Florida has been under fire recently over allegations that Gov. Rick Scott led the charge in 2011 to remove the words “global warming,” and “climate change” from entering public or official forum. Meaning, employees of the state government were required to avoid using those words, or potentially face punishment for using those very words. Interestingly, this is something that has garnered a lot of attention, given the polarizing nature of the issue.
Largely political, there is a significant divide between liberals and conservatives on where climate change ranks with regards to the issues that are facing American’s today. However, reports surfaced today that it isn’t just Florida that is passing legislation or creating rules for employees that prevent the real conversation to be had regarding climate change or global warming.
In fact, it was discovered that mostly Republicans in states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania that have taken a hard stance on words like “climate change,” or “global warming,” if it doesn’t fit with the political message that the party or state is trying to sell to their people. This though isn’t something that’s new when it comes to politics in the United States. However, in other states like Tennessee and Louisiana, both have come under fire for also allowing teachers in a classroom setting to teach alternative theories on why global warming might be happening.
This is intriguing because it creates an atmosphere where something that has a large number of scientists in agreement, is being not only challenged by political motivations – but also by creating alternative ways to talk about the subject. However, even more intriguing on the matter of climate change, specifically in the state of Florida – who would be significantly impacted by climate change – is the story of a scientist who was reportedly told to remove the words “climate change” from a study that was done on climate change.
One thing for sure is that the policy, even if unwritten like the original report suggests – is something that has nothing but negative side-effects. While it might have seemed like a good idea to begin with for those who don’t want global warming to be a part of the political conversation – preventing individuals who are employed by a state entity from using a couple of keywords in a debate that really does have a place in our political system, as well as the scientific space – is a boundless move that really doesn’t have any merit.