The 1,700-page report, produced by scientists from 13 federal agencies, warns that tens of thousands of people will die each year, and that livelihoods, agriculture, the economy and the environment will be destroyed as unchecked climate change wreaks havoc.
The National Climate Assessment was released the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday is known as one of the best days of the year to bury negative news releases because of skeleton press crews and because members of the public are too busy shopping or spending time with family to pay attention.
“Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the West, hurricanes batter our coasts — and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical U.S. assessment of the climate crisis,” added Gore, creator of the documentary about global warming “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The president “may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible,” Gore’s statement said.
The report was initially “long scheduled” to be released in December, CBS News reported. The sudden date change was announced Wednesday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also accused Trump of “burying” the report. “Why?” he asked in a tweet. “Because Trump’s actions are actively making it worse,” he wrote, referring to climate change.
Jake Levine, former energy and climate aide in the Obama administration, called it “par for the course” that “this president would try to bury this news and deny it.” The report is “contrary to his agenda, it’s contrary to the interests that support this president,” Levine said Friday on MSNBC.
Trump has called climate change a “hoax.” On Wednesday, amid plunging temperatures on the East Coast, he wondered in a tweet: “Whatever happened to global warming?”
Scientists pointed out for the president — again — that weather is not the same as climate. Areas can experience cold weather even as the world breaks annual heat records year after year.
Even a co-author of the study complained about the timing of the release.
Andrew Light, an international policy expert at the World Resources Institute, told The Associated Press that releasing the report on Black Friday is a “transparent attempt by the Trump administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying but suppressing the best of climate science.”