National Institutes of Health wipes references to climate ‘change’ from site

NIH website/Internet Archive

References to “climate change” have been wiped from parts of The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Environmental Health Science division website, according to a report by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. 

In one of the changes, for example, an article formerly titled “Climate Change and Human Health,” now reads, “Climate and Human Health.” Another drop-down menu now reads “Climate and Children’s Health,” instead of “Climate Change and Children’s Health.”

Not all uses of the term “climate change” have been removed from the website.

{mosads}David Doniger, the director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Washington Post that the changes amounted to “cleansing.”

However, the director of the Environmental Health Science division’s communications said the revisions were minor and that information on the site was not changed. 

“It’s a minor change to a title page,” Christine Flowers told the Post, adding “but the information we provide remains the same. In fact, it’s been expanded.”

The report comes as multiple government departments have replaced the phrase “climate change” with other terms since President Trump has taken office. 

The removals first began less than an hour after Trump was sworn into office in January when the White House’s webpage on climate change vanished from the executive branch’s main site. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed several pages related to climate change from its website in April as part of an effort to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”

Officials at an office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reportedly told staffers earlier this month to avoid the term in their communications and use language like “weather extremes” instead. 

Trump has referred to climate change as a Chinese hoax, while EPA head Scott Pruitt has questioned whether carbon dioxide emissions are a “primary contributor” to climate change.

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