Trump administration silences federal scientists at USDA, EPA – National Park Service defies gag order with tweets on climate sciencePosted by Jim at Tuesday, January 24, 2017
[NASA and NOAA are likely to be targeted next. –Des]
[UPDATE: USDA lifts gag order: report]
By Dina Fine Maron
24 January 2017
(Scientific American) – President Donald Trump’s administration moved quickly this week to shore up its control over communications with the public and the press, as officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture e-mailed staff to inform them that they may no longer discuss agency research or departmental restrictions with anyone outside of the agency—including news media. Both agencies also told their scientists and other staff that press releases and external communications about taxpayer-funded work would stop until further notice. It remains unclear if these will be temporary or long-term policies.
The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed News were the first to report the internal memos, which they said contained the EPA prohibitions on press releases and blog posts as well as the news that all incoming media requests would be carefully screened and require approval.
At the USDA a department-wide e-mail from the chief of staff of the agency’s in-house research office, the Agricultural Research Service, reportedly said the ARS would no longer release any “public-facing documents.” The e-mail, obtained by BuzzFeed, was cited as saying: “This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content.” […]
The administration’s latest actions resemble steps taken in Canada by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper while in office from 2006 to 2015; his administration blocked government scientists from speaking with media and explaining their research. Several weeks before Trump’s inauguration, Canadian scientists interviewed by Scientific American warned their U.S. counterparts about the threat of similar restrictions. [more]
By Devin Henry
24 January 2017
(The Hill) – The Twitter feed for Badlands National Park sent out three messages on Tuesday promoting climate science amid a new Trump administration crackdown on agencies communicating on social media.
The tweets are basic scientific facts and not noteworthy in and of themselves, and the park tweeted climate facts about a dozen times last year. But they come against a backdrop of Trump administration directives blocking climate pronouncements from agencies within the federal government.
Trump does not believe the science behind manmade climate change, and he has appointed transition officials who agree with his viewpoint.
Trump’s team has banned the Environmental Protection Agency from sending social media updates or communicating with reporters, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Similarly, the Department of Agriculture has said its employees are no longer allowed to tweet or distribute scientific research, agency officials told Buzzfeed.
By Zach Cartwright
24 January 2017
(U.S. Uncut) – The official Twitter account for the Badlands National Park is raging against the Trump machine by tweeting facts about climate change despite a gag order.
As of this writing, the three tweets sent out by the person managing the @BadlandsNPS account are still up, though it’s likely the park’s social media manager will soon be out of a job, if the Trump administration plans on enforcing an order issued to the National Parks Service shortly after his inauguration to cease all tweeting from government accounts. [They’ve since been deleted. –Des]
In response to the rogue tweeting, political observers remarked on the bravery of the @BadlandsNPS social media manager for ignoring the White House’s gag order.