The gag order on press releases, blog updates, or posting any of facts and statistics anywhere, media or online, was banned. This affected the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency so that their employees are not allowed to discuss any of the changes publicly or on social media, and their scientists are not allowed to report their findings at all. The gag order also pertained to the US Department of Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. (Garcia 1)
Other agencies and organizations affected by this gag order are the Agricultural Research Service, Department of Transportation, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, DOI, and many more government science and research agencies. (Lartey 1)
Trump’s nominee for the head of the EPA Scott Pruitt has said that he does believe climate change exists, but that humans are not the main cause of it. Here is a quote from Scott Pruitt on the subject: “Science tells us the climate is changing and human activity in some matter impacts that change.” (Kelly 1) He acknowledges that the climate is changing and that “in some matter” human activity impacts that change. He has denied that human action has directly lead to the main cause of climate change and global warming.
If you even just google what causes global warming? The first thing that comes up says: “Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the "greenhouse effect"1 — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping.” (Global Climate Change 1). That is the short answer that comes up when you google it, the article is from the NASA Climate Change website (1).
Also, Scott Pruitt (who is now head of the EPA) has also sued the EPA multiple times while he was the Oklahoma attorney general. He sued the EPA a total of 14 times. He is now the head of the EPA and has announced plans to aggressively roll back many Obama-era regulations and policies as early as next week (Next week being this week). (Collins 1)
This gag order means that whatever they discover, monitor, or are helping with, they can not share or report any of their factual findings to the public. No press interviews, blog updates, newspaper articles, or social media posts are allowed. They are not allowed to report the statistics of global warming, water testing, how clean the air is, nothing, but mainly climate change. Trump is trying to deny the existence of global warming, and convince the people of America that it is a ‘hoax’. All of the findings of the EPA used to be accessible to the public, it was public knowledge. All the information they had was there at your fingertips if you wanted to read it, but now it is not that easy to see unless you specifically hunt it down. It was in the media, even just a little here and there, but global warming was a pretty widely known concept that was believed true by most people. He is trying to turn back the clock to a time when no one acknowledged or cared about its existence. (Chen 1)
A lot of the information formerly available on the White House website and the State Department website about the climate change policy has been removed. This was something of top concern for the former president, but the information has been replaced with articles detailing Trump’s plans to roll back those policies. Almost all mention of climate change has been removed, where ever it was mentioned, when you search ‘global warming’ on the White house website, it says no results, because every mention of it has been removed. (Davenport 1)
Trump administrations had been planning on removing the pages about climate change from the EPA website, but have appeared to back off slightly. Here is a quote from an article written by Robin Bravender, and Hannah Hess (1), from E&E News: “Trump administration officials appear to have walked back plans to scrub climate change references from U.S. EPA's website. "We've been told to stand down," an EPA employee told E&E News today. That new directive comes after staff were told yesterday to remove the agency's climate change page from its website, worrying climate change activists and sending data specialists scrambling to download files. The backlash that erupted after reports surfaced last night that the climate page would be eliminated may have prompted administration officials to change course. News of the plans was first reported last night by Reuters. EPA's press office did not respond to requests for comment today. It's unclear whether the agency's climate page will remain indefinitely, or only temporarily. "It's not imminent," the EPA staffer said of its removal.” (Bravender 1)
There are a lot of speculations and arguments about why the gag order was put in place, but almost all of them lead back to the fact that Trump would rather not acknowledge its existence at all. He has claimed that climate change and global warming are a hoax on multiple occasions. He also on multiple occasions claimed that climate change was a hoax by the Chinese. He tweeted about it several times, but after the issue was brought up in the debate with Clinton, the tweets were deleted, and he denied them ever existing. I would just like to point out that the man who is currently president of the US, is in denial about scientific facts, hard evidence is being ignored and accused of being a hoax by the person in charge of a country. Trump is trying to keep the public from noticing the existence of a serious problem, because he has chosen to deny it. (Ohlheiser 1)
Some people argue that a temporary halt of information flow is normal perseguir for when someone new comes into office, however, an order that no one who is affected by it can mention any of the changes or its existence at all, is not normal.
Also, if people have no new news about a current event that is widely available or popular they will have no need to care about it, like what is happening with it now. Unless you specifically are searching up the findings of the EPA research department you won’t be able to find anything current or useful pertaining to climate change and global warming. The reason that information is not available is because an executive gag order is in place, they are not allowed to share the data and information they have. Because of this, some of the organizations affected by this gag order have started up ‘rouge Twitter accounts’ as they are sometimes called. A rather popular one is the Badlands National Park account, which has started posting facts about climate change. Here is a quote from an article (1) about it on Democracy Now:
“As the news of the EPA media blackout broke Tuesday, the Twitter account for the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, part of the U.S. National Park Service, went rogue, publishing a series of tweets about climate change, including one that read, "Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #Climate." The tweets were later deleted.”
To get information out to the public rouge accounts have popped up. Because the gag order said no press releases, articles, or company social media updates, they have started rouge twitter accounts to post their information and data so that the public has access to it. (Noble 1) So, even if the president would rather the problem of climate change be ignored and denied, people who know that the facts are there and aren’t just going to let this go, have done things to show that facts can’t just be silenced and forgotten about.
A tweet from the Golden Gate NPS stating their concerns that this year was the hottest year on record for the third year in a row, the tweet was taken down. Tweets about how less people showed up for the Trump inauguration than Obama’s 2009 inauguration with comparative pictures were also taken down. So many of these such rebellious posts on social media that the Interior Department could not find them all and tke them down before many of them gained a lot of popularity. A tweet by employees at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site in Buffalo states this: "Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where the people are free. TR, 5/7/1918” This is commenting on how the freedom of speech is very important to have individually and in the press, and how some of the things the Trump Administration have done or deleted have infringed on and have come close to violating that right. (Bravender 1)
A lot more accounts have been popping up as the others get taken down, multiple unofficial accounts of organizations such as NASA, the National Park service, the FDA, NIH, EPA, and many more. (Durden 1) Other people, like celebrities or actors are also posting in rebellion against Trump, saying things ranging from messages of hope that things will eventually go back to normal, to angry comments and well put together arguments about what Trump has done wrong. Even people like the previous vice president, Bernie Sanders has been vocal about his opinion of Trump. Also people like Stephen King, Caitlyn Jenner, and many other celebrities, actors, and just normal people have taken to social media to share their strong opinions. This is the technological age, social media platforms are where people go to voice their thoughts and opinions somewhere where they can feel heard, somewhere to share messages of hope and support, and a place to voice rebellion and defiance.