Officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been restricted from using the term “climate change” or “global warming” in official correspondence, according to a Sunday report from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
The investigative reporting outfit called it an “unwritten policy” that was “distributed verbally statewide” and has “affected” how one of the largest departments in the state, armed with a $1.4 billion budget and 3,200 employees, does business.
The report, published in the Miami Herald, was bolstered by the testimony of numerous former employees and e-mails from around the state. Kristina Trotta, who used to work in the department’s Miami office, said she was told during a 2014 meeting that she couldn’t employ terms such as “climate change” and “global warming.” “We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” she said. “… The regional administrator told us that we are the governor’s agency; this is the message from the governor’s office. And that is the message we will portray.”
Florida is the home of some powerful politicians who deny that climate change exists or is caused by man-made pollution. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said last year he doesn’t “believe human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate.” Jeb Bush, a former governor and Republican presidential contender, in 2009 called himself a global warming “skeptic.” Republican Gov. Rick Scott has punted on the issue. “Well, I’m not a scientist,” he said last year when asked if he was becoming less skeptical of man-made climate change.