A new report issued by the administration of Donald Trump has come out that issues a stark warning of the major costs that the US will incur if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked. The report is pretty stark. You can read the full report of the Fourth National Climate Assessment here and below is a key excerpt from its summary findings.
Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.
In the absence of significant global mitigation action and regional adaptation efforts, rising temperatures, sea level rise, and changes in extreme events are expected to increasingly disrupt and damage critical infrastructure and property, labor productivity, and the vitality of our communities. Regional economies and industries that depend on natural resources and favorable climate conditions, such as agriculture, tourism, and fisheries, are vulnerable to the growing impacts of climate change. Rising temperatures are projected to reduce the efficiency of power generation while increasing energy demands, resulting in higher electricity costs. The impacts of climate change beyond our borders are expected to increasingly affect our trade and economy, including import and export prices and U.S. businesses with overseas operations and supply chains. Some aspects of our economy may see slight near-term improvements in a modestly warmer world. However, the continued warming that is projected to occur without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century, especially in the absence of increased adaptation efforts. With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century—more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states.
Given that Trump and the Republican party and their supporters have taken a firm anti-science stand that climate change is not happening and that Trump has even endorsed the ridiculous view that it is a hoax, it will be interesting to see what they do with a report that came from within the administration and cannot be easily dismissed as produced by some dubious international body like the UN that is secretly dominated by George Soros. What they have done is release the report on a Friday afternoon, a time window that has become notorious as suitable for releasing bad news that you want to bury. That they chose the Friday of the long Thanksgiving weekend makes the timing even more suspicious. But this issue is so important that this containment strategy will not work
It is interesting that Congress legislated back in 1990 that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) periodically evaluate the impact of climate change and issue a report, which is why this research is still continuing. Such a law would never be allowed to pass in Congress by Republicans now since they have become solidly anti-science and think that by burying their heads in the sand, the problem will go away.
Andrew Freedman summarizes the main points of the report.
The Trump administration released a major new climate science report on Black Friday, warning of “hundreds of billions of dollars” in annual losses to some economic sectors without scaled up actions to adapt to current changes and slash emissions to avoid future warming.
Why it matters: The report by scientists from 13 federal agencies constitutes the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which is a congressionally mandated report. Its conclusion: Lives and property are already at risk in the U.S. due to climate change.
The details: The contents of the new report, which consists of 29 chapters that were extensively peer reviewed, are bleak. The report points out that the era of climate consequences for the U.S. is well underway, and only actions taken in the next few years can be effective in addressing the scope and severity of the problem.
The backstory: The new report builds off of findings from the first volume of the National Climate Assessment, which was released by the Trump administration in November 2017.
“This report dives into details concerning the US in a way that has not been done before,” Michael Wehner, a climate researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told Axios.
Between the lines: The Trump administration has allowed the National Climate Assessment process to move forward without interference, while at the same time expressing doubt about the causes and extent of the threat of human-caused climate change when it comes to forming its energy policies.
In an interview with in November with “Axios on HBO,” President Trump was presented with the first volume of the assessment, and he dismissed it.
The only thing that you can be sure of is that Trump will not read the report or even its summary but will issue some asinine comment about it being cold in Washington so global warming cannot be occurring.