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Climate scientists are roasting Trump over climate-change report

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donald trump
President
Donald Trump speaks to reporters following his teleconference
with troops from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018.

Associated
Press/Susan Walsh


  • Climate scientists are responding to President Donald
    Trump’s comments on the fourth National Climate Assessment — a
    publicly reviewed, congressionally
    mandated climate assessment
    put together by 13 government
    agencies and a team of 300 experts.
  • On Monday, Trump was asked by reporters about the
    assessment — specifically the economic impact — to which he
    replied,
    “I don’t believe it.”
    Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also
    dismissed the report during Tuesday’s press briefing.
  • Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist, who helped
    author the report, responded to the Trump administration via
    Twitter.
  • “The warming oceans, melting ice sheets, rising sea
    level, worsening droughts, floods, superstorms, and
    wildfires—they don’t care what Trump thinks,” climate scientist
    Michael Mann told INSIDER. “And we are increasingly endangered
    — as a civilization — by this one man’s apathy, ignorance and
    malice.”

Climate scientists are responding to President Donald Trump’s
comments on the fourth National Climate Assessment — a
congressionally mandated climate assessment
put together by
13 government agencies and a team of 300 experts and publicly
reviewed. The most recent assessment was released on Friday,
November 23, and what it portends is dire: a potential economic
cost of hundreds
of billions of dollars
, from sea-level rise, extreme weather
events, and insect-borne disease – among a host of other impacts.

On Monday, Trump was asked by reporters about the assessment —
specifically the economic impact — to which he replied,
“I don’t believe it.”
He also stated that it was “important”
to him to have clean air and water.

He repeated these claims in a wide-ranging interview with the

The Washington Post
published on Tuesday.

“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have
very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such
believers,” Trump told The Post about the report. “You look at
our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean.”

“As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the
effects that you’re talking about are there,” he continued, “I
don’t see it.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also dismissed the report during
Tuesday’s press briefing.

“We think that this is the most extreme version and it’s not
based on facts,” Sanders said in response to a reporter’s
question about the report. “It’s not data driven. We’d like to
see something that is more data driven. It’s based on modeling,
which is extremely hard to do when you’re talking about the
climate.”

She also reiterated Trump’s talking points on clean air and
water: “The president’s certainly leading on what matters most in
this process, and that’s on having clean air, clean water.”


Read more:

12 scary takeaways from the climate report the Trump
administration dropped on Black Friday — and one reason for
hope

Climate scientists strongly disagree with Trump’s comments

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist, who helped author the
report, responded to the Trump administration via Twitter. Hayhoe
is a professor of political science, director of the Climate
Science Center at Texas Tech University, and a part of the
Department of Interior’s South-Central Climate Science
Center, 

“The Fourth US National Climate Assessment was released on
Friday,” Hayhoe tweeted on Tuesday. “Since then, a number of
politicians + pundits have made statements about it that are not
accurate. As an author, I’m here to set the record straight. Here
we go!”

First, Hayhoe responded to Sanders’s, “most
extreme version”
 comment.

“No: the report considered a very broad range of scenarios, from
one where carbon emissions go negative to one where they continue
to grow,” Hayhoe tweeted citing chapter two of the
report
. She also goes on to point out where the report made
an effort to show what the different scenarios would mean in the
future.


National Climate Assessment
National Climate
Assessment

National Climate
Assessment


Hayhoe also states that the report was “publicly reviewed” and
that “authors were required to respond to each comment
individually.” Both comments and responses are available for the
public to read, and she stated that there are full citations and
documentation in the report.

She does concede that Sanders is right on one count. Sanders told
the press that “modeling the climate is an extremely
complicated science that is never exact.”

“That is absolutely true,” Hayhoe says. “And that’s why, in the
chapter I wrote with [climate and sea-level scientist Bob Kopp]
called ‘Potential
Surprises,’
this conclusion is so worrisome.”

It’s actually possible that the climate models will
“underestimate temperature change during warm paleoclimates”
suggesting that “climate models are more likely to underestimate
than overestimate the amount of long term future change.”

Hayhoe also responded to President Trump’s comments that he does
not believe the report.

“But climate science isn’t a religion: it’s real, whether we
believe it or not,” she writes. “If our decisions are not based
in reality, we are the ones who will suffer the consequences.”
(You can read her full thread here.)

Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science and director of
the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University,
echoes this sentiment. 

“Climate change is real, human-caused — and increasingly
dangerous — regardless of what one deeply ignorant and misguided
individual might happen to think,” Mann said in an email to
INSIDER in response to Trump’s comments. “The warming oceans,
melting ice sheets, rising sea level, worsening droughts, floods,
superstorms, and wildfires—they don’t care what Trump thinks. And
we are increasingly endangered — as a civilization — by this one
man’s apathy, ignorance and malice.”

What Hayhoe recommends.

As Business Insider’s Dana Varinsky reported last week,
there is some hope
when it comes to adapting to
and mitigating the
impacts of climate change — and the report has a chapter on each
response.

For those wondering how one person can make an impact, or if it’s
too late to mitigate climate change, Hayhoe has a few
recommendations:

INSIDER contacted Hayhoe for a deeper explanation on her tweets,
and we’ll update if we hear back.

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