In April 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency removed information from its website relating to climate change. This included scientifically-based information and data about climate change, its causes, and its impacts.
Though the information is no longer available on the EPA’s website, the impacts of climate change continue to be felt. In Antarctica, a block of ice the size of Delaware has broken off. This should be concerning to all of us, but in Central New York, we are feeling the effects of climate change in a variety of other ways as well. Whether it is high lake levels due to increased rains in Lake Ontario, increased need to discharge water from Skaneateles Lake (the source of Syracuse’s water), or changing flood maps, changing weather is felt here, too.
Even issues like sewer back ups, which often occur after heavy rains, could be connected to how climate change increases precipitation levels. In Syracuse, those calls have steadily increased over the last five years.
People can debate if increased flooding and heavier snowfalls are directly related to climate change, but what should not be up for debate is whether scientific research, data, and information are published by federal agencies.
Thanks to work led by the City of Chicago and Climate Change Awareness and Action (CCAA), the information that used to reside on the EPA’s website was copied and is now published on a variety of municipal websites, including the City of Syracuse’s. You can view the site, as it existed just before it was removed, at climatechange.syrgov.net.
Publishing this information across municipal websites shows that cities understand how the threat of climate change will affect people directly, and ensures this information will live on and continue to be built upon.