On Black Friday, when the Trump administration likely thought the country wasn’t paying attention, a federal government climate change report was released that included some rather dire information:
Key findings of the NCA4, Vol. II
Human health and safety, our quality of life, and the rate of economic growth in communities across the U.S. are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The cascading impacts of climate change threaten the natural, built and social systems we rely on, both within and beyond the nation’s borders.
Societal efforts to respond to climate change have expanded in the last five years, but not at the scale needed to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.
Without substantial and sustained global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and regional initiatives to prepare for anticipated changes, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.
Agriculture and food production
Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly challenge the quality and quantity of U.S. crop yields, livestock health, price stability and rural livelihoods.
- Continued changes to Earth’s climate will cause major disruptions in some ecosystems. Some coral reef and sea ice ecosystems are already experiencing transformational changes, affecting communities and economies that rely upon them.
Water and the coasts
Changes in the quality and quantity of fresh water available for people and the environment are increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry and recreation.
Climate change will transform coastal regions by the latter part of this century, with ripple effects on other regions and sectors. Many communities should expect higher costs and lower property values from sea level rise.
Climate change threatens the health and well-being of the American people by causing increasing extreme weather, changes to air quality, the spread of new diseases by insects and pests, and changes to the availability of food and water.
Donald Trump reacted to this climate change report from his own government in typical Donald Trump fashion. He said he didn’t believe it.
Mr Trump, on his way to Mississippi, was incredulous about the National Climate Assessment report which was released late last week during the Thanksgiving holiday. He said he had “read some of it and it’s fine”.
Donald Trump said he didn’t believe it, despite the fact that this report was put together by 13 different federal agencies and received input from hundred of scientists, and despite the fact that Donald Trump has witnessed the adverse repercussions of climate change several times with his very own two eyes:
The report comes just days after Mr Trump witnessed the effects of the deadly wildfires in California. During his presidency several devastating hurricanes have rocked Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico as well, costly the federal government billions in disaster relief aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) and other means.
Not to be outdone, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, chimed in with his own attempts to downplay the climate change report:
He was asked about how he was able to reconcile scientists’ warnings that climate change will have dire effects on virtually all aspects of the US economy and stability. Wheeler said he had “not read the entire report,” and that he did not have time to discuss it report with Trump, who has been outspoken about entirely dismissing it. Earlier versions of the assessment have long been publicly available, vetted by the EPA, and subject to a lengthy and thorough comment period. But that didn’t stop Wheeler from undermining confidence in the report and media reports, all while claiming the US is on track to meet its climate targets set out under the Paris agreement anyway. (This is simply not true.)
“I have questions about the assumptions,” Wheeler said, referring to the range of scenarios the report lays out for continuing business-as-usual on greenhouse gas pollution. “The majority of that report was written in 2016 and it was at the direction of the previous administration,” Wheeler repeated more than once, implying that it is also a political document. At one point, he even connected Tom Steyer, an outspoken critic of Trump and prominent climate advocate, to the economic finding that climate change will have more than twice the impact by the turn of the century than the total hit from the 2008 Great Recession.
It’s worth noting that before being nominated by Donald Trump to work for the EPA, Andrew Wheeler worked for 23 years as a staffer for leading climate change denier Senator Jim Inhofe and as a lobbyist for coal companies:
U.S. Senate staff, 1995-2009
From January 1995 until January 1997, Wheeler worked as Chief Counsel of Senator Jim Inhofe. In 1997 Wheeler entered his first work in Congress as majority staff director at the US Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands, and Nuclear Safety, which Inhofe chaired until 2001; thereafter he was minority staff director under Chairman George Voinovich from 2001-2003. From 2003-2009 he was chief counsel at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. During this time, he generally sought to reduce government regulations on industries that generate greenhouse gases. Senator James Inhofe was prominent for his rejection of climate change, and famously brought a snowball to the Senate as alleged proof that climate change was not real.
During his time at the Senate, he was named by the National Journal as one of the Top Congressional Staff Leaders in 2005 and was a John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow in the 106th Congress.
Since 2009 Wheeler has been a lobbyist at the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels‘ energy and natural resources practice.  Since 2009, he represented the coal producer Murray Energy, privately owned by Robert E. Murray, a supporter of President Trump. Murray Energy was Wheeler’s best-paying client, paying more than $300,000 during the period 2009-2017. Wheeler lobbied against the Obama administration’s climate regulations for power plants and also sought to persuade the Energy Department to subsidize coal plants. Wheeler set up a meeting between Murray and Energy Secretary Rick Perry in March 2017; at the meeting, Murray advocated for the rollback of environmental regulations and for protections for the coal industry. 
Stephen Hawking stated that “climate change is the biggest threat to our planet”, yet here we are with a President and EPA administrator who would rather just ignore the threat because it could distract from their attempts to prop up the coal industry. Is propping up the coal industry worth ignoring the biggest threat to our planet? Well, so far under Trump, new coal jobs have accounted for just 0.05% of new jobs. So, you be the judge.