The president, administration officials and elected Republicans frequently say they can not tell how much of climate change is caused by humans and how much is natural. In actual dollars, this means that by the end of the century, global warming and the damages it causes will cost the US more than $500 billion dollars.
After all, the assessment-the second part of a congressionally mandated quadrennial report on climate change-was supposedly already planned to come out during the American Geophysical Union conference in Washington D.C. just one week later.
- This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
"All climate change is local", said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Richard Alley, who wasn't part of the report but praised it.
Gore's lifestyle aside, his statement comes amid what appears to be a continuing denial from Trump and members of his administration about the dangers climate change poses to the environment and to the world's economy.
"By the middle of this century, annual losses in the United States due to climate change could reach hundreds of billions of dollars", said the latest edition of the National Climate Assessment.
The report is the latest scientific work to warn that the planet is due to undergo devastating changes in the coming years that will permanently alter the coastlines, worsen droughts and storms and foster the outbreaks of risky diseases as temperatures climb. "Our climate always changes and we see those ebb and flows through time", Sen.
It's unlikely the timing of the report's release had much to do with the Katowice gathering.
The report warns that climate change will result in worsening water quality conditions and the highest temperatures ever recorded, emphasizing the need to reduce carbon emissions drastically.
"All the proposals I've seen so far that would address any of these issues would devastate the USA economy and have little or no benefit that is demonstrable from our standpoint", he said.
The report was created to inform policy-makers and makes no specific recommendations on how to remedy the problem.
Trump also yanked the United States out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, signed by more than 190 nations to limit carbon emissions.
And Donald Wuebbles, a co-author from University of IL climate scientist, said, "We're going to continue to see severe weather events get stronger and more intense".
The US government caught people off guard this week by issuing a grave warning about the future of life in North America (and the whole planet) while people were focused on discount shopping.