While some scientists say Florida is the state at the greatest risk of the effects of global warming, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says state officials feel otherwise.
According to a report published Sunday by FCIR, officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have banned the use of the terms "climate change," "global warming," "sustainability" and "sea-level rise" in any official reports or communication.
This unwritten policy went into effect after Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011 and appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as the DEP’s director, according to former DEP employees. Gov. Scott, who won a second term in November, has repeatedly said he is not convinced that climate change is caused by human activity, despite scientific evidence to the contrary. Vinyard has since resigned. Neither he nor his successor, Scott Steverson, would comment for this report.
While Jeri Busamante, a spokesperson for the governor's office, said that the state doesn't have a policy in regards to the terms, FCIR reported that four former Department of Environmental Protection employees claimed the order was verbally distributed to departments around the state.