Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s administration has dismissed a 15-member federal advisory committee on climate change, the media reported.
The committee members told CNN late Monday that they learned the news on August 18 via an email sent by the acting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) head Benjamin Friedman.
“On behalf of the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I am writing to inform you that per the terms of the charter the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Committee) will expire on August 20, 2017,” the email read.
“The Department of Commerce and NOAA appreciate the efforts of the Committee and offer sincere thanks to each of the Committee members for their service.”
The advisory committee was due to make recommendations to government agencies based on a
a congressionally mandated climate report. The federal report, required every four years, provides a comprehensive statement from the scientific community on where the nation stands in relation to climate change.
The White House did not explain the decision to do away with the panel, but told CNN that “the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment was chartered in 2015 to provide advice on sustained assessment activities and products.
“Per the terms of the charter, the committee expired on August 20, 2017. The National Climate Assessment 4, which is coming out next year, is not affected by this change.”
The experts who sat on the now-defunct committee warn that without their advice and guidance, the release of the federal climate report could be the equivalent of a large scientific data dump absent of useful context for a public that lacks scientific expertise.
Jessica Whitehead, a coastal communities hazards adaptation specialist in North Carolina, who also sat on the committee, told CNN” “We helped the science make sense.”
Scientists have told CNN they fear that the administration might try to bury the findings of the congressionally mandated climate report.