Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection suspended Bart Bibler, a state land management plan coordinator who was ordered to see a doctor before returning to work. His employee evaluation considered him “exceptionally good” at his job. But surprisingly the reason for his suspension has nothing to do with his performance but about the words “climate change”. Not the science of weather condition. Not what Florida is doing about it. Just the words. By putting them in a report and refusing to take them out when he was told to.
The agency told the Tallahassee Democrat that he had not been suspended, but rather on leave. In the agency’s viewpoint he was being insubordinate, inserting his political views into his work.
He is now at home sitting and wondering when he can get back to work. “I didn’t know there was any sort of ban on the subject or discussion. We should be talking about climate change. If we can’t, that’s absurd. And it’s harming our future,” Bibler tells The Washington Post Thursday evening.
Gov. Rick Scott (R), climate-change skeptic has tried to obliterate the words “climate change” and “global warming” from official correspondence. Originally reported by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, news of the alleged prohibition swiftly went viral this month largely in part because Florida is chiefly susceptible to the effects of climate change.
Scott’s office and other Florida officials have denied repeatedly allegations of an existing policy, unwritten or otherwise, that prohibits the usage of those phrases, stated in several interviews with The Post and other news organizations.
But that’s not the case as some former employees, and now one current one, claims. A former official, Kristina Trotta, told The Post earlier this month she finds it unbelievable when told she couldn’t use words like “global warming.” “It was a surprise given what a vibrant threat climate change is not only to the coral reefs but also to the state of Florida in general,” she said. Also another scientist Elizabeth Radke, who got her PhD at the University of Florida, said she had to remove the words “climate change” from a state report about climate change.