(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that the new climate change report released by the U.S. government on Friday was “extreme” and “not based on facts.”
“We think that this is the most extreme version, and it’s not based on facts,” Sanders said about the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. “It’s based on – it’s not data-driven. We’d like to see something that is more data-driven. It’s based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you’re talking about the climate.”
The report stated that climate change was “expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property,” “impede the rate of economic growth,” “disrupt agricultural productivity” and “threaten the health and well-being of the American people,” among other possible impacts.
Sanders said the conclusions of the report were so “radical” that former President Barack Obama’s undersecretary for science “didn’t believe” them.
“Even Obama’s undersecretary for science didn’t believe the radical conclusions of the report that was released,” she said.
Sanders also stressed the complexity of climate science. “You have to look at the fact that this report is based on the most extreme modeled scenario, which contradicts long-established trends,” Sanders said. “Modeling the climate is an extremely complicated science that is never exact.”
President Donald Trump said on Monday that although he had read “some” of the report, he did not “believe” its conclusions about the potential economic impacts of climate change. He also emphasized the responsibilities of other countries in stopping climate change.
“No, no, I don’t believe it,” he said. “And here’s the other thing. You’re going to have to have China and Japan and all of Asia and all of these other countries – you know, it addresses our country. Right now, we’re at the cleanest we’ve ever been, and that’s very important to me. But, if we’re clean but every other place on Earth is dirty, that’s not so good.
“So, I want clean air. I want clean water. Very important,” the president said.
When a reporter at Tuesday’s briefing asked whether Sanders thought Trump felt a “responsibility to lead” on climate change, Sanders said the president was “certainly leading.”
“The president’s certainly leading on what matters most in this process, and that’s on having clean air, clean water,” the press secretary responded, echoing Trump’s statement from Monday. “In fact, the United States continues to be a leader on that front.”
The goal of the report, which is mandated by Congress, is to assess “the science of climate change and variability and its impacts across the United States.”