Let it not be said that Trump is a canny politician. He is not. What he is, is a ruthless and committed opponent of unilateral ‘climate action’ which he passionately believes is economically disadvantaging the US to the benefit of its global competitors like China, Russia, India and other Far Eastern and Middle Eastern nations. He is also a sceptic of dangerous man-made climate change. Accordingly, he is willing to risk a bloody head on confrontation with the powerful left wing dominated global warming consensus industry which pervades US political, academic and media culture before he is assured of a second term in office. That takes balls, not stupidity, as some might claim. Politicians, as we all know, are not renowned for having large cojones.
Thus it is that Trump has decided to scale back the federal government’s role in assessing the future impacts of climate change via the increasingly alarmist roughly four-yearly National Climate Assessment. Instead of projecting climate change and impacts out to 2100, the next report will only consider projections out to 2040. Climate activists have immediately cried foul because the worst impacts won’t start to happen until the end of the century according to models. Also, there will be apparently less focus on the artificial worst case RCP8.5 emissions pathway, incorrectly labelled as the “do nothing” or “business as usual” emissions scenario. So all in all, rather less opportunity for the report to indulge in catastrophic forecasts of what might happen and concentrate instead on more likely and more realistic near term impacts.
Seems quite sensible to me but the NYT doesn’t see it that way. According to its incredibly knowledgeable journalists, it’s part of a deliberate “attack on science”:
As a result, parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet and presenting a picture of what the earth could look like by the end of the century if the global economy continues to emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels.
The attack on science is underway throughout the government. In the most recent example, the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously.
Apparently, climate science™ is so fully representative of science in general that any curtailment of its privileges – in particular its right to scare the pants off us in order to justify economically damaging unilateral climate change mitigation policy – is deemed to be an assault upon the institution of science itself. The withdrawal of climate science’s ‘right to terrify’ is just the beginning though. Trump plans a full scale assault upon the integrity of The Science by getting expert sceptical scientists to officially question its key assumptions and conclusions:
And, in what could be Mr. Trump’s most consequential action yet, his administration will seek to undermine the very science on which climate change policy rests.
However, the goal of political appointees in the Trump administration is not just to change the climate assessment’s methodology, which has broad scientific consensus, but also to question its conclusions by creating a new climate review panel. That effort is led by a 79-year-old physicist who had a respected career at Princeton but has become better known in recent years for attacking the science of man-made climate change and for defending the virtues of carbon dioxide — sometimes to an awkward degree.
Sacrebleu! First Paris, now this! Better get used to the sound of climate activists’ heads exploding between now and 2020. Apparently, even Steve Bannon warned Trump against going up against the climate change alarmist industry before the next elections but he’s determined to go full steam ahead.
“The very idea will start a holy war on cable before 2020,” he said. “Better to win now and introduce the study in the second inaugural address.”
But at a White House meeting on May 1, at which the skeptical advisers made their case, Mr. Trump appeared unpersuaded, people familiar with the meeting said. Mr. Happer, they said, is optimistic that the panel will go forward.
Credit to Trump, I say. Not a cowardly politician, a statesman with the best interests of the nation he leads at heart and someone who is not afraid to question scientific and political dogma when it threatens those interests.