WASHINGTON – The Trump administration, led by a president who called climate change a hoax and is gutting efforts to cut carbon emissions, predicts global temperatures will rise catastrophically by the end of the century – and that there’s no use trying to stop it.
The Washington Post and E&E News have both reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, quietly released a study last month that admits carbon pollution from cars and other sources will trigger a seven-degree rise in average worldwide temperatures by 2100. But astoundingly, the study supports Trump’s scheme to freeze fuel efficiency standards, saying that tackling automobile emissions alone wouldn’t make any difference.
“Oops! Somehow scientific facts escaped from being held hostage by the Trump administration, acknowledging the hellish future awaiting us if we do nothing about global warming,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Facts are stubborn things – even more stubborn than this know-nothing president, whose anti-science, anti-public health agenda is not trying to head off that future, but to hasten it.”
Buried in the 500-page NHTSA report is this jaw-dropping admission:
The emissions reductions necessary to keep global emissions within carbon budget could not be achieved solely with drastic reductions in emissions from the U.S. passenger car and light truck vehicle fleet but would also require drastic reductions in all U.S. sectors and from the rest of the developed and developing world.
In June 2017, President Trump announced he would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, making the U.S. the only nation on earth not part of the pact to tackle the threat.
Under the Paris agreement, each country pledges to put a plan in place to reduce its own carbon emissions. President Obama’s administration, which was instrumental in drafting the Paris pact, set its own targets to reduce carbon dioxide pollution.
Among the initiatives by the Obama administration to combat warming were the Clean Power Plan to cap pollution from coal-fired power plants, which would also prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths and childhood asthma attacks. It also included new rules to require the oil and gas industry to cut methane leaks nearly in half, and groundbreaking fuel efficiency standards for cars and SUVs.
But Trump has announced plans to kill the Clean Power Plan and those requirements to dramatically reduce methane leaks, as well as blocking the new fuel economy standards.
“Like Nero and Rome, the Trump administration is fiddling while the nation and the planet burn,” Cook said. “The increasingly erratic and dangerous weather patterns we’re seeing – hurricanes, crippling droughts, year-round forest fires – are largely the consequences of climate change. Trump could do something about it, but he’d rather bow to the wishes of the fossil fuel industry. Sad.”