NOAA Dismisses Flimsy Report Suggesting Agency Will Nix Climate From Mission

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is pushing back against a report Sunday suggesting the agency is considering removing climate change as one of its core missions.

NOAA’s current mission statement is “to understand and predict changes in climate weather, oceans, and coasts,” but all that could change, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The group claims Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet could eliminate that portion from the agency’s website.

Gallaudet said during a presentation at a Department of Commerce summit that the NOAA’s mission would now be “to observe, understand and predict atmospheric and ocean conditions,” and share that information with other groups. Gallaudet pushed back on the claim he is changing the mission.

“This presentation is a simplified draft for discussion,” he said in a statement Monday following UCS’s report. “It was not intended to create change in NOAA mission or policy from what it was before. Any interpretation to the contrary is simply inaccurate.”

Activists have made similar claims in the past. Environmentalists characterized the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s decision to scrape the term climate “change” from its website as a type of “cleansing,” even though the agency contends the alteration is minor.

The agency changed a headline on its website in August 2017 from “Climate Change and Human Health,” to “Climate and Human Health,” according to a report from a nonprofit group that tracks what it calls threats to policy on environmental issues. (RELATED: Enviros Freak Out After Gov’t Agency’s Website Alters Climate Change References)

The National Institutes of Health’s website contained other minor changes. It replaced a menu tittle that read “Climate Change and Children’s Health” to “Climate and Children’s Health.” Activist groups believe the alterations are akin to a type of whitewashing of climate science.

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Tags : energy national oceanic and atmospheric administration union of concerned scientists
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