- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
- U.S. Navy admiral ‘receptive’ to giving Chinese counterpart a tour of carrier
- Islamic State orders female genital mutilation for Mosul girls, U.N. says
- U.N. school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed
- Obama encourages ICE to stand down, say former border agents
Critics say White House climate-change site promotes fear, wastes money
Question of the Day
The White House on Wednesday rolled out an ambitious climate-change website and vowed to tap into the federal government’s vast trove of weather data to better educate Americans — but critics say the effort is little more than fear-mongering and represents a waste of taxpayer money.
The site, climate.data.gov, will house information from across the federal government. In its first phase, the site will focus on rising sea levels and coastal flooding.
Ultimately, it will include data on how climate change affects food supplies, public health, infrastructure, energy resources and other areas. The Obama administration also has partnered with private companies such as Google to make the information available through apps and other tools.
When all its parts are fully functional, the data hub is designed to allow users to see the effects of climate change in their specific area.
But critics say that by honing in on the consequences of climate change, the White House is doing little other than scaring Americans in the hope the public will support crackdowns on power plants and other, similar measures.
“The administration’s new climate-change website will further bolster its fear-inducing vision of the future, which sounds more and more like a scene out of a Hollywood movie,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “The president continues his misguided climate pursuit despite communities across America living in real-life fear every day, including families concerned about putting food on their tables and businesses unable to make payroll because of rising energy costs due to EPA regulations.”
The initiative is President Obama’s latest move to confront climate change, an issue he’s vowed to make a priority during his second term. The president already has proposed a $1 billion “climate resilience fund” to improve the nation’s infrastructure so it can withstand more severe storms and other byproducts of a warming planet.
The administration has created “climate hubs” across the country, connecting farmers with government agencies, leading universities and others to prepare for climate change-induced disasters.
In the administration’s most serious steps, the Environmental Protection Agency has begun to crack down on carbon emissions from power plants and has instituted new fuel-efficiency rules for automobiles.
The effort announced Wednesday contains no new regulation and is more about education.
“Every citizen will be affected by climate change — and all of us must work together to make our communities stronger and more resilient to its impacts,” John Podesta, a top adviser to the president, and John Holdren, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology policy, said in a joint statement.
“By taking the enormous data sets regularly collected by [federal agencies such as NASA] and applying the ingenuity, creativity and expertise of technologists and entrepreneurs, the Climate Data Initiative will help create easy-to-use tools for regional planners, farmers, hospitals and businesses across the country — and empower America’s communities to prepare themselves for the future,” they said.
In addition to the website launch, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced an “innovation challenge,” tasking applicants with developing data-driven simulations showcasing the vulnerability of their communities to rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- Boehner presses Obama on 2008 law contributing to border crisis
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Obama takes executive action on LGBT discrimination, but leaves religious loophole
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare enrollees faking for freebies
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq