The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are considering a “quick-response capability” to challenge public misinformation about climate science.
The strategy for the independent national academies — which advise the government on science — was one of the recommendations in a report last month intended to help experts communicate effectively about climate issues, such as the very real problems of global warming.
President Donald Trump was not mentioned in the report. But the quick-response tactics under consideration would be aimed at mischaracterizations of climate science by “highly influential individuals or groups,” stated the “Climate Communications Initiative Strategic Plan.” Procedures could be developed that would allow the academies to respond to climate issues within 48 hours.
“The National Academies may decide to respond quickly in a variety of situations, including when public statements are made that contain scientifically incorrect climate information and that have the potential to confuse or misinform,” according to the report. “The National Academies could also decide to proactively communicate quickly when there is significant potential for misinformation.”
The report was the product of an independent advisory committee formed a year ago by the academies to examine communication on climate science.
Trump indicated in a tweet this week to millions of followers that the severe cold spell in parts of the nation disproved the existence of global warming. “What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you,” he quipped.
The president frequently confuses temporary weather patterns with climate and its measurable warming trend over several years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration quickly tweeted a link to a government report explaining that global warming triggers severe weather, including winter storms.
“Winter storms don’t prove that global warming isn’t happening,” said the NOAA tweet with an illustration simplistic enough for an elementary student to comprehend.
Trump has repeatedly mocked the existence of global warming during cold snaps in speeches and in a long history of nearly identical tweets asking: “Where the hell is global warming?” He has also dismissed climate change as a Chinese hoax.
Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement shortly after he became president.
The nation’s intelligence community warned in its annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report released this week that climate change poses severe risks to global stability because it’s likely to “fuel competition for resources, economic distress, and social discontent.”