Tag Archives: climate change

A Whistleblower on the Front Lines

There are so many angles to explore in the dysfunctional presidency of Donald J. Trump that we sometimes are overwhelmed into silence by the sheer number and variety of horrors unfolding before us. It is necessary, from time to time, to simply reach into the grab bag and drag one forward.

An essay in the Washington Post, by Joel Clement, a scientist punished by Trump for “whistleblowing,” is definitely worthy of attention.

Until last week, Mr. Clement, was the director of the office of Policy Analysis at the Department of the Interior. He has been reshuffled to the Department’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue where his scientific training will be ignored for financial number-crunching duties.

“…on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to ‘improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,’ the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies. “

His “crime?” Mr. Clement dared to opine on the impact of climate change on Alaskan native communities. In other words, he was just doing his job.

Mr. Clement had been vocal to his superiors about the urgency to address health and safety issues for indigenous peoples, stemming from the climate crisis. It was not something that the administration cared to discuss.

“A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers.”

Mr. Clement does not intend to quit. He has chosen instead to become a whistleblower to alert fellow citizens to the gross and deliberate misuse of human resources that this represents.
All those unfilled administration positions we keep hearing about?  They are just a symptom of the systemic collapse that is already underway, engineered by Steve Bannon and enabled by the Know-Nothing President, Donald J. Trump.

The climate around Phil Scott

scottbalanceRepublican Phil Scott is doing his bit for the party to promote carbon tax hysterics on climate change this week.

One of his many recent tweets,(Team Scott must not have heard that marketing studies show that after three tweets,engagement dramatically decreases.) a “news” story from Vermontwatchdog.org  warns of an alleged carbon tax apocalypse.

Vermont Watchdog is the local franchise mouthpiece of the Franklin Center for Government, a nationwide organization said to be at the forefront of right-wing efforts to thwart action on climate change and blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy.scottwatch

Watchdog dutifully prints a Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee  ad in part of the article, but if you peel away the hysterics, the gist of the piece is centered on a series of  VPIRG’s proposals. Their proposal to fight climate change (and yes, Phil it is real) suggests a series of tax changes, instituting a global warming impact tax (carbon tax), starting an energy investment fund, and also energy rebates and tax cuts.

But this post isn’t exactly about the complicated carbon tax issue, but rather the policy crowd Scott runs with to get elected — his “in crowd.” The Vermont Watchdog is actually a “local” outlet, but also funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a 501c3 non-profit. Much of its funding is reported to be fueled with money from various hard right sources including the infamous Koch Brothers’ climate-change-denying organization.

Former Reuters chief White House correspondent Gene Gibbons didn’t mince his words in a 2010 report on the Franklin Center:

“For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so.”

The keynote speaker at a Franklin Center Watchdog.org  training session in 2012 was none other than right-wing  provocateur and ACORN “sting” artist James O’Keefe

So,what was it, only a couple weeks or more ago that Scott actually made it clear…well sort of that he thought climate change science was real ?

And now he is tweeting support for Koch Brothers-sponsored  “news” stories about climate issues.This doesn’t exactly fit with his own claims that his view “evolved.” Lie down with Big Carbon, get up covered in soot.