Badlands National Park's defiance of President Trump

By Darryl Fears

Badlands National Park tugged on Superman's cape today. It spit into the wind. It pulled the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and it messed around with President Donald Trump.

In tweets about climate change that lit up Twitter, the park ignored Jim Croce's advice in his 1972 hit song and thumbed its nose at the president.

With the Trump administration placing a gag order on the Environmental Protection Agency, shutting down its Twitter feed, forcing employees off their individual accounts and dismantling Web pages with climate-change information, Badlands went rogue.

"Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years," it declared in one of at least four tweets.

Admirers went nuts. They created a hashtag, #Badasslands, in an ode to the defiance and dubbed the park Breaking Badlands after the TV show "Breaking Bad." Within hours, the park gained a huge audience, reportedly going from 7,000 followers to 69,000 followers.


But in late afternoon, the tweets suddenly vanished.

NPR reporter Nathan Rott was one of dozens of followers who captured four tweets in a screenshot and posted a picture.


It's not clear which employee at the park in Interior, S.D., tweeted the information, or who shut him or her down. But it's almost certain that the order came from the Trump administration.

Memories, however, can't be erased. Twitter hailed the tweets as heroic.



Badlands had previously stepped out front, too. On Friday, as Trump was being inaugurated, Badlands also tweeted: "#ClimateChange has implications for naval force structure and operations. Factors driving this include: Water & resource challenges" @USNavy." The line appeared to come from a report on climate change issued by the Navy.


- Washington Post

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