At least 20 people in Southern California have died as a result of mudslides in the city of Montecito since last week.
The devastating mudslides swept in early last Tuesday morning, destroying approximately 65 homes and severely damaging many others. Those killed ranged from age 3–89.
These mudslides were followed by torrential rain, followed by uncontainable wildfires, followed by severe drought. Sense a pattern?
Not according to the U.S. government.
U.S. government officials are sweeping away all traces of climate change and covering up any potential evidence.
According to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), climate change websites are being censored and removed by the Trump administration. EDGI findings reveal large amounts of concerning information in relation to our environment and how it affects us, but the scariest reports involve how the U.S. government is covering it up.
The EDGI reported the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed and is continuing to “clean out” climate change websites, which in turn raised concerns about access to critical information for local governments, educators and the general public.
Many agencies, such as the U.S. Department of the Interior and even the White House, have edited their climate change online content, including webpages and entire websites. The White House not only reduced the amount of climate change information on its website, but it also eliminated climate change as a highlighted issue.
Overall language concerning climate change on various websites and webpages has also been changed by replacing specific phrases relating to climate change with vaguer terms to paint over any evidence of climate change.
So, why should you care about any of this?
For one, these changes make it incredibly more challenging for scientists and key figures to access decades of important research funded by none other than your tax dollars.
Secondly, these changes make it difficult for your state and local governments to integrate environmental research to help their citizens adapt to potential threats due to climate change. The EDGI reported the EPA deleted over 200 climate webpages for local governments last year.
Lastly, these changes encourage climate denialist efforts to doubt scientific findings supporting climate change, and essentially destroy efforts to prepare citizens for climate change.
Keep in mind also this government clean out has the ability to hurt the foundation of U.S. democracy by leaving the general public in a smoky haze of ignorance, thus eliminating institutions that allow citizens to make an impact on policy change.
The Trump administration has reminded the public it has the freedom to highlight only information in support of its agenda, and while that is right, it seems one of the top items of this agenda’s list is to make critical information vanish. Without the research that is lost, no one can argue against the administration’s energy policy or its possible consequences.
These consequences can hurt you. Time and time again we have seen natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires and droughts wreak havoc across our nation, and while we cannot necessarily control them completely, we can prepare for them.
But apparently, the Trump administration would rather its nation suffer under the wrath of more natural disasters.