Several years ago, I wrote about the five stages of climate denial:
Stage 1: Deny the Problem Exists
Stage 2: Deny We're the Cause
Stage 3: Deny It's a Problem
Stage 4: Deny We can Solve It
Stage 5: It's too Late
Look where the Trump Administration is.https://t.co/FRQGZ8gQ4r
— Michael Brown (@MJIBrown) September 28, 2018
To date, the Trump administration has pinballed between Stages 1, 2, and 3, calling climate change a Chinese hoax, disputing the degree of human causation (100% since 1950), and claiming it’s not a threat. But the purpose of climate science denial is to obstruct climate policies, and science denial doesn’t hold up in court. Unlike in the political realm, judicial decisions are generally based on evidence.
The Trump administration wants to roll back the Obama administration’s increased vehicle fuel efficiency standards. But under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), “if a proposed major federal action is determined to significantly affect the quality of the human environment,” the agency has to publish an environmental impact statement (EIS).
And so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was required to publish an EIS detailing how the proposed fuel efficiency rollbacks would impact the environment, including via climate change. Here, the Trump administration shifted to Stage 4 and 5 climate denial. [Continue reading…]