December 6, 2022

New York just defied Trump’s climate change denial with a brilliant move

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The Governor of New York just took a major step toward reversing the Trump administration’s plan to deconstruct America’s institutions that fight climate change.


Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his State of the State Address today that he is reviving the Sustained National Climate Assesment panel, which the Trump regime disbanded in August. Cuomo also announced a broader progressive green energy plan alongside reviving the council, which includes eliminating coal-fired power plants entirely.

New York’s reconstituted SNCA won’t be exactly the same as the federal board, but it will preserve the institutional knowledge and momentum of the original group until a reality-based administration is installed in the White House.

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Scientific American reports:

New York, along with other states involved in a climate policy network to counterattack the federal government’s retreat on carbon regulation, will reconstitute the federal advisory committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment.

Previously, the committee had sway over federal climate policy. The resuscitated committee will be limited in its reach. The coalition of states can’t replace federal support for science, including maintaining satellites and building better climate models, said Richard Moss, the committee’s chairman and a researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

The SNCA was founded by President Obama two years ago to support the many American cities threatened by climate change and operated out of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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As Mother Jones explains, local governments who can’t afford to author fully on scientific studies are the primary beneficiaries of the panel’s work until suddenly disbanded by the Department of Commerce without warning last August:

The panel was engaged in the often unseen and sometimes thankless work of building a safer and more resilient world in an era of rapid environmental change. The science says that almost everything we do—building reservoirs, growing food, planning city parks—will have to adapt to a constantly shifting climate. Instead of issuing a 600-page report every four years, this committee was focused on converting reports into science-based resources that cities could modify to meet their shifting needs.

Whatever the Trump administration’s reasons for ending the panel truly were, they’re determined to keep it all secret from the public, which caused national environmental watchdog Center for Biological Diversity to sue for the records showing an explanation.

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Meanwhile, American cities are still awaiting the SNCA panel’s rational recommendations to fight the impact of climate change on a local level as our Republican-dominated federal government shamefully sticks its head in the sand about the need to even acknowledge the existence of climate change.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also a mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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