Interior Department canceled climate expert meeting with Zuckerberg: report

Interior Department canceled climate expert meeting with Zuckerberg: report
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The Interior Department canceled plans for a climate change expert from the United States Geological Survey to join Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens How social media fuels U.S. political polarization — what to do about it Democrats, unions pour cash into California recall fight MORE during his visit to Montana's Glacier National Park last weekend, according to a Mic report.

Daniel Fagre, a USGS specialist on the impact of climate change on mountain climates, was set to discuss the impact of climate change on the national park with Zuckerberg, Mic reported.

But the Interior Department pulled the plug on the meeting days before it was set to take place. According to Mic, suspicion has risen within the USGS that the meeting was canceled to avoid drawing attention to climate change.


Despite the cancellation, Zuckerberg wrote about the impact of climate change on Glacier National Park during his visit, warning that, within decades, there may not be any glaciers left in the park. 

“The impact of climate change is very clear at Glacier,” he wrote on Facebook. “In the last hundred years, the average global temperature has risen 1.5 degrees. But in the high elevations of Montana where Glacier is the temperature is warming at three times the global average — enough to melt glaciers.”

Interior Department press secretary Heather Swift did not directly address the decision to cancel Fagre's visit with Zuckerberg, saying that several park officials were made available for the Facebook CEO's tour. 

"He was given first-class treatment by the park rangers and had the opportunity to interact with a number of park officials and Gracie the ‘bark ranger’ during his visit, which came at the height of the busy season," she said. "Allocating government funds, personnel, and resources responsibly is the definition of good government and something we are dedicated to advancing at the department.”

A Facebook representative said that Zuckerberg's agenda was set up by the National Parks Service and had no knowledge of the decision to cancel Fagre's appearance, according to Mic.