President Donald Trump invites Pruitt to the podium after announcing his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement on 1 June 2017. Photo: KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

By Alexander C. Kaufman
28 March 2018

(Huffington Post) – The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday evening sent employees a list of eight approved talking points on climate change from its Office of Public Affairs ― guidelines that promote a message of uncertainty about climate science and gloss over proposed cuts to key adaptation programs.

An internal email obtained by HuffPost ― forwarded to employees by Joel Scheraga, a career staffer who served under President Barack Obama ― directs communications directors and regional office public affairs directors to note that the EPA “promotes science that helps inform states, municipalities and tribes on how to plan for and respond to extreme events and environmental emergencies” and “works with state, local, and tribal government to improve infrastructure to protect against the consequences of climate change and natural disasters.”

But beyond those benign statements acknowledging the threats climate change poses are talking points boiled down from the sort of climate misinformation EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has long trumpeted.

“Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner,” one point reads. “The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.”

The other states: “While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.”

The email was sent under the subject line: “Consistent Messages on Climate Adaptation.” […]

The assertions made in the new EPA talking points are not rooted in science. Ninety-seven percent of peer-reviewed research agrees with the conclusion that emissions from burning fossil fuels, deforestation and industrial farming are enshrouding the planet in heat-trapping gases, and are the primary causes of rising planetary temperatures. A research review published in November 2016 found significant flaws in the methodologies, assumptions or analyses used by the 3 percent of scientists who concluded otherwise.

But for the past three decades, a Big Tobacco-style misinformation campaign funded primarily by oil, gas and coal interests has fueled political debate over the integrity of the scientific consensus. [more]

Leaked Memo: EPA Shows Workers How To Downplay Climate Change

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