In a report published Sunday, FCIR found that climate-related terms were blacklisted at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) memos, staff meetings, emails, as well as official reports. Instead, they were ordered to use "climate drivers" and "climate-driven changes" in their communication.
"We were told not to use the terms 'climate change,' 'global warming' or 'sustainability'… That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel," Christopher Byrd, former FDEP attorney, was quoted as saying by the nonprofit organization.
Florida Governor Rick Scott's and FDEP's press services both denied the existence of official policy imposing restrictions on the agency's vocabulary, however, FCIR conducted interviews with other former employees who confirmed the ban was distributed verbally.
Scott himself has on a number of occasions expressed skepticism about the existing evidence proving climate change.
The issue of global warming is particularly critical in Florida, whose shores are expected by the United Nations and other organizations to vanish within the next three decades.