New York: Since Donald Trump took office as the US President, NASA has toned own climate change communication with the public due to “fear and anxiety”, according to a former employee of the agency, the Guardian reported.
Laura Tenenbaum, a former science communicator for NASA, who departed the US space agency in October 2017 after working there for 10 years, said she was restricted in speaking to the media due to her focus on climate change
She was also warned off using the term “global warming” on social media, said the report on Wednesday.
“NASA’s talking point is that it’s business as usual, but that’s not true,” Tenenbaum was quoted as saying.
“They have stopped promoting or emphasising climate science communication, they have minimised it. People inside the agency are concerned Trump will cut climate science funding. There is a fear and anxiety there and the outcome has been chaos,” she added.
Figures show a notable decline in NASA’s output of climate information since the election of the Trump administration.
According to CrowdTangle, a content discovery and social monitoring platform, Nasa posted frequently on its climate change Facebook page during 2016, peaking at 122 posts during August of that year.
NASA posted 53 such Facebook posts in January 2017, the month of Trump’s inauguration. They came down to 21 times this March and 31 times in April.
This slide in posts has also resulted in dwindling interactions with the public on Facebook, the report said.
“There was confusion about what to do now we have a president who doesn’t believe in climate change. Everyone was scrambling. It was chaos,” Tenenbaum was quoted as saying.
However, a Nasa spokesman was quoted as saying that there has been “no policy change about how we communicate our science to the American public”.