The Department of Energy has banned its own Office of International Climate and Clean Energy from using the following words and phrases: “climate change,” “emissions reduction”, and “Paris Agreement”.
This is not normal.
However, while these kinds of moves by the Trump administration are infuriating, they are actually helpful to both the scientific community, and to those who seek a more progressive approach to meeting sustainability objectives.
Shortsighted moves like muzzling scientists, and banning certain words and phases, ultimately lead to marginalization and derision of the administrations that make them. The challenge of climate change won’t go away, nor will the scientists who work on the the problem. Likewise, moves like this help to solidify domestic and international opposition to tone-deaf and obstructionist policies, and help to mobilize a powerful and motivated opposition.
Yes, as a scientific and sustaiability-focues community, we must buckle top for four years of turbulence as we work on issues like climate change. But history and common sense are on our side. Just look at what happened in Canada.
It’s Thursday, April 6, 2017.