White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was fact-checked live by CNN Tuesday after she misrepresented the report and the science behind it.
“It’s not based on facts. … It’s not data-driven,” Sanders said at a press briefing. “We’d like to see something that is more data-driven. It’s based on modeling.”
Sanders said the report “is based on the most extreme model scenario which contradicts long-established trends,” which Brooke Baldwin pointed out is simply not true.
“Fact,” Baldwin interjected. “The report 4 years in the making involved 300 leading climate change scientists in 13 federal agencies. That is the president’s own federal government.”
Sanders continued her forum on how to scuddle science.
“Modeling the climate is an extremely complicated science that is never exact,” she added. “The biggest thing we can do is how to make sure we have the cleanest air, the cleanest water, and the president is certainly doing that and certainly leading on that front” (except he isn’t; more on that later).
Sanders’ oversimplification is very misleading, noted Baldwin. “It is false of anyone to suggest the report was only based on extreme scenarios,” she said, referencing the report’s range of best to worst climate outcomes.
Baldwin also pointed out that despite Sanders’ line about climate science not being “exact,” researchers agree that most models have “underpredicted the impact of climate change on ice melt, sea level rises, and increases in extreme weather.”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also falsely claimed the report focused on “the worst scenarios.”
The Fourth National Climate Change report released last Friday is the latest dire warning from climate scientists that the consequences of a warming planet are now unavoidable and the damage irreversible.
“While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years,” stated the report, “they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”
The FNCC panel’s research predicts economic losses from climate change of up to ten percent of the American economy by the end of the century.
“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates,” the report said, “annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century—more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states.
A United Nations report issued on Tuesday reiterated the need to immediately curb carbon emissions if humanity is to be spared the climate’s worst wrath.
Efforts to cut pollution need to be tripled in order to keep the planet’s warming to under two degrees Celsius, which most climate scientists now agree is either at or beyond the point of no return.
“There is still a tremendous gap between words and deeds, between the targets agreed by governments and the measures to achieve these goals,” said Gunnar Luderer, an author of the UN report and senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
“Only a rapid turnaround here can help,” pressed Luderer. “Emissions must be reduced by a quarter by 2030 [to keep warming to no more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels] and for 1.5C emissions would have to be halved.”
No one is coming to save us.