Freedom of Speech in the United States

Florida Bans Use of ‘Climate Change’ by State Agency: Report

Another article I chanced upon while trawling around some news sites. The source is Reuters, dated March 9, 2015. I’m pasting it here without comment:

Street scene in the Sunshine State

Street scene in the Sunshine State

Climate change activists blasted Florida Governor Rick Scott on Monday for leading an “Orwellian” campaign to ban employees of the state’s lead environmental agency from using such terms as “global warming” and “climate change.”

Despite coastal Florida’s vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection was directed in 2011 not to use the phrases in official communications, according to a report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

“This is embarrassing, but worse than that, it’s very worrying,” said David Hastings, a marine science professor from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, on Florida’s west coast.

“To have this authoritarian word control is very Orwellian, a page right out of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four,’” he said, referring to George Orwell’s dystopian novel about widespread government surveillance.

30 years on from 1984 . . .

30 years on from 1984 . . .

The governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Protection denied there was a policy banning the terms. “There is no policy and it simply is not true,” said Scott’s deputy communications director, John Tupps.

Former employees of the department detailed the unwritten policy in interviews with the non-profit news agency, which reported the ban on Sunday.

Employees were told not to use the phrases ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming,’ ‘sea level rise,’ or ‘sustainability,’ attorney Christopher Byrd, who worked with the department’s Office of General Counsel from 2008 to 2013, confirmed to Reuters.

“Nobody questioned it. There was just a lot of snickers and internal chuckling,” Byrd said.

The euphemism suggested to employees for “sea level rise” was “coastal resiliency,” he said.

The prohibition began after the election of Scott, who had disputed the human impact on climate change during his 2010 campaign, according to the report.


5 thoughts on “Freedom of Speech in the United States

  1. I am a Floridian, and that report is very misleading, because the governments’ “global warming” policies issue is congested with tax/municipal/compliance/revenue policy conflicts as to amazingly prompt the secession movement with vigor…
    Yes, you read me correctly. Some Florida communities are wanting to secede from the union over the political global warming onerous effects.

    I usually do not write about “specific” local politics (all politics are local, even geopolitics) however I included a local report back in November 2014 :

    My final word on “Global Warming Policy” is to watch your pockets and bank accounts!

      • I do not wish to end the discussion on a sour note, and neither do I wish leave you with an erroneous impression.
        Apparently you and I disagree (I read your 2 posts: Nepalese Don’t Understand Capitalism, and Freedom of Speech in Other Places…) about anthropogenic “global warming-aka-man made climate change”.
        My critical analysis of the “official” data and reports from the United Nations’ IPCC (and their paid consulting contractors) determines errors and unsupported conclusions. In brief, their Climate models fail and reports are false.

        FALSE consensus CLAIM: “97% scientists agree on global warming”…
        I promote sustainability, environmental health & safety, and want to clean up the pollutants & implement new engineering/industrial models to that objective.
        However, the hidden agenda and deceptive “global warming campaign” with permanent political revenue streams (taxation) and institutional control (authoritarian governance/fines/fees/policies) betrays the public trust under the guise of environmental concerns. I personally have experienced the loss of associates over this political issue as they refuse to critique, fact check and verify the IPCC conclusions & claims.
        The fact is: the science community do not agree…
        The factual evidence is abundant that no consensus exists and the science petition was one great effort demonstrating the non-IPCC UN paid contractors’ side of climate research.

        Please do not allow the global warming political campaign to drive a wedge.
        That is why I said:
        “My final word on “Global Warming Policy” is to watch your pockets and bank accounts!”

        No worries, be safe.

  2. Thanks, Ron. No offence taken. I’m not an anti-global warming activist. Any mention I make of the issue will probably be incidental to some topic I’m more interested in – in this case the apparent attempt to stifle debate by banning the use of certain words. Possibly I was misled by an inaccurate report. I appreciate your taking the time to read some of my earlier posts. It’s good to ‘meet’ someone I can agree with at least some of the time. Keep up the good work!

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