Among the ‘intense weather events’ qualifying as climate change is drought. Photo:
Among the ‘intense weather events’ qualifying as climate change is drought. Photo:

USDA tells staff not to use the term "climate change"


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This story originally appeared on The Guardian:

A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, reveal that they have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.

In her email to staff, dated February 16, Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, In her email to staff, said the new language was given to her staff and suggests it be passed on. She writes that “we won’t change the modeling, just how we talk about it – there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail [sic], climate mitigation is just one of them”, and that a colleague from USDA’s public affairs team gave advice to “tamp down on discretionary messaging right 

She also 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.”

President Donald Trump has questioned climate change since he took office and his administration officially announced on Friday the United States' intention to withdraw from Paris climate accord.

In addition, the White House appears to be turning to people with deep industry ties in its effort to dismantle government regulations. It is also encouraging more coal mining on lands owned by the federal government, as reported by The New York Times.

Alarmed by the White House politics toward climate change, U.S. scientists drafted an alarming report which concludes that temperatures have risen rapidly since 1980, as reported in The New York Times.  Here’s the full draft. 


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