416: Rod Schoonover, part 1: Resigned in protest after White House tried to delete “basic science” from climate change report

December 1, 2020 by Joshua
in Podcast

In June and July 2019, you may remember reading about Rod Schoonover in the NY Times, State Dept. Intelligence Analyst Quits to Protest Blocked House Testimony, Washington Post, CBS, and more in the links below. He resigned in protest as a long-time government intelligence and security researcher and analyst, focusing on a field he helped create—climate security. He focused on learning how environmental changes would affect the security of the United States. If you’re American, that’s your life and mine as our nation leads the world in plunging the Earth into uncharted environmental territory.

The White House blocked his testimony to Congress—not disagreed, blocked. Even places like the conservative American Enterprise Institute went on record saying how things like that don’t happen in the US. He loved his job, his work, the people he worked with. This episode will share what happened from his inside view.

We also cover his personal choice to act. We all face choices between what we think is right versus what’s easier, and we’re inclined to think if we just keep our heads down doing what we’re doing we’ll be able to act later or our consciences won’t catch up to us. Rarely do we risk our careers, livelihood, he was a new first-time father, or see our choices made public.

We can learn from Rod.

As Rod and I are both former physicists, it felt heartwarming to hear a systems approach, a view few people get. Many who do haven’t practiced them. I love getting to talk to someone experience and fluent in them. On the downside, we who view from systems perspectives see how imminent collapse may be and how futile non-solutions are for treating only elements of the system. On the upside, we see how simple and effective systemic solutions can be. And fun.

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