USDA Staff Are Now Supposed to Avoid Using the Term 'Climate Change'

A wildfire burns next to Lake Cachuma on July 9, 2017 near Santa Barbara, California. Image via Getty.
A wildfire burns next to Lake Cachuma on July 9, 2017 near Santa Barbara, California. Image via Getty.

In yet another dreary sign of the Florida-fication of the entire country, the Guardian reports that staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been instructed not to use the term “climate change” in the course of work.

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The USDA, one of the largest federal departments, oversees a sector of the economy that is both responsible for a sizable chunk of carbon emissions and also highly vulnerable to climate change. As the cost of firefighting skyrockets and flooding devastates harvests in the northeast, the government’s crackdown on coherent policies based on proven science continues apace, and extends, unfortunately, far beyond the already disintegrating Environmental Protection Agency. From the Guardian:

A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the “avoid” category, to be replaced by “weather extremes”. Instead of “climate change adaption”, staff are asked to use “resilience to weather extremes”.

The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”. Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”.

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This Orwellian battle against science can’t come as a huge shock considering that Sonny Perdue, Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, once held a public vigil on government property to pray for rain during a drought as governor of Georgia.

Perdue also supported Trump’s exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, stating: “The Earth’s climate has been changing since the planet was formed—on this there is no disagreement. At USDA, we rely on sound science and we remain firmly committed to digging ever deeper into research to develop better methods of agricultural production in that changing climate.” Trump’s nominee for chief USDA scientist, meanwhile, is not a scientist, dismisses climate science, and has referred to progressives as “race traitors.” It’s great to reaffirm that we’re in good hands, eh?

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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DISCUSSION

sobchaksecurity1998
Sobchak Security

Ladies and Gentlemen… Trump’s pick to head up the USDA:

“The current crop of candidates needs to get that titanium spine we keep hearing about and call out the progressives for what they are – liars, race traders, and race ‘traitors,’” Clovis wrote.

“They cannot tell the truth, mostly because they lack moral certitude, they cannot possibly reveal the fundamental fact that it is the progressives in America that are the real racists,” he continued.

Seems like a reasonable pick.