The Huffington Post has obtained an internal memo from the EPA (under the leadership of Scott Pruitt) revealing what it thinks are the right “talking points” about climate change that can be “used across all Program and Regional Offices.”
The main point of these new “talking points” is to downplay global warming, chiefly by resorting to what I call the “know-nothing meme” — keep telling them we don’t really know anything. Yes something is happening, but we don’t really know anything about what the impact will be or what to do about it — if anything! Yes we’ve done extensive reserach, but we don’t really know anything because their are gaps in our understanding. We need to strive for a better understanding! Encourage more study and open debate, because we don’t really know anything.
What Scott Pruitt really doesn’t want his people to admit about global warming is that it’s real, it’s us, and it’s dangerous. Very dangerous. Of course there are gaps in our knowledge, plenty of them, but the fact that there’s a world of hurt headed our way and our actions will determine how bad it gets, isn’t one of them. If he admitted that, people might actually want to do something about it.
Here’s the text of the memo itself:
During the recent meeting of our Cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Adaptation, several individuals suggested it would be helpful to develop consistent messages about EPA’s climate adaptation efforts that could be used across all Program and Regional Offices. I’m pleased to report that the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) has developed a set of talking points about climate change that include several related to climate adaptation. These talking points were distributed today by Nancy Grantham (OPA) to the Communications Directors and the Regional Public Affairs Directors.
The following are the talking points distributed by OPA. I have highlighted those relating specifically to our adaptation work.
EPA recognizes the challenges that communities face in adapting to a changing climate. EPA works with state, local, and tribal governments to improve infrastructure to protect against the consequences of climate change and natural disasters. EPA also promotes science that helps inform states, municipalities, and tribes on how to plan for and respond to extreme events and environmental emergencies. Moving forward, EPA will continue to advance its climate adaptation efforts, and has reconvened the cross-EPA Adaptation Working Group in support of those efforts. Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. 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. 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. As a key regulatory voice, it is important for the Agency to strive for a better understanding of these gaps given their potential significant influence on our country’s domestic economic viability Administrator Pruitt encourages an open, transparent debate on climate science.
Joel D. Scheraga, Ph.D
Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation
Office of Policy
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