President Trump is planning to limit climate-science projections in federal studies to the year 2040—effectively opting out of climate change’s worst-case scenarios, The New York Times reports. Scientists warn that eliminating the projected effects of increased carbon-dioxide pollution after 2040 would present the public with an incomplete and falsely optimistic picture. “Nobody in the world does climate science like that,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton. “It would be like designing cars without seat belts or airbags.” The change appears to be in an effort to influence the conclusions of the next National Climate Assessment. The administration also hopes to question the Climate Assessment’s conclusions with a review panel headed by William Happer, a physicist known for defending the virtues of carbon dioxide. Happer once said that “the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler.” Trump’s climate-denial efforts look to undermine the conclusions of his own government agencies—a tactic that mirrors the White House’s aggressive stance toward the Justice Department.
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