A former head policy adviser at the Interior Department is accusing the Trump Administration of reassigning him to a lesser position for speaking out about the dangers of climate change.
Joel Clement, a scientist who was director of the Interior Department’s Office of Policy Analysis for much of the Obama Administration, was recently reassigned to work to an “accounting office,” the agency’s Office of Natural Resources and Revenue.
In an op-ed published Wednesday in The Washington Post, he wrote that he believes he was retaliated against for “speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities.” He says that he’s turning whistleblower on an administration that “chooses silence over science.”
In his former role, Clement advised the Obama Administration on Arctic issues. He authorized a report to Obama in 2013 that warned the Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth and that the implications of the change would include “rapid coastal erosion threatening villages and facilities, loss of wildlife habitat, ecosystem instability… and unpredictable impacts on subsistence activities and critical social needs.”
Clement wrote in the op-ed that in the months preceding his reassignment, he had raised the issue with White House officials, senior Interior officials and the international community.