Yet another fear among scientists and climate activists has become reality in the era of Trump.
Years of research and data about carbon emissions, other greenhouse gases, and more was hidden from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website by the Trump administration Friday as the climate change webpage goes under “review.”
Adding insult to injury, this comes on the eve of the People’s Climate March.
Climate change activists have been wringing their hands ever since Inauguration Day, fearing that the new administration would do something just like this. The EPA has been chipping away at climate change mentions on its website since January, but Friday’s takedown seems to be the biggest step yet.
The webpage, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, explained what climate change is, what caused it and, how it affects your health, among other things. In opposition to what Trump has said in the past about climate change (he doesn’t believe it is man-made), the webpage notes many times how humans have contributed to climate change.
“Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming,” the webpage reads.
Starting Friday, going to EPA.gov/climate and EPA.gov/climatechange sent visitors to a landing page that said, “This page is being updated.” In an agency statement about the website changes, there’s no mention of removing all the content, even if temporarily.
“The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency’s current efforts,” the EPA’s statement reads, adding that “content related to climate and regulation is also under review.”
While the climate landing page was down, certain climate-related sections could still be found through a Google search. For example, a section about climate indicators was still live as of Friday evening.
Trump has made climate denying statements in the past, calling global warming a hoax. More recently he walked them back, claiming that climate change was naturally occurring and not man-made. Trump’s EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, is a noted climate-change denier.
The EPA has a link back to an archived view of the site from before Trump took office on Jan. 19. That’s exactly one day before Trump took over. But more recent archived versions of the site are available, such as this screenshot of the climate page from March 17.
Earlier Friday, Trump signed an executive order that expands offshore drilling in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, something the Obama administration fought to curtail. The order also would open the door to other energy exploration that could potentially hurt marine environments.
Information about the website changes have been murky, with the administration’s statement leaving much to be desired in terms of detail. There’s no timeline on when the changes will be made either.
Climate activists have already begun voicing their frustrations on social media, and this is sure to fire them up as they ready for Saturday’s big climate march.