EPA's climate website removes resources to fight climate change

Dozens of references to "climate change" are nowhere to be found on the EPA's new climate website

By Charlie May
Published October 21, 2017 12:57PM (EDT)
Scott Pruitt   (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Scott Pruitt (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In George Orwell's infamous dystopian novel "1984," the so-called Ministry of Truth is an agency that spews propaganda, determining what is and, perhaps even more importantly, what isn't the truth.

A recent analysis from the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) was made public on Friday revealed that an Environmental Protection Agency climate website had gotten rid of "dozens of online resources dedicated to helping local governments address climate change," the New York Times reports. It's the latest move the agency has taken to delegitimize, or otherwise downplay the threat climate change presents.

EDGI said a "substantial" amount of information had vanished.

The website was originally titled "Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments" and was renamed to "Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments," the Times reports. The study found that on the site's main page alone, roughly 15 mentions of "climate change" had been removed.

Included in those pages were details regarding the risks of climate change "and the different approaches states are taking to curb emissions," the Times reports.

A spokesman for the agency told the Times that previous versions of the website had been archived and are still available to the public.

EPA head Scott Pruitt, previously sued the agency 14 times and still holds strong ties to the fossil fuel industry, which has actively suppressed information regarding the threat of climate change for decades, and has poured money into denying it.

"I think it’s very alarming," Adam Parris, who leads the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay in New York, told the Times. "These are not the kind of resources that are just basic climate science. These are the kind of resources it has taken years to develop across the federal family."

In April, the agency removed the site and said it was "being updated" to reflect the agenda of the Trump administration. It later returned in July with only 175 of its original 380 pages, the Times reported.

The decision to remove references and resourceful information regarding climate change is irresponsible, but it falls in line with the Trump administration's pro-business and deregulatory economic approach. Trump has repeatedly denied, or downplayed the potential impacts of climate change.

Gretchen Goldman, research director at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists blasted the EPA and the Trump administration's decision as "offensive and dangerous," in a statement.

She added, "At a time when Americans have lost their loved ones and their homes to floods and fires, are living without fresh water or electricity, and are experiencing multi-billion-dollar disasters exacerbated by climate change, this is not the time to impede public access to critical climate change information. This is yet another example of the Trump administration concealing research that U.S. taxpayers funded and state and local officials need to protect their communities."

Charlie May

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