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Influential US climate report moves ahead — under new leadership

By Jeff Tollefson Photo: Tom Williams , Getty

US President Joe Biden’s administration has appointed a new director to lead the nation’s next major climate assessment, finalizing the roster of its federal climate team and marking the end of a turbulent period in the office that coordinates work on global warming.


Q: Why does it matter that the Trump administration is planning to make it easier for oil and gas companies to pollute the atmosphere with methane gas?

A: In an interview by Amy Goodman, Michael Mann says that methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Now, it exists in much lower concentrations, and it does not hang around for as long, but if we release enough methane into the atmosphere over the next decade or so, that could boost the warming that we see. At a time when the impacts of climate change are so obvious that not even the most fervent climate change denier can deny that they are there, we see efforts by the Trump administration to roll back the very policies—regulation of carbon emissions, in this case methane—that have the potential to stave off dangerous warming, that have the potential to help us meet our obligation to the Paris agreement so that we avoid catastrophic warming of the planet. More at Democracy Now