Climate Report Could Force Trump to Choose Between Science and His Base

The special report is part of the National Climate Assessment, which presidents are required by law to conduct every four years. The assessment details the risks that climate change poses to the United States, so as to inform federal agencies and local policy makers as they prepare for droughts, rising sea levels and other effects. But presidents have historically had wide latitude in how to play the findings.

For Mr. Trump, that means deciding whether his message on the campaign trail will guide his actions as president. In a speech in South Carolina in December 2015, Mr. Trump criticized President Barack Obama for talking about climate change, suggesting strongly that he would take a different approach if elected.

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Climate Change Report vs. E.P.A. Chief

A draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies directly contradicts statements by Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, that human contribution to climate change is uncertain.


By A.J. CHAVAR, CHRIS CIRILLO, LISA FRIEDMAN and DAVE HORN on Publish Date August 8, 2017.


Photo by Al Drago for The New York Times.

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“A lot of it’s a hoax, it’s a hoax,” said Mr. Trump, then a Republican primary candidate. “I mean, it’s a moneymaking industry, O.K.? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”

Since taking office, Mr. Trump and his advisers have argued that the global fight against climate change is a threat to the American economy. In his speech withdrawing from the Paris accord, the president said the agreement imposes “draconian financial and economic burdens” that are “unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.”

Mr. Trump could…

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