A federal climate change report is awaiting approval from the Trump administration, with input from 13 federal agencies. Contrary to prior statements from the administration, the report provides conclusive evidence that climate change is taking place, that human activity including greenhouse gas emissions is contributing to it, and that climate change is significantly impacting the U.S.
The report makes no claim that the existence of manmade climate change is in any way contested; thousands of studies from tens of thousands of scientists corroborate observations of climate change. The authors lyrically note that “evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”
Although the report is nothing out of the ordinary — as it is a part of the National Climate Assessment commissioned by Congress every four years — the authors seem to fear that it will be suppressed by the administration before it is published, the likely reason behind the leak to New York Times.
Suppression of the report, since it contradicts the administration’s stance on climate change, would be a fairly reasonable concern, as the administration has previously demonstrated its willingness to censor government agencies. A series of emails exchanged within the USDA revealed to the Guardian that employees are now being instructed to replace all mentions of climate change in their work with “weather extremes.”
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With even the nomenclature of federal agencies in question, it is important now more than ever to prioritize numbers over words. Cold hard data cannot be contested.
More than just proving the existence of climate change, the report also demonstrates that climate change has been impacting people. The study “examines every corner of the United States and finds that all of it was touched by climate change.” The authors support the same conclusion that scientists have been making for years: Stabilizing the global temperature increase at two degrees Celsius (beyond which impacts will be devastating) will require rapid and significant reductions in fossil fuel emissions.
Given the uncertainty of the current government’s policies on fossil fuel reductions, the onus falls on the business world. Corporations have the unique opportunity and therefore moral obligation to do their part by greening their supply chains and reducing waste and resource consumption. One place to start is with better data management.
To learn more about how your business can utilize utility data to create a more efficient energy or water conservation program, contact an Urjanet expert today.