June 19, 2021

Altering Access: New Report Analyzes Changes to Climate Topics Across Thousands of US Federal Agency Websites

From the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI):

In EDGI’s latest report, “The New Digital Landscape,” we build on our existing research to analyze how the Trump administration has altered access to climate change information on federal environmental websites and the language used to present it. Over the thousands of websites we monitor, we find:

  • the use of the terms “climate change,” “clean energy,” and “adaptation” dropped by 26% between 2016 and 2018
  • catch-all terms that are employed to undermine clear analysis – such as “energy independence,” “resilience,” and “sustainability” – increased by 26%
  • Over half of all pages where “climate change” was completely removed from public access (73 / 136) were U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pages. Such removals are significant given that EPA.gov was the 1,750th most visited website in the U.S. in early 2019, giving it more reach than even WhiteHouse.gov. 1

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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