By Elizabeth Dunbar
The Trump administration has disbanded a federal panel charged with figuring out ways to communicate the effects of climate change to the public.
The Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment was created during the Obama administration. It was to take the National Climate Assessment, which reports on the effects of climate change in the U.S., and make it useful to people on the ground.
Despite the panel’s disbanding, a Minnesota member said she hopes some of its work will continue.
Kristen Poppleton, education director for Twin Cities-based Climate Generation and one of the panel’s 15 members, said the committee’s chairman is leading an effort to continue some of the group’s activities.
“This really impacts the American people, they’re the big losers in the long-term here,” she said, adding that the assessment is complicated and needs some translation for local government leaders and businesses who use it to plan for the future.
Poppleton joined the panel last year to help figure out the best ways to communicate the National Climate Assessment, which comes out every four years.
She said the panel was just starting a process to gather public input on a report when the group’s charter was not renewed.
“We did notice some first kind of signs of trouble because we tried to get a Federal Register notice to solicit the public input, and that was not approved,” she said.
A note on the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment’s website says, “Per the terms of the charter, the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Committee) expired on August 20, 2017. The Department of Commerce and NOAA appreciate the efforts of the Committee and offer sincere thanks to each of the Committee members for their service.”
The next National Climate Assessment is due out in 2018, and NOAA officials told The Washington Post that report won’t be affected by the decision to disband the advisory committee.
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