White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 dismisses the findings of a U.S. government report that warns of the impending consequences of climate change, claiming it's "not based on facts." Photo: The Hill

By Brett Samuels
27 November 2018

(The Hill) – White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the findings of a government report that warned of the impending consequences of climate change, claiming it's "not based on facts."

“The president’s certainly leading on what matters most in this process, and that’s on having clean air, clean water,” Sanders told reporters at a press briefing. “In fact, the United States continues to be a leader on that front.”

Sanders disputed the report’s findings, claiming it’s “not based on facts” and arguing that modeling the climate “is never exact.” She did not indicate that Trump would call on world leaders at this week's Group of 20 summit to address the report's findings.

“We think that this is the most extreme version and it’s not based on facts,” she said. “It’s not data driven. We’d like to see something that is more data driven. It’s based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you’re talking about the climate.”

The report was developed by multiple federal agencies. A version of it is mandated to be released every four years under the National Climate Assessment from the multiagency Global Change Research Program.

The hundreds of government and external scientists involved in the research concluded that climate change could cost the United States billions of dollars annually within decades if greenhouse gases aren’t dramatically reduced, and could worsen environmental disasters like wildfires and flooding. Its findings aligned with those of the broader scientific community.

Trump downplayed the report's findings, telling reporters on Monday's that he doesn't "believe" its warnings about the economic impacts of climate change. [more]

Sarah Sanders: Climate change report 'not based on facts'

A firefighting helicopter makes a water drop as the Holy Fire burns near homes, 9 August 2018, in Lake Elsinore, California. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

By Cheyenne Haslett
28 November 2018

(ABC News) – The White House dismissed their findings as "extreme" and "not based on facts."

The president said he didn't believe the dire economic warnings and questioned the near-consensus of climatologists that climate change is man-made.

But now, more than ever, the authors of the most comprehensive report to date on the toll climate change is taking on the U.S. -- and its projected consequences -- warn against politicizing their work.

"The easiest way to deflect science is to put doubt on the data that it is based on," said Paul Chinowsky, an engineering professor at the University of Colorado with a decade of experience working on climate impacts.

"I can tell you this was one of the most thorough data justification exercises that I've ever been involved in, in all the years I've been working on this, and it really comes down to a question of, are you going to believe the international community and scientists and engineers involved in putting the data together, or do you just want to dismiss it?" Chinowsky said.

The authors -- a combination of climate scientists, engineers, federal experts and local officials -- are acutely aware of the timeline they're working with -- both in the U.S. and globally.

"The window of making emissions less is within this next decade, what we all do around the world is really going to matter," said Brenda Ekwurzel, an author of the report's section on mitigation efforts. Ekwurzel is a senior climate scientist with the Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan nonprofit called the Union of Concerned Scientists, and has worked on government reports in the past.

Ekwurzel also rejected the White House's characterization of the report as "extreme," a description employed by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders at Tuesday's press briefing and used by Republicans in Congress. According to the report, a continued increase of greenhouse gases could lead to annual economic losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

"It's really quite conservative if you ask me," she said.

Ekwurzel pointed to the hundreds of billions of dollars damage already accounted for. In 2017, hurricane season caused more than $250 billion damage and the Tubbs Fire, then the most destructive in California's history, caused an estimated $1.2 billion in damages, according to the report. Flooding, which devastated parts of Texas after Hurricane Harvey, and wildfires, like the recent Camp Fire in California, are increasing, the report said --changes that are "clear signs of a warming world."

Reporters on Monday asked Trump if he'd seen the dire economic details predicted in the report. "I don't believe it," he said on the White House lawn.

"I think there's a disconnect for people understanding the level of climate change we’re already experiencing," said Ekwurzel, who has been studying climate change since 1990 and began her studies at the North Pole, focused on the Arctic Ocean.

Authors also argued that politicizing the findings of the report will hamper the ability for policy to move forward in a particularly divided Congress -- and while communities, states and industries have full access to the information, which they can use to inform local policy decisions going forward, federal guidelines are a vital next step in protecting against detrimental effects of climate change. [more]

Scientists behind climate report warn against political pushback


  1. opit said...

    "this was one of the most thorough data justification exercises that I've ever been involved in" There is the money quote. " Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the findings of a government report that warned of the impending consequences of climate change, claiming it's "not based on facts." You don't get more cut and dried than that. The position of Trump is clear - and impossible to rebut. There is no measuring something that has not happened.  

  2. Jim said...

    Hi opit, as always, thanks for dropping in. It's a bit hard for me to believe that after years of reading this blog, you still think global warming isn't happening!  

  3. Panther said...

    I am ashamed of how people in the U.S. ignore climate change facts.The denial by the trump administration is embarassing,the ignorance of so many people in America is frightening. I fear for the future and fear for the world. The us is dominated by oil interests and car culture,capitalism no longer serves people it serves childish ogiarchies here.  


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