Washington, D.C. — In order to address the severity and urgency of climate change, the federal government should double its investment in climate and energy data as well as scientific research over the next five years, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress.
The report calls on the United States to abandon President Donald Trump’s dismissal and defunding of earth sciences and climate change. It identifies areas where opportunities and needs exist for continuing and expanding the government’s investment in data collection, new capabilities for monitoring and analysis, and further research.
“The federal government should stop shirking its responsibilities to promote robust, open research and data collection on climate change,” said Luke Bassett, associate director of Domestic Energy and Environmental Policy at CAP and a co-author of the report.
The report comes as extreme weather due to climate change helped to stoke the largest wildfires in California history, leading to the hottest May–July periods in the history of both the United States and Europe.
The Trump administration has twice proposed unprecedented, draconian cuts to federal investments in climate and energy data as well as research programs. Although Congress has rejected these proposed cuts, the federal climate and energy research apparatus is not safe from political interference. For example, the Trump administration halted a program that monitors carbon emissions in the atmosphere because Congress did not specifically direct the government to conduct the work.
Having led global scientific research on climate and energy systems for decades, the United States can and should build on its expansive data collection and analysis programs to advance understanding of the changing Earth.
Read the report: “Understanding Our Future: Frontiers of Climate and Energy Data and Research,” by Luke H. Bassett, Kristina Costa, Ryan Richards, and Dinu Krishnamoorthi.
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