See No Evil: Trump/Putin Administration Deleting Climate Science

April 6, 2018

Ryan Zinke faithfully executing fossil fuel template.

If you don’t say it, maybe it will go away.


National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science.

The research for the first time projects the risks from rising seas and flooding at 118 coastal national park sites, including the National Mall, the original Jamestown settlement and the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Originally drafted in the summer of 2016 yet still not released to the public, the National Park Service report is intended to inform officials and the public about how to protect park resources and visitors from climate change.


Venerable Russian tradition

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting obtained and analyzed 18 versions of the scientific report. In changes dated Feb. 6, a park service official crossed out the word “anthropogenic,” the term for people’s impact on nature, in five places. Three references to “human activities” causing climate change also were removed.

The 87-page report, which was written by a University of Colorado Boulder scientist, has been held up for at least 10 months, according to documents obtained by Reveal. The delay has prevented park managers from having access to the best data in situations such as reacting to hurricane forecasts, safeguarding artifacts from floodwaters or deciding where to locate new buildings.

The omissions reflect a broader crackdown on climate science at federal agencies, including removal of references to human impacts, since President Donald Trump took office. Trump previously called climate change a Chinese hoax, took steps to withdraw from an international agreement to cut greenhouse gases and moved toward reversing President Barack Obama’s policies to regulate power plant emissions.

Critics say the National Park Service’s editing of the report reflects unprecedented political interference in government science at the Interior Department, which oversees the park service.

Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist and dean of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, said the deletions are “shocking from a scientific point of view, but also from a policy point of view.”

“To remove a very critical part of the scientific understanding is nothing short of political censorship and has no place in science,” he said. “Censorship of this kind is something you’d see in Russia or some totalitarian regime. It has no place in America.”

Several scientists said the editing appears to violate a National Park Service policy designed to protect science from political influence.

“It looks like a pretty clear-cut, blatant violation of what we generally would consider to be scientific integrity,” said Jane Lubchenco, who led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Obama.

National Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said the agency would not comment on the editing of a report that had not yet been released. He said that it was premature to report on it and that it would be released soon.

Zinke testified at a Senate committee hearing last month that the Interior Department has not changed any scientific documents.

“There is no incident, no incident at all that I know that we ever changed a comma on a document itself. Now we may have on a press release,” Zinke told the senators. “And I challenge you, any member, to find a document that we’ve actually changed on a report.”

Zinke’s press secretary said no one at the Interior Department was available to comment about the report.


10 Responses to “See No Evil: Trump/Putin Administration Deleting Climate Science”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Scott Pruitt has to go.

    Every day, another news story breaks about Pruitt’s corrupt dealings as Trump’s anti-environmental EPA administrator. He is ruling the EPA as his own personal fiefdom – taking first-class flights, using government resources for personal gain and giving away favors to his friends.

    Meanwhile, as Pruitt’s ethical violations are making headlines, he is continuing to quietly scrap every rule that stops polluters from destroying our health and environment.

    => B>Tell Scott Pruitt to resign.

    • andrewfez Says:

      Pruitt is going down anyway. Fox News played hardball with him the other day regarding his scandals which means he’s no longer in the circle of trust. Fox wouldn’t play hardball unless they knew Trump was getting rid of him.

      Problem is his replacement will be just as nasty.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    E.P.A. Officials Sidelined After Questioning Scott Pruitt

    At least five EPA officials were reassigned, demoted or requested new jobs after they raised concerns about the spending and management of Administrator Scott Pruitt.

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Fifteen state attorneys general and the City of Chicago have filed a lawsuit against the EPA for “ignoring its legal duty” to control emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from existing oil and gas operations. They also claim Scott Pruitt violated the Clean Air Act by delaying methane emissions rules.

    => 15 AGs sue Trump EPA for not enforcing pollution controls

    Only action gives you satisfaction…

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    It’s the corporate duopoly that has to go. Everything else is a distraction.

    Trump waving his tweeting arms around and taking media coverage from what’s going on behind the scenes, Pruitt’s relatively minor ethical infractions and paranoia makes good copy and may eventually bring him down but as andrewfez said, he’ll just be replaced with someone else just as determined to wreck the ecological and health protections set up by decades of diligent work at the EPA.

    It might just be better to keep accurately reporting Pruitt’s more important transgressions–the destruction of crucial regulations, firing and hobbling of staff, and suppression of science, while leaving him there to fester and contribute to the chaos of the administration. Everyone who works with the malignant narcissist in the Whites’ House eventually either can’t stand it or can’t be stood by him; it would nice to see yet another rupture come from inside.

    Pardon my Schadenfreude, it’s about the only Freude we get any more. But it helps us, too. We need to recapture congress, elect a new speaker and impeach both the P and VP. The new speaker needs to pass on the presidency making Bernie Sanders, as new President Pro Tempore of the Senate, POTUS. He needs to pick a VP who’s not in office or from someplace that will elect a progressive replacement. Maybe Elizabeth Warren, though she’s made a promise that might be tough to break.

  5. Oh, so butthurt you are. You are losing because you do pseudo-science. Dry ice in -18C air is not a heat source.
    The first law says, only heat and work can raise temperature. ∆U=Q+W.
    Second law says:
    “Heat cannot spontaneously flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system”

    And no, co2 is not insulation, because insulation prevents absorption of heat, and co2 enhances it.
    “Thermal insulation provides a region of insulation in which thermal conduction is reduced or thermal radiation is reflected rather than absorbed by the lower-temperature body.”

    See, it’s not Putin and Trump that is the problem, it’s you who deny the laws of physics with your religious bullshit where energy is created by dry ice.

    Learns physics, retards.

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