Nov 27, 2018

4. White House criticizes its climate report as "not based on facts"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a press briefing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized the new climate report that the Trump administration published on Black Friday, saying its conclusions were "based on the most extreme model scenario" and were not based on "facts."

The big picture: The report, known as the Fourth National Climate Assessment, warns that the U.S. will suffer increasingly deadly and costly climate change impacts if greenhouse gas emissions are not sharply reduced in the next decade and more aggressive actions are not taken to adapt to extreme weather events and other climate impacts.

Background: On Monday, President Donald Trump told reporters he did not believe the report's conclusions, even though the findings were the product of work overseen by scientists and officials in his own administration.

"We think this is the most extreme version, and it's not based on facts. It's not data driven. We'd like to see something that is more data driven. It's based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you're talking about the climate."
— Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

Reality check: The report does include observational data, everything from the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to the melting rate of Greenland's ice cap, along with cutting-edge computer model scenarios that simulate how climate change may play out.

  • Scientists who wrote the report have been pushing back at arguments by the White House and others, who have said that it's alarmist in its conclusions.

The report underwent extensive peer review and incorporated feedback from the public, in the form of about 10,000 comments.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 25 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins