Trump Should Fight Effects Of Climate Change
As the Northeast fell under a Thanksgiving cold snap, President Donald Trump couldn’t resist. “Whatever happened to Global Warming?’ he tweeted from his near-tropical retreat at Mar-a-Lago. Then, Friday, Trump’s own administration released a congressionally mandated report, the National Climate Assessment, stating that global warming “is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy and the natural systems that support us.” The 1,000 page assessment, compiled by 13 federal agencies, cites a wide array of climate-affected developments — from thin winter snow cover in the West that contributes to drought, to more powerful hurricanes, to coral bleaching in the Caribbean and Hawaii, to long and more severe wildfire seasons, to the loss of wildlife habitat in Alaska — as proof of warming’s impact and a need for urgency. According to the assessment, the United States is 1.8 degrees warmer than it was a century ago and the seas surrounding it are nine inches higher, and that those trends have accelerated over the last 50 years. Although the assessment does not make specific policy recommendations, it clearly contradicts the Trump administration’s fundamental course on the environment. Rather than relentlessly pressing for further fossil fuel use and eviscerating regulations that drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, Trump should enlist Congress to unleash the country’s technological might on development and deployment of energy sources to fight the effects that his own administration documents.