This article was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead.
A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, shows that the incoming Trump administration has had a stark impact on the language used by some federal employees around climate change.
A missive from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, lists terms that should be avoided by staff and those that should replace them. “Climate change” is in the “avoid” category, to be replaced by “weather extremes.” Instead of “climate change adaption,” staff are asked to use “resilience to weather extremes.”
The primary cause of human-driven climate change is also targeted, with the term “reduce greenhouse gases” blacklisted in favor of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency.” Meanwhile, “sequester carbon” is ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter.”
In her email to staff, dated Feb. 16 this year, Moebius-Clune said the new language was given to her staff and suggests it be passed on. She writes that “we won’t change the modeling,…
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