U.S. National Climate Assessment to be released May 6


The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, May 6) at 8 am EDT to approve the final version of the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment. The report will be posted online. At 2 pm EDT on May 6, the White House is hosting (and will webcast live) a stakeholder event that will feature speakers from the Administration, National Climate Assessment authors, and users of the report.

[Returning after a 2-week hiatus, with much to discuss.]

Once the report is forwarded from the committee to the federal government, it will go live online.

Any White House materials about the report release will be available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change.

Chris Mooney had a very good article in Mother Jones when the new National Climate Assessment review draft was released last year (“Could This Scary Report Get Americans to Care About Climate? Yes, it’s only a draft, but here’s why the National Climate Assessment is a BFD.”). Chris wrote:

Shortly after his reelection, President Obama pledged to lead a “conversation across the country” about climate change. This new report is perhaps the single best conversation piece he’s likely to encounter.

What makes the new National Climate Assessment so powerful—and accordingly, so threatening to the climate-change deniers—is that it brings the debate down from the atmosphere and puts it, Google Maps-style, right smack in your backyard. And unlike the two previous national assessments—which, largely for political reasons, failed to reach the audience they deserved—this document might finally help push us to deal meaningfully with a problem we should have addressed decades ago.

With a little help from the president, that is.

It looks like we may finally be seeing a major White House-led, cabinet level push from the Obama administration on connecting climate science, assessment, and policy. Greenwire reported today (subscription required):

The White House and federal agencies are planning a public outreach blitz tomorrow to coincide with the release of a high-profile scientific review of the effects climate change is already having on the United States.

The president will give interviews to broadcast meteorologists at the White House to discuss the National Climate Assessment, and members of his Cabinet will make appearances inside and outside the Beltway to drive home the report’s point that climate change is already occurring and warrants aggressive action.

Juliet Eilperin reports in a good page one article in the Washington Post today (“For Obama, a renewed focus on climate”):

After years of putting other policy priorities first — and dismaying many liberal allies in the process — Obama is now getting into the weeds on climate change and considers it one of the key components of his legacy, according to aides and advisers.

He is regularly briefed on scientific reports on the issue, including a national climate assessment that he will help showcase Tuesday. …

[A]ccording to his aides, he also discusses it in his private life, talking about global warming’s implications with his teenage daughters. …

It’s a notable transformation for a politician who as a senator talked in grand terms about the need to combat global warming but adopted a much more constrained approach in the run-up to his 2012 reelection. …

On Tuesday, the White House’s reinvigorated strategy will be on full display. Back in June 2009, the administration’s low-key launch of its second national climate assessment received only a smattering of coverage from regional papers. This time, Obama will conduct interviews from the White House with local and national TV meteorologists, who will also be briefed by senior administration officials.

Andrew Freedman reports (“Obama Taps TV Meteorologists to Roll Out New Climate Report”):

The White House is planning to release a major new climate science report on Tuesday, which states unequivocally that global warming is already causing a wide range of harmful impacts across the United States. While the report is significant on its own, so too is the way the White House plans to roll it out.

According to people with knowledge of the White House’s plans, as well as Facebook and Twitter posts, eight television meteorologists are slated to have rare one-on-one interviews about global warming with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. This comes soon after the president sat down with a crew from Showtime’s documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously” for an hour-long interview on climate change. That interview is scheduled to air sometime in the next few months.

Some earlier posts:

New National Climate Assessment draft report a reminder of the first NCA and the Bush White House denial machine (January 28, 2013)

The new draft U.S. National Climate Assessment report is a threat to the global warming denial machine because it takes projected global warming seriously and focuses on the implications of climatic disruption, region by region and across socioeconomic and natural resource sectors. The first National Assessment, completed in 2000, was attacked with denial machine litigation and propaganda, then suppressed by the Bush Administration. They chose to make the assessment vanish from public consciousness rather than allow the national conversation it was aimed at encouraging.

“This report will be attacked.” – Statement to the National Climate Assessment committee (April 11, 2011)

Those who are developing the new National Climate Assessment must be prepared to defend it against the attacks that can be expected from the war on climate science, CSW director Rick Piltz said during an April 5 public comment period to the panel that is responsible for producing the assessment. When the first National Assessment was attacked by the denial machine and politically suppressed by the Bush Administration, the science community and the federal climate research program leadership failed to stand up for it.


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