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

Katrina Barker
August 9, 2017

Jimmy Bramblett, the Natural Resources Conservation Service's deputy chief for programs, sent an email in January to many senior officials that hinted there may be a change in priority and policy because of President Trump.

"It has become clear one of the previous administration's priorities is not consistent with that of the incoming administration".

USDA office staff have been instructed to drop the term "climate change" from their published writings and correspondence and use the term "weather extremes" instead, The Guardian reported exclusively Monday.

Less than a month after Bramblett's email, NRCS staffer Tim Hafner sent him a report draft, and said: "I would like to know the correct terms I should use instead of Climate Changes and anything to do with Carbon...."

That's part of a list of language changes suggested in newly released emails among Agriculture Department officials as employees search for new ways to describe their work under the Trump administration. "I want to ensure to incorporate correct terminology that the agency has approved to use".

Also included in the substituted terms were "climate change adaptation", "reduce greenhouse gases" and "sequester carbon", all coming with alternate phrasing. "This was never the case and USDA interim procedures will allow complete, objective information for the new policy staff reviewing policy decisions".

The news report suggested these were political moves to fall in line with the newly installed Trump administration. Although it's worth noting, a USDA spokesperson told Gizmodo that the agency was not put under any explicit pressure from the administration to change its stance on climate change.

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have both said that they do not believe humans cause climate change and have continuously questioned scores of studies proving the effects of a changing climate and global warming.

"To think that federal agency staff who report about the air, water and soil that sustains the health of our nation must conform their reporting with the Trump administration's anti-science rhetoric is appalling and risky for America and the greater global community".

President Trump in July tapped Sam Clovis to be the USDA's chief scientist. He did not present data to accurately support the claim.

In emails obtained by The Guardian, USDA officials reportedly told employees that it's time to change the conversation abotu climate change.

On the NRCS website, climate change still remains a topic, unlike the EPA's site, which went through extensive changes regarding the issue when Trump took office.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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