The city of Chicago has launched a website dedicated to climate change based on information formerly found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
According to a press release, the launch was sparked by an April 29 announcement from the EPA that its own website was being updated “to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President [Donald] Trump and Administrator [Scott] Pruitt.”
“The Trump administration can attempt to erase decades of work from scientists and federal employees on the reality of climate change, but burying your head in the sand doesn’t erase the problem,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “We are going to ensure Chicago’s residents remain well informed about the effects of climate change.”
Topics related to climate change on the EPA website are today buried inside an “a to z” index, although most of the information available on the site before April 29 – including how and why the climate is changing – has been removed. A snapshot of what the site looked like on Jan. 19 is available for viewing, in addition to a press release about the changes.
On Chicago’s site, users can find information on the science behind climate change, how climate change impacts weather, and actions the federal government has taken to reduce the impact of climate change, according to the release.
The city also announced Sunday the creation of a tool that enables users to save, archive and preserve open data from public portals, such as the EPA site.
During his campaign, Trump raised questions around the legitimacy of climate change and has since taken steps toward reversing some environmental regulations.
Last September, the U.S. officially signed the Paris Agreement on climate change, expressing its efforts to join other nations in cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. Both pundits and scientists have increasingly expressed concerns that Trump may pull the U.S. out of the pact.
Emanuel encouraged other cities, academic institutions and organizations to “follow suit” by launching similar websites, according to the release.
“Cities are becoming central in the climate fight. In the absence of federal leadership, this is a key moment for local action,” Henry Henderson, Midwest director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a press release.
April 10: Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday a commitment to transition the city’s municipal buildings and operations to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2025.
April 19: The head of the Environmental Protection Agency told residents in East Chicago on Wednesday that the agency had no plans to close its Chicago office.
April 25: According to organizers, an estimated 60,000 people attended the March for Science Chicago, making it the largest of those that took place Saturday in 400-plus cities worldwide. But some area institutions did not officially support the event.