Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com
A leaked memo reveals that theÂ Environmental Protection AgencyÂ (EPA) sent employees a list of talking points on Tuesday instructing them to cast doubt on the scientific consensus about climate change.
The internal EPA memo, which wasÂ obtained by Huff Post, includes a set of eight âapproved talking pointsâ sent to EPA staffers by the agencyâs Office of Public Affairs.
The talking points instruct employees to highlight scientific uncertainty and lack of evidence linking human activity to climate change â statements that areÂ contradicted by theÂ 2017Â federal climate assessment, which concluded that âit is extremely likely thatÂ human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.â
One of the talking points in the memo encourages EPA staffers to question whether fossil fuel emissions directly contribute to climate change, stating incorrectly that âclear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.â
The memo also casts doubt on the scientific consensus surrounding climate change, claiming thatÂ the âdegree and extentâ of human impact on climate change âare subject to continuing debate and dialogue.â
In reality,Â 97 percentÂ of actively publishing climate scientists agree that the warming trends observed over the past century âare extremely likely due to human activities.â
The leaked memo represents an escalation of EPA Director Scott Pruittâs war on science, indicating that hisÂ anti-science viewsÂ are about to become part of official EPA communications. In effect, misinformation will be given the appearance of legitimacy with the stamp of a respected government agency.
While Pruitt claims that he believes in climate change, he denies the science linking it to human activity. Under his direction, the EPA has worked to roll backÂ critical environmental regulationsÂ thatÂ experts warnÂ will speed up the rate of climate change.
In addition to unraveling climate-related regulations, Pruitt has also dismantled fundamental clean air and water mandates. According toÂ Inside Climate News, âOver the past 13 months, Pruittâs EPA has taken at least 15 major actions on air pollutionâall to delay, weaken or repeal protections, and all opposed by the American Lung Association and other health groups.â
At the same time, Pruitt has taken steps to censor scientific information that might reveal the harmful impact of the Trump administrationâs environmental policies. This started shortly after Pruittâs confirmation as head of the EPA, when he heÂ personally approvedÂ the removal of references to climate change and climate-related government programsÂ from the EPAâs website.
Heather Zichal, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Councilâs Global Energy Center, and previously President Barack Obamaâs top White House adviser on energy and climate change,Â describedÂ the actions taken by Pruittâs EPA as âanÂ unprecedented attempt to delete or bury credible scientific information they find politically inconvenient.â
Just last week, PruittÂ announced plans to restrict the EPAâs use of scientific research in writing environmental rules â a move that twoÂ former top EPA officials blasted as an âattack on science.â
Now, it appears that Pruitt is upping the ante of his assault on his science, using misinformation and deceptive talking points to spread his anti-science beliefs throughout EPA offices nationwide.