In a podcast by RevealNews.org, a story is told of a scientist, Maria Caffrey, PhD, of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who works with the US Park Service. She did a four-year study of the potential impact of climate crisis on 118 national parks in 2030, 2050, and 2100. It was finished in late 2016 just before Donald Trump ascended to the presidency (after losing the vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes).
Dr. Caffrey’s report went through 18 revisions. The word “anthropogenic” was removed to prevent the link between humans and climate crisis from being made in the report. Two years passed to delay the report.
Dr. Caffrey’s report revealed that in Washington, DC, the Mall including “The Reflecting Pool, the Smithsonian Museums, the monuments…” could be under water “in 2100 if greenhouse gas pollution keeps growing, and a hurricane hits.”
In the end, even while under pressure from three government officials that she might lose her job, and maybe some of her co-workers could lose their jobs, Dr. Caffrey stuck to her principles, and the report was released in a version that was “uncensored.”
In the course of this ordeal, Dr. Caffrey said “she was instructed that the Park Service works for Trump and not the American people.“
Columbia University runs a silencing science tracking website that has hundreds of examples of cases when climate crisis science has been silenced or self-censored in federal or state cases. A sampling of the agencies involved in this list includes EPA, DOI (Dept. of Interior), White House, USDA, USGCRP (U.S. Global Change Research Program), EDGI (Environmental Data and Governance Initiative), DOE (Dept. of Energy), National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NASA, Dept. of Corrections (DOC), Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS), and more. There are also numerous states involved, including WY, TX, LA, OR, AZ, AK, ND, IA, FL, CT, VT, and more.
The Reveal News Podcast
For the full story, read the transcription or listen to the broadcast on this page . Below are some transcription snippets to tell the essentials of the story.
From the Transcript
Al Letson: “Just after Thanksgiving, the US government released a huge report documenting the impacts climate change is having on our country. Thirteen federal agencies and hundreds of scientists worked on this. When asked about it President Trump attacked it’s prediction that climate change will be devastating to the US economy.”
Trump’s response: “Yeah. I don’t believe it. No. No, I don’t believe it.”
Al Letson: “[Trump claims he] doesn’t believe a basic premise of the report, that people are causing climate change and can slow it down. Elizabeth Shogren is Reveal’s science reporter, and joins me now.”
Al Letson: “So Elizabeth, those comments from Trump make it sound like he’s rejecting science. What’s been the impact of that attitude across his administration?”
Elizabeth Shogren: “Well, the White House did not interfere with the National Climate Assessment, but there are lots of other examples where they did. They’ve been downplaying, defunding, and misusing climate change science, even censoring it.”…
See federal projections of how flooded the National Mall could get in 2050 without concerted effort to fight climate change. https://t.co/Q3Fy9sEhRb via @reveal and listen: https://t.co/fhPzKGfRwv pic.twitter.com/FBYPCKV0Qj
— Elizabeth Shogren (@ShogrenE) July 15, 2019
Will this continue? Yes, as long as Trump — and other Republicans — are permitted to stay in power.
Featured image: Photo by NASA via Unsplash