Analysis & Opinions - Union of Concerned Scientists

IN: Arctic Experts and Scientists — OUT: Unqualified Political Operatives

| Oct. 07, 2021

If there is one part of the world where science must inform policy during rapid climate change, it is the Arctic region. Warming three times faster than the rest of the planet, the Arctic is transforming from a region of ice and snow into a greener, wetter, warmer environment that is testing the resilience of communities, ecosystems, and economies while impacting the rest of the world with sea level rise and atmospheric uncertainty.

The region's vulnerability, however, did not stop the previous administration from purging Arctic experts, denying the climate crisis, and debasing the role of research in the region. The damage to Arctic research, resilience, and the American reputation as a regional leader was profound.

In recent weeks, however, the Biden administration has taken important steps to repair the damage, much to the relief of scientists, policymakers, businesses, and the Indigenous People of the north.

Undoing the damage

A quick recap of the Trump administration's actions: In addition to marginalizing agency efforts to implement climate resilience actions in the Bering Strait region and purging experts like myself from Arctic policy efforts, the administration shelved the White House Arctic Executive Steering Committee and replaced many of the well-regarded scientists and experts on the Arctic Research Commission (ARC) with unqualified, low-level political associates with no Arctic experience....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Clement, Joel."IN: Arctic Experts and Scientists — OUT: Unqualified Political Operatives." Union of Concerned Scientists, October 7, 2021.