Friday, November 23, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He tried to bury his own administration's findings on climate change.

The National Climate Assessment is a report issued every four years by a group of federal agencies. The 2018 edition begins with these words: "Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities."

This is not a surprising finding, but it is politically inconvenient for Trump, who pretends publicly not to believe the overwhelming scientific consensus on how human activity is altering the climate. (Privately, it's a different story.)

The NCA is produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which reports to the Executive Office of the President—which is to say, Trump had the final say on the timing of the 2018 report. It came out today, tucked between a national holiday and the weekend, and after two consecutive days of tweets in which Trump pretended to think that cold weather meant climate change wasn't happening.

Why should I care about this?

  • It's wrong to lie.
  • Ignoring problems doesn't make them go away.
  • There are more important problems with climate change than what it does to Donald Trump's poll numbers.