The deletions follow a pattern of undoing work on climate change under the Trump administration.
Ever since January, the words “climate change” have been disappearing from government websites. It’s happened not just at the Environmental Protection Agency but also at the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
In some cases, the removal of references to climate change is a political directive from new Trump appointees — what some scientists have described as censorship. In other cases, agency staffers are tweaking program names and language in internal documents to try to stay out of the crosshairs of their new bosses. In other words, out of sight, out of mind, and maybe out of range for budget cuts.
While largely superficial, these changes in wording are symptomatic of broader shifts of the Trump era occurring within federal agencies that are trying to boost fossil fuels and roll back efforts to study, mitigate, and adapt to climate change.
For instance, the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a watchdog group, found that the DOE Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids page was altered to play up fossil fuels and play down climate change, while the EPA’s “Student’s Guide to Climate Change” was unlinked from its main page and buried on its site.
And we learned this week from Michael Lewis’s article in Vanity Fair that Brian Klippenstein, who led the Trump transition team for the USDA, was gunning for people working on climate change as soon as he arrived.
Klippenstein previous ran a group called Protect the Harvest, which lobbies against groups like the Humane Society and raises awareness about “threats posed by animal rights groups and anti-farming extremists.”
“He came in and wanted to know all about the office on climate change,” a former USDA Read More Here