Back in the U.S., the Department of Agriculture is in turmoil as the agency prepares to move hundreds of jobs from the capital to Kansas City. Last month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the relocation of two key research agencies, prompting a dramatic silent protest by over a dozen employees who stood up and turned their backs to the stage Perdue was speaking from. Employees must now choose whether to move or lose their jobs. Politico is reporting a survey shows that four out of five employees may decide to quit rather than relocate.
Numerous scientists, lawmakers, agricultural and environmental groups have called out the move by Perdue, which they warn will harm employees of the agency and farmers, and is part of the Trump administration’s agenda to suppress climate research. Last month, Politico reported that the agency stopped promoting dozens of publicly funded scientific studies about the impacts of climate change. Democrats have thus far been unsuccessful in their attempts to stop the move through legislative and other measures. Many of those who are being forced to either move or quit are economists and scientists responsible for cutting-edge climate research in this country.