The Miami Herald published a piece that went viral over the weekend. “In Florida, officials ban term ‘climate change’,” the headline blares. Here’s the gist of the story:
The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years. But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes. DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. The policy goes beyond semantics and has affected reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department with about 3,200 employees and $1.4 billion budget.
Whoa! That’s pretty crazy, right? I mean, climate change and global warming — which we know are responsible for everything from the rise of ISIS to earthquakes — has to be talked about. How could the Florida Department of Environmental Protection ban such important phrases?