Scientists and environmentalists across the United States are setting up ‘rogue’ Twitter accounts in support of climate change research, as a stand against the newly-inaugurated Donald Trump’s policies on the issue.
President Trump has been relentless in his denial of climate change, calling the phenomenon a creation of Chinese propaganda to damage U.S. businesses. The subject was one of the first pages to be removed from the official White House website.
Federal departments including the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health, have been issued directives in the week following Trump’s inauguration to refrain from posting information to the public on topics related to the environment.
Under these demands, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has been banned from tweeting after it released content which the Trump administration took offence to.
The new rebellion started as a one-man protest to this restriction by a former Badlands National Park Service employee. The campaign has now spiralled into an online movement with anonymous scientists from bodies such as the NPS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NASA establishing alternative Twitter accounts to tweet information on climate change – the accounts have already garnered significant followings.
A tweet from the ‘rogue’ NASA account, @RogueNASA, reads: “We cannot allow Mr. Trump to silence the scientific community. We need peer-reviewed, evidence-based research MORE THAN EVER now.”
It later adds, “How sad is it that government employees have to create rogue Twitter accounts just to communicate FACTS to the American public?” and ” If posting facts and news to Twitter from a rogue account is what we have to do for the next four years, count us in. #resist”
Former President Barack Obama had made fighting climate change one of the key concerns in his administration. Last September, Obama, along with almost 200 heads of state, signed the Paris Agreement on climate change which outlined global targets in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions.