The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has eliminated virtually all references to climate change on its website, according to a report from the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, published on August 20. Similar removals were made earlier this year to the official pages of the EPA and the White House, in line with the climate-change denial policies espoused by the Trump administration.
Many of the edits involved changing instances of "climate change" to "climate": as an example, a side menu link was changed from "Climate Change and Human Health" to "Climate and Human Health". On the surface, simple alteration seems innocuous, but eliminating the word "change" implies that the status quo in regards to Earth’s climate isn’t undergoing a profound change.
Along with this recent purge was the elimination of links to a document entitled "Climate Change and Human Health", a listing of environmental hazards that can impact human health and safety, such as air quality, flood, drought and wildfire. The document itself is still hosted on NIH’s site, but there are no direct links to it, meaning that it can only be found if one is deliberately looking for the file, effectively rendering it hidden
Although not directly related to the NIH website edits, renewable energy expert Daniel Kammen resigned his position as the State Department’s science envoy in protest over President Trump’s poor handling of the deadly protests suffered in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12. But Trump’s failure to denounce white supremacist groups appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Kammen cites the current administration’s environmental and research policies as contributing factors:
"Particularly troubling to me is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behaviour that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet," Kammen explains in his resignation letter. "Your decision to abdicate the leadership opportunities and the job creation benefits of the Paris Climate Accord, and to undermine energy and environmental research stand out, but sadly, are not the only examples."
"Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet." Kammen concludes. Kammen also appears to have included a hidden message in his letter: the first letter of each of the letter’s seven paragraphs spells out the word "IMPEACH".
- People's Climate March 2017 in Washington DC. Sign, "Climate change is real, you big dummies!" via Wiikmediia Commons
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