USDA Emails: Don’t Use “Climate Change”

The agency denies instructing staff to avoid particular terms.

By | August 8, 2017

WIKIMEDIA, JONATHAN BILLINGERInstead of “climate change,” staff at the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) were told to use the term “weather extremes,” according to agency emails described by The Guardian yesterday (August 7). The director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, also wrote in the February correspondence that “build soil organic matter” should replace “reduce greenhouse gases” and “sequester carbon.”

The news report suggested these were political moves to fall in line with the newly installed Trump administration. Jimmy Bramblett, deputy chief for programs at the NRCS, said in a January email to senior staff: “It has become clear one of the previous administration’s priority [sic] is not consistent with that of the incoming administration. Namely, that priority is climate change. Please visit with your staff and make them aware of this shift in perspective within the executive branch.”

Kaveh Sadeghzadeh, NRCS’s communications director, tells The Huffington Post, “these emails, sent in the first days of the new Administration, did not reflect the direction of senior agency leadership.” He says his department “has not received direction from USDA or the Administration to modify its communications on climate change or any other topic.” 

Science organizations have been concerned about President Trump and his administration’s stance on climate change. The EPA, for instance, had removed some climate change information from its website. And some members of Trump’s administration deny the evidence of humans’ contributions to climate change.

Yesterday, The New York Times reported on a draft report from 13 federal agencies describing the extent of human-caused climate change. The authors are waiting on President Trump’s approval before releasing it to the public. “It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited,” according to the Times.

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August 8, 2017

Some will say that words are just symbols and that it's a waste of time to become preoccupied with mere semantics. What does it matter if we speak of "weather extremes" instead of "climate change"? In fact, some might think that weather "extremes" is more energizing than mere climate "change." So, it's all good.

Not so!

What Mr. Trump lately called "euthenisms" are critical. They smack of Orwellianism and obscure reality.

Worse, if we are not careful about our language and do not speak accurately and precisely, we literally won't know what we're talking about.

Avatar of: James V. Kohl

James V. Kohl

Posts: 453

August 8, 2017

As predicted:  A march by scientists, while well intentioned, will serve only to trivialize and politicize the science we care so much about, turn scientists into another group caught up in the culture wars and further drive the wedge between scientists and a certain segment of the American electorate.

Add this fact Olfaction Warps Visual Time Perception

Food energy and the pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in bacteria is the link from Schrodinger's claims about the anti-entropic energy of sunlight in "What is LIfe?" (1944).

After the link was established from the sense of smell in bacteria to our visual perception of energy and mass in the context of the space-time continuum, I am surprised that it took so long for the Trump administration to attempt to limit the ambiguity of words that failed to address any aspect of experimentally established biologically-based cause and effect.

Avatar of: James V. Kohl

James V. Kohl

Posts: 453

Replied to a comment from Howard A. Doughty made on August 8, 2017

August 8, 2017

I agree. Perhaps the most offensive word choice is when mutation is used to describe a food energy-dependent RNA-mediated amino acid substitution. Students who fail to differentiate between the virus-driven degradation of messenger RNA that causes the mutation may never learn that the different terms used for energy are examples of what Richard Feynman referred to as human idiocy.

Food energy

This snippet is taken from one of his lectures in the series "The character of Physical Law" where he complains about all the different units that are used to measure the single concept of Energy.

Those who still do not understand the difference between amino acids and mutations should not try to tell anyone in the Trump administration about climate change, reducing greenhouse gases, or sequestering carbon. Amino acid substitutions link hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs in solution to all energy-dependent biophysically constrained biodiverisity on Earth via what is known about supercoiled DNA, which prevents the virus-driven energy theft of quantized information.





Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 229

August 8, 2017

Once again, the "drifting" from good science to nebulocity through term dilution.  The reality is, however, that global warming, there, it's said, cannot be invisiblized though language loss.

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