Following publication of the most recent U.S. government climate assessment report, scientists are cautiously pessimistic regarding the impact of global warming.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat things,” said climatologist Robert Garland, Ph.D., “but I also don’t want to be overtly apocalyptic. I’ve settled on cautious pessimism as the most tactful approach. That seems to be an attitude that people are relatively comfortable with.”
According to the government report, in the absence of significant global mitigation action, we can expect increasing disruption and damage to critical infrastructure and communities due to rising temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme events.
“While I'm not particularly hopeful, who knows?" said Dr. Garland. “Maybe at some point we’ll end up doing not enough rather than virtually nothing in terms of global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts. It’s highly unlikely, of course, but there remains a very remote possibility that at some point in the unforeseeable future we’ll make some sincere effort's - albeit too little and much too late.”
But while cautious pessimism might be all right for some, United States President Donald Trump is having none of it. Trump, a disciple of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the self-help classic The Power of Positive Thinking, dismissed the climate report as “fear thoughts,” which Dr. Peale advised avoiding at all costs.
“Confidence and faith, not negativity, are what will sustain our great nation over time,” said Trump. He went on to announce the forthcoming publication of his newest book, a sequel to his popular 1987 book The Art of the Deal.
“This one’s called The Art of Denial," said Trump. "And no denying it's a good one!" he quipped.