In December 2016, after the Trump administration was elected, but before they took office, I helped start a group of volunteers working to protect climate data from deletion or tampering under the Trump Administration. While it seemed impossible to think they could delete the data at first, after learning about the destruction of data under Canda’s Harper administration, and reading more about the incoming administration’s positions, I came to see it as risk management. The likelihood was low, but the damage if they did delete data is incredibly high, and the cost of hedging against it is low. So, with a team of volunteers, we built ClimateMirror – a set of independent copies of federal climate change data. We partnered with similar efforts at DataRefuge and EDGI to back up this critical data.
As part of this project, I appeared in local, national, and international media, including The Washington Post, BBC Radio, ABC News, NPR, and other outlets. I took on a leadership role, coordinating volunteers, media, and strategy along with other highly engaged indivduals. Together, we backed up and made publicly available hundreds of terabytes (maybe even a petabyte or more) of climate data.