2018-12-04 23:20:47 UTC
If man’s impact on climate goes unchecked, global warming could inflict devastating long-term effects on the environment, economy and public health, warn U.S. government scientists in a major new report.
But while some heard the 1,600-page National Climate Assessment as a blaring distress call, others were less alarmed.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Danielle Pletka, a foreign policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, allowed that climate change is happening, but hastened to add that she didn’t know if it’s caused by humans. (In fact, scientists say they are the main contributor.)
She argued the issue of climate change is subject to "hysteria" and said certain weather phenomena, like periods of global cooling, are overlooked by the mainstream media narrative.
"We need to also recognize that we just had two of the coldest years, biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years," Pletka said during a panel discussion. "We don't talk about that because it's not part of the agenda."
Climate scientists told us that part of Pletka’s claim is false and part is misleading.
‘Two of the coldest years’
Pletka said we just had two of the coldest years on record. That’s wrong.
Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, pointed us to a chart of NASA data showing global average temperatures over time:
The far-right dots represent the global temperatures of 2017 and 2016. According to this data, they are actually some of the warmest years on record — which contradicts this portion of Pletka’s claim.
We’d note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has a slightly different way of calculating temperature, shows 2016 and 2015 as the warmest years on record.
In the United States, according to NASA data, 2017 and 2016 were the second- and third-warmest years.