NASA Chief to Trump: 'No Reason to Dismiss' Recent UN Climate Report
October 24, 2018
Timothy Cama / The Hill
he head of NASA bucked President Trump this week, saying that he sees no reason to reject the findings of a major climate change report from the United Nations. Trump previously said he would review the dire report issued this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but he was also skeptical of it. "It was given to me, and I want to look at who drew it," Trump said, seeming to mistake the detailed and extensive scientific report for a comic book.
NASA Chief: 'No Reason to Dismiss'
Recent UN Climate Report
Timothy Cama / The Hill
WASHINGTON (October 19, 2018) -- The head of NASA bucked President Trump this week, saying that he sees no reason to reject the findings of a major climate change report from the United Nations.
Trump previously said he would review the dire report issued this month by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but he was also skeptical of it.
"It was given to me, and I want to look at who drew it," he said. "Because I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren't so good."
By contrast, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, whose agency is at the forefront of studying climate change, said he accepts the report's findings.
"I have no reason to dismiss the report at all," he told The Atlantic. "NASA is one agency on the planet that does more to inform the world on how the climate is changing than any other agency, and we're going to continue to do that."
But Bridenstine, who was nominated by Trump, gave no indication he would push Republicans to agree with him -- and the majority of scientists -- on climate change.
"My role is to deliver dispassionate science and allow policy makers to have these debates about it," he said when asked about discussing the report with his GOP colleagues.
"Look, if I start engaging in what to do about the science that we receive, then it politicizes what NASA is all about, and we don't want to do that," he added. "All we're going to do is study the planet and make sure that all of that data and all of that science is made available to the public."
The report found that the Earth would suffer dire consequences, such as sea level rise and drought, by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory. The report gave world leaders until 2030 to dramatically cut emissions and avoid the worst consequences.
Bridenstine, a former GOP congressman from Oklahoma, has undergone somewhat of a transformation on climate. He was previously skeptical that human activity via greenhouse gas emissions is the main cause of global warming, but he has since endorsed the scientific consensus view.
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