Saturday, March 21, 2015

196.5 - Outrage of the Week: Florida bans the term "climate change"

Outrage of the Week: Florida bans the term "climate change"

Next up, it's our other regular feature, the Outrage of the Week.

I actually wanted to do this last week when it was fresh news, but time got in the way. But it's too important to let slide. So we'll do it now.

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in the US over the next decades. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

Last year, the National Climate Assessment named Miami as one of the cities in the United States most vulnerable to damage from rising sea levels. A Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact paper has also warned that water in the area could rise by as much as two feet by the year 2060.

Such effects are of course the result of global warming or climate change, if you prefer; it doesn't matter, they both mean the same thing.

Despite that, according to work done by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Florida Governor Rick Scott, better known as Voldemort, has banned state researchers and officials charged with dealing with the impacts of global warming from using the terms  "climate change," "global warming," or "sustainability" in any official communications, emails, or reports.

Even the term "sea-level rise" was banned in favor of - get this - "nuisance flooding," although that last prohibition appears to have been lifted. Either that or no one could say "nuisance flooding" with a straight face.

Florida Gov. Voldemort
One example of the effect of this cited by the Center for Investigative Reporting is the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council’s Annual Research Plan, put together by state agencies. The 2009-2010 report, published the year before Voldemort was elected, contains 15 references to climate change, including a section that called it a “research priority.” In the 2014-15 edition of the report, the term "climate change" appears only if it is in the title of a past report or conference.

The ban, according to former employees of the state Department of Environmental Protection, consultants, and volunteers who spoke with the Center's reporters, was instituted shortly after Voldemort was elected and was transmitted verbally and passed down the hierarchy - with the result that Voldemort's administration will say "there is no policy on this" because there is nothing in writing.

Meanwhile, Voldemort slinks along, ignoring the peril to his state while keeping Nagini close. Asked in 2010 if he believed in climate change, he said "No." Asked again last year, he slithered what has become the default answer for right-wingers on the subject: "Well, I'm not a scientist." Just once I'd like to see a follow up question of "Why aren't you listening to the people who are?"

University of Miami professor Harold Wanless said that at this point "It’s beyond ludicrous" and even "criminal" to deny the term climate change.

It is all that. And it is an outrage.

Sources cited in links:

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