Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

A sign is posted on the Paradise Skilled Nursing center as it is consumed by flames from the Camp Fire on November 8, 2018 in Paradise, California.

A sign is posted on the Paradise Skilled Nursing center as it is consumed by flames from the Camp Fire on November 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. "Releasing the National Climate Assessment on Black Friday won't obscure the fact that authorities are still identifying bodies in California's unprecedented megafires," National Wildlife Federation president and CEO Collin O'Mara said Wednesday. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'Absolute Disgrace': When No One Looking, White House Plans to Dump Major Climate Report on Black Friday

The administration just announced Wednesday that the National Climate Assessment Volume II would be released Friday afternoon

Andrea Germanos

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.

Given that situation, observers pounced on the timing:

Some noted that the report wil come on the heels of Trump's tweet confusing weather and climate to ignore science:

Others took the timing of the release as a call to action, and suggested reporters fill the weekend with coverage of the report and social media users dump the hashtag #BlackFriday in favor of #ClimateFriday in an effort to #EndClimateSilence:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Wall Street-Funded Democrat PAC to Spend $1 Million in Bid to Unseat Tlaib: Report

"Imagine spending $1 million to oust Rashida Tlaib instead of organizing in Detroit to make sure Michigan goes blue," quipped one progressive group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo