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Trump Administration Teeters on Climate Change

On Friday, the United States National Climate Change assessment was released, addressing the recent natural disasters across the country and future implications at hand.

Originally intended to be available to the public eye in December, the report comprised of the collaborative work of over 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies. In its second volume, the 1600-page report’s purpose is to provide a non-partisan reality behind climate change, referencing to the various events and the infrastructural shortcomings that exist across the United States.

Ravaging Forest Fires in California earlier this month. Credit:  Mark McKenna

Ravaging Forest Fires in California earlier this month. Credit: Mark McKenna

The assessment covered various topics, including the declining levels of water in the Colorado River Basin to the future effects on lower-income communities if the issue persists. Ultimately, the report concluded that 92% of climate change is attributed to human-related activity, urging politicians to take action in order to prevent future disasters from being more frequent.

Despite the report’s findings, the White House refused to make any comments pertaining to the release. However, the Trump Administration has not been shy in addressing its stance towards the issue of climate change. Following President Trump’s inauguration, the president tapped two climate change skeptics, ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and ex-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, into his cabinet. Most notably, the United States under the Trump Administration withdrew from of the Paris Climate Agreement last June.

President Trump has previously indicated that climate change is a hoax. In 2012, the President tweeted that “the concept [of climate change] was created by and for the Chinese in order to make manufacturing non-competitive.” However, in a 60-minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, Trump pivoted his stance, saying, “I think something’s happening. But I don’t know that it is manmade.”

President Trump in his interview with Lesley Stahl. Credit:  CBS

President Trump in his interview with Lesley Stahl. Credit: CBS

The Trump Administration’s previous comments on climate change, along with the timing of the release of the report, have angered politicians and environmental advocates alike. Shortly after the release, Andrew Light, one of the assessment’s co-authors, told the Associated Press, “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.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also took a shot at the president. In a tweet, Pelosi said, “while @realDonaldTrump ignores his own admin’s report, House Dems are pushing for action w/ Select Committees on #climatechange.” These comments did not come without increasing pressure from the progressive left for Democratic leaders to put forward a “Green New Deal platform.” Last week, Democratic rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined 200 climate change advocates as they protested in front of Pelosi’s office.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking to protestors in front of Pelosi’s office. Credit: Sarah Silbiger/ Redux

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking to protestors in front of Pelosi’s office. Credit: Sarah Silbiger/Redux

As hurricanes, forest fires, and other natural disasters become more prevalent, the pressure on the Trump Administration to take action from climate change advocates will increase.