According to the vanished report, published four years ago and available online until recently, “It is no longer a question whether the coasts of Puerto Rico and many port cities in the Caribbean will be inundated, but rather it is a question of when and by how much.”
Updated, 10/20/17: The PRCCC website and the State of the Climate report are both back up–it appears that the site was restored on or around October 10. Several people have suggested the very plausible explanation that the PRCCC was unable to renew their climate-change focused website in a timely fashion due to the impact of Hurricane Maria (I’m sure the irony is not lost on you). At any rate, I am glad to see that the site is back up and running and that there are no indications of foul play.
Updated, 10/9/17, 11:16 a.m.: Thanks to the good folks in the March for Science Facebook group, we’ve located the PRCCC report elsewhere on the internet. (I’ve also downloaded a copy in case it disappears again.)
Original Post, 10/8/17, 5:02 p.m., under the headline “Someone Took the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council’s ‘State of the Climate’ Report Off the Internet Last Week.”
In 2013, the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council (PRCCC) released a comprehensive climate change vulnerability assessment for the island, “Puerto Rico’s State of the Climate 2010–2013: Assessing Puerto Rico’s Social-Ecological Vulnerabilities in a Changing Climate.” Up until just days ago this report was available on the internet on the PRCCC website—I discovered it through a Google search on September 27, while doing background research for a post I’m writing on the public health crisis in Puerto Rico.
As of today, October 8, both the report and the PRCCC website are gone.
When you attempt to visit the PRCCC website, pr-ccc.org, you end up here—a page with links for credit counseling.
You can still find the PRCCC in a Google search, but clicking on any of the links in the search result gets you to the same useless page. A quick check online shows that the domain name pr-ccc.org, was registered on September 21, 2013, and its registry status was recently updated—on October 6, 2017, this past Friday.
Becky Hammer, a staff attorney at the National Resources Defense Council, quoted the PRCCC report in a 2016 blog post: “It is no longer a question whether the coasts of Puerto Rico and many port cities in the Caribbean will be inundated, but rather it is a question of when and by how much.” In her post, Hammer called Puerto Rico “one of the most vulnerable places on Earth to the impacts of climate change.”
Wouldn’t you like to know what happened to the PRCCC report, not to mention what’s in it? You can help draw attention to this question by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter and asking your network to do the same.
Maybe it’s nothing more than a technical glitch. But given the timing and this administration’s record of stifling any discussion of climate change—or science in general—I can’t help but be suspicious.
An image of the PRCCC report’s cover in a screenshot from adaptationclearinghouse.org, a website operated by Georgetown Climate Center. The report itself is not available.