White House to pick scientists to reassess federal climate report

Olive Hawkins
February 28, 2019

The Trump administration is enlisting government scientists to serve on a climate advisory panel that will reassess the risks of climate change, senior administration officials told The Washington Post.

"The goal of this new "National Security Council committee" is apparently to question the findings of recent federal climate science reports: which just so happen to already be THE most thoroughly reviewed docs on climate in the entire country!" When formal advisory committees are usually set up, they are subject to stringent regulations that require public meetings, accommodation of records requests, and membership standards.

Trump discounted the National Climate Assessment shortly after it was released a year ago, saying he didn't "see it" when asked if climate change was caused by the release of carbon emissions.

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) listens to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017.

The White House is reportedly creating a task-force to reevaluate and scrutinize government climate findings.

The Post noted that even within the military - the branch of government that Republicans most revere - the science of climate change has always been accepted as fact, even under GOP administrations.

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One senior administration official said the president was looking for "a mixture of opinions" and disputed the National Climate Assessment, a massive interagency report, in November that described intensifying climate change as a threat to the United States.

In 2003, the Pentagon commissioned a report to examine how an abrupt change in climate would affect America's defense capabilities: Its authors concluded that it "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a USA national security concern".

The group was organized in response to last year's National Climate Assessment, which warned of dire consequences from human-caused climate change.

"Hopefully people can see that the science overwhelmingly points to our climate is changing", she said.

"When it comes down to climate change, we are talking about thousands of independent papers, from everywhere, finding exactly the same thing: that the climate is changing, that we are doing it and that most often than not, the impacts are pretty bad", Camilo Mora, an environmental professor at the University of Hawaii and geographer, wrote in an email to the Post.

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