President Donald Trump was not alone on Nov. 26, when he dismissed the findings of a congressionally mandated report on climate change. Environment and energy experts from three prominent think tanks agree that the report was prepared by politically motivated holdovers from the Obama administration and is based on bad science and flawed models.
The report, prepared by more than a dozen government departments and agencies, forecasts that the United States stands to lose billions of dollars if it continues with current environmental policies. The report asserts that unless drastic measures are taken, the effects of climate change will harm humans, limit water availability, damage infrastructure, and alter coastlines.
“I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Nov. 26. “I don’t believe it.”
Some experts agree. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute and a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, said in a statement that there was little change between the final report released last week and the draft assessment published in February.
“The final version contains the same fatal flaws we noted earlier this year,” Michaels said. “It’s based upon a family of climate models that are predicting far more warming than has been occurring in the all-important tropical atmosphere.”
While media outlets often present key climate change issues as settled science, there is no consensus on the major topics, including how much human activity is contributing to climate change and whether humanity’s current course will lead to catastrophic outcomes like those outlined in the report, according to H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute and the managing editor of Environment and Climate News.
“The interesting thing about the difference between the draft report and this report is they make much more alarming claims about disaster than they made in the [draft] report despite the fact they are using the same data,” Burnett told The Epoch Times. “They make all these assumptions about the future and they ignore basic science.”
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to undo Obama-era policies that he said harmed the interests of the United States. Last year, the president announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.
Trump has also rolled back Obama-era environmental and climate rules such as the Clean Power Plan, while enacting policies to boost output of oil, gas, and coal. Under Trump, the United States became the largest crude oil producer in the world, outpacing Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“The National Climate Assessment was produced by the Obama administration and released by the Trump administration. It was produced to support President Obama’s climate agenda, including his anti-energy policies and regulatory onslaught, which were designed to raise energy prices and control how much and what kinds of energy people can use,” Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment, said in a statement about the climate report, adding that the assessment is “full of dubious and outright junk science.”
“The alarmists’ claims about the rate and impacts of global warming are based on discredited computer models rather than data.”
The U.S. government released the climate report two weeks before the U.N. climate change convention was to take place in Poland. During the conference, the Heartland Institute plans to publish a 1,000-page critique of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the president’s stance during a press briefing on Nov. 27.
“Even Obama’s undersecretary for science didn’t believe the radical conclusions of the report,” Sanders said. “The biggest thing that we can do is focus on how to make sure we have the cleanest air and the cleanest water and the president is certainly doing that and certainly leading on that front.”