Global Impact: Climate Change And Censorship In The 21st Century


Climate change has borderline become a vulgarity in today's society. They are words that put even the most collegial characters into an outright rage. These words have divided people for years and now its become something many officials avoid the use of altogether. Under the Trump administration especially, these words have caused tension as our president is very honest about his opinion towards that agenda. He has basically banned their usage in government agencies.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for example has gone through massive reform of it’s website right under our noses. Historically the EPA was the leading source of our climate news and environmental health reports. It was created by Richard Nixon in efforts to control human effects on the environment as massive uproar ensued after Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, that warned us against using pesticides and unsustainably taking advantage of our resources, was published. And it’s not just climate change, words like ‘fossil fuels’, ‘greenhouse gases,' ‘global warming’ and anything even relating humans with the changing of our environment have been banished. The words ‘science’ isn’t even safe anymore. The EPA has completely deleted the word in the description of their agency.

First, let's define climate change as I feel as if these words have gained a bad connotation. Climate change is defined as the change in the usual temperature or climate of a region or the earth as a whole. This is different from the weather since the weather is what we feel outside from day to day. It is a small scale that measures when it rains one day and is sunny the next when its cold one day and hot the next. Climate is a different measurement it takes the weather over many years and compiles it into an average. It is defined as the change in regular weather patterns of that time of year compared to the years in the past. Climate can also be measured at the earth’s scale and we can look at how the earth’s temperature as a whole has changed over the last hundred or maybe thousands of years.

Climate change is generally taking data that we have obtained from those hundreds of years and collecting data on how the overall climate make up has changed throughout that time. Climate scientists make comparisons with different activities that may have led to specific changes by making models based on the current state of the environment. Models that are highly accurate and compared over and over again to real-life scenarios to improve accuracy. The models usually show the change in gases or compounds in the environment over a prolonged period of time.

Researchers then compare large shifts with the activities going on during that time. A good example is that during the time of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide levels skyrocketed and have been increasing ever since. Human impacts have been compared with massive environmental shifts for years and the consensus among nations is that humans alter the environment. It is widely known scientifically and supported many times over.

Trump has questioned on many occasions the validity of climate change research infamously stating that is it simply a ‘Chinese hoax’. He has begun withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which is an agreement between 197 nations where they collectively agreed that in order to minimize the threat of climate change we should keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels. He has also put these regulations upon the EPA advising them to get rid of anything that aimed at cutting greenhouse gases and wants them to prioritize opening up more public land and waters to fossil fuel activity. It’s not just the EPA that has been transformed, the USDA has also been told to avoid using climate change and this is when the real censorship begins. Emails between officials show that they literally have to tip-toe around our climate.

The words ‘climate change’ have been advised to be switched to ‘weather extremes.' ‘Climate change adaption’ has been changed to ‘resistance to weather extremes’. You can’t say ‘reduce greenhouse gases’ it’s now ‘build soil organic matter, increase nutrient efficiency’ and ‘sequester carbon’ has to become ‘build soil organic materials’. Not only is this form of censorship restricting and rather old-timey for our current generation, its absurd. This has happened to over 25,000 federal government web pages.

We are in the 21st century and one of the leading nations in the world and we are succumbing to the censorship of science. Everyone should have access to science and facts. The National Parks Service couldn’t stay as docile about the matter since it directly affects their land. Many of their sites are along the coast and they noticed over the years that the sea level has risen higher than it had in previous years, slightly increasing more each subsequent year. They figured that this was an unavoidable truth that needed to be presented so they published the uncensored version of "Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Projections for the National Park Service," They published it rather secretly with no promotions. They will not be the last organization that seeks to get this information out despite the current administration. Censoring science is like banning education. We can’t ban education; we’re too progressive of a nation for this type of stifling behavior.