- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Worried that President Trump and his Cabinet officials will suppress their findings, a group of federal scientists on Monday night leaked a draft of a sweeping climate change study to the media before it had been approved by the administration.

The incident marks the latest in a series of clashes between top administration officials and scientists within the government, some of whom contend that the White House is actively trying to bury science related to global warming. The latest study was written by scientists from 13 federal agencies and has not yet been made public, though The New York Times obtained a draft on Monday evening.

While the study mostly seems to reiterate what a host of other climate change studies have said, it does make the case that global warming is getting worse and that significant action must be taken.

“Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” a portion of the study reads. “Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.”

The report also found that global temperatures are projected to rise significantly over the next century.

Several authors of the draft, quoted anonymously, told The Times that they were concerned Mr. Trump, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt or others could withhold or dramatically alter the report since it may not fit into their political agenda.

The administration has taken a host of steps this year to reverse former President Obama’s climate change agenda, including retreating from the Paris climate accord, rescinding new limits on power plant emissions, and other moves.

Administration officials, including Mr. Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and others, routinely have said they believe the climate is changing and that man has had an impact, but they’ve stopped short of saying humans are the primary driver of global warming. They’ve also said exactly what the U.S. should do about climate change, and how much economic harm it should be willing to inflict on itself in order to mitigate the effects, should remain open questions.

Mr. Pruitt also has said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary driver of climate change.

Since taking office, Mr. Trump himself has repeatedly dodged questions about his personal views on climate change, though in the past he’s called it a hoax.

The EPA and other agencies must sign off on the report, which, if released, would be part of the quadrennial National Climate Assessment.

Democrats quickly pounced on the report and the reported fears that scientists believe the president could kill the study.

“This report should sound the alarm for the Trump administration that climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Instead, Trump is willfully denying and misleading Americans on an urgent threat to our national security, our economy and our well-being,” said Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee. “Democrats are fighting for a clean energy economy to help create good-paying jobs and make clean energy accessible to all.”

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