Trump Team Purges Online Climate Change Info

By on November 25, 2017

If you’re searching the Web for information on climate change, one might think (given the name) that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be a logical source. It once was.

But over the last six months or so the EPA site and the websites of other government agencies have had posted material on climate change removed to conform with the dictates of a president who insisted on the campaign trail that manmade climate change is a “hoax.”

The EPA had hosted a number of sites that offered climate science content. Yet as the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) detailed in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times on Wednesday, the EPA – whose administrator, Scott Pruitt, is a notorious climate science denier – has removed pages that had made the agency a leading source of climate change information.

“If you searched Google for the words ‘climate change’ a little over six months ago, one of the first hits would have been the Environmental Protection Agency’s website,” the piece points out. “If you search those words today, a link to the EPA site may not appear until the second or third search results page, and sometimes not even then, depending on your browser settings.”

Click on that link and you are directed to a page that announces, “This page is being updated. Thank you for your interest in this topic. We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.”

The page offers a link to the archived site. But not everything has been preserved, the EDGI reports. “A significant number of pages and PDFs are not available, and entire portions of the site, like the Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change, have been left out. Some of these pages and PDFs can no longer be found anywhere within the government’s web presence.”

Other agencies where climate content has been scrubbed include the State, Interior and Energy Departments. “[C]limate websites at NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration appear to have escaped the administration’s meddling and removals. So far,” notes EDGI.

“By altering and removing climate websites built over years and paid for by tax dollars, the Trump administration is actively working to muddy the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity drives climate change. These actions only generate confusion about the issue and delay progress toward reaching a policy solution supported by the public.”