ibusinesslines.com December 09, 2018

Black Friday report shows climate change already very expensive in US

26 November 2018, 10:14 | Justin Tyler

Climate change could cost US 'hundreds of billions' a year, report warns

White House Says Dire Climate Report Based on 'Extreme Scenario'

'The President may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible, ' he added.

US President Donald Trump dismissed last year's report, and just this week appeared to confuse weather with climate when he tweeted: "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?"

"The report is a huge achievement for American science", Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic, and then goes on to ask why such important information was released "when most Americans care more about recovering from Thanksgiving dinner than they do about adapting to the grave conclusions of climate science".

"The report is largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that, despite strong economic growth that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population", Walters said in a statement.

But might there be a silver lining to the otherwise poisonous timing of the Black Friday report?

In contrast to Trump's blind climate-change denial and opposition, Progressive Democrats set to take control of the House in January, will be pushing for an expansive "Green New Deal" as one of the rallying cries as we head toward the 2020 campaign. And while government officials took pains to emphasise the report's contents had not been altered due to political considerations, it's hard not to see the fossil fuel-friendly, climate change-apathetic Trump administration's decision to release it on one of the slowest news days of the year as a political attempt to limit its exposure.

"Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the west, hurricanes batter our coasts - and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical US assessment of the climate crisis", Gore said in a release.

The report links heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, droughts, crop failures, and damage to infrastructure that has already affected US communities to climate change, and says that "to avoid substantial damages to the USA economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades", people must take aggressive steps to mitigate climate effects and adapt to those that are already inevitable.

Releasing the report on Black Friday "is a transparent attempt by the Trump administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying, but suppressing the best of climate science", said study co-author Andrew Light, an worldwide policy expert at the World Resources Institute. And coastal flooding is projected to force communities to move elsewhere. Volume I of the assessment, which concluded that it was "extremely likely" that climate change has been caused by humans, was released last November.

Scientists pointed out for the president - again - that weather is not the same as climate.

Friday's report seemed to anticipate such comments, saying: "Over shorter timescales and smaller geographic regions, the influence of natural variability can be larger than the influence of human activity".

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