The Trump administration believes that Climate change is a fraud and has vowed to wipe government websites of years of research. The logic is that if you burn the books, people will not know that there is a problem.
Environmentalists and researchers encountered a friendly White House over the last eight years that encouraged inquiry into global warming and signed historic agreements meant to lower global carbon emissions.
However now they are worried that publicly available climate change data and research found on government websites would be wiped clean or made otherwise inaccessible to the public.
Academics like the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto, are attempting to download and save as much data as possible. The University of Toronto is set to host a “guerilla archiving event” in collaboration with the Internet Archive’s End of Term 2016 project.
This aims to archive the federal online pages and data that are in danger of disappearing during the Trump administration, including climate change, water, air and toxics programs.
Other universities are planning “hackathons,” putting out a call to hackers to scrape federal website databases for climate change intel.
The hacks are perfectly legal because the information is currently available to the public – they might not be after Trump takes office.
Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that policies that have been put in place to make sure that science continues to be foundational are not going to be easy to remove.
Talking to the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco she said that there is no reason to think that a successor administration is going to want to because the data is so important to the decisions we make every single day.”
But boffins remember that they had a hell of a time getting climate data under the last Republican administration. George W. Bush made climate data inaccessible because he did not believe in global warning because God said in the bible that there would never be another flood and put a rainbow in the sky to prove it.
Other boffins are worried that budget cuts to government science organizations like NASA would make important climate prediction projects impossible.