Florida environmental officials banned from using the term ‘climate change’

Florida, a state that environmental scientists have agreed would be hit hard by extreme changes in climate, is not allowed to speak about climate change. At least, not by members of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency behind planning for these potential changes.

Four former DEP employees told Florida’s Center for Investigative Reporting
that state officials at Florida’s DEP were unofficially banned from using the terms “climate change,” “global warming” and “sea-level rise.” The rise in sea-level will now be referred to as “nuisance flooding.” The reasoning was to prevent “unwanted attention” on DEP energy, business and educational reports. The DEP, however, has declined any such policy.

According to former employees, the move began under Republican governor Rick Scott, who appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. to be DEP’s director the year Scott took office in 2011. That same year, Scott said he was not convinced that humans were the reason behind global warming. In 2014, when asked about his stance on global warming, Scott deflected the question, saying “I’m not a scientist,” according to FCIR.

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