For Immediate Release, May 29, 2008
Contact: Kassie Siegel, (951) 961-7972
Bush Administration Acknowledges Global Warming's Impacts:
Forced by Court Order, Climate Science Agency Issues Long-overdue Report
WASHINGTON, D.C.— In accordance with an August 21, 2007 court order compelling the Bush administration to issue a long-overdue scientific assessment, today the U.S. Climate Change Science Program released a comprehensive report of the impacts of global warming in the United States.
The report, Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States, documents the numerous adverse impacts global warming is already having on the United States and the likely future impacts on the nation, including impacts to human health, water supply, agriculture, transportation, and biodiversity. The report also explicitly acknowledges that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of the warming.
“This assessment is an example of what federal scientists can and should be doing when they are freed from political interference and allowed to actually do their jobs,” said Kassie Siegel, climate program direction for the Center for Biological Diversity, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that forced the administration to release today’s assessment.
Under the Global Change Research Act of 1990 the Bush administration was required to issue the assessment in late 2004, but the administration refused to do so. In November 2006, the Center for Biological Diversity, along with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, filed suit against the administration for failing to issue the scientific assessment as well as a required research plan. In August 2007, Federal District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong issued an order finding the Bush administration in violation of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 for failing to produce an updated Research Plan and a National Assessment as required by the statute.
The research plan and scientific assessment required are intended to be the preeminent documents guiding federal research and policy-making on issues related to global warming. The research plan guides all federal climate research, while the scientific assessment serves to provide an understandable summary of global warming impacts on the environment, economy, human health, and human safety of the United States and is to be used by Congress and federal agencies in setting policy and responding to global warming. The last scientific assessment was issued in late 2000 under the Clinton administration. Its use and dissemination was suppressed by the Bush administration, and the required update in 2004 was never produced.
“This administration has seen seven years of suppression of science and a refusal to act on global warming. With today’s scientific assessment along with the listing of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act earlier this month, the tide is finally turning, and the administration has been forced to acknowledge the harsh reality of global warming. The important thing now is to actually do something about it,” added Siegel.
Today’s assessment and research plan were issued as a result of the court ruling case Center for Biological Diversity v. Brennan, (Case No. 06-CV-7062 (SBA) (N.D. Cal.)).
A copy of the court ruling and further information are available online at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/fighting_climate_science_suppression/index.html
The Center for Biological Diversity is a nonprofit conservation organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. www.biologicaldiversity.org.