An environmental group is asking Florida for an investigation into the state’s ban on using climate change and global warming terms in official meetings and documents.
Some former employees alleged that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration banned workers from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in their work. However, Scott has rejected those allegations.
Florida is considered by scientists to be the most at risk of damage due to sea rise and stronger storms in a warming climate, The Associated Press reports.
The environmental group, Forecast the Facts, filed a complaint with the Department of Environmental Protection’s inspector-general. They demanded an investigation to find the truth.
A report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting claimed that the Scott administration banned use of the “climate change” and “global warming” terms.
“Well, first off, that’s not true,” Scott told reporters in Tallahassee. “At our Department of Environmental Protection, there’s lots of conversation about this issue. From my standpoint, like every issue, my goal is: Instead of talking about it, let’s do something about it.”
“We were asked by superiors at a staff meeting not to use those terms,” Chris Byrd, a former Florida Department of Environmental Protection attorney, told The Associated Press. There was no written policy banning the terms, but Byrd says that they was asked by supervisors verbally.
According to Byrd, he went along with the request over fear of losing his job.
“We decided it was important for us to maintain jobs and continue projects and just keep our head down and stay out of the attention of the governor’s office,” Byrd said. “We didn’t want to do anything to create waves; we had a fear that our entire program would be shut down.”
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