Fresh off President Donald Trump's executive order decimating key aspects of Barack Obama's signature environmental policies, including the Clean Power Plan, his administration's Department of Energy has banned its climate office from using the phrase "climate change."
According to Politico, sources say a supervisor informed employees of the DOE's Office of International Climate and Clean Energy not to use the phrases "climate change," "emissions reduction" or "Paris agreement" in "written memos, briefings or other written communications." Officials at DOE and the State Department told Politico they had not received a formal "banned words list," but were changing direction given the administration's openly hostile rhetoric on climate issues.
The news comes as E&E News reports the administration is requesting billions of dollars' worth of additional cuts to climate and environment-related programs, particularly affecting the "DOE's renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts." Earlier this month, the New York Times reported Trump had already been planning on cutting up to 31% of the Environmental Protection Agency's $8.1 billion budget and cutting over a fifth of its 15,000 staffers.
Trump's public views on climate change, which scientists near-universally agree is a dangerous phenomena caused by human industrial activity, have ranged from full-blown climate skeptic to simply throwing his hands up and proclaiming climate research is an inscrutable mystery. His plans to expand fossil fuel drilling have been enthusiastically endorsed by groups like the oil and gas-industry funded Heartland Institute, but spurred alarm among scientific experts.
In the meantime, the planet has continued warming, with experts warning global temperatures are rising at rates well beyond previous estimates.