Badlands National Park Twitter Account Goes Rogue, Starts Tweeting Scientific Facts
(CBS NEWS) Just days after The National Park Service (NPS) was forced to shut down its Twitter activity over two retweets the Department of the Interior deemed inconsistent with the agencyâ€™s mission, the Twitter account for Badlands National Park in South Dakota seems to have gone rogue.
The first tweet about climate science came at 11:40 a.m. local time Tuesday. It said: â€œThe pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm.â€
"The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm."â€” Badlands Nat'l Park (@BadlandsNPS) January 24, 2017
Just moments later, the same account tweeted, â€œToday, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 yearsâ€ â€” with the hashtag â€œ#climateâ€ added for good measure.
Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climateâ€” Badlands Nat'l Park (@BadlandsNPS) January 24, 2017
Then, at 12:25 p.m., the next tweet said: â€œFlipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution. â€˜Ocean Acidificationâ€™ #climate #carboncycleâ€
This comes as the Trump administration has instituted a temporary media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency, causing the EPAâ€™s social media accounts to fall silent after Fridayâ€™s Inauguration Day. The EPAâ€™s final tweet before the social media blackout simply reads, â€œ@GinaEPA shares a report about actions taken by the agency under the Clean Air Act during the last eight years,â€ with a link to a blog post by now-former Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
While the main National Parks Service Twitter account is now back up and tweeting, its posts since the temporary halt at that agency have remained largely innocuous: benign tweets about new research libraries, sled dogs in Denali and the motivational power of the mountains. Those posts seem certain not to rub the Trump administration the wrong way. Badlandsâ€™ posts on the carbon cycle and climate change, however, seem to have proven otherwise.
As of 5:35 p.m., all the above tweets have been deleted. In response to that action, DNC national press secretary Adrienne Watson released the following statement: â€œVladimir Putin would be proud.â€
President Trump has, in the past, tweeted that he believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China. During their confirmation hearings, however, several of Trumpâ€™s Cabinet nominees disagreed with that notion, including ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trumpâ€™s choice to take over the EPA.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer answered a question from the Huffington Postâ€™s Jennifer Bendery on climate change â€” specifically, about the fact that 2016 was the hottest year on record and how President Trump plans to deal with that fact â€” by saying, â€œHeâ€™s going to meet with his team and figure out what policies are best for the environment. One of the things he talked about during the campaign is thereâ€™s a balance, and heâ€™s trying to make sure we use our resources appropriately, that we maximize things to make sure that we donâ€™t do so at the detriment of economic growth and job creation.â€