In the past 24 hours, several big changes have happened to the White House’s websites. One of them has been the removal of all mentions of climate change (among other issues) on WhiteHouse.gov.
For months, scientists, programmers, and hackers have been specifically archiving data and research findings from organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s a last ditch effort to preserve the previous administration’s focus on acknowledging the reality of climate change, let alone doing anything about it.
And now post-presidency, Barack Obama is at the forefront of climate change research again — as Antarctica’s Station Obama ramps up its efforts to protect the earth for future generations.
Station Obama was named for the then-prez in 2009, as the scientists operating it celebrated a man who “would bring scientific integrity back to the White House.” It’s a sampling station, a specific site that’s visited sporadically by scientists, who then record and analyze changes.
If you think that of course, scientists would name a sampling station for a global leader, wrong: According to Hugh Ducklow, an oceanographer at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Center for Climate and Life, this is unprecedented: “Usually we just have numbers, or maybe just latitude/longitude, not actual names.”
In a bout of cruel timing, scientists are heading to the site in a few days for a five-week research trip. This rendezvous is reportedly now going to be an annual event that both records important scientific data and implicitly honors a man who understood that this planet is a finite resource, and one we must work to preserve for the future.