Scientists are starting to copy down U.S. climate data onto independent servers to save it from a hostile Donald Trump administration, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
To save federal scientific data, scientists will hold a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto on Dec. 17, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data.
“Our event is focused on preserving information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted,” the event page says. “This includes climate change, water, air, toxics programs. This project is urgent because the Trump transition team has identified the EPA and other environmental programs as priorities for the chopping block.”
Meetings were held at the University of Pennsylvania with researchers and members of groups like Open Data Philly and the software company Azavea. The discussions were focused on how to download as much data as possible in the upcoming weeks, the Post reported.
Scientists have also created a Google spreadsheet to gather important data that needs to be protected and will move to archive them for the public.
“Something that seemed a little paranoid to me before all of a sudden seems potentially realistic, or at least something you’d want to hedge against,” Nick Santos, an environmental researcher at the University of California at Davis, told the Washington Post.
Over the weekend, Santos started copying federal climate data onto an independent server so it can remain available to the public.
“Doing this can only be a good thing. Hopefully they leave everything in place. But if not, we’re planning for that,” said Santos.
Although Trump has not said he will erase scientific data, scientists are not taking any chances. The president-elect has previously said he plans to back out of President Barack Obama’s Paris climate agreement, and has previously tweeted global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese.
Most recently, Trump has ignited concerns of a type of “witch hunt” at the Energy Department. Trump’s transition team has requested the agency to identify those who have worked on climate change with the Obama administration. In another threat to climate, Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a strong critic of the Environmental Protection Agency with close ties to energy companies, to run that very same agency.