Interior Department calls out scientists for describing “dramatically” shrinking glaciers

Ryan Zinke's U.S. Department of the Interior has been caught again scrubbing climate change information and appropriate language about its risks from its agenda. Newly released emails show top-level Interior officials last May criticized U.S. Geological Study scientists who had described Montana glaciers as “dramatically shrinking” due to global warming. Doug Domenech, assistant secretary for insular areas at the Interior, singled out the study’s language as an example of scientists “going beyond their wheelhouse.” Scott Cameron, then the principal deputy assistant secretary, responded by agreeing they needed to watch for “inflammatory” language in press releases—apparently referring to the single, appropriately used adverb dramatically. The U.S. Geological Study is the impartial scientific arm of the Interior Department, and the glaciers being described have, in fact, shrunk up to 85 percent. The emails offer another look inside the administration’s attempts to maintain its climate-denial agenda—a plan that becomes much harder in the face of, yes, dramatic science.

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