Florida officials appear to ban term ‘climate change’ from government lexicon

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Florida Oranges. From Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Maybe if nobody says it, it won’t happen.

That appears to be the policy of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, according to a report from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting that suggests state environmental officials were directed not to use the term “climate change” after the Republican took office in 2011.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,'” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney for the Department of Environmental Protection from 2008 to 2013.

“That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Kristina Trotta, another former employee of the DEP, told the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting that she and her colleagues were told not to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming,” or, more broadly, “we were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact.”

The DEP’s press secretary told FCIR that the department “does not have a policy on this,” and Scott’s press secretary also said there was no policy on the terms. But Byrd said the protocol, official or not, seemed to begin when Scott appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr., to head up the department.

Scott has previously dodged questions on climate change, telling the Miami Herald last year that he is “not a scientist” when asked if he believes in man-made climate change.

That stance, and the apparent unofficial policy of Florida environmental officials, is still more conservative than the position espoused by the GOP as a whole.

Republican Senators recently voted in favor of an amendment drafted by a Democrat that affirmed that “climate change is real and not a hoax,” which they said was meant to acknowledge that climate change happens — but that there’s no evidence humans contribute to it.

While climate skeptics point to the fact that the Earth has gone through cyclical shifts in the climate for millennia, the vast majority of national and global scientific associations broadly agree that humans are contributing to the Earth’s warming and the uptick in extreme weather conditions and events.

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  • Alice

    Good for Florida! It’s about time our terminology returns to common sense. The only ones buying into this are the ones that profit from this scam and the sad people that can’t think and are comparable to bobble heads. For the average person that thinks, it’s a no brainer that climate has been changing ever since the earth began.

    • Joe

      I wish liberals had half your intellect, they can’t figure that the whole subject was to control the fish who don’t think on their own, easily controlled and have no individualism and are easily drug around by the ring in their nose when their leaders exploit another crisis

      • "peety"

        The worlds biggest conspiracy! 97% of the words scientists gathered to trick Americans! LOL! Well, better than the GOP congress who can’t even get consensus among their own ranks!

  • "peety"

    What is Florida going to say when half their state is underwater in a few years? LOL! As usual, the ones who need it the most, vote for those who are against their own interests.

  • dg54321

    “we were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact”

    And what’s wrong with this? You make it sound like not being able to parrot propaganda and half-truths is a bad thing. Shouldn’t the government be interested in factual statements rather than fear mongering propaganda?

    I don’t trust any “movement” that changes it’s name every 5 minutes; seems like a used car salesman tactic to me. Hence my skepticism towards the “global cooling/global warming/climate change” movement. But if they’ve got truthful data and can present that, without bias or fearmongering, so be it.

    • Alice

      “I don’t trust any “movement” that changes it’s name every 5 minutes; seems like a used car salesman tactic to me. ”
      I first noticed this deceptive method being practiced by government agencies back in the early 90s with ed reform. When news would get out about a subversive or bad program being taught in the schools, the government’s response was to brainstorm to come up with another name for the same program and then market it.
      Do you remember all the hype, on climate , we had at first? It was ‘global cooling and we were all headed for a new ice age. Then it went to global warming. Next up, was ‘climate change’ (because I suppose the global warming prompted a lot of ridicule, plus, scientific data that proved otherwise). It’s sad, but critical thinking is really lacking out of a fair amount of our population. They gullibly swallow everything uttered on mainstream media. Then, we’ve got the issue of a number of scientists coming forward to state that the whole ‘climate’ thing is false science motivated by politics. This whole global climate thing is nothing but a scam on the public in order to extort more taxes and steal from our citizens. And the average bobble head that doesn’t have a clue how to do research on their own and only is spoon fed propaganda from main stream media, continues to bobble their heads. Thomas Jefferson said: “‘Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.'”

      • dg54321

        Exactly Alice, unfortunately the more you try to get the people that need to understand this the most, to understand, the more they get angry and even violent for having their ignorance exposed. Don’t know what to do about that.

        • Alice

          “the more you try to get the people that need to understand this the most, to understand, the more they get angry and even violent for having their ignorance exposed. Don’t know what to do about that.”
          How true! It’s funny you should bring up this point. For several years, now, I’ve been following the author Neal Ross. (I’d put direct links in this post, but I’ve had this paper moderate my posts when I’ve done that in the past) If you did a google search for “Neal’s Soapbox” it should be the first one on the list. Look for the url that starts with zombie-slayer. His main focus is on the Constitution. At any rate, the reason why I mention him is because he just wrote an essay on this very topic where he brings up the exact same thought that you expressed in his paper with the title “Cattle”. He wrote in this article:
          “I see people who are capable of doing so much if they would only use their minds, who wander around like a herd of senseless cattle. It seems, to me anyway, that they have all turned off the higher functions of their brains and are only concerned with eating, sleeping, fornicating, and seeking constant entertainment. Real thinking is the last thing on most people’s minds.”
          “What is truly sad is when you confront most of them with the fact that they do not think they become angry with you for bringing to light their ignorance, their apathy, and their complacency. Most people don’t even understand what those words mean so they therefore assume you are insulting them. There’s an old saying that I find fits nicely to those who take offense when I use those words to describe them, it goes; “If the shoe fits…””
          “That is how I see Americans today, like a big herd of cattle scurrying about their lives having just enough freedom to make some choices in their lives, while the essential freedoms, those freedoms our Founders fought for and bequeathed to us are slowly being taken from us. All this while we sit back and watch it happening without even a whimper.”
          DG, if you really want to get depressed over the matter of the willfully ignorant that walk among us, do a you tube search for “Mark Dice”. He makes short videos (5 minutes or so) where he’s interviewing people on the street asking them various questions usually related to our freedom. For example, I think he went to some University law campus and asked various students if they could name a couple of the rights in the Bill of Rights. (most, couldn’t name any and some weren’t even sure what the Bill of Rights were) The last one I watched was “Meet the People Who Want Obama to Repeal the Bill of Rights”. Such sad results. There was another one that stuck in my head where he was asking people if a mandatory euthanasia for when people reached a certain age should be enacted. (unbelievably, some were older and agreed… did they not know what the word, euthanasia, meant?) Watching Dice videos, always makes me depressed when I think they walk among us and even sometimes vote.

          • dg54321

            “Most people don’t even understand what those words mean so they therefore assume you are insulting them.”

            YES! That is pretty much the long and short of it. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Idiocracy, but watch it if you haven’t. This is exactly what our future will be like. It wasn’t a real popular movie, probably for the same reason critical thinkers aren’t popular people. The dumbed down majority doesn’t like to be reminded of how dumb they are, and how they’re destroying society from the inside out.

            I’ve seen a few videos, like what you describe, but I’ll seek out those others you’re talking about. Better pick up a bottle of scotch before diving in….something tells me I’ll be needing it.

        • alice smith

          “I’ve seen a few videos, like what you describe, but I’ll seek out those others you’re talking about. Better pick up a bottle of scotch before diving in….something tells me I’ll be needing it.”
          They are pretty depressing, especially for the freedom orientated person. I’d like to think, that hopefully, to make the videos, Mark Dice has maybe gone through a number non ignorant people before taping the ignorant and not included as many non ignorant, in the videos. (one wouldn’t know for sure unless they followed Dice around while he taped the video) Either way, they’re depressing all the same. That all said, hope remains in my mind, that if people only understood, maybe we may see the headlong stampede to the edge of the cliff, averted. Thanks for the recommendation on the movie, “Idiocracy”. I found it easily, and pretty cheap, on Amazon. I may even watch it, tonight, since it’s also on Amazon’s instant video.

        • Alice

          Something else about the Mark Dice videos… There’s a consistent thing about people that I have yet to figure out. I’ve noticed on his videos and also in talking with people around me, (both on the left and right), that they always seem to be very willing to put the boot of tyranny upon another’s neck, but they can’t comprehend that the same boot will also come down upon their own neck. Just think about how the income tax first started. People weren’t fighting it because they were promised that only the top 10 percent of the wealthy would face this tax. They didn’t care as long as it wasn’t them that was affected. With many of the Dice videos, people are so willing to take away the right of free speech from others but can’t seem to be able to comprehend that when this is done, they also have consented to their free speech being stolen. Kinda makes me wish, if I had the opportunity and the ability to be invisible, I’d want to lean over their shoulder before they signed and whisper, think… do you really want YOUR ability to speak being taken from you????? Something that one would think would be automatic mental thought, but I don’t see it happening. When, we so willingly, place the hangman’s noose around another’s neck, we’re also placing it upon our own neck. I suspect, this is method that government figured out a long time ago to usurp their authority under the Constitution. They’ll target a segment of our population to steal their rights, where they know that public opinion will automatically be negative towards that segment, propose to steal their freedom in some way, then, once this theft is established, it applies to all of us.

          • dg54321

            You’re spot on, but unfortunately the populace is being raised more and more to have zero critical thinking skills. Even if you explain it to them, they will resent you for saying they are only hurting themselves in the long run.

            I don’t see how to overcome that when children are taught from K-College that they don’t have to think for themselves, just obey and parrot retained information.

            They have the advantage of control over state education, and time to effect their plans. I don’t see how to overcome state indoctrination and forced ignorance of the masses.

    • Alice

      DG, I watched “Idiocracy” last night off of Amazon’s instant video… That was a tough one to sit through. Depressing, indeed, about the same as the way the Mark Dice videos leave me feeling. That all said, it will be a movie I remember.

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