Federal government officials cancelled a planned Glacier National Park meeting between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and a top government researcher.
The Washington Post reports, “the area’s top climate scientist was not permitted to share his expertise on global warming’s role in the retreating ice sheets with Zuckerberg, one of the most prominent business leaders to denounce President Trump’s June withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.”
U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist Daniel Fagre said he scheduled tour of Logan Pass with Zuckerberg was abruptly cancelled three days prior to the visit.
“I literally was told I would no longer be participating,” Fagre told The Post. “I’ve gotten nothing back. We’ve definitely been left in the dark.”
Park Rangers did accompany Zuckerberg, including a wildlife services dog, but the prominent research ecologist from the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center was not allowed.
“Sure, the administration has a particular view,” Andrew Rosenberg, a fisheries scientist with the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists told Mic. “But that doesn’t mean you suppress scientific information and evidence and expertise the Park Service has developed over literally decades. The park rangers are great, but this is a high-level scientist who really studies this stuff.”
The Department of the Interior planned the visit. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lives just west Glacier National Park.
“In May, the Department of Interior made the decision to delete a line from a study discussing the role of climate change in rising sea levels. That report was co-authored by three scientists from the USGS,” Mic reported. “The Trump administration has also scrubbed various official references to climate change on federal government websites since taking office, including scrapping an entire section devoted to global warming on the White House website.”
The impacts of climate change upon Glacier National Park are plainly visible, making it difficult for the administration to hide.
“In the last hundred years, the average global temperature has risen 1.5 degrees. But in the high elevations of Montana where Glacier is the temperature is warming at 3x the global average — enough to melt glaciers,” Zuckerberg noted. “Since the 1850s, the number of glaciers here has gone from 150 to 25. In a couple of decades, there may not be any glaciers left in the park at all.”
“At every possible turn, [the Trump administration] has tried to obscure and hide the single biggest fact about the planet today, which is that it’s heating up fast,” Bill McKibben told Mic.