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Child’s Play: Team Trump Rewrites a Department of Energy Website for Kids
Effort meant to inform younger generations about energy and the environment sees sentences reworked and pie charts eliminated.
by Patrick G. Lee
Propublica, Feb. 17, 2017, 8 a.m.
On a page dedicated to coal, the following sentences [and charts] were deleted: “In the United States, most of the coal consumed is used as a fuel to generate electricity. Burning coal produces emissions that adversely affect the environment and human health.” The two pie charts that were axed showed that although coal generated only 42 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2014, it created 76 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions linked to electricity generation.
“Underground mines have less of an impact on the environment compared to surface mines” became “Underground mines generally have a lesser effect on the landscape compared to surface mines.”
On a separate kids’ page for greenhouse gases, a paragraph detailing the U.S. share of global carbon dioxide emissions was also deleted:
“The United States, with 4 percent of the world’s population, produced about 17 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels in 2011, the most recent year for which global data are available. The United States has the world’s largest economy and meets 83 percent of its energy needs by burning fossil fuels.”
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The Delusion of Alternative Facts
How science can guide the search for "actual" truth in our post-truth era