As if Trump’s presidency couldn’t get more surreal, Politico is now reporting that the Energy Department’s international climate office has been told not to use the phrase “climate change”. Yes, really:
A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told POLITICO.
Employees of DOE’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy learned of the ban at a meeting Tuesday, the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order at EPA headquarters to reverse most of former President Barack Obama’s climate regulatory initiatives. Officials at the State Department and in other DOE offices said they had not been given a banned words list, but they had started avoiding climate-related terms in their memos and briefings given the new administration’s direction on climate change.
Where to even begin with this? To divorce climate change from anything energy related in the 21st century is akin to insisting the earth flat while planning a trip to the moon. The science is definitive on this issue: we are heating up the planet largely due to the fact that our energy needs are met by burning fossil fuels that release CO2 into the atmosphere. There is little point in arguing with anyone who refuses to acknowledge the science, and at this point in time anyone who denies the fact that we are burning the planet should be treated as an enemy of not only mankind, but the earth itself.
Trump’s war on the environment is the most alarming aspect of his ridiculous presidency, and his ignorance is now seeping into every branch of the US government. As the Politico report stated, The Office of International Climate and Clean Energy “plays a key role in U.S. participation in the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation, two international efforts launched under Obama that were designed to advance clean energy technology.”
“The office has regular contact with officials from foreign countries,” the report went on, “Which may have led to the more aggressive action on language than in other offices, a source said.”
“At the meeting, senior officials told staff the words would cause a “visceral reaction” with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, his immediate staff, and the cadre of White House advisers at the top of the department.”
While the ban on the phrase was not official, serious scientists and government workers responsible for managing the country’s energy needs now cannot do their jobs properly. This would be like banning FEMA employees from talking about emergencies or management issues — an insane proposition that apparently makes all the sense in the world to the new administration.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.