Florida’s environment officials can’t say ‘climate change’ apparently

9 Mar 2015

‘Climate change’, ‘global warming’ and ‘sustainability’ are allegedly all terms that Florida’s main environment agency is not allowed say.

An investigative report in the US state discovered this bizarre approach after speaking with a number of former employees, who claim the decision was passed down from the top.

Spokespeople for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Florida have denied the claims made by the Florida Centre for Investigative Reporting (FCIR).

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013, when speaking to FCIR. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Is it just me, or is banning the word ‘sustainability’ the more bizarre of the three?

Another former DEP employee claimed the terms were banned as recently as last year, saying, “we were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact”.

The policy, denied by the DEP, is heavily liked to the election of Rick Scott as governor in 2011, who has yet to acknowledge climate change, claiming before his election that he was not “convinced” by something that US Senate has completely accepted. Last year, when asked his views on it, Scott said he “was not a scientist”.

A report into the local environment from back in 2010, put together by DEP and other state agencies, contains 15 references to climate change, including an entire, dedicated section. The 2015 edition omits all references to climate change, except “if it is in the title of a past report or conference,” according to FCIR.

“There is one standalone reference to the issue at the end of a sentence that sources say must have slipped by the censors.”

Global warming image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic