UC Berkeley professor resigns as prominent science adviser for Trump Administration


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Campus energy professor Daniel Kammen announced his resignation from his position as science envoy in President Donald Trump’s administration with a written letter Wednesday.

As science envoy, Kammen coordinated with the U.S. Department of State headquarters and built partnerships using United States embassies in Africa and the Middle East, according to Kammen. He worked in this unpaid position for less than a year, starting October 2016.

As first reported by SFGate, Kammen released his resignation letter publicly via a tweet Wednesday morning. In his tweet, he wrote, “Mr. President, I am resigning as Science Envoy. Your response to Charlottesville enables racism, sexism, & harms our country and planet.”

“Herein, with regret, I resign,” Kammen said, in the letter released Wednesday. “Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet.”

A White House administration official could not be reached for comment.

Kammen said in an email that he began to consider resignation as an option after Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, adding that before Trump became president, Kammen and his team made strides in various fields, including clean energy education and STEM education for girls.

Kammen is teaching a course called “Energy and Society” this semester at the College of Natural Resources and Goldman School of Public Policy. He also doubles as an adviser to doctoral candidates, including energy and resources doctoral students Juan Pablo Carvallo and Nikky Avila.

Avila said in an email that Kammen encourages students to engage in forward-thinking research and that his work has “contributed to policy changes that promote a just and sustainable society.”

Carvallo has worked with Kammen for five years as a part of Kammen’s lab, the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. Carvallo said he believes the resignation is consistent with Kammen’s principles.

I think it got to a point where the views of the administration were clashing with (Kammen’s) own values, so I think he had to go,” Carvallo said. “The commitment he has to policy making and science-based policy making is what kept him inside for so long.”

Kammen’s tweet received more than 115,000 likes on Twitter and more than 42,000 retweets. The first letter of each paragraph in the statement collectively spelled out the word “impeach.” Kammen stated in the letter that Trump has led with a “destructive pattern” that has affected his duties as science envoy. Kammen also noted that he cannot accept Trump’s decision to “undermine energy and environmental research.”

“I do not see (Trump’s) actions at present working in the best interests of the US and the global community on a range of issues,” Kammen said in an email.

Malini Ramaiyer is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @malinisramaiyer.

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  • Jim

    Thanks for resigning.

    • California Defender

      Indeed this is good news as another holdout Clinton and Obama appointee is gone. Apparently the weeds are now picking themselves.

  • Kurt VanderKoi

    SO COOL of freshman frat brother Danny Boy!

    From Fox News: “Like a page ripped out of a really bad spy novel, Trump critics appear to be slipping secret messages in their resignation letters. But put away that decoder ring: the code has been cracked.
    The latest to telegraph a hidden message is Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen, who announced Wednesday he’s calling it quits as a science envoy for the State Department.” “But look closely. The first letter of each paragraph spells out: I-M-P-E-A-C-H.”


  • CSears

    Bravo Professor Kammen. This Cal alum is quite proud of you.

    • lspanker

      For what, a bunch of silly virtue-signaling?

      • CSears

        Well, at least you see that virtue was being signaled. So I suppose there’s some hope for you.

        You might check out Kammen’s res and then check out Rick Perry’s or better yet, Cheeto’s.

        • lspanker

          I made my observation based on his comments here, not his resume.

          • CSears

            And you came to your ‘silly’ conclusion based on those comments. I saw the same words and also took the weight of Professor Kammen’s reputation into account. When I was at Cal, we’d have called that context. Yours was a facile reading.

          • Kurt VanderKoi

            Have you heard of the University of Texas?
            “Godspeed” and a green light to go: UT regents support pursuit of management contract for Los Alamos National Lab

          • CSears

            Texas has a university? Who knew? Is this the same state that “streamlines” (their word, not mine) evolution out of textbooks?

          • Kurt VanderKoi

            Better God than ANTIFA!

          • JP

            Really couldn’t follow the logic comparing God and Antifa

          • CSears

            We got ourselves a sky bunny worshiper. How cute.

          • California Defender

            Reputation can be ascertained by association.

            In Danny Kammen’s case, the acrostic child has been known to associate with the World Bank, ECPA, UN’s IPCC, Paris Climate Accord critters, and various leftist politicians like Jennifer Granholm. How he was spawned by historian Michael Kammen is beyond me. I suppose his father spent too much time in the books and not enough raising his son. A good lesson in parenting: No matter how engaged you are in work, your children should still come first.

          • CSears

            Yes, reputation *can* be ascertained by association. I would say infer since ascertain means to find out something for certain and you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Infer is weaker and deals in probabilities rather than certainty. But you’re a partisan hack who is more comfortable jumping to conclusions based on scant evidence.

            So ascertain it is.

            I suppose that Kammen’s govmint service during the Bush administration means that he must be a right wing nut job, you know, like you. Except that he also served under those leftists, Presidents Obama and Clinton. Dang, now my head is really starting to hurt.

          • California Defender

            Don’t look at his resume. It saddened me to read a bio about someone so committed to harmful globalism under the guise of environmentalism. Which, ironically, is quite destructive to the environment.

            But what can you expect from a Berkeleyite?

        • California Defender

          You actually think virtue signalling is a virtue? Go check the definition and report back.

          • CSears

            I have no idea. You should ask that of Herr Spanker as it is his choice of words.

          • California Defender

            Not a bad choice of words, either. More that come to mind would be self-absorbed, vapid, narcissistic, hackneyed, conceited, banal, pompous, pedestrian, and egotistical.

            And virtue signalling is the mephitic flower that emerges from these weeds.