Comments on Trump’s Insincerity About the Climate Impact Report

Comments on Trump’s Insincerity About the Climate Impact Report

If not now, when, if not us, who?

I hate to spend my time raking Trump over his polluting coal heap, but it has to be done.  Since I am not on a climate science grant, or a government employee, or even interested in working for private industry, I have the liberty of calling them as I see them.

Update:  Another sad thing about Trump’s one-liners on the lawn:  the White House is a-scramble trying to make sense of Trump’s statements, and justify them.  Yes, the Emporer does not have any new clothes.  It would be better if they read the report to act rationally on it.

Trump apparently did not decide on a formal news conference or official and scientific press release to discuss his scientific objections to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II, on Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation.  He simply made a few off-the-cuff remarks on his way to the Marine I helicopter to give two campaign talks before the Mississippi Senate runoff tomorrow.  

If Trump or any scientists or economists in the government had any scientific or economic objections, they had a long time to file a dissenting report, or participate in the official or public review of the draft report.  Trump’s lack of any care about the future climate of our country is grievously evident.

So here is what he said, as I gather only from a news clip.  First, he read the whole report.  Trump had already spent a week saying that he didn’t believe in climate change, that it would cycle back.  It is well established that Trump never reads long, well prepared briefings, meticulously prepared for him, about very important international meetings.  Not believing climate change, why then, would he completely read a complex 1,700 page report filled with difficult graphs?  If you start with a falsehood, anything follows.  In fact, much of the report is on well documented impacts that have already occurred!  As far as we know, Trump has no scientific background, and has appointed almost no scientists in the White House or in his political appointees to run science related agencies.

Update:  This evening, Trump said he only read parts of the report.  But he didn’t believe it.  It was written by 300 scientists, and undoubtedly cited the work of thousands.  (But Trump does believe Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, Muhammad bin Salman, and some accused child molesters.)

Had Trump even read any of the three page summaries, or looked at a single graph or map, he would have seen that his original denial, that the study was based only on an extreme model, was baltently false.  First of all, the “extreme” model was the Business as Usual model, of doing nothing, which Trump has turned all of his administrative actions on climate change or clean energy towards.  Since Trump is the only head of state to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it should be called the “Trump catastrophic model”.  All of the graphs or maps also include the intermediate model of half as much climate forcing.  The economic impact table is there to show that if we follow the intermediate model of severely limiting emissions, we can avoid at least 50% of the economic damage.

If Trump were just a billionaire, and not The President of these United States, who appoints a thousand fossil fuel supporters to political agency management positions, who tramples on agency scientific guidance rules, who pledges to toss out scientific based health and environmental regulations, and who removes the States’ waivers to set their own health and enviromental rules, it would not be necessary to dispute him in an article.

Trump’s next comment was that the climate science projections were wrong, and not transparent.  The climate science was really done in last year’s volume I, and should have been commented on and corrected then.

The lack of transparency is the standard climate-denier attack to harass climate scientists and fill up their time with excessive documentation, beyond that required by peer-reviewed journals.  Trump possibly saw that on Fox News, or got it from his Fox News run White House communications department.  In fact, there is no climate-denier scientific institute in the world which is prepared to examine detailed climate science work, despite that fact that world oil companies have hundreds of billions of dollars in income to fund such an institute.  The reason must be, that they know they will just end up establishing the truth and veracity of climate science and scientists.  Such happened with a Berkeley climate skeptic who thought that since some weather temperature data was taken at airports, it must be high.  When he did an analysis excluding such data, it turned out worse than before.

Following evangelical appealing Rick Santorum’s ridiculous accusations that all government and therefore all climate scientists are engaged in a fraud to keep their salaries, I am convinced that both Santorum and Trump and VP Mike Spence are denying science to maintain evangelical voters, which are a third of Republican support.  I wonder how much Santorum is making from CNN, which he would lose if he were no longer an opposition speaker?  Probably much more than any climate scientist makes.

Then, the TV shows Trump at a campaign rally complaining about not being able to use hair spray, because it harms the atmosphere.  We have UCI chemists F. Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina, along with our past Chancellor Ralph Cicerone and Paul J. Crutzen to discover that ChloroFlouroCarbons used in hairspray and refrigerants were sending up Chlorine that was depleting our ozone layer, and causing an Antarctic ozone hole.  Ozone absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet light and protects life on earth.  So much for Trump’s climate science knowledge.

The challenge to science and engineering of landing the Mars Insight geology mission on Mars today, shows the remarkably high level of modern capability in these fields.  This grinds all science fraud claims into dust.

It is important to get the full capabilities in science and engineering of the federal and state governments to work on lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and solving the problems of adaptation to climate effects.  Fortunately, the Congress is continuing to fund such efforts.

Now, I, can finally get back to studying the climate impact report.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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