Scientists are being censored, bullied, demoted, fired, or replaced with totally inappropriate industry shills with reckless abandon by the Trump administration. Some, however, quit – and one particular government scientist couldn’t resist getting a dig in at the President before he left in a rather sneaky way.
As reported by BuzzFeed, renewable energy scientist Daniel Kammen resigned from his governmental post this week at the State Department. Under the Obama administration, he had a vital role, developing clean energy grids in Asia and Africa as part of the government’s initiative to wean growing economies off fossil fuels.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the Trump administration is about as friendly to and supportive of clean energy – and science in general – as a pincushion is to a balloon. That would give any federal scientist reason to leave their jobs, but as Kammen explains in his resignation letter, he actually made the decision because of Trump’s inability to condemn the neo-Nazis that marched on Charlottesville with tragic consequences.
In his resignation letter, which has been posted to Twitter, Kammen explains that Trump’s response “enables racism, sexism and harms our country and planet.” It’s a serious and sensible charge to make, but what others have picked up on is that the first letter in each paragraph, when put together, spells out the word “IMPEACH.”
That’s a rather lovely touch to an otherwise sobering read. Kammen notes that he’s been serving the US government in a variety of advisory and research positions since 1996, but he’s finally reached his own personal breaking point.
Citing not just the white supremacists incident, but Trump’s anti-scientific actions – particularly with regards to the Paris climate change agreement – Kammen concludes that “to continue my role under your administration would be inconsistent with the principles of the United States Oath of Allegiance to which I adhere.”
“Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet.”
It’s unlikely Trump will react to such a bold statement, but it’s safe to say that plenty of scientists – many of which are now running for Congress – will have Kammen’s back on this one.