As per a recent report, those who work at the Department of Environmental Protection in Florida are forbidden to use terms like global warming or climate change.
After thorough investigations, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that ever since Rick Scott was elected as head of the department in 2011, more than 3,000 employees have been prohibited from using terms like climate change in any of the official reports, communications and emails.
Christopher Byrd, former attorney for the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee, made an official statement, saying that the him and his colleagues were not allowed to use terms like climate change, global warming or even sustainability.
Byrd reported to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting that all the workers for DEP received the message from their superiors who were in charge of the Office of General Counsel.
The controversial statements come at a time when Florida is facing serious environmental risks.
According to recent reports announced by Ben Strauss, a climate scientist, more than 2.4 million people are at risk because they live in the low-lying coastal regions of Florida, meaning that they are within less than four feet of a high tide line.
Another report released by Florida Atlantic University shows that even if the sea level rises approximately six inches in the next twenty years, South Florida would still be facing catastrophic consequences because its inability to handle any future storm surge.
According to what the scientists predict, many US coastal regions are threatened by massive four-feet storm surges by 2030 that will exceed the tide lines.
Also, the experts warn that by 2050 these storm surges will be higher than five feet, which will have a devastating impact on the coastal areas.
Dr. Strauss was involved in a separate study showing that approximately 5 million Americans are currently living less than 4 feet above a high tide line. Strauss’s study also reveals another frightening fact: more than 6 million people in the Unites States live less than 5 feet above a high tide line.
Mr. Byrd added that the political leadership of Florida is obviously not going to address these serious issues, and seem deny the fact that climate change can have a devastating outcome on millions of American people.
However, Rick Scott, the Governor of Florida denies that those working for the Department of Environmental Protection, of which Scott is in charge, were ever banned from using such terms as climate change or global warming from official mails or reports.
Scott and his department said that what has been implied is simply not true, and that there was never such policy imposed on any of their workers.
Although Scott maintained his position during a press conference on Monday, he did not wish to go into any specifics. He did talk about whether his department believes that the threats of global warming are real or not.
Scott did not wish to comment whether his department is preparing in any way to avoid this or whether it doesn’t consider it to be a matter of any importance.
However, the Florida Governor said that his administration is actually doing some work to help the environment, but he did not address which projects were needed in order to deal with the effects of climate change.
Scott enumerated some of the things his department has done for the environment, actions like investing in the renewing of the beaches and flood mitigation.
Also, the Republican governor talked about how his department was involved with the Everglades, saying that they managed to settle a lawsuit over it.
Although most scientists say that our planet is getting warmer and we are directly responsible of creating the climate change by burning more and more fossil fuels in order to have energy, Scott claims that he’s not sure whether climate change is a consequence of human activity.