Climate Change, the EPA, and the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Climate change is a hoax, and the earth is flat.” Though it’s true that we create our own reality, the government should not be in the business of creating an alternate reality for its citizens – especially by censoring scientific evidence in order to do so. In this case, officials at the U.S. National Park service have attempted to alter reality by deleting every reference to the role of humans in causing climate change, in the draft of a report by scientist Maria Caffrey.

Caffrey, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado, worked as a contractor for the National Park Service. Drawing from years of research, she created the report for the agency when she realized that they were relying on data compiled from inconsistent sources and research methods. The report examines sea level rise and storm surge, and projects the future risks from both for 118 coastal national parks. The intent of the report is to protect parks, their employees, and their visitors from the effects of climate change.

The climate change risk report, created during the summer of 2016, has yet to be released. Though it acknowledges natural as well as human contributions to climate change, the report focuses on the human component, because that, to a large extent, is what is under our control. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, however, all mentions of human activities contributing to climate change were deleted. Included in the deletions were all instances of the word, “anthropogenic,” meaning “originating from human activity.”

Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, said, “To remove a very critical part of the scientific understanding is nothing short of political censorship, and has no place in science. Censorship of this kind is something you’d see in Russia or some totalitarian regime. It has no place in America.”

Though current EPA head Scott Pruitt says he believes in climate change, he has questioned the impact that humans have had on it. Pruitt has resisted the science linking the effects of climate change to human activities, as the EPA attempts to reverse a long list of environmental regulations. Shortly after his confirmation as head of the EPA, Pruitt approved a number of EPA website changes, deleting references to climate change.

If it’s true that humans have not contributed to climate change, why not bring that scientific evidence to the forefront to back up (or disprove) government policy? Why is the Trump administration and its various agencies instead working so hard to present a reality in which the concept of climate change, and words like “anthropogenic,” don’t even exist?

National Park Service officials delete references to humans’ role in causing climate change from draft report | Climate Change News [2018-04-08]

Human Role in Climate Change Removed From Federal Science Report | Black Bear News [2018-04-08]

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