The White House issued a landmark climate report today that contained an assessment of “documented and expected” climate change impacts across the United States.
“This report provides the concrete scientific information that says unequivocally that climate change is happening now and it’s happening in our own backyards and it affects the kind of things people care about,” Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said at a White House briefing.
“We need to act sooner rather than later,” she added.
Senator John Kerry, who was the author of the original legislation passed in 1990, prodded the Bush Administration for years to produce a Congressionally-mandated, comprehensive assessment on climate change science. Kerry praised the Obama Administration today for releasing an authoritative report on the impacts of climate change throughout the United States.
“This report confirms the reality that’s been staring us in the face: the devastating impacts of climate change are already being felt in our communities,” said Sen. Kerry. “For those who needed further evidence that Congress should take bold and decisive action to pass climate change legislation – here it is. This report underscores the need for a comprehensive cap and trade program that reduces carbon emissions and decreases our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Bush Administration agreed to release an assessment only after being forced by a court order, and then they produced more than 20 issue-specific reports rather than a single, comprehensive report.
Kerry has been pushing for comprehensive, integrated national climate science assessments for years. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry has recently held numerous hearings on climate change and energy security.