Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

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

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

A spokesperson for the NRCS confirmed the veracity of the emails to Gizmodo over the phone and insisted that no one from the Trump administration has put any pressure on the agency to change its approach to climate change or its acknowledgement of the real world effects of climate change.

The February email from Director of Soil Health Bianca Moebius-Clune detailing the change contained a list of terms that staff should avoid going forward, as well as suggestions for what to say instead. And Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement on combating climate change ― a move HuffPost's Alexander Kaufman called a "devastating setback to worldwide efforts to curb global warming".

A federal department of a country which has long prided itself on championing free speech worldwide is now censoring the use of nomenclatures including what has become a commonsense term both in the academia and among the general public - climate change.

The United States Department of Agriculture has told employees to avoid using the phrase "climate change" in favor of the less politically charged "weather extremes", according to USDA emails obtained by the Guardian. The NRCS is the federal office that oversees farmers' land conservation. Rather than "reducing greenhouse gases", the emails suggest: "Build Soil Organic Matter, increase nutrient use efficiency".

The Trump aide has also said climate change is "simply a mechanism for transferring wealth from one group of people to another".

But some staff still appear to be confused by what they are and are not allowed to say.

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The NRCS' site section on climate change has remained unchanged.

The appointment of Sam Clovis as the USDA's chief scientist is another part of that movement; Clovis said he is "extremely skeptical" of climate change and claimed that "a lot of the science is junk science", The Hill reported. "Please visit with your staff and make them aware of this shift in perspective within the executive branch".

"These records reveal Trump's active censorship of science in the name of his political agenda", Meg Townsend, an attorney, told The Guardian.

In addition to the estimated $300 million Gore has accumulated as a climate change alarmist, his home in Tennessee - one of three he owns - reportedly uses seven times more energy than that of the average American home. Other agencies have gone further in their censorship. A few months later, in June, the department removed almost all mention of climate change from one of its websites dedicated to addressing the issue within Native American programs.

Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about the scientifically-backed reality of climate change.

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