Our first down the middle report today focuses on a new study by the U.S. governmentconcerning the issue of climate change. A Federal climate assessment has been required byCongress since 1990. The latest one came out Friday. It reportedly involved 13 governmentagencies, the help of 1,000 people, 300 of them being scientists from inside and outside thegovernment. And it included a number of warnings about what could happen as a result ofclimate change.
The report says cities could get hotter. Sea levels could rise higher covering land with water. Hurricanes could get more destructive. Wildfires would scorch more land. Thousands of morepeople could die every year because of higher temperatures and more widespread diseases. And all of this could cost the U.S. alone hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
A scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that increasingtemperatures world wide quote "can only be explained by human activities." Many scientistsblame fossil fuel emissions for contributing to warmer temperatures. That's a controversialpart of the issue of climate change because not everyone agrees with it.
Last month before this report came out, U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinkssomething's changing in the climate but that it would change back again and he wasn'tconvinced that people caused the changes. And the Heartland Institute, a non-profit Americanthink tank that supports skepticism about the human impact on climate change, suggests thenew government report is similar to its previous reports except that this one is moreexaggerated and less scientific. The government's climate assessment comes out every fouryears. It doesn't give specific recommendations on how to deal with the issue.