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Why Did Trump Release a Report Confirming Climate Change Is Real?
Last Friday, the White House stunned many after it released a sweeping report concluding that climate change is not only real, but it also poses as a major threat to the U.S. and humans are "extremely likely" to be responsible.
The 477-page National Climate Assessment, which was mandated by Congress and reviewed by 13 federal agencies, conflicted with President Trump's notorious stance on global warming as a "hoax." It also defied Trump's continued efforts to dismantle environmental regulations on both the national and international scale.
So why did the Trump White House release a report contradicting the president and much of his administration's stance on climate change?
Well, as Bloomberg reports, "don't read much into it":
Public drafts of the report have circulated for months, making it politically perilous to tinker with the findings. So, with editing a high-risk affair and the report required by Congress, the administration may have just decided to downplay it, said John Holdren, who ran the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama.
"It would do more harm to block this report than to let it out," Holdren, now a Harvard University environmental policy professor, said in an interview. "They're letting it out on a Friday afternoon, which is pretty much the standard approach for letting out something that you don't want to get a lot of attention."
The other reason? Blame Obama. The report has been in the works since 2015.
"It is unfortunate that the Trump Administration has released these Obama-era climate reports, without attempting to remove the junk science—and the reports are full of junk science," fervent climate change denier and former Trump EPA transition team leader Myron Ebell told Bloomberg.
The White House has also distanced itself from the main conclusion of the special report. In a Friday statement, White House spokesperson Raj Shah used familiar climate-skeptic talking points to dismiss the findings.
"The climate has changed and is always changing. As the Climate Science Special Report states, the magnitude of future climate change depends significantly on 'remaining uncertainty in the sensitivity of Earth's climate to [greenhouse gas] emissions,'" Shah said. "In the United States, energy related carbon dioxide emissions have been declining, are expected to remain flat through 2040, and will also continue to decline as a share of world emissions."
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By Genna Reed
The EPA announced last week that it is issuing a preliminary regulatory determination for public comment to set an enforceable drinking water standard to two of the most common and well-studied PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.
This decision is based on three criteria:
- PFOA and PFOS have an adverse effect on public health
- PFOA and PFOS occur in drinking water often enough and at levels of public health concern;
- regulation of PFOA and PFOS is a meaningful opportunity for reducing the health risk to those served by public water systems.
By Kieran Cooke
Driving an electric-powered vehicle (EV) rather than one reliant on fossil fuels is a key way to tackle climate change and improve air quality — but it does leave the old batteries behind as a nasty residue.
Finance ministers from the 20 largest economies agreed to add a scant mention of the climate crisis in its final communiqué in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, but they stopped short of calling it a major economic risk, as Reuters reported. It was the first time the G20 has mentioned the climate crisis in its final communiqué since Donald Trump became president in 2017.