The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
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."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.