US govt bans official use of the phrase ‘climate change’

The legislation

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has directed its officials to avoid using the term “climate change” in their work, and refer to “weather extremes” instead.

According to the Guardian, a series of emails between officials of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, show the Trump administration had in February listed “climate change” in the “avoid” category. The term was replaced by “weather extremes”.

An official statement from Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of soil health, instructed employees to use “resilience to weather extremes”, instead of “climate change adaption”.

The term “sequester carbon” is also ruled out and replaced by “build soil organic matter”, the daily reported on Tuesday.

In an email to staff, Moebius-Clune said: “We won’t change the modelling, just how we talk about it — there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail [sic], climate mitigation is just one of them.”

In a separate email to senior employees, just days after Trump’s inauguration, Jimmy Bramblett, deputy chief for programmes at the NRCS, said: “It has become clear one of the previous administration’s priority 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.”

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