It has become an article of faith among many conservatives in the US that fears of global warming are a hoax perpetrated on the world by a cabal of scientists who are using fake climate models and manufactured data in order to spread alarm and thus get money for grants or some such reason. The Trump administration seems to be fully invested in this belief. But then there was this curious news item about an environmental impact statement issued by the government that predicts that global warming will be even worse than some of the scenarios.
Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.
A rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 4 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.
But the administration did not offer this dire forecast as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.
The draft statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was written to justify President Donald Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020. While the proposal would increase greenhouse gas emissions, the impact statement says, that policy would add just a very small drop to a very big, hot bucket.
“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” said Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.
So after denying, denying, and denying the reality of global warming, we now have a sudden about face, saying in effect, “Yes, global warning is real and even worse than we thought but it has got so bad that we can’t do anything about it so what the hell, let’s party away.”
We are governed by truly awful people who don’t give a damn about the fate of future generations that will include even their own children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.