President Trump and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt aren’t exactly fans of climate science, and they’re scaling back the EPA’s website to reflect their views. The EPA has started implementing a site revision that will “reflect the approach of new leadership.” As you might surmise, that means that mentions of climate change, regulation and Obama-era policies are on the chopping block — the language endorsing the Clean Power Plan is “out of date,” the EPA claims. And unfortunately, that means axing information that has been around for multiple administrations.
The Washington Postnotes that the EPA has pulled a nearly 20-year-old page explaining the fundamentals of climate change and how it affects the US. While updates to the site were frozen and closely scrutinized under President George W. Bush’s administration, his White House was still content to leave the page running — clearly, even that was too much under the new presidency.
The EPA stresses that it will use “proper archiving procedures” to preserve the previous version of its website. That information won’t disappear if you’re really looking for it. However, the very fact that it’s going away from the current site is problematic. While the EPA website is bound to reflect administration policies, the basic climate science content was a valuable source of information for students and anyone else who needs to know how climate change works. Curious minds will have to turn to the archives or third-party sources to get the facts. And of course, it’s hard to escape the irony of an environmental agency that avoids mentioning science that helps the environment.