After past week’s election of Donald Trump I’ve decided to break what I consider an unspoken rule in science. Mainly, as a young scientist one does not discuss politics openly, nor take a hard line on issues, as it potentially jeopardizes your academic career.
However, the US elections will have dire consequences for both domestic and global environmental policy and science in general, due to the proposed dismantling of the EPA, overt climate change denial by the president-elect and his anti-science stance. Surprisingly, during the past week the language with regards to Mr. Trump’s victory moved to one of reconciliation, to “acceptance”, giving the Mr. Trump “a chance”.
The ramifications of an unchallenged president-elect and reconciliation will reverberate throughout the globe. Hence, as an ecologist, environmentalist and climate scientist I can not in good conscious stand by, and not take a very strong political but scientifically backed position.
Science and scientists have the obligation to challenge old, and dangerous, ideas. I admit that I’ve failed by not doing as much as I could outside the academic sphere or various social media echo chambers. In this spirit, I will contest misinformation and lies about climate change and environmental issues. As climate change has morphed into an inherently social problem it is also my duty to openly support minorities, poor and the disenfranchised who are the first to suffer from climate change.
I will not concede by giving a man who has shown a lack of scientific knowledge, integrity, transparency and fueled by misogyny and racism “a chance”. I will not lower my voice in years to come, silently accepting the new status quo.