Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bush Sued to Force National Climate Assessment

From Environmental News Service

SAN FRANCISCO - A coalition of conservation groups filed suit today against the Bush administration for not completing a national assessment of the impact of global warming on the environment, economy, human health and human safety of the United States. The assessment, due in November of 2004, is required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace.

“This administration has denied and suppressed the science of global warming at every turn,” said Julie Teel of the Center for Biological Diversity and one of the attorneys arguing the case. “The Bush administration was so threatened by the profound revelations of the 2000 assessment that it killed the 2004 update," said Teel. "They know the update will affirm what the world’s leading climate scientists believe: that we need immediate and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It is a complete head-in-the-sand approach to a looming global catastrophe.”

The last national assessment, "Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change," was issued October 31, 2000. It found that humans are contributing significantly to global warming and that current global warmth is "unprecedented." Scientific conclusions within the 2000 assessment predicted a doubling or tripling of heat-related deaths, intensified floods and droughts, and the swamping of coastlines by rising seas and fiercer storms.

Teel says that not only has the administration failed to issue an updated national assessment, but it worked to suppress the findings of the 2000 assessment. “Unfortunately, the Bush administration has not complied with the law, nor has it been truthful with the American people or the world about the science of global warming,” said Danielle Fugere of Friends of the Earth. “This administration is better known for censoring government climate scientists than for providing accurate information.”

Christopher Miller of Greenpeace said, “The Bush administration’s disastrous business-as-usual approach to climate change is so isolated from the desires of mainstream America and the rest of the world that it cannot continue for long."

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