Interior Dept. censors climate change from news release on coastal flooding

The Department of the Interior deleted a line explaining how climate change drives sea level rise from the news release accompanying a new study on coastal flooding.

Last week, six scientists published a journal article, “Doubling of coastal flooding frequency within decades due to sea-level rise,” which explains that coastal flooding will be much worse than previously expected, explicitly citing the role of “climate change.”

Since three of the scientists were from the Interior Department’s U.S. Geological Survey, the USGS sent out a press release. Typically, these releases rely heavily on the original study and its abstract.

Instead, according to three of the study’s co-authors, the following line was censored from the release: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.” The significance of the line is underscored by the fact it is the very first line of the study’s abstract. The decision to change the news release came from officials at the Interior Department itself.

As a result of this deletion, the news release never explains what is causing the sea level rise. The USGS’s lead press officer, Anne Wade, told the Post, the excised line “didn’t add anything to the overall findings.”

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