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Sobering 2018 National Climate Change Report is Leaked to the NY Times

Government climate scientists take action

“Humanity is conducting an unprecedented experiment with the Earth’s climate system through emissions from large-scale fossil-fuel combustion, widespread deforestation, and other changes to the atmosphere and landscape. While researchers and policymakers must rely on climate model projections for a representative picture of the future Earth system under these conditions, there are still elements of the Earth system that models do not capture well. For this reason, there is significant potential for humankind’s planetary experiment to result in unanticipated surprises — and the further and faster the Earth’s climate system is changed, the greater the risk of such surprises.

“There are at least two types of potential surprises: compound events, where multiple extreme climate events occur simultaneously or sequentially (creating greater overall impact), and critical threshold or tipping point events, where some threshold is crossed in the climate system (that leads to large impacts). The probability of such surprises — some of which may be abrupt and/or irreversible — as well as other more predictable but difficult-to-manage impacts, increases as the influence of human activities on the climate system increases.”

It’s too much to hope that a president who thinks and functions in 140-letter Tweets, and who cannot seem to keep his mind focussed in speeches through one complete sentence, will read even the 23-page executive summary of this frightening report by “his” own scientists, much less the whole 600 pages of the full thing. His EPA stooge Pruitt probably will be too busy trying to find and punish the leakers to even look at it beyond the first pages listing the authors and contributors. But unless some people in government read it and understand its clear warning, and unless American newsrooms move beyond their breathless focus on alleged Russian meddling in the last election and on the latest Bachelorette scandal, the question will not be whether America can be “great again,” but whether there will be any America at all to speak of, come 2100.

Kudos to the government scientists who put their jobs on the line to courageously put this report out in public view before the Trump administration could kill it (they must have been aided by Trump’s failure to staff up their agencies with climate-denying bureaucrats who by now would have torched the project and erased the data!). Kudos too to the NY Times for making the leaked document their lead story Tuesday. It would be even better if the Times could now follow that action up with a daily report over the next weeks drawn from the study’s contents, and with regular reportorial harassment of Trump and his administrative sycophants demanding answers to how they are going to respond to its findings and warnings.

It’s not just the nuclear clock that is standing at one minute to midnight anymore. The environmental clock is at that same perilous position too now.

story | by Dr. Radut