Screenshot of the snapshot of EPA's site, 'A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change', which was deleted by the Trump administration. Graphic: EPA /

By Juliet Eilperin
6 May 2017

(The Washington Post) – The Environmental Protection Agency has sidelined a website aimed at teaching schoolchildren about climate change, a public watchdog group has determined, as part of the agency’s efforts to align online content with the new administration’s values.

When the EPA announced on April 28 that its site was “undergoing changes that reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt,” it pointed to a snapshot of the website as it looked on Jan. 19, the day before Trump took office.

While it made it clear that this snapshot would not be updated, the idea was to allow the public to see what was being changed under the new administration.

But “A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change,” a popular site that used to occupy a prominent place on the agency’s main website, is not accessible from either the snapshot or by navigating the agency’s home page, according to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a group that has been tracking what changes the new administration has been making to public science and environmental sites.

The youth-oriented resource of more than 50 pages, which features educational videos and shows students how to calculate their own carbon footprint, has not been removed. But it is now very difficult for a casual reader to locate, even through a Google search.

“Overhauling and altering information on a significant part of a federal agency website is a substantial task and, especially when it’s not urgent, the potential harms should be seriously considered and justified,” said Toly Rinberg, a member of EDGI’s website tracking committee.

“If agencies do alter website information, they should do so carefully and transparently, clarifying to the public what exactly is being altered and the effects it may have.”

After the group published its data report Friday, @RogueEPAstaff, a Twitter handle run by activists, posted: “We’ve heard from teachers who can’t access materials they use for their classes.”

The EPA did not reply to a request for comment Friday. [more]

The EPA just buried its climate change website for kids



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