- The Washington Times - Monday, November 26, 2018

President Trump on Monday said he doesn’t believe his administration’s new report that predicted climate change would shave 10 percent off the U.S. economy by the end of the century.

“I don’t believe it,” Mr. Trump said of the dire forecast in the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, a scientific report by 13 federal agencies that was released Friday.

The report said that potential for losses in some sectors could reach hundreds of billions of dollars per year by the end of this century. It warned that if emissions of heat-trapping gases continue at current levels, labor costs in outdoor industries during heat waves could cost $155 billion in lost wages per year by 2090.

Mr. Trump has weathered criticism for his skepticism about climate science since before he won the White House. He provoked fresh attacks from environmentalists for quietly releasing the 1,656-page report on the day after Thanksgiving.

Just before the report was released, Mr. Trump pointed to record-low temperatures that had been expected in some parts of the country on Thanksgiving.

“Brutal and extended cold blast could shatter all records — whatever happened to global warming?” the president wondered on Twitter.

However, the president didn’t balk at other findings in the report, including that there was no doubt that human activity contributed to the rising temperatures on Earth.

“I’ve seen it. I’ve read some of it. It’s fine,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House.

The report blamed climate change for worsening natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, and they predicted as many as 9,300 more people could die each year in the U.S. because of events related to extreme heat and cold.

But the scientists said if everyone in coastal regions can learn to adapt to weather as if they were in a climate such as that of Dallas, those fatality rates could be cut in half.

Critics of the report said it was alarmist, exaggerated the economic impact and focused narrowly on imposing an energy tax to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The president said that preparing for climate change will take more than the U.S. cutting carbon emissions.

“You’re going to have China and Japan and all of Asia and all of these other countries. You know, it addresses our country. Right now we are at the cleanest we’ve ever been, and that’s very important to me,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “If we’re clean but every other place on Earth is dirty, that’s not so good.”

Mr. Trump frequently casts the climate-change debate as a global issue that he says shouldn’t be used to impose hardships on Americans.

It is the same argument Mr. Trump made when pulling out of the Paris climate accord. He said the Obama-era agreement put too many restrictions on the U.S., including penalties for not meeting emission reduction goals, while going easy on big polluters such as China and India.

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