AGU Responds to President Trump’s Roll Back of Clean Power Plan


I issued the following statement earlier today in response to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order to overhaul the Clean Power Plan:

“The scientific consensus is clear; the climate is changing, humanity is the major influence, and some of the resulting impacts on society are likely to be severe. That’s why AGU’s climate science position statement, which doesn’t reference any specific climate policies, is nevertheless titled “Human‐Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action.” The scientific community has the information needed to formulate effective policies and actions to address the implications of climate change, and we encourage the Administration to take advantage of that resource.

We are already seeing the negative effects of climate change in local communities and around the world. Extreme weather events and sea level rise impact critical infrastructure in coastal communities, while increasing periods of drought and rainfall are affecting water availability in regions such as the Great Plains or Southwest. Financially, severe weather disasters cost the U.S. more than $100 billion in 2012.

Addressing these and many other challenges requires collaboration from all stakeholders, including businesses, the energy industry, and local and federal governments around the world. Earth and space scientists play a critical role in this collaboration, as they not only help us to understand how the climate is changing and the influence of human-caused emissions on the climate but also how to mitigate its effects, and what the opportunities are to build a more sustainable future. AGU and our members are committed to providing the scientific information that is critical to sound decision-making about climate change.”

* For more information about the executive order, read the Eos story, “White House Issues Sweeping Executive Order on Energy, Climate.”

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  1. Richard Cronin

    Carl Sagan’s comparison of Earth’s atmosphere with the atmosphere of Venus to claim the heat trapping properties of CO2 is entirely irrelevant. The 95% CO2 of Venus yields such high pressure that CO2 is a supercritical fluid at the surface of Venus, with the density and heat capacity of a liquid. It is a far, far greater insulation blanket for the internal heat of Venus. Insulation — NOT a downward radiating heat concentrator. The underlying premise of CO2’s behavior in Earth’s atmosphere is that CO2 (0.04 of one percent) absorbs long wave infrared and somehow focuses it back down at Earth. Nay, CO2 re-radiates in all directions and dissipates the LWIR. The clouds of Venus are almost all-enshrouding so very little solar radiation even penetrates the cloud layer. Plus, the all-enshrouding clouds of sulfuric acid are heated much more than our cloud tops since Venus is so much closer to the Sun. The driving force (temperature difference) between the surface of Venus to the cloud tops is dramatically less than the temperature difference between the surface of Earth to the cloud tops, so less heat is dissipated into outer space. Moreover, Earth’s high cirrus clouds reflect solar radiation directly back into space. That is the thinking behind “solar radiation management” advocated by Alan Robock, David Keith, and Ken Caldera. Spray sulfate aerosols and fly ash into the stratosphere to mimic the effects of major volcanic eruptions. GeoEngineering is a crime against humanity.

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