Explanation: Self-Censorship

Silencing Science Tracker

Explanation: Self-Censorship

2018-09-10 References to “Climate Change” Removed from NPS Report DOI, Federal Government Censorship, Self-Censorship Climate

A draft planning document, developed for the New Bedford Whaling Historical Park, was edited to remove all references to “climate change.” The edits were made after officials in the National Park Service’s Northeast Regional Office warned park employees that “we’re being told . . . [to] avoid” discussion of future climate impacts.

2018-08-14 NPS Scientists Avoiding Discussion of “Climate Change” DOI, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

A survey of scientists at DOI’s National Park Service found that over one-quarter engage in self-censorship, avoiding discussion of, and work on, climate change even when not explicitly told to do so.

2018-08-14 USGS Scientists Avoiding Discussion of “Climate Change” DOI, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

A survey of scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey found that nearly one-third engage in self-censorship, avoiding discussion of, and work on, climate change even when not explicitly told to do so.

2018-05-30 NASA Employees Avoiding Discussion of Climate Change Federal, NASA Self-Censorship Climate

Since President Trump took office, NASA staff have avoided publishing climate change information online, and discussing the topic on social media. This is reportedly due to self-censorship by career staffers who are concerned about “provoking the [Trump] administration.”

2018-04-02 References to Humans’ Role in Climate Change Removed from NPS Report DOI, Federal Government Censorship, Self-Censorship Climate

Officials at the National Parks Service edited a report on the impact of sea level rise and flooding on coastal national parks to remove all references to humans’ role in causing climate change.

2017-12 “Climate Change” Omitted from NSF Funding Applications Federal, NSF Self-Censorship Climate

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded 40% fewer grants containing the words “climate change” in 2017, compared to 2016, with scientists apparently engaging in “self-censorship” and using alternative terms (e.g., “extreme weather”).

2017-08 DOE-Funded Scientists Told Not to Reference “Climate Change” DOE, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

DOE-funded researchers were asked by staff at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to remove references to “climate change” and “global warming” from project descriptions.

2017-07 EPA Intern Directed Not to Tweet About Climate Change EPA, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

An intern in EPA’s communications office was instructed by co-workers not to mention “climate change” or “going green” in tweets.

2017-03 DOE Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” DOE, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

A supervisor in DOE’s international climate office instructed his staff not to use the terms “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” or “Paris Agreement.”

2017-02-16 USDA Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” Federal, USDA Self-Censorship Climate

USDA staff were instructed to avoid using certain terms, including “climate change,” which should be replaced with “weather extremes.”

2017-02 DOE Website Rewritten to Downplay Impact of Fossil Fuels DOE, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

The Energy Information Administration rewrote its “Energy Kids” website to downplay the environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels. Two charts showing the link between coal burning and greenhouse gas emissions were removed.

2017-01-24 NPS Climate Change Tweets Deleted DOI, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

The Badlands national park deleted four tweets, containing basic scientific facts about climate change, from its account. The tweets were reportedly posted by a former employee who was not authorized to use the park’s account.

2017-01 CDC Climate Change Summit Cancelled Federal, HHS Self-Censorship Climate

CDC preemptively cancelled a planned summit on climate change and public health due to concerns about the Trump administration’s reaction.

2017 “Climate Change” References Removed from EPA Documents EPA, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

EPA staff amended internal program documents to replace “climate change” with “climate resiliency” in an effort to prevent program cuts.

2016-12 References to “Climate Change” Removed from DOE Documents DOE, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

Internal DOE documents were amended to re-frame “climate change” projects as “weather” or “jobs” projects.

2016-12 Word “Climate” Removed from EPA Program Name and Website EPA, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

EPA’s “Climate Ready Water Utilities” program was renamed the “Creating Resilient Water Utilities” program and several references to “climate change” and “climate science” were removed from its website.

2016-11 References to “Climate Change” Removed from CDC Website Federal, HHS Government Censorship, Self-Censorship Climate

In late 2016, following the presidential election, several references to “climate change” were removed from the website of the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.