The administration just announced Wednesday that the National Climate Assessment Volume II would be released Friday afternoon
Environmental groups, journalists, and climate scientists are reacting to the Trump administration’s decision to release a major climate report the day after Thanksgiving—a move some are describing as an effort to bury an assessment packed with an “astonishing amount of science,” and they are hoping to see that effort backfire “bigly.”
“It’s an absolute disgrace to bury the truth about climate impacts in a year that saw hundreds of Americans die during devastating climate-fueled megafires, hurricanes, floods, and algal blooms,” said National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O’Mara.
“Releasing the National Climate Assessment on Black Friday,” he continued, “won’t obscure the fact that authorities are still identifying bodies in California’s unprecedented megafires, Florida is still dealing with toxic algae outbreaks fueled by warmer water, and Americans are still picking up the pieces from Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu that were worsened by climate change.”
The report is the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment or NCA4, which NOAA says is designed to be “an authoritative assessment of the impacts of climate change on the U.S. and its territories, and was written to help decision-makers, utility and resource managers, public health officials, emergency planners, and other stakeholders better understand the effects of climate change on the United States.” Volume one of the assessment was released last year.
As CNN reported, the assessment was expected to be released in December:
It’s unclear why the date was moved up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the Friday afternoon release on Wednesday—the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Among journalists and public relations experts, releasing information on Friday afternoon—not to mention Black Friday—or around a holiday is widely seen as a way to cushion the impact of critical news. The idea is that fewer people pay attention to news releases on the weekend, and by Monday, the news is old.