Yet another fear among scientists and climate activists has become reality in the era of Trump.
Decades of research and data about carbon emissions, other greenhouse gases, and more was hidden from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website by the Trump administration late Friday as the sprawling climate change webpage goes under “review.”
Adding insult to injury, this comes on the eve of the People’s Climate March.
Climate change activists have been wringing their hands ever since Inauguration Day, fearing that the new administration would do something just like this. The EPA has been chipping away at climate change mentions on its website since January, but Friday’s takedown is the biggest, and most disturbing step yet.
The webpage, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, explained what climate change is, what caused it and how it affects your health, among other things. In contrast to what Trump and his EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, have said about climate change (they don’t believe it’s man-made), the webpage notes many times how humans have contributed to climate change.
“Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming,” the webpage read, according to an archived version captured before Friday.
Starting Friday evening, going to EPA.gov/climate and EPA.gov/climatechange sent visitors to a landing page that said, “This page is being updated.” In an agency statement about the website changes, there’s no mention of removing all the content, even if temporarily.
“The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency’s current efforts,” the EPA’s statement reads, adding in the last line that “content related to climate and regulation is also under review.”
While the climate landing page was down, certain climate-related sections could still be found through a Google search. For example, a section about climate indicators was still live as of Friday evening.
“While it remains to be seen how information and information access will change as the EPA site is updated, it is concerning that this overhaul was not announced until the same day that pages like the Climate Change page, which serve as important public resources, were already becoming unavailable,” said the Environmental Data and Governance Website Tracking Initiative, a nonprofit group closely tracking changes to climate information across the federal government, in a statement.
“The timing of this overhaul cuts off availability when access to trusted information about the science behind climate change will be necessary to enable a conversation about our changing climate,” the group…