PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Audit Reveals Federal Websites Still Promote Climate Alarmism Over Sound Science

Published December 20, 2018

The Heartland Institute today released an audit of federal government websites which reveals they are still pushing Obama-era climate-alarmist propaganda rather than presenting the public a sober look at current science. And nearly two years after President Trump took office, and 19 months after the United States withdrew from the Paris climate accord, several sites continue to implicitly or explicitly endorse that agreement.

Researchers at The Heartland Institute performed an audit of government websites over the fall and found outdated science and climate propaganda on the websites of NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

The Heartland Institute plans to conduct audits of additional federal websites and issue a second report in 2019.

Read the audit here.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with the authors – including from Heartland’s in-office TV studio – contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or call/text his cell at 312-731-9364.

The quotes below may be used for attribution.

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D., president and CEO of The Heartland Institute:

“Apparently, hundreds of career bureaucrats missed the final results of the 2016 election: Hillary Clinton was not elected President of the United States. Despite the clear direction from President Donald Trump, his appointees, legal and regulatory changes, and mounting scientific evidence, propaganda and climate alarmism proper to a Clinton administration are still being promulgated across dozens of taxpayer-funded web sites. This is a direct challenge to the proper authority invested in those elected by the American public and should be changed immediately.”

James Taylor, senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute. (Mr. Taylor coordinated the audit of these sites with Heartland’s researchers and wrote the report.)

“The Obama administration aggressively politicized, and encouraged career bureaucrats to aggressively politicize, what should be resources for objective scientific information. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for example, should be focused on space-related science issues, not producing children’s stories attacking coal power and presenting ridiculous historical revisionism designed to brainwash children into believing that the Industrial Revolution was bad for human health and welfare.

“Federal executive branch websites are littered with political propaganda instead of objective science. To the extent scientific issues are discussed, they are presented in a biased and agenda-driven manner. This is wholly unacceptable and an insult to the American people.

“Career bureaucrats who have been hired to work on climate change issues, or who receive lucrative federal grants to work on climate change issues, realize that the justification for their jobs and their paychecks will disappear if and when the American people realize people are not creating an imminent global warming crisis. This creates a dangerous situation encouraging unjustified alarmism that destroys affordable energy, kills American jobs, reduces American living standards, and ultimately costs American lives. We can only hope that President Trump will restore objectivity and balanced oversight to science discussions on federal executive branch websites.”

From the audit’s examination of the NASA climate website:

*Its climate portal pushes the thoroughly debunked claim that 97% of scientists agree that humans are causing catastrophic global warming and “favorably cites thoroughly debunked claims by radical global warming activists John Cook and Naomi Oreskes” and the leftist advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists.

*The most troubling propaganda appears on the Climate Kids sub-portal, which is clearly designed to brainwash children into believing in climate alarmism. It includes approximately a dozen interactive games promoting left-wing environmentalism and global warming alarmism. The sub-portal provides very little scientific information.

*The NASA website is also “teaching children radical left-wing political propaganda that the invention of the steam engine was a horrible development and the Industrial Revolution made people’s lives worse.”

From the audit’s examination of the NOAA climate website:

*The “Teaching Climate” sub-portal has an especially egregious section titled “Teaching Essential Principle Seven: Climate Change Will Have Consequences for the Earth System and Human Lives.” The webpage warns that without proper teaching and messaging, students and the public might “succumb to [climate change] denial.”

*The webpage then asserts numerous false warming scares, such as “dying forests” and “species extinction.” The entire “Teaching Climate” portal should be rewritten or taken down.

From the audit’s examination of the DOE website:

*The website promotes wind and solar and trashes coal, oil, and natural gas.

*On its “Fossil Fuels” page, DOE states at the outset, “Fossil energy sources, including oil, coal and natural gas, are non-renewable resources.” Defining fossil fuels first and foremost as “non-renewable” is pointless, misleading, and unjustifiably negative. America has sufficient oil, coal, and natural gas resources to power our economy for hundreds of years.

*An additional climate change suite in the DOE portal piles on with unsubstantiated climate alarmism to justify the portal’s cheerleading for renewable energy at the expense of fossil fuels.

*The alarmist climate propaganda and anti-fossil-fuel rhetoric throughout the DOE portal defies sound science and undermines the policy priorities and messaging of the Trump administration. The entire portal should be edited and rewritten.

From the audit’s examination of the Department of Agriculture website:

*A page in the USDA portal titled “Food Security” states, “Climate change is likely to diminish continued progress on global food security through production disruptions that lead to local availability limitations and price increases, interrupted transport conduits, and diminished food safety, among other causes. Climate change can affect food availability, access, utilization, and the stability of each of these over time.” These claims are false. U.S. and global crop production set new records nearly every year.

From the audit’s examination of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) website:

*USGCRP issued its most recent National Climate Assessment report in November 2017, nearly a full year into the Trump administration. Its authors make over-the-top global warming claims that contradict Trump’s views and sound science. The USGCRP’s “Resources for Educators” page is a particularly nefarious webpage that promotes alarmism to teachers and students.