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Trump: 'I don't believe' climate change report

President Donald Trump says he doesn't believe a new report that delivered a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts on the health and economy of the country.

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 2:14 PM

President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed a study produced by his own administration, involving 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading climate scientists, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.

Why, you ask?

"I don't believe it," Trump told reporters on Monday, adding that he had read "some" of the report.

On one level, this shouldn't be surprising. Trump's views on climate change at this point are very, very well established.

Just over eight years ago, he tweeted this: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." In 2014, he penned this tweet: "It's late in July and it is really cold outside in New York. Where the hell is GLOBAL WARMING??? We need some fast! It's now CLIMATE CHANGE."

And then, this from last Wednesday: "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?"

(Here are 20 more times in which Trump has dismissed the idea of global warming and/or climate change.)

All of which brings me to last Friday -- 48 hours after Trump's how-can-the-world's-climate-be-changing-if-it's-cold-in-half-the-country-on-one-day tweet -- and the moved-up release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

If you missed the study's release, well, that was the point. It was originally slated to be made public next month but was suddenly released on the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, when the country shops, eats, hangs with family and pays a total of zero attention to what's going on in politics. Outside of Christmas and the actual day of Thanksgiving, there's no better day to drop bad news that you don't want people to see.

Because there are VERY few coincidences in politics, the decision to speed up the release of the report to the day after Thanksgiving -- rather than, say, today -- was clearly a move by the administration to cover up what they see to be bad news. Or, better put, news that challenges Trump's fact-free position that all of this talk of global warming and climate change is belied by, uh, the fact that it was cold in the Northeast on the day before Thanksgiving.

The report, the second of four such annual studies commissioned by Congress, concludes not only that the world's temperature is rising and but also that the preponderance of evidence suggests human actions play a role in it. The report's authors conclude that the changing climate "is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us." And that, unless we change our practices and policies, there will be "substantial damages to the US economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades."

The report goes on to detail the economic impact of climate change (hundreds of billions lost, with farms being hardest hit) and the physical toll it could take on our collective health, as factors like air quality, disease transmission by insects, food and water will "increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people."

It's, candidly, a terrifying read. Unless we start making some major changes -- and soon -- we face the very real potential of crossing the point of no return when it comes to the planet's warming, and the consequences that result from it.

Earlier the White House downplayed the report, saying it relied on extreme models that were selected during the Obama administration.

It's important to note here: This is not a partisan document. It was, as I mentioned above, produced by 13 agencies within the Trump administration -- the result of Congress, in the 1980s, mandating that this sort of report be submitted every four years as a sort of reference point for lawmakers and legislators.

And yet, the chances of Trump taking any of the advice from this report, which was conducted by HIS administration, are somewhere close to zero. Why? Because it was surprisingly cold in a lot places in the country on Thanksgiving, of course!

This sort of thinking -- anecdotes = data -- is disproven time and time again by the actual science. A warming planet doesn't mean there won't be cold days. Or even cold weeks! Or months! It means that, in the long seep of history, the planet is getting hotter and hotter. And that those changes in the climate produce more wild and unpredictable weather events, like tornadoes and fires.

Unfortunately, Trump's willingness to ignore the conclusions of experts because it doesn't jibe with what he wants the truth to be isn't isolated to just the climate. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the unanimous conclusion of the country's intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help him and hurt Hillary Clinton. And of late, he has chosen to ignore the CIA's conclusion that Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Trump's disdain for the idea of climate change is also born of his broader suspicions of the United States being taken advantage of by other countries. In Trump's conception, the US signs on to pledges to reduce its carbon footprint and the like and sticks to it while other competitor countries break the rules and force America to fight on the economic world stage with one hand tied behind its back.

Trump insisted Monday the US is "the cleanest we've ever been," and said other countries weren't keeping up.

"If we're clean, but every other place on earth is dirty, that's not so good," he said. "So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important."

What's genuinely scary about all of this is that, unlike some random dude on the street who chooses to ignore the science on climate change, Donald Trump is in a position to have a considerable impact on how we approach (or don't) solving the problem. He already has -- pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. That makes the US the only country in the world not signed on to the global attempt to curb climate change.

The decisions Trump makes -- or, more likely, doesn't -- on climate change are not the sort of thing that are easily reversible. This latest report -- you know, the one that the Trump administration sought to bury because its conclusions are at odds with the President's personal beliefs -- suggests they may not be reversible at all.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
Redwood141327
Houston140314
Dodge13974
Renville138540
Chippewa133232
Cottonwood129118
Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
Pennington101016
Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
Audubon4258
Wayne42021
Adams3023
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