A report published by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) found that language related to climate change has disappeared at an alarming pace since Trump took office in 2016.
Across 5,301 pages -- ranging from websites belonging to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) -- the use of the terms "climate change," "clean energy," and "adaptation" plummeted by 26 percent between 2016 and 2018. Of the pages where "climate change" was stricken, more than half belong to the EPA.
The EPA homepage was the 1,750th most visited website in the U.S. in early 2019, according to the report, giving it more reach than Whitehouse.gov.
But "unlike the much-discussed White House effort to question climate change findings, website changes go unannounced and are often beyond immediate public recognition", the report argues. "They insidiously undermine publicly-funded infrastructure for knowledge dissemination."
According to the report, clear scientific terminology on government websites was often replaced with politicised language such as "energy independence," a buzzword ripped directly from Trump's "America First Energy Plan" which demands an increase in fossil fuel production.
The watchdog also found evidence of "diminished connections" between climate change and its effects on government websites, or quite literally, the breaking of links between public information about the topic.