In December last year, Earth Scientist Dr. Rose Abramoff, was fired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Climate Change Science Institute in the USA for unfurling a banner with Dr. Peter Kalmus (a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab) that read “Out of the lab and into the streets” before a plenary talk in the meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). AGU also commenced a disciplinary action against both active members. Dr. Abramoff outlined these events in a recent op-ed in the New York Times and subsequently discussed it on CNN, BBC, Democracy Now! and other news outlets. Both the firing and AGU’s reaction prompted a series of questions and even condemnation of the disproportionality of the actions taken, including a letter to AGU signed by 2,385 Earth scientists, professors and researchers; an open letter; and a Senator who demanded answers from AGU, amongst others.
Dr. Abramoff is a member of Scientist Rebellion and it was in that capacity that she participated in one of our teach-ins, Noons for Now, here at Carleton University. The Carleton Climate Commons would like to express its condemnation of both the firing and the disproportional reaction by AGU. We consider both reactions to be direct violations of Dr. Abramoff’s fundamental civil and political rights and liberties, acts which surely aim to produce a chilling effect on future actions that other members of the scientific community may be contemplating. It is unacceptable, especially given the current gravity of the climate crisis, that scientists like Dr. Abramoff are facing such blatant repression of their urgent political activities.
We stand in solidarity with Dr. Abramoff.