The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to remove climate science information from several of its websites triggered vigorous national debate and protests. David M. Lodge, director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University, says that changes in policy are expected with incoming presidential administrations, but removal of scientific data is an unexpected mistake.
Lodge says: “Changes in policies are expected, but the erasure of scientific information is not.
“The EPA is confusing scientific descriptions with policy prescriptions. Any policy not based on the way nature works is bound to fail. So far, we see an apparent attempt to repeal the scientific facts on which good alternative polices could be built, and replace them with an empty webpage. Not only no science, but also no policy.
“We've gone from the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to the Trump administration's clean slate – literally a blank page. Where one of the best sources of reliable information and data on climate – real facts – existed, there is now nothing. Not even the scientific information that is necessary for any defensible policy.
“No amount of EPA website revision will make nature conform to administrator Pruitt's inaccurate statements on climate change. It is simply not defensible in a democracy to withdraw information that is valuable for citizens and decision-makers in the private sector and all levels of government.”