Former Vice President Al Gore joined dozens of environmental groups and activists in accusing the Trump administration of burying a major climate report warning of catastrophic climate change by releasing it on Black Friday, typically the slowest news day of the year.
“Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the west, hurricanes batter our coasts — and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical U.S. assessment of the climate crisis,” Gore said in a statement.
“The President may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible,” added Gore, whose 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth warned of the effects of climate change.
— Al Gore (@algore) November 23, 2018
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also accused the Trump administration of seeking to “bury a new report about the devastating consequences of climate change.”
“Why?” Sanders said in a tweet. “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.
The federal government report was released on Friday while millions of Americans headed to the stores for the Black Friday sales.
Compiled as a result of collaboration by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 federal government and independent scientists, the bombshell report warns that unchecked climate change will impact human health, safety, and cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars.
“Global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 [degrees] from 1901 to 2016, and observational evidence does not support any credible natural explanations for this amount of warming,” states the report, which analyzes the effects of climate change by U.S. region. “Instead, the evidence consistently points to human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse or heat-trapping gases, as the dominant cause.”
“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 National Climate Assessment reads.
The global average temperature is at its highest temperature in history, sea levels have continued to rise, and extreme weather events have intensified and will continue to increase in frequency, the report warns. Flooding is expected to intensify along the U.S. coasts, where infrastructure and real estate is at risk of severe devastation, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in damage annually.
The report finds that under a worst-case climate change scenario, extreme heat would cause labor-related losses of an estimated $155 billion per year by 2090. In addition, coastal property damage in the U.S. from sea level rise and storm surge flooding could reach nearly $120 billion annually.
CBS News reported that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was orginally expected to release the report on December.