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USDA reportedly avoiding term "climate change"

Nati Harnik / AP

Emails obtained by The Guardian show U.S. Department of Agriculture staff discussing efforts to replace terms like "climate change" with alternatives, like "weather extremes." One February 16 email, reportedly from a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employee, outlined words to avoid and their replacements.

Dos and don'ts: "Climate change adaption" becomes "resilience to weather extremes" while "reduce greenhouse gases" becomes "build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency."

NRCS Public Affairs Director Kaveh Sadeghzadeh said the NRCS "has not received direction from USDA or the Administration to modify its communications on climate change or any other topic," while the USDA said it the NRCS had been giving the new administration room "to review policy-related statements."

Why it matters: The Trump administration has taken aggressive steps to reverse Obama-era climate policies, and while the EPA has been the most visible part of that effort, these emails seem to show other agencies are tip-toeing around the issue of climate change.

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