A Coalition of Scientists Keeps Watch on the U.S. Government's Climate Data
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 27/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20426
Via memos leaked to the press, rogue tweets, and unnamed agency sources, the public learned of growing pressure on federal employees to avoid sharing their scientific work. Meanwhile, small but significant changes to federal web pages hinted at the demise of former president Barack Obamas efforts to manage climate change.
A coalition of scientists, researchers, and technologists had been preparing for this scenario. At events held in Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles they had worked to pull as many climate and environmental datasets as possible off the federal web sites of departments including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Energy Department, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
As Obama's climate plans disappeared from the White House site, the work of one of the groups involved in preserving data, the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), shifted, too. While the group continues to help host events at which technologists copy data from the web, EDGI has begun monitoring 25,000 pages for erasures. And in week one, they witnessed Obamas climate legacy being scrubbed little by little from federal sites.