Bearing signs that read, "Stop the Climate Denier Cabinet," about 50 people protested outside President-elect Donald Trump's transition office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon, laying the groundwork for a concerted resistance against Trump's anti-science agenda.
"We're offering a very clear choice: stand with the people and science, or side with the fossil fuel industry."
—Jenny Marienau, 350.org
"Today is just the beginning," said Jenny Marienau, U.S. campaigns director for 350.org. "People are horrified by Trump's Climate Denial Cabinet, and we're channeling that outrage into action. Trump has made it clear that he will continue to prioritize greed and profit at the expense of our communities and a livable planet."
"We can't put the EPA in the hands of a climate denier, just as much as we can't hand over our international climate diplomacy to the head of the world's largest and most deceitful oil company," she continued, referring to Trump's picks to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and State Department, Rex Tillerson. "We're offering a very clear choice: stand with the people and science, or side with the fossil fuel industry."
According to organizers, Tuesday's action was a precursor for "sit-ins, protests, and creative actions targeting key senators who claim they recognize the threat of climate change, but haven't yet come out against Pruitt, Tillerson, and other deniers in the cabinet." Other groups taking part include the Sierra Club, Oil Change International, and ClimateTruth.org. "With a network of activists in all 50 states, a student network spanning hundreds of campuses, and a track record of bold actions and mass mobilizations, the movement is ready for a fight," they said.
The protest came amid fears of a climate "witch hunt" under Trump, as well as attempts by scientists and environmental organizations to archive government climate data before Trump's "band of climate conspiracy theorists...storm the castle." Trump is reportedly seeking to cut climate research and programs across several federal agencies.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is setting up an anonymous hotline for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employees "to report political meddling."
"I am hearing a lot of worry," said center director Andrew Rosenberg, of speculation over who Trump will choose to head the agency. "The worry is that they will be putting another ideologue in place."