The trump administration's assault on climate change science continued last week with the leak of a report that climate scientists believe would be tampered with before being released. The government report is referred to as the Climate Science Special Report which the administration is supposed to sign off on every four years under a congressional mandate. Historically, the first report was released by the the Clinton administration in 2000. Under the Republican Bush administration, it was delayed until they were sued by an environmental group forcing them to release it in 2008.

Recalling rollback of climate change data

From the first day of the Trump administration, they have already shown that they would remove references to climate change starting with the removal of the term and related pages from the official White House site. Many felt that the response to the changes was "exaggerated" by environmentalists, saying that it was normal for the White House site to change with every new administration. But the second sign that they would begin to target climate activism was with the nomination and confirmation of Scott Pruitt as the director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt had specifically been selected because of his determination to weaken and even put an end to the EPA.

New York Times draws more attention to draft

But the changes made by the Trump administration continued through various executive orders signed by the President. Those orders gave Pruitt the okay to start rolling back EPA regulations and give protected land to the fossil fuel industry to be able to drill for resources under the view that it would bring back more jobs.

The Climate Science Special Report is actually only a draft that is waiting to be approved which was re-released by the New York Times last Monday. The draft had already been uploaded to a digital library in January, but republishing the draft through the NY Times definitely makes the report a priority to environmental groups and activists, which the administration no doubt would prefer to ignore.

Trump administration likely to tamper with document

Many expect that the administration will try to suppress the details of the report, and this responsibility comes down to Pruitt. President Trump gave Pruitt the freedom to roll back environmental regulations, and he has already started to remove advisers who would challenge his denials on climate change. In this case, Scott Pruitt would be able to create his own climate science data in favor of mass polluters. The draft report was put together by scientists from 13 different agencies who say that people are already feeling the impact of climate change today.

Process to handle report already sabotaged

Those agencies will be required to approve the report by August 18, which will come with a larger National Climate Assessment that is supposed to be put out by the administration.

But there is still the matter of having a science adviser that is supposed to handle such a report, a position which has yet to be filled. The Trump White House has lashed out at Democrats for blocking their appointments for government positions that are still available. Recently, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer denied this by saying that the administration had sent them nominees that are not ready with their paperwork and other requirements for those positions.

But the administration has also admitted to not wanting to fill in those positions in order to cripple the function of government agencies. Trump made this clear recently when he responded to Russia purging U.S. diplomats from their country saying that it saved money for government positions and that those diplomats would not be returning.

Despite claims that he was being sarcastic, it's more likely the case. It's also likely that if the Bush administration ignored the report, the Trump administration might do the same thing. In which case, a lawsuit against Trump's White House would only be another lawsuit on the growing pile.