The website for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recently wiped itself, almost entirely, of the phrase “climate change.” Now, if you search the site’s Global Environmental Health pages , you’ll instead find “climate” where “climate change” used to be. The editing was documented in a report from the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative earlier this August. EDGI has been tracking the NIH site since April 2017 for changes regarding climate change.
The site also deleted links to a document entitled “Climate Change and Human Health,” which lists all the environmental dangers — flood, drought, wildfire, air quality — and the ways in which they can negatively impact your body. Poor air quality can cause “acute and chronic cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses” and “premature death.” Flooding can result in “drowning, injuries, mental health consequences, gastrointestinal and other illness.” Not pleasant stuff. The document itself is still hosted on the NIH site, though given the recent swath of edits, it seems plausible an edited version will soon replace it. Plus, without direct links to bring readers to it, the document is basically useless.
The NIEHS site isn’t the first to delete references to climate change under the Trump administration. Earlier this year, the EPA’s website saw similar edits. References to climate change on Whitehouse.gov were removed essentially the moment Trump finished his oath of office in January. A point that someone running the official Twitter of the National Park Service decided to note, by retweeting somebody who had noticed the edits to the site. This — plus a tweet with a picture of the small crowds at the inauguration — prompted Trump to issue a gag order against the NPS. Which seems like a very proportional response to a Twitter account pointing out … the truth.