This spring, political officials at the Environmental Protection Agency removed the agency’s climate change website, one of the world’s top resources for information on the science and effects of climate change.
To me, a scientist who managed this website for more than five years, its removal signifies a declaration of war on climate science by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. There can be no other interpretation. I draw this conclusion as a meteorologist with a specialization in climate science and as an independent voter who strives to keep my political and scientific views separate. I concede that this specific issue is personal for me, given the countless hours I spent working on the site. But it should be obvious to anyone how this senseless action runs counter to principles of good governance and scientific integrity.
Some 20 years in the making, the breadth and quality of the website’s content was remarkable. The site lasted through Democratic and Republican administrations, partly because its information mirrored the findings of the mainstream scientific community, including the National Academy of Sciences, other federal agencies and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It “presented the current understanding of the science and possible solutions in a fair and balanced way,” said Kerry Emanuel, a world-renowned atmospheric scientist at MIT and a political conservative.