On Sunday, the Trump Administration decided to dissolve the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. The Committee’s charter came up for renewal on Sunday, but the committee’s chair was informed that the Administration planned to let the charter expire with no intention for renewal.
The Assessment Advisory Committee falls under the oversight of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and is comprised of 15 people including local and government officials, academic experts, and corporate representatives. The goal of the Advisory Committee is to interpret and analyze data from the National Climate Assessment—a report produced every 4 years—and make the information accessible to people inside and outside of the federal government. Additionally, the Committee is given the responsibility of making recommendations to officials in both the public and private realms for how to keep climate change in mind when making decisions on how to proceed with development and infrastructure plans.
Those who sat on the Committee have expressed disagreement with the administration’s decision to let the charter expire, as the Committee have been reviewing the Climate Science Special Report, a document that will be useful in creating the National Climate Assessment due in 2018, which has already alarmed environment experts.
The report concludes that global temperatures have risen significantly in the past forty years, making temperatures between 1980 and 2017 the warmest in over 1500 years. What’s more, the authors of the report said it was “extremely likely” that over 50% of the temperature increase in the past seventy years was caused by human action—namely, the emission of greenhouse gases. The report predicts that global temperatures will increase by five to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and determines that even if humans stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the earth would still warm by at least 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. Among the most ground-breaking of the report’s claims is that extreme weather events induced by climate change, including heatwaves and droughts, can be directly attributed to human action.
Trump himself provoked outrage from environmental groups and public officials alike when he withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, an international pledge to reduce carbon emissions signed by every nation in the world besides Syria and Nicaragua. Additionally, Trump’s budget plan proposes a 31 percent cut to the EPA’s funding, which would eliminate 20 percent of the workforce and cut over 50 EPA programs. In addition, the EPA would be cut by 2 percent each year after 2018 for the next 10 years.
Women, especially those in poorer countries, are disproportionately impacted by climate change. Women in developing nations tend to rely on food production to make a living, meaning that erratic weather can be economically devastating for women and their families. What’s more, women are more likely to be impoverished than men, and poorer people tend to live in less desirable areas that are vulnerable to floods, droughts, or storms. Women are also more likely than men to die in natural disasters, meaning that climate change puts women’s lives at risk.
Media Resources: CNN 8/21/17; The Hill 8/20/17; The Washington Post 8/20/17; Time 8/20/17; Feminist Newswire 8/9/17; Scientific American 8/21/17