WASHINGTON – The American Meterological Society took a novel approach this week, responding to President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine policies that combat climate change.
Instead of waging another attack on Trump’s campaign to obliterate Obama-era regulations limiting industrial carbon emissions that contribute directly to global warming, meteorological society leaders offered to assist the president in understanding the basics of climate change and how his policies were making things worse.
“We don’t write very many letters, but when we do, it is to defend the integrity of the science and the scientific process,” said AMS director Keith Seitter. “The science is there. That science is coming from executive branch agencies. NASA, NOAA are collecting the data, are analyzing the data, understanding how the earth’s atmosphere and climate system work.
AMS wrote the president after his interview with British talk show host Piers Morgan in which, despite plentiful evidence to the contrary, Trump argued that global warming was a hoax and that the term ‘climate change’ was employed only after the term “global warming” had proved to be false – at least according to the president.
Concern with President Trump’s relentless drive to eviscerate regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Department of Energy and elsewhere that would reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel production has reached a fevered pitch among environmental groups and public health advocates.
Many career government officials and scientists who have protested Trump’s pro-fossil fuel policies have been brushed aside or forced to retire.
“It’s certainly inconsistent for the president and his administration to be sending a message that’s different than what’s coming out of U.S. science agencies themselves,” Seitter said.
“There are a lot of difficult policy issues surrounding climate change but the only way to address those policy issues is to begin with a basis that’s built on the best understanding of the climate system itself.”
Trump’s self-proclaimed disbelief in documentation of climate change has and will continue to have an immediate and large impact on the environment and the government’s environmental organizations.
Tuesday night during his first State of the Union, Trump reaffirmed his support for fossil fuel production. “We have ended the war on American energy — and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal,” he said.
The administration reportedly is seeking a 72 percent cut in funding for Energy Department alternative energy sources programs, pushing for job eliminations across various programs, according to the Washington Post. While it’s unlikely Congress will approve so drastic a slash to the programs, Trump’s proposal appears to be an opening bid in bargaining that will likely result in significant cuts to the budget regardless.