The Washington Post’s lead weatherman published a lengthy screed attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) removal of web pages on global warming science — web pages he spent years working on.
“To me, a scientist who managed this website for more than five years, its removal signifies a declaration of war on climate science by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt,” wrote WaPo’s Jason Samenow, a meteorologist who heads the paper’s Capital Weather Gang.
“There can be no other interpretation,” Samenow wrote in an op-ed published Thursday night. “I draw this conclusion as a meteorologist with a specialization in climate science and as an independent voter who strives to keep my political and scientific views separate.”
Samenow conceded the issue was “personal” since he spent years working on EPA’s climate science web pages, and admitted, “it is any administration’s prerogative to revise or archive Web pages that relate to policies and programs it is no longer pursuing.”
Still, Samenow argued “it should be obvious to anyone how this senseless action runs counter to principles of good governance and scientific integrity” and there’s “no justification for political interference with authoritative, carefully vetted scientific information.”
In late April, EPA began remodeling its web pages on global warming, taking down the Obama administration’s page that included links to science pages and to policies they were pushing. The move seemed to fan the flames of activists who alleged the Trump administration would “delete” public climate data.
No data has been deleted, but activists have continually pointed to instances where “climate change” were removed from government websites. Samenow claims these instances are “a reckless and dangerous abdication of his responsibility.”
“The site not only presented climate science, it was also a portal to data on warming’s effects and greenhouse gas emissions, along with guidance and tools to help people, municipalities, and states reduce their carbon footprints,” Samenow wrote. “It included a vibrant kids’ site treasured by educators, featuring interactive teaching tools and videos, which was also taken down.”
Samenow and others have attacked Pruitt for not accepting “mainstream climate science conclusions.” Activists see government web page changes, which aren’t unprecedented, as further attacks on science.
More than a dozen Democratic mayors have republished EPA’s old climate pages online. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was the first mayor to re-post the pages in May, and at least one dozen others have since followed suit.
“Neither the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration nor NASA has altered its online climate science content — which is not substantively different than the material on the EPA’s site,” Samenow wrote, not realizing the irony.
“Instead, one of the world’s best climate science sites has vanished,” Samenow not so humbly said of the websites he spent years working on. Samenow worked for EPA for about 10 years and left to join WaPo in 2010.
EPA’s climate pages drew heavily on public NOAA and NASA data, which is still readily available online. EPA still has pages on global warming, though the main climate page was being “updated” as of Friday.
“Pruitt’s order to delete the site feels purely spiteful as if he simply couldn’t abide knowing that the agency he leads was publishing information he doesn’t believe,” Samenow wrote.
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