Thirteen federal agencies under the Donald Trump Administration issued the National Climate Assessment Report in October of this year. The assessment is required by Congress to be completed every four years. The 477-page report had two major findings.

First, the world’s climate is warming at an alarming pace. “This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization,” the report states. Globally, surface air temperatures have increased by roughly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century. In the United States, the last 20 years have been the hottest in the past 1,500 years, according to the report.


The report also says that we are about halfway to the point of no return or the tipping point for temperature increases. According to the report, our ability to avoid this level of increase “is seeming harder to achieve” than ever, and that we are on target to blow significantly past these tipping point temperatures by the end of the century.

The second finding of the report is that human behavior continues to be the direct and primary contributor to global warming. The report found that, "It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence."

For some, taking a knee during the national anthem is un-American, but getting paid tens of millions of dollars to work with Russian agents against the foreign policy of the United States is “much ado about nothing.”

The report found that warming global temperatures are resulting in more frequent and intense fires from dry vegetation, increases in flooding from rising oceans, and more frequent and severe storms from warmer ocean temperatures. Some portions of the United States have seen a doubling of the number of wildfires since 1984, according to the report. All of these events will continue to cause repeated and severe infrastructure damage, loss of life and loss of food crops.

Because much of the world population lives near the oceans’ coasts (think New York, New Orleans and Miami in the United States), a majority of the world’s population is at risk from flooding.

While the Trump Administration allowed the report to be published because it was required by Congress, it plans to ignore the report or to discredit it directly or via its surrogates. For example, after the report was released, Myron Ebell of the Center for Energy and Environment, a long-time climate change denier who served on Trump’s transition team, stated that the report was “full of junk science.”

Again, the report passed the scientific standards of the scientists of 13 federal agencies and dozens of university scientists who contributed to the research. Only someone who knows nothing about science or who has a financial dependence on dirty energy would call the report “junk science.”

Regardless of the dire warnings found in the report, Scott Pruitt, Trump’s secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, continues to cut regulations to curb greenhouse gases, the primary cause of global warming. David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council stated that “The ability to act on climate change is in the hands of Pruitt and other Trump administration appointees. And I think they will do nothing in response to this report.”

This past week, two of the three remaining nations who have not signed the Paris climate change agreement, Syria and Nicaragua, agreed to join the world and signed the agreement. Sadly, the United States remains alone in the world, under the leadership of President Trump and a Republican Congress, in not recognizing the dangers of climate change to our nation and to the world.

According to the report, China and the United States are the world’s “worse emitter of carbon dioxide.” The U.S. alone “makes up almost a sixth of all global emissions.” China plans to lead the world in both solar and wind energy with significant investments in both. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the House just voted to eliminate tax credits for hybrids and plug-in cars to help pay for proposed corporate tax cuts.

Among the world’s nations, only the United States has decided to keep our head in the sand and ignore the evidence related to climate change. As a result, we will be left behind economically as China and other nations lead the solar and wind revolution, and we will suffer the consequences of our ignorance with greater and more consequential natural disasters.