Dear Commons Community,
While more than 100,000 people descended on Washington, D.C. yesterday as part of The People’s Climate March, the Environmental Protection Agency removed portions of its website related to climate change. As if snubbing its nose at the marchers, the EPA made changes to reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt. The EPA has also commented that the changes were necessary in order to reflect President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence. Pages dealing with climate change and its impacts, climate science, and what readers can do to combat climate change are no longer available.
Astrid Caldas, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that the changes were deliberately made to coincide with Saturday’s climate march.
“At a time when Americans are increasingly experiencing climate impacts in their daily lives, the administration has seemingly buried its head in the sand,” Caldas said in a statement. “The administration appears to have timed these changes to make information about climate science more challenging to access to coincide with the Peoples Climate March and related news stories, which will likely drive thousands of Americans to visit the EPA website.”
“The facts about climate change have not changed, however, and politics are not a valid reason to archive basic explanations of science,” the statement continued. “While it is unclear what the administration has planned for updating the web page, climate scientists will be watching closely to ensure the scientific accuracy of whatever replaces it, and that the underlying scientific data remain accessible to Americans.”
A bullying act on the part of the leadership of the EPA!