A president who has mocked climate change and pushed policies that accelerate it is set to be briefed on the scorched earth and ash-filled skies that experts say are the predictable result. When President Trump flies to California on Monday to assess the state’s raging forest fires, he will come face to face with the grim consequences of a reality he has stubbornly refused to accept: the devastating effects of a warming planet. The president’s record is also more consequential, experts say, because the amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere has now passed the point at which scientists say it would be possible to avert many of the worst effects of global warming — even if tough emissions policies are later enacted. Mr. Trump has steadily dismantled the climate change plan that was already in place by effectively gutting the federal government’s authority to do anything to lower greenhouse gas pollution.
By Michael D. Shear and Coral Davenport. New York Times. September 13, 2020.