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article imageOp-Ed: Government department bans the use of the term 'climate change'

By Karen Graham     Aug 8, 2017 in Politics
Washington - The staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work. The terms "greenhouse gasses" and "carbon sequestration" have also been blacklisted.
Looking back through history, and more recently in Venezuela, the downfall of democracies often start with censorship. This can include censoring the press and only allowing stories and reporting that are favorable to the leader in power, curtailing what government agencies are allowed to tell the public, and banning the use of certain terms and words.
Since Donald Trump won the presidency, he has waged a relentless war on the press and science. He has insisted his "alternative facts" are the only true story and has condemned climate change as a Chinese hoax perpetrated on America's businesses. If all this sounds absurd, it is not only absurd but the ravings of an elderly businessman with only one ambition — to lead a country like an outdated business.
The final statement  acknowledged Trump's decision to go his own way on taking the United State...
The final statement acknowledged Trump's decision to go his own way on taking the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord
Markus Schreiber, POOL/AFP
Besides the other big climate change story in the news today regarding the leaking of the draft 2018 National Climate Assessment report, there is another news story that's been overlooked, involving the federal agency blacklisting of the term, "climate change."
U.S. Department of Agriculture issues "blacklist of banned words"
A series of emails obtained by The Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, shows the Trump administration has had a profound effect on the correct terminology allowed in government documents.
We have already seen that government websites have deleted any reference to climate science and climate change, so it is only natural that employees of the federal government not be allowed to make any reference to the offending term, climate change. A directive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, the director of soil health, instructs employees to take note of the words and terms to "avoid."
MIT scientists have found that extreme precipitation events in California should become more frequen...
MIT scientists have found that extreme precipitation events in California should become more frequent as the Earth’s climate warms over this century.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Climate change is now referred to as “weather extremes,” “climate change adaption,” is now called “resilience to weather extremes.” As for the major driver of climate change, greenhouse gasses, that term is also a no-no. Instead of saying "reduce greenhouse gasses," employees are to use, “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency," whatever that means.
And we no longer discuss sequestration of carbon. In Trump's new world, it is replaced by “build soil organic matter.” In the email, dated February 16, Moebius-McClune also writes, “we won’t change the modeling, just how we talk about it—there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail [sic], climate mitigation is just one of them,” adding a colleague from public affairs suggested that the department “tamp down on discretionary messaging right now.”
The bottom line to all this is reflected in "Trump’s active censorship of science in the name of his political agenda,” said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. And she is right. Stifling climate science as part of a political agenda is dangerous and goes against the very concepts of a free democracy. What we are seeing is just the first steps to undermining our freedom of thought and pursuit of knowledge.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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