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Obama Administration Plans For Release Of National Climate Assessment
There’s a major climate change and public health event that’s set to take place tomorrow, and it doesn’t have to do with the Keystone XL pipeline.
The event is the release of the National Climate Assessment, a high-profile review of the present and future damages that climate change is inflicting and will continue to inflict on the United States. Accompanying the highly scientific report from hundreds of scientists will be a call to action to reduce emissions. And a month from now, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose the first ever limit on carbon pollution from power plants – our largest domestic pollution source. This proposal will likely stir up some controversy on Capitol Hill, where almost six in ten congressional Republicans refuse to believe that humans are the cause of climate change, despite the fact that scientists are as sure of this as they are that cigarettes kill.
Here’s just a bit of what we already know: man-made global warming is bad, and it’s getting worse. It is linked to worsening drought, extreme precipitation, more intense wildfires, and maybe even to lowering the yield of our most important agricultural product, corn. It’s going to make sea levels rise higher, heat waves last longer, and diseases spread farther. Hotter cities means more smog and asthma attacks, too.
The report’s release is also the latest indicator that the White House remains determined to slow climate change. The Obama administration is planning a sizable public outreach effort to coincide with the report: President Obama will give interviews to television meteorologists, including Al Roker of The Today Show; Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will highlight the report while in California; and E.P.A administrator Gina McCarthy will address the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Today, Counselor to the President (and our organization’s founder) John Podesta addressed the media, shooting down the expected conservative efforts to stop the new power plant climate rule from the E.P.A.: “those have zero percent change of working. We’re committed to moving forward with those rules.”
Americans want our elected leaders to act on climate. And they trust Democrats to do so more than Republicans — in the most recent poll, by an 18-point margin. The release of the National Climate Assessment marks a key moment to focus the nation’s attention on climate change, educate on what the impacts of it have been so far, and marshal support for slashing carbon pollution in the future.
Tune back in tomorrow for a more detailed breakdown of the report’s findings and reactions from around the world of politics.
BOTTOM LINE: The National Climate Assessment, a periodic report by 300 scientists and other experts on the impact of climate change in America, comes out tomorrow. Conservative climate deniers may try to drag their feet in opposition to essential limits on carbon pollution from power plants, but it doesn’t look like they will have much wiggle room from an administration sharply focused on taking meaningful steps to slow the dangerous climate changes hurtling towards us.