the planet?

I’ve often wondered how and why so many Conservatives seem to have no problem with continuing as if nothing we do can have any adverse impact on the environment. What would be so wrong with treating the planet as if it’s the only one we have? Why not be good stewards so we could ensure we bequeath a healthy planet to future generations?

Perhaps the National Climate Assessment will change some minds. Perhaps it won’t. Whatever the result, it seems clear we can’t continue behaving in cavalier and irresponsible fashion. That doesn’t mean the Trump Administration won’t continue fiddling as Rome burns…but at least we have a document which details potential consequences.

Nice work, America.