French President Emmanuel Macron, Fiji prime minister and COP president Frank Bainimarama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary General, from left, attend the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) climate talks in Bonn, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.

Credit: Martin Meissner/AP

In Bonn, Whistleblower Joel Clement Sees Hope For The U.S. On Climate Change

November 17, 2017

Last July, officials at the Department of Interior reassigned Joel Clement, a senior-level scientist who helped native Alaskan communities deal with climate change, to an accounting position. Not long after, Clement called out the Trump administration for choosing "silence over science" in a piece for The Washington Post. "I am not an accountant — but you don’t have to be one to see that the administration’s excuse for a reassignment such as mine doesn’t add up," he wrote. "I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities."

Clement left the department in early October because, as he says, he no longer felt he could make his voice heard on issues that mattered to him. WGBH News sat down with Clement to talk about his departure from the federal government, the climate conference in Bonn, Germany, and whether scientists should be more involved in politics.

>>MORE: See Clement's full conversation on climate change with the Cambridge Forum here, recorded by the WGBH Forum Network.


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