According to various reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has removed the words "climate change" from its strategic planning document which details the agency's preparations for the next four years of potential disasters.
The word "climate change" have been replaced by "rising natural hazard risk" which could be interpreted a number of ways.
Here's what the new document says via NPR:
"Disaster costs are expected to continue to increase due to rising natural hazard risk, decaying critical infrastructure, and economic pressures that limit investments in risk resilience. As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, FEMA must ensure that our programs are fiscally sound. Additionally, we will consider new pathways to long-term disaster risk reduction, including increased investments in pre-disaster mitigation."
The best case scenario here is the words "climate change" have simply been replaced by "rising natural hazard risk" because of some childish aversion to a certain set of words, as if the words themselves are liberal in nature, while the agency continues to prepare for the very real effects of climate change.
The worst case scenario is FEMA being completely unprepared for future disasters exacerbated by climate change because they're no longer taking the risks into account.
My gut says it's the latter because if they don't take the issue seriously, why would their preparations reflect otherwise?
This is purely speculation, but my gut also says this represents a lawsuit(s) waiting to happen. The government possesses knowledge of climate change even if they don't want to acknowledge its existence and that may be of particular interest to a whole host of parties from insurance companies to state and municipal governments and average people. Local governments and residents may be interested in suing FEMA and the federal government, for example, if property is destroyed and lives are lost because the government did not act on information in its possession.
The great climate change bailout of 2050 will be epic.