Former Obama energy aide: Trump ‘afraid’ of own admin’s climate report


A former energy and climate aide to President Obama called out the Trump administration for releasing its climate report on Black Friday, accusing President Trump of being “scared” of the report’s findings.

“I think President Trump is obviously afraid of what [the] administration is reporting,” former White House official Jake Levine said Friday on MSNBC. “It’s contrary to his agenda, it’s contrary to the interests that support this president.”

“It’s really, frankly, quite shameful for a president who just came out to California and visited the devastation in Paradise, Calif., in Malibu, where towns have literally been just wiped off the map as a result of the extreme weather we’re seeing from climate change. This is, unfortunately, par for the course for this president that he would try to bury this news and deny it.”{mosads}

The report, released Friday, details how climate change will interrupt the way people live day-to-day as it ravages infrastructure, impacts human health, poses challenges to the global economy and threatens the world’s energy supply. 

The report makes clear that climate change is real and human caused and that its effects are getting worse.

“The warming trend observed over the past century can only be explained by the effects that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, have had on the climate,” the fourth federal National Climate Assessment reads.

The report’s release came days after the president sent a tweet about global warming that conflated weather and climate.

“Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?” he wrote Wednesday.

Researchers have documented steady global temperature increases since the beginning of the 20th century.

Levine wasn’t the only person to criticize the timing of the report’s release on Black Friday, a day in which people are likely more concerned with shopping than national affairs.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a tweet accused the administration of seeking to “bury a new report about the devastating consequences of climate change.”

“Why?” Sanders said. “Because Trump’s actions are actively making it worse.” 

“It’s an absolute disgrace to bury the truth about climate impacts in a year that saw hundreds of Americans die during devastating climate-fueled megafires, hurricanes, floods, and algal blooms,” National Wildlife Federation President Collin O’Mara said in a statement.

David Easterling, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information Technical Support Unit, said the release date was moved up because the program responsible for it felt it “would be a topic of discussion” at two international conferences coming up.

“We wanted to get this out sufficiently in advance of those meetings to ensure that folks have a chance to review it,” Easterling said during a phone call with reporters.

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