« Reveal

Silencing Science

2019-01-05 | 🔗

President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has downplayed the science of climate change and sought to silence scientists working for the federal government.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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U S: government released a huge report document the impacts climate change is having on our country. Thirteen federal agencies and hundreds of scientists worked on this when asked about it. Present Trump attacked his prediction that climate change will be devastating to the: U S economy. I don't believe it now. I dont believe it. He doesn't believe a basic premise of the report that people causing climate change and can slow it down. Elizabeth children is reveal size of border enjoys me now so Elizabeth. Those comments from Trump make it sound. Like he's rejecting science, what's been the impact that attitude across his administration, while the White House did not interfere with the national climate assessment, but there are lots of other things. Apples where they did, they ve been downplaying de funding and misusing climate change. Science even censoring it build something
worried about when he was elected, so what evidence of actual censorship have you found? Yes, I want to tell you about this one particular scientist, Maria Caffre Maria. Needs me because so many things about her are unexpected. She's got this career dedicated to: U S national parks, but She grew up in a greedy neighborhood in London. She raised cars for fun, I grow up, I buy Heathrow Airport, so it was airplanes and road congestion and stuff like that. Say what he must. Why go into environmental science? It was just so foreign to me. I was like why I'd love to have a job or actually get to go out and be in nature. That's a little different she's, an idealist. She picked climate change because she hoped her science would have a positive impact on the world under President Obama addressing climate change, was
top priority. So being a climate scientists was kind of like being an astronaut in the nineteen sixties. That's when President Kennedy challenged Americans to beat Soviet Union to the moon. In twenty two, of Maria launched her big mission to come up with estimates of how much flooding could be expected in national parks because of climate change. It was heavy stuff. She was a university of Colorado scientist contracted by the National Park service. She started on this work when New York got hammered by Hurricane Sandy said it killed more than ninety people in ten states, even the door liberty. Island has been washed away. The statue of liberty is off limits because the island on which it stands wasn't damaged by rising floodwaters, lady Liberty, her not even party rangers, could get there. Maria was still in her pj's when or phone rang at home early that morning, park rangers urgently needed her estimate of how high floodwaters had gotten at the statue of liberty.
She crunch the numbers in about an hour and got her estimate to park managers, but she felt park should have had that kind of information long before storms head. It's really important to have that information way in advance before that storm ever happens when a storms coming in park, staff are scrambling to get ready for the storm right, so they can't sit on a phone call reassigned it took a long time for years for Maria to calculate the risks for a hundred and eighteen national parks that are exposed to rising sees finally
in the autumn of twenty. Sixteen she was getting ready to publish. She gave park managers a preview in a webinar. It such a pleasure to be here today speaking toward the end up project, but I've been working on for a long time. So it's great to be able to Maria told National Park staff. She had projections of how much water levels will rise at each park by twenty thirty, twenty fifty and twenty one hundred. If people reduce greenhouse gas emissions and if they don't, If a major storm hit? What would happen if we up the ante a little bit, she showed the park staffers a Math Washington DC, getting slang. By a category two hurricane in twenty one hundred the entire National mall is shaded blue. It's all underwater the natural history museum. The White House visitors Centre even the Environmental Protection Agency, a lotta flooding taking place here, ranging outdoor around fifteen feet of flooding in some local
Our manager seemed eager for this information. Maria told them how research would be published soon in twenty seventeen, but before that could happen, Donald Trump was elected. He announced the. U S exit the Paris Climate Change Treaty. He started rolling back policies, the clean power plan. Otto emission standards lots people are worried about the fate of science under tromp. Enormous crowds marched across the country in defence of science, what about Maria, was she worried about her research? A at her super? eyes ears, reassured her that her science was safe. I had heard that we should not let politics interfere with our work, which is the way voice conducted mice
the park service had already edited her report and sent it out for peer review, and I was told it was locked from editing judgment. It was going to be released, any day now, Z eminent press releases were drafted to send to the media. This is me twenty seventeen. They were about to publish and then something came up and they chose to delay it the delay seem temporary and then I was notified again in September that they wanted to release it. But then Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, followed by Irma and Maria pummeling. The Caribbean in Florida They didn't release it after all, Maria was left guessing why the repeated delays were frustrating for her, but she was drafted by another big project. She gave birth to her first child the end of December twenty seventeen and went on turning leave because all work to twenty trust impressive.
More than a year, and this report still hasn't been released. Yeah, that's all long delay. I got curious if her research getting ensnared by the Trumpet administration. I emailed a park service spokesman who said the report was still an internal review, so I filed public records requests with the park service and the Euro, firstly, of Colorado, Maria's home base, the park service stalled, but university, responded pretty quickly and gave me eighteen different drafts of the report dating from August two thousand and sixteen to march two thousand and eighteen eighteen different drafts. What did you find there lots of changes. The early drafts had many references to humans, causing climate change and flooding the national parks, then about a year after Trump became president after the report had been considered final four months. The changes started showing up
Park. Officials commented that this was really unusual. For instance, the first sentence of the executive summary red anthropogenic climate change, presents challenges to national park managers, every progenitor, meaning humans right. It's the science the term for people causing something aversion from January. Twenty eighteen dropped the word anthropogenic and other references to people causing climate change. I could see that those changes were made by a park service, spokesman and the head of the park services. Climate change response programme. That's the part of the park service, that's supposed to help parks, get ready for climate change, they'd scrubbed report of all mentions of humans, causing climate change, an email exchange showed their boss had just communicated his quote anthropogenic concerns. I called Maria and told her about the drafts. I'd seen what why can't area your report came out as I sighed added it without.
Any reference to the human causes of climate change. I'd be very disappointed if there were words that were being attributed to me that I didn't write. So have you been under any pressure from colleagues to delete words from your report that you think are important to have in your report. I really want to get into that today Maria sounds very nervous there. Do you know why Tita, great. Maybe this research that's consumed five years of her life might never see the light of day. After this you will restore for review. About how Maria's report was altered, and I got a lot of attention so today Private investigative journalism organization reveal came out with a stunning report that a this is MSNBC does,
of news organisations picked up the story. Members of Congress called. The interior departments, inspector general to investigate human, the park services, part of interior Interior Department, told reveal that no one was available to comment but sectors Binkie must be shocked to learn this, because those added for made just now a month before he was Capitol Hill testify under oath. I don't know of any document we ve chain and I challenge you any member to find a document that we ve actually change on a report. Brains Inky was defensive and declared department would never alter science zinc. He was forced to rest I'm in December under accusations that he used his office for personal financial gain, but seven
monitoring are just after my story came out. He was on Capital Hill, answering questions about it. Nobody, no political, has ever seen a document, and I haven't seen the dock in so I wanna desiccation how the document got around the press before even we had achieved, to look at it. I think that's fair zinc, focused on the leaks to the media, not his departments, violation of a basic principle of civil society, scientific integrity, democratic hunger. Woman, Shelly Pingaree from main, was seated across from him. She wasn't convinced you assure me that you are not going to deny any references to climate age, and that you will allow for the inclusion in documents from the Department of Material that have human impact on climate change. If it's a scientific report, I'm not gonna change a comma last may I to Denver to visit Maria. I wanted.
They tell me her version of the story and compare it to what zinc he had sat on Capital Hill We sat and our small backyard in the warm afternoon sun. So how long have you lived here? We just kind of moved in, I was pregnant and it was like we need to find a proper house for a baby, so you ve been through a lot in the last few months, childbirth and then. Firstly, that thought was all right about bright bat, but her life is still topsy turvy because of her troubles with the park service. I was so proud of my work with the national parks and helping to be part of America's legacy, and now it's kind of like Well, what's the point she grimaces? It's been a turbulent few months, no spin sleepless nights because of a baby and then has been sleepless nights because of some of the West Times of my career,
We have rejected the added to her report several times, but then she was called to park service offices in Fort Collins, Colorado for a meeting with a big boss from Washington, various lawyer told her not to tell me any names but emails. I got from the park service. Show she's talking about re Savage, show he's head of natural resources and science for the parks. Seven hundred scientists and other staff are under him he wouldn't do an interview with me, but here he is giving a bigs each at you see I lay in twenty seventeen. It is my responsibility to the american public to make sure
we and they have the best information to make the most effective decisions about how we understand and protect our resources, this greater public good. It is our responsibility to do good science and to support scientists. Savagery said, but Maria felt at TAT. Not supported during her meeting this spring with Savage YO. First, she started telling him about her report and that's when he interrupted and said I have some reports Maria says savagery held a stack of papers and told her. They were recent reports by another government agency. They concern climate change, but there is no reference to the human causes of climate change. He wanted to know why Maria had to mention humans? If governments scientists
who wrote the other reports didn't and that's why I started smacking the table with the papers and sank, but these reports don't have these terms in it a kind of escalated from there. He raised his voice, Alot Maria says he suggested he might lose his job. If she didn't agree to the audits and who do you think that gonna replace me with? Do you think they're gonna is. Nice, you as I am and then suggesting that the climate change response Programme in general could disappear. If I just keep these words in the room, savage. Wasn't the only one pressuring Maria another park service official told her in a telephone call that anthropogenic and human activities were banned words at the Interior Department under President tromp that official,
warned Maria. The report might never be released unless she agreed to the audits Maria says. A third official took her on a walk to try to persuade her it's different kinds of bullying and pressure. Different people. Even people Maria, had worked with four years. People saying that they could lose their jobs, then, please think But I've got children Marie. I got children, the implying I should be thinking of their kids. It was a lot of pressure to make changes if one person says thing and then another peasants as another thing. After a while, it really starts to build up and it becomes an absolute mountain that look. I see on your face, I own, I I just disappointment. These people I held in very high esteem people who have really respected to catch them in some instances,
is telling Miss troops or misleading statements, and sometimes, frankly, just flat out lying it's wrong as this very disappointing, since not pops up is the Eiffel I worked for scares me, I'm gonna get it. It's, not just Maria being emotional. Will the map the edits, though I was being asked to make violated the scientific integrity policy? In my opinion, The park services, scientific integrity policy forbids decision makers altering scientific work through quote coercive manipulation, censorship or other misconduct. Maria kept rejecting the added for supervisors wanted her to make the park service didn't published without her. Ok,
maybe because the University of Colorado stepped in to assert her intellectual property rights under her contract or maybe because they knew reveal was watching, and so were the senators and representatives who demanded investigation. The park service, appointed the mediator the guy said to me. If we couldn't agree, then the report would be released in a format that he would not tell me and without my name on it, it was sent Lee a technique to encourage me to make edits. I was not comfortable with. I felt very precious and intimidated that's baby, Catherine, her dad just brought her home Maria's ok shifts she's, working under a new contract with the park service until February, but not on climb
change and she's earning a lot less money? What I'm making right now doesn't even pay my day care, but my baby. So this certainly a lot of. Why am I doing this? I'm hoping a long time. A little work out at least wanted to see an example of someone fighting back cuz. It's some point he's going to get bullied or she's going to get pressure put on her, and so I wanted to see someone standing up to bullies right, yeah A park service spokesmen to explain away the audits and the harassment as a normal dispute. Among Co. Authors to park service officials are named as co authors on the report, but we see the park, Sir,
under the Freedom of Information ACT? They finally gave thousands of pages of documents they back up Maria story. They show her rejecting at its repeatedly over months and fighting for her science is clear from the documents that re savagery from the park service into feared, but there were lots of lines in paragraphs four adapted whole pages blacked out, so it's not clear how far up the department of interiors chain of command the censorship went. Essentially, I feel I've been shut out from my project. It certainly feels like this could be some retribution playing a role in this when real change jobs she was told to stop working on a website she designed for the park service. Let you see how much flooding would come from sea level rise. A particular parks because of climate change,
I have more what happened to that project after our break from the centre for investigating reporting in p r ex? This is reveal analogy. We just heard about National Park service officials trying to sense of climate change. Besides the pressure to researchers to get hurt, ok changes to report, but she refused Elizabeth Chauvelin is our science reporter who broke the story about what was happening to a scientist, nay Maria Caffre Elizabeth. What happened Well, after all the attention, the censorship got. The park service published Murray S report almost
exactly the way she wrote it. I'm stubborn and I felt very strongly that these words had to remain, and so I think, by staying Pham on that, then they decided that they were sick of fighting the park service posted the report without any fanfare, but it didn't post the data that went with it or an idea. Maria came up with two how parks and ordinary people visualize the threat is an interactive website. I report doesn't: do it justice right, hey, you can use words to describe it, but a pitcher, pegs house muds The website with at park service employees or anyone really see with Our own eyes, which shorelines marinas monuments are archaeological digs. Could under water and twenty fifty or twenty one hundred. It will be
A powerful tool for helping people see how dangerous climate change really is to Places Americans love their national parks, Maria built it with park service, computer experts. They worked on it for years and did you see the website when you went to call rattled to talk to Marie? Well, that was a plan has not exactly what happened here is how it went Maria takes me to the University of Colorado, bolder. We walk into the swamp he building and stop at a map to find the conference room where we're supposed to meet her colleagues, I have three degrees and geography, and I found the bat. Maria call someone who gives their step by step instructions to the rear, ok, well I'll, be there in a minute she entered this is me to her colleagues and starts the meeting with a surprise announcement. Well say today, what we're gonna do
by the sea level rise. We were so. I saw commission from the National Park service to have someone come here and demo. It and I was refused murray- is clearly irked, but then all of a sudden, her face lights up. She turns to our colleague Leon, less tack lands, the one who actually crunch the sea level rise data. Do you have the maximum you're upset the data. Are you using the data? Oh yeah yeah, that's allow. We could pull it off here. We go upstairs to lands cubicle and cluster around her computer. This takes a little while to refresh it's hard to navigate. Finally, a map appears on your screen, its national parkland at North Carolina outer banks. So this is Kitty HAWK on the east coast. That's human right to the Tipp of Cape Hatteras, section of the park. This is kind of what the swiped or how the swiped who works in the viewer as land moves the cursor
dry land becomes flooded, see the imagery without delay and then see him with the layer. The image shifts between two possible futures on Hatteras the year twenty one hundred in the first future, greenhouse gas pollution has kept growing and large areas of Hatteras Island are permanently underwater, its compelling, isn't it yeah the big change yet and that's not even the storm such now get the right storm, time I mean we're talking about twenty one hundred in those images, but really forget the right storm at the right time. That section could be gone, land swipes back. Could you go back to them and shows us the second future what the island would look like if we ve curtailed our use of coal oil other fossil fuels. The areas are dry with this p.
Again into the future, a national part could make better informed decisions about how whether to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to move a lighthouse construct. A sea wall protect a monument rebuild after a storm or let it go, and so when a right washes out typically that road is replace, but if you have something like this way, you can see that you're moving towards a future where that areas can be permanent, be flooded anyway. Maybe you won't pay to rebuild that road fifty times over, maybe you just choose to let it go and save the money, and what's the big message that you take away from seeing this, I think the big message, the wider message is that
where's american public have some choicest make us too, which future we want to aim for hair. Do we want to carry on as we are doing right now and deal with those damages, or is it better to curtail what we're doing and reduce the extent of damage to lose with? Will the public ever get to see Maria's webs? because from what you're saying it sounds like if we keep going the way we are working to lose big chunks of our national parks because, although be underwater Maria was taken off the pelagic several months ago, but the park service wouldn't tell me when the website would be released, but Maria research point in me to national parks, where evidence of climate change is pretty obvious. I'm based in Washington DC and I went
down to the National Mall, it's one of the most popular national parks. It was September, justice, Hurricane Florence was approved, We're on the steps of the Jeffson memorial. Looking across the title basin towards the Washington Monument and the White House, taxi spokesmen might literacy is showing me around there's a lot here. That's all Eddie Underwater the trail on the way citing the monument is flooded several feet deep ducks and great white eager at source, Meanwhile tourist normally would be walking a bike. Rack is half submerged and the cherry trees, whose pretty pink blossoms draw more than a million people each spring. I see water up. The trunks of lots of cherry trees correct. The trees are under water. At this point, that exposes things like route wrought. Long term makes us that either unusually high today, but even under normal conditions, the mall is constantly content
ending with high water from the Potomac River. It striking what we're every day normally fear you're here at high tide area, close. So the title basin we underwater it's become such a recurring problem that several years ago. We actually had to rewrite the trail. Unfortunate can't even see that today, because the water so high, the trail he's talking that is between the Jefferson Memorial in the title basin, but we can't see it. There are miles of stone and concrete embankments or sea was to keep the water out of the national law. But many are crumbling. The park service estimates it will cost a lot of money to build them up, we ve done Three hundred and thirty eight million dollars worth of sea while reconstruction and needs to be done. We walk to some nearby park buildings that swimming over your parking lot right now there are and your building,
looks like it's in water. It is, and you can see, the access doors have been sandbagged. Keep the water out. That's historic structure does not keep it dry does, for the most part, Take you to areas where sidewalks and buckled you can literally, but through the sidewalk down in the Potomac River I'm remembering Maria's map of what the mall would look like in twenty one hundred. If greenhouse gas pollution keeps growing and a hurricane heads selecting pool the Smithsonian museums, the monuments are underwater, which doesn't seem that hard to believe on a day like today, but MIKE says the park service. Isn't using Maria's data to plan for ways to protect them all. Each time I mention climate change MIKE seems to dodge the subject. What will happen to this part when
Has the park service studied what would happen to them all if a big hurricane sent a storm surged up the Potomac? Bringing a storm surged up the Potomac, I don't know about the signs of the things I can refer to folks, the good the good answer, those questions for one of the things that I try again and ask if the park service has changed. What rangers can say about climate change will again I am not familiar with the causes. As I said, if you want to talk about, the science and research are referring to, the people can talk about them. It starts to sound like a core I can show you where its flooding. I can't tell you what I think we ve got everything at this point, a preacher of us after I leave my walk past some territories and around the Jefferson Memorial with its stately marble columns and meat young boy with his family telling you nine Nicholas,
anything about climate change. I know it was greenhouse gases. What about greenhouse gas made from carbon dioxide, and where did they come from that's pipes and motorcycle. Anything then was feel pretty much. Do you know about the oceans, getting higher the seas getting rising up because of climate change? Did you hear about that? Well, I guess. Now this impressive boy is this from Florida, his father Eduardo LEO, is a computer software? Entrepreneur is mother and ask us to Moscow a farmer ballerina. I tell them about Maria Caffre Report and the government's interference. They say it. I knew them of the authoritarian regimes of their childhood. For Poland.
People and Cuban. So we come from to communist country, and I know from my parents, how information was distorted and and people just what was fed to them, not not that truth, they say. Maria story sounds like that shows a resemblance to what I think is sitting in Russia now and in other parts of the world by tricky information by denying Information were concerned, children need to you grow up in a country that becomes better no worse than I tell them. I'm planning to go. Florida the next day, because Maria's research is also bad news for the animals. The national parks are required by law to protect in this case, sea turtles. They tell me their home in very beach backs up to a stretch of shore line where sea turtles nest and there's a matter of fact, last year, when the hurricane Irma,
It came in our area, it washed away a lot of the sand and the lot of the nests were destroyed. We walked the beach after urgent We see many many many eggshells throughout the beach devastating, very sad, very sad It was the wrong, and so did. I. I decided come here to Canaveral National Seashore, because I wanted to see for myself how sea turtles are fair. Can, after all, is a very special place. Twenty four miles, undeveloped coast. Most of the land belongs to NASA
space agency hadn't preserved it. This whole area probably would be covered with high rise condos like the rest of the coast. Hurricane Florence is one day from landfall stirring up ocean, the tides are higher than normal. So the beaches narrow in some places waves laugh at the dunes figure. There be lots of. Where's out today. The park services Kristen can Iphone is responsible for looking after sea turtles here, on the cheap of resource management? Can our national seashore Kristen Niels next to a lump in the sand? I'm gonna dig into it right now. It's a turtle nest. Just hatched will show you, so the eggs will probably be about a foot and a half or so down before we get to the first one. Adult turtles are huge weighing a few hundred pounds each with big flippers and shells three to four feet across the park has special tours to watch them nest and they feel
immediately in order the female turtle comes up at night. She finds that location that show to find the layer, eggs she uses are back slippers to dig out a chamber and then EL deposit about a hundred eggs or so where's that really well and then goes back to the waters. Kristen looks like it. Tunneling into the sand, show. After digging, deep. As our army girl. She starts bringing up one sandy eggshell after another. This is an egg, and I could see that it's nice and white, she seventy one cracked shells, seventy one baby turtles hatched from this one nest and scampered across the narrow beach toward the ocean up and down the beach as far I can see every ten feet or so there's a yellow state.
Those are all sea turtle, best, there's a lot of them right now. I've got about forty five hundred. How important is this stretch of beach, too? protecting these endangered animal etc? Very important aim: we between the National Wildlife refuge to the south and ask me on that account for almost forty percent of the nesting. Important logger Heading green sea turtles nest in this park there, both on the endangered species list. But last year nearly fourteen thousand bury their eggs. Here, scientists we're through by the large number and then crestfallen when Irma. Washed, so many of them away. So there were still about sixty almost forty percent of the nasty logger heading Green Sea turtles nest in this park there, both on the endangered species list, but last year nearly fourteen thousand buried their eggs. Here scientists were thrilled by
Ashley intense hurricane scientists say storm searches and flooding we'll get even worse. With climate change increasing the likelihood. Her wiping out nests. I ask if the park services concerned about climate change and its impact on turtles, Laura heading the park spokeswoman has come along with us. She takes this one I know, as far as the National Park Service were concerned, about everything that impacts endangered species, so that's part of our job, but what about climate change, in particular I'm in a big concerned about it I mean we do. We can Kristen the scientists to study how climate change is hurting the turtles, but she gets squirrels I don't know, as far as the National Park Service were concerned, about everything that impacts endangered species, so that's part of our job, but what about climate change in particular- and I beg were concerned about it- I mean we do what we can Kristen hired a scientist to study how climate change is hurting the turtles.
So I ask her: what's the message from Washington about what story you can tell about climate change and how is that different from what it was before, gotten any different direction. The port services still kind M stay. The course inspires. What science is telling us later when I'm with Kristen in her office. I press her again before, and we were talking on the phone. You had said that there was a new direction on how to explain climate change, and your colleagues said there wasn't any new direction and I'm just trying to understand is there new direction, not really a new direction. Each administration is difference, others different focuses indifferent, pushes our big focus.
Now is on providing more opportunity for people to enjoy the park and what was the focus in the last administration, it was focused on climate change research, so I wanted to show you these labs. I opened my laptop reveal used public records laws to get Maria's calculations of future flooding from. Level rise in storm surge and with the help of reveals data team, we made our own maps the whole parking I asked arm surgeon quite busy with the with the heart. The map shows what it would be like in twenty. Fifty if people keep using oil and coal the way we do now and then a hurricane hits, the entire map is shaded, bluish green, the beach where the sea turtles hatch
lagoon, where they go to swam, it's all under water, does looking at those maps make you think about what is at stake here. Oh yeah definite makes us think about. What's at stake, I mean: were we deftly no more vulnerable here? I ask what park managers can do their law that we NATO always sort of? Do it it's going to do, and it has a way of fixing itself sometimes, but this is a man made situation with greenhouse gas emissions, increasing sea level rise and storm surge in I don't know, I mean there's debate on whether its man made or not man made or whatever, but you know as we get more frequent storms and things like that, I mean that is gonna continue to affect our park. What do you mean? There's debate on whether Its man made climate change, I'm in love with him in his natural to me. We ve spent storm events here at the park long before we were here so yeah
It seems to me that Christian was downplaying the potential damage to turtles from climate change and people's rights. In creating it. I was counting on one more energy for the story. A few years ago, the park service had hired scientists to study the effects of sea level rise on turtles. Her name is Betsy VON Holly, and when we spoke of a phone she told me, Maria Kaffirs Data has been crucial to her. Research We scheduled an interview, but the day before we were going to meet she abruptly cancelled, I tried to figure out what happened. I made a public records request for emails between her and the parks. Let us remember MIKE Literature, the park service spokesman, who showed me the flooding national mall. Do you know about the site
the things, I can refer you to the folks, the good they could answer. Those questions were one of the emails I got shows literacy and another park service official, pressuring the scientist they tell her. It would not be prudent to do an interview. No one from the park service would give me a straight answer. It started to seem like a deliberate strategy. Certainly it's in line with president trumps intention to downplay the science of climate change. In fact, Maria Caffre told me she was instructed at the park, service works for Trump and not the american people. When we come back, we talk to someone who did work for trunk in the White House. He sees this as if we acknowledge its approach a bomb, then we're going to have to deal with it. What we have to deal with it, there's an incredible economic costs to it. This next up
reveal from the centre for investigated, reporting and p r. from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal a malaise in the vast majority of climate change, sides Ninety seven percent agree. Humans are causing climate change. Donald Trump, on the other hand, says he doesn't see it and we ve known there have been cases where the very mention of human cause, climate change has been taken out of government reports. Elizabeth Chauvelin is reveal size report she's been tracking. These instances Hale is with how so you ve told us about this. One science Maria Caffre, who was working a contract for the national park servers and ours. Supervisor tried to pressure her into remove all mention of human beings causing climate change from report. She wrote she resist that pressure
was taken off project, but what's happening now to all the work she did Marie S reply was released to the public uncensored and just before the deadline, for this story. The park service finally released her website, but I found out about it. I'm a source? There was no news release and one. I googled it, I couldn't find it, but the Good NEWS, a guess, is that marine science finally was published, I gotta wonder if it would have ever come out, though, if you hadn't reported the part service was trying to sensory. I wonder to I knew about the research Maria Caffre was doing so, when it didn't come out, I knew something was up, but I keep thinking there must be other research being censored that we just don't know about. We, Do you know about some other examples, though? A national park in message is, was told to delete every mention of climate change in its planning document. Sixty indifferent mentions they were told. It was just two sensitive and it's happening across the federal government,
Columbia University has been compiling a list. They have. This website called the. Balancing science tracker so are there at least two hundred and sixty nine examples of censorship or interference. Quite a few have to do with jobs, during the human rolling climate change that reveal size reporter Elizabeth Chauvelin, faceless with thanks out it's not just government agency, downplaying the role of humans in climate change. Trump has been pretty vocal on this topic himself. Recently He said this on sixty minutes. I don't think it's a hoax. I think there's probably a difference, but I dont know it is man made. I will say this: I don't want to do. Trains and trillions of dollars. I don't want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage, Burma
it sounds like money is a big concern. So what does that mean for people working on climate change for this administration? George David banks served as a special assistant president tromp on energy and environment. Thanks for joy, me it's a pleasure. So in Elizabeth reporting not just trumpets questioning humans role in climate change. The human causes been edited out of government reports, potentially damaging our national parks are environmental health, and I can't speak for my colleagues avenue agencies, but is quite possible that they may have thought that was the you know that was the policy when it wasn't. If you're saying that, like people are editing, things based their own beliefs. That means that the Trump Administration somebody in a role to make the scientific questions who are basically acting as political agents. So that's one and then too, if that's not The case then you're saying that these people were scared, that they were going to hear it if they allow the support to go out.
Which you know overall in administration, can set a tone that lets people below them. Understand like we're not really interested. Looking into this, I don't come to us with it. You know I can This for for certain that, at least from a White House perspective You know we were very clear. My colleagues and I were very clear that there would be no sort of editing of science, and I and I think you saw that the national climate assessment there was absent. No attempt whatsoever to added that document. So the national climate assessment is the federal report that comes out every four years, Trump attack the conclusions of the last one released at the end of November, but he didn't try to have their report. Altered in anyway- and that was a White House decision, so I thought important, a sort of note that so what is trumps view on climate change, so Please think that he's moderated his position. Ok, because it wasn't that
long ago when he was calling it a hoax. The president looks at climate. Policy through the lens of what kind of impact is. Gonna have on U S manufacturing on competitiveness. So the idea, I guess, is it and please correct me if I'm wrong, the idea is that he looks that the right now, instead of looking at the long term, pitcher, because, if he's just worried what it's gonna look like for employment stats. What is gonna look like about regulation like that's the right now, the future, those airports. The United States will be underwater. They could be severe drought, all sorts of things I'm not going disagree with you on the only impacts of climate change, particularly as they retain too in certain parts of the country the U S South EAST right, but I will say that the present does look at things through the long term plans as well as their justice, is a different set of issues. He looks it. He looks at night power and the economy through that lends. If there's I can't water throughout the world
we now have more wars and more conflict. So if you don't look at climate change in reference to marry, power than your kind of economists, half the pitcher well the guy I mean I agree that, certainly over the long term, climate impacts going to have a major I saw a national security issues, whether their heard the United States her or elsewhere right, but I do think when it comes to what's tangible and what people can look measure right now, it's far easier to see what the end acts, are on: U S, power if we lose our manufacturing base It is to try to determine what the long term climate impacts with sea level rise, etc. Do you believe that climate change is man made? While I accept the sign? I mean look, there's a consensus that human contribute significantly to climate change and for me, as a policy person rifle
Elsie person, you know opposition. Is you defer to the science? You referred to the experts on water, going on and then you are you. Look at the evidence in the new try to figure out what the best policy is to address. Whatever problem has been identified. Let me ask you, commissioner: are you a scientist? No, I'm economists, and lawyer. I think, might be question here. The lit that all of this kind of goes back to is why discharge It's the human rolling climate change is not just here it's a number of Republicans. Who will argue that if we acknowledge it's a problem, then we're going to have to deal with it right and by an, but unfortunately When I think about what we have to do to deal with, it is incredible. Economic costs to it would have Trump is wrong. What, if Humans do have a role in climate change and we are passing up the last opportunity to save our planet from this very day.
Whose fate I would say that if we don't figure out a you know, a smart way, a real effect away too, to drive global emissions reductions, we're gonna get a bad scenario. Do you have kids yeah? I have kids too, and I just keep thinking that, like we keep arguing over these points and nothing changes and ultimately the world the my children will inherit the world that your children will inherit, we'll be worse off because of our inability to do anything right now You know that if you were to ask the President, what are you going? Tell your grandchildren, you know if you're wrong about climate, I mean how? you going to explain to them in our to justify what you did if he ends up. The Paris agreement, for example, hurrying justify that. I think the point that says look you know I was found, I'm making sure
for the United States was Opposition to meet the chow It represented by China that shit, I clearly has GEO political ambitions so therefore, as the president, think about the more immediate threat to the United States and that's what our focus on George David. Thanks is a former White House climate change adviser thanks you're talking to us thanks out any time now, with more democratic Congress. President trumps approach to climate change, science could come under scrutiny, but Maria Caffre, the climate
scientists who was silenced is still worried for the planned climate changes happening so rapidly. U turn have eight years you can't waded out until it becomes more politically favourable for you to do your work, even personally, very, is worried. Her current contract with the National Park Service expires next month. It appears that I could be punished for this going forward for a long time. Maria is just one scientists she told reveal to hold your story, will inspire others stand up to I leave producer for this week show was Amy Waters. Deb George was our editor. Thanks to Molly call for help With this we show and thanks for help from the dating partition
Michael Corrie, and then will our products Managers and achieve a meaning are sound. Team is a dynamic. Do o J Breezy, Mr Jim Breaks and Fernando my man YO a boot up their help this week from Joe Applauding Caitlin bans are seen you supervising editors. Talk you telling me this r c yours, Christus, often Burke, executive producers, Kevin solving a theme is by Colorado, lightning support for a view. Provided by the Raven David Lovin Foundation, the Johnny and can T Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan Lovin Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation the hiding Simons Foundation and the ethics and excellence and journalism foundation reveal is a corporate of the centre for investigative reporting and p r x, amount lesson and remember: there is always to the store. I.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-20.