Accuracy in Media

According to the Washington Post, President Trump has moved beyond climate change doubt and is now dragging his whole party down with him.

The story, “’Just a lot of alarmism’: Trump’s skepticism of climate science is echoed across GOP” by Matt Viser, seems to confuse truth with theory on a number of occasions.

In the lead, it says, “Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said falsely in the lead-up to the campaign that the Earth has started to cool and argued inaccurately that scientists have not reached a consensus on climate change.”

There is a lack of consensus when it comes to climate change. The American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate ran a peer-reviewed article in April that said climate models exaggerate global warming from CO2 emissions by as much as 45 percent.

The University of Alabama-Huntsville published a study earlier this year that said temperatures are rising much more slowly than predicted by global warming models and that the Earth’s atmosphere appears to be less sensitive to changing CO2 levels than previously assumed.

But Viser assessed these views as inaccurate. Following the paragraph about Blackburn, Viser wrote that Sen.-elect Rick Scott of Florida acknowledges rising and warmer seas could be harmful but won’t attribute it to human activity. He apparently overlooked that Scott answered a hypothetical that is obviously true but misrepresents the issue addressed.

Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R.-La.) said, “I’ve seen persuasive arguments that it’s just a continuation of the warming up from the Little Ice Age.”

All this adds up to trouble from Republicans, Viser wrote. Trump’s “rejection of climate science” is isolating the U.S. on the world stage – Trump’s delegation to the United Nations climate summit this week in Poland is said by Viser to be “small” as a result of his indifference to the problem.

But Trump also has “presided over a transformation in the Republican Party – placing climate change skepticism squarely in the GOP’s ideological mainstream.”

President George W. Bush may have admitted “an increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans is contributing to the problem,” but the “prevailing GOP view expressed on the campaign trail this year and espoused by many members of Congress is built on the false premise that climate science is an open question. The small number of voices supporting the science have been largely drowned out.”

Moreover, the House Climate Solutions Caucus, which pushes for action on climate change, lost 24 of its 45 Republican members either through retirement or electoral defeat this year, and the Center for American Progress says 61 percent of Republicans in Congress deny, deflect or question the science when it comes to global warming.

Trump dismissed the 1,600-page report produced by the government that rehashed old research and packaged it with warnings of Earth’s destruction if the problem is not drastically addressed soon.

He also secured language in the G-20 summit that carved out a separate U.S. position on climate goals and reaffirmed its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

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