Environmental News

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Ignores Federal Climate Science Report

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Ignores Federal Climate Science Report
Brian Oaster

A newly released federal climate science report demonstrates in no uncertain terms that climate change is real. It is largely the responsibility of humans, and has created impending catastrophe.

The Climate Science Special Report comes out every four years for the president, congress, and the public. It’s the work of hundreds of scientists, cooperating from over a dozen government agencies, and a few non-governmental scientists as well. They reviewed over 1,500 studies, and the National Academy of Sciences peer-reviewed their findings.

Their conclusions include the following:

  • Worldwide atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide has surpassed 400 parts per million. The last time this happened was 3 million years ago. The earth was much hotter then.
  • Sea levels have risen by seven to eight inches in the last century.
  • They’ve risen by about three inches just since 1993.
  • They’ll continue rising. Scientists predict a global sea level increase of one to four feet by 2100.
  • Heat waves, daily tidal flooding, and large forest fires have become more frequent.
  • Water resources in the western US are already affected by earlier spring thaws and diminished snowpack reserves.
  • “It is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
  • The only way to solve this is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially global emissions of carbon dioxide.


How the EPA Views the Report

Nevertheless, EPA head Scott Pruitt has made clear that he’s not listening. And yes, that’s the Environmental Protection Agency that Pruitt is leading.

Instead, Pruitt is moving full steam ahead to continue dismantling the Clean Power Plan, a rule laid by the Obama administration to combat pollution and climate change.

“We’re taking the very necessary step to evaluate our authority under the Clean Air Act and we’ll take steps that are required to issue a subsequent rule. That’s our focus,” Pruitt told USA TODAY. “Does this report have any bearing on that? No it doesn’t. It doesn’t impact the withdrawal and it doesn’t impact the replacement.”

The “subsequent rule” will likely support President Trump’s assertion that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese to weaken the US economy. Trump championed the coal industry, Pruitt has played a key role in helping Trump keep his promises by withdrawing from the Paris agreement and dismantling the Clean Power Plan.

Pruitt, as attorney general for the state of Oklahoma, tried to block the Obama administration from implementing the Climate Change Act.

In his first public statements since the report’s release, Pruitt has tried to dismiss the importance of the scientific information. He insists there’s still some debate about climate change.

“Measuring with exact precision is very challenging,” Pruitt said. “So I think the report (is) good to encourage an open dialogue on this.”

Scientist’s Response to the EPA’s Dismissal

“The National Climate Assessment has sounded a five-alarm fire bell, and Scott Pruitt pretends he can’t hear it,” says David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The assessment shows unequivocally that carbon pollution is causing dangerous climate change and that our future depends on whether we cut that pollution.”

Climate Scientist Katharien Hayhoe, one of the researchers involved in producing the report, tweeted:

“It confirms what we’ve known for decades:
Climate is changing
Humans are responsible
The risks are serious
The time to act is now”

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