State Department science envoy resigns over Trump's Charlottesville comments -- and his letter contains a hidden message

Daniel KammenUniversity of California, BerkeleyProfessor Daniel Kammen

A State Department climate science envoy resigned Wednesday in a public letter posted on Twitter over what he says is President Donald Trump’s “attacks on the core values” of the United States with his response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“My decision to resign is in response to your attacks on the core values of the United States,” wrote Daniel Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, who was appointed as one five science envoys in 2016. “Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications.” 

“Particularly troubling to me is how your response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behaviour that enables sexism and racism and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community, and the planet,” Kammen added.

Kammen’s letter spells out “I-M-P-E-A-C-H” in the first letter of each paragraph.

“Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet,” Kammen writes. 

Science envoys work with the State Department to establish and develop energy programs in countries around the world. Kammen specifically focused on renewable energy development in the Middle East and North Africa.  

Kammen’s departure is the most recent in an exodus of talent from various parts of the federal government after Trump’s response to Charlottesville. Members of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, including actor Kal Penn and writer Jhumpa Lahiri, resigned earlier in August in a letter that spelled “R-E-S-I-S-T” with the first letter of each paragraph. 

Read Kammen’s letter here:


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