“Orwellian.” That’s how one climate scientist described an explosive new report that Florida stopped environmental regulators from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming.”
The report has sparked massive media attention, and has inspired local activists to call for a local investigation.
Governor Rick Scott denies the reports, but if we keep the national spotlight shining on Florida, we can stop him from blocking an investigation and hold him accountable for any wrongdoing.
According to the report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, four former employees at Florida’s Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) were told they should not use the terms “climate change,” “global warming,” or “sustainability” in communications or public reports. The unwritten policy was reportedly implemented in 2011, after Gov. Scott — an outspoken climate denier — took office and appointed a new DEP director.
If we don’t act now, this “unwritten policy” could have grave consequences for Floridians. Scientists consider Florida one of the most vulnerable states to the impacts of climate change in the U.S. In fact, scientists predict that sea level rise could wipe out 30 percent of the state’s beaches by 2100.
The Inspector General for the DEP has the authority and independence to investigate Gov. Scott’s conduct — and to show climate-denying politicians across the country that they’ll be held accountable for censorship.