Finally! Trump Admin is ‘listening to the science’ & seeks to rebut previous unscientific ‘extreme scenario’ National Climate Assessment
Michael Kuperberg was told he would no longer oversee the National Climate Assessment. The job is expected to go to a climate-change skeptic, according to people familiar with the changes.
WASHINGTON — The White House has removed the scientist responsible for the National Climate Assessment, the federal government’s premier contribution to climate knowledge and the foundation for regulations to combat global warming, in what critics interpreted as the latest sign that the Trump administration intends to use its remaining months in office to continue impeding climate science and policy.
Michael Kuperberg, executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the climate assessment, was told Friday that he would no longer lead that organization, people with knowledge of the situation said.
According to two people close to the administration, he is expected to be replaced by David Legates, an academic who was worked closely for years with climate-change denial groups.
Dr. Kuperberg’s departure comes amid a broader effort, in the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s defeat last week by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., to remove officials who have fallen afoul of the White House. Also on Friday, Neil Chatterjee, head of the agency that regulates the nation’s utility markets, was demoted by the White House, after he publicly supported the use of renewable power.
Dr. Kuperberg did not respond to requests for comment. The Global Change Research Program reports to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Asked why Dr. Kuperberg had been removed from the role, Kristina Baum, a spokeswoman for that office, said on Monday that “we do not comment on personnel matters.”
Dr. Kuperberg’s dismissal appears to be the latest setback in the Trump administration for the National Climate Assessment, a report from 13 federal agencies and outside scientists that the government is required by law to produce every four years. The most recent report, in 2018, found that climate change poses an imminent and dire threat to the United States and its economy.
A biased or diminished climate assessment would have wide-ranging implications.
It could be used in court to bolster the positions of fossil fuel companies being sued for climate damages. It could counter congressional efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming.
The agency most involved in that report is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the country’s premier climate science agency. In September, the White House installed at NOAA new political staff who have questioned the science of climate change. People familiar with the administration’s strategy said the aim was to use NOAA’s influence to undercut the National Climate Assessment.
“They’re trying to just do a takeover of all this stuff so they can control the National Climate Assessment thinking,” said Judith Curry, a former chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in an interview Monday.
“If he only directs it for two months and a week, then he may not get very far, but let’s see what can get done in two months. Maybe the next administration will throw it all away, but maybe some changes will be adopted, who knows,” Mr. Ebell said.
Federal employees, who asked not be identified because they were concerned about retaliation from the White House, said they worried that the administration’s goal in removing Dr. Kuperberg was to make it easier to pick authors for the report who also question the severity of climate change. Those who have publicly attacked climate science, like Mr. Ebell and Mr. Morano, said that is the goal.
While the incoming Biden administration could reverse those decisions, doing so would slow down the production of the climate assessment. The next edition, which was supposed to be released by 2022, has already been pushed back to 2023.
Update: Fed climate con job : Obama’s UN Paris negotiator & green activists helped prepare dire federal climate report – Obama official helped prepare dire National Climate Assessment – “The National Climate Assessment report reads like a press release from environmental pressure groups — because it is,” said Marc Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.”
Morano described two of the authors — Texas Tech professor Katharine Hayhoe and Donald J. Wuebbles of the University of Illinois — as “longtime Union of Concerned Scientist activists.” “These are not ‘Trump’s own scientists’ as the media likes to claim,” Mr. Morano said. “The key authors are in fact left-wing environmental activists with the Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for American Progress, and the Obama Administration. And they cited outlier studies funded by Steyer and [Michael] Bloomberg.”
Donna Laframboise: “RCP8.5, I think of it as Ridiculous Climate Prophecy” – “Fairy tales to describe how humans might impact the climate by the year 2100.”
It can’t become reality, they point out, unless humanity burns five times more coal than we currently do, “an amount larger than some estimates of recoverable coal reserves.” Whenever RCP8.5 gets mentioned, they say, it should be clearly labelled as an “unlikely worst case.”
Incredibly, that ‘major scientific report’ (National Climate Assessment) takes RCP8.5 seriously. Calling it a “core scenario,” page 6 of the report presents it as a realistic possibility rather than a farfetched hallucination:
“RCP8.5 is generally associated with higher population growth, less technological innovation, and higher carbon intensity of the global energy mix.”
This means the report is junk. No matter how many federal agencies were involved in its creation. But the New York Times didn’t tell readers that.