What Scientists Actually Think About Climate Change, Contrary To The Leaked EPA Memo's Messaging

The talking points attempt to downplay the role of humans in the planet's rising temperatures.

Though climate change was a priority for the Environmental Protection Agency under the last administration, current head Scott Pruitt has gone on record saying that he didn't believe carbon dioxide emissions from the activities is one of the phenomenon's main factors. Now, a memo in which the EPA gives talking points to its top public officials concerning adapting to climate change has leaked to HuffPost and is raising some concerns.

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Per HuffPost, the memo offers eight talking points, but two in particular are raising brows.

 "Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner," the first reads. "The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue." 

Another follows suit, saying, "While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it."

This contradicts years of studies devoted to humans' role in the climate, including the Climate Change Special Report issued by the EPA in November 2017, which states in clear terms that "human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

A recent report by NASA also corroborated this information. 

"Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)," the report read. "This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases."

Perhaps the authors of the memo should take up the American Meteorological Society, who offered their help to the Trump Administration earlier this year:  "The American Meteorological Society stands ready to provide assistance in connecting Executive Branch staff with that knowledge and expertise to ensure that you and your staff are working with credible and scientifically validated information as you navigate the many difficult policy areas impacted by the Earth's changing climate," the society wrote in an open letter.

Cover image via Shutterstock /  bakdc.

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