EPA Talking Points Misrepresent Climate Science

Date: March 28th, 2018

Agency: EPA, Federal

Explanation: Bias and Misrepresentation, Government Censorship

Scientist: Climate

On March 28, 2018, the Huffington Post published a leaked memorandum indicating that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Public Affairs has developed a set of approved talking points on climate change. The talking points appear to be intended to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change and humans’ contribution to it. One talking points reads:

“Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what do about it, are subject to continuing debate.”

The following point states:

“While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.”

This is at odds with the 2017 federal climate assessment which concluded that “it is extremely likely that human activities . . . are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

UpdateOn April 2, 2018, E&E reported that the talking points are based on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s written responses to questions asked by members of Congress (questions for the record or QFRs).