Scientists arrested: Researchers taking steps on climate change

Climate scientist Peter Kalmus is deeply concerned, urging everyone to share his level of alarm about the state of the planet.

During his time as a graduate student in 2006, Kalmus focused on astrophysics, unaware of the looming dangers of climate change. However, upon understanding the greenhouse effect and how carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels contribute to global warming, he became increasingly troubled. By 2012, he had transitioned to studying the impact of rising temperatures on humans and other species at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Feeling frustrated by the inadequate response of policymakers to the scientific evidence, Kalmus decided to take action. On April 6, 2022, he joined forces with two other scientists and an engineer to protest outside a JP Morgan Chase branch in Los Angeles, a firm heavily invested in fossil fuels. Despite risking arrest for trespassing, Kalmus emphasized his commitment to protecting the planet and his son’s future.

This protest was part of a global initiative led by Scientist Rebellion, marking what they claim to be the largest civil disobedience campaign by scientists in history.

Kalmus is not alone in his activism. Many climate scientists, like Rose Abramoff, have become increasingly involved in direct action. Abramoff, for instance, embarked on an 80-hour train journey to a conference, opting for ground travel over flying to reduce her carbon footprint. Her dedication to climate activism led to her participation in protests, including chaining herself to the White House fences.

Despite facing consequences such as job termination and arrests, Abramoff and others continue their efforts to raise awareness and push for urgent action on climate change.

A survey of over 9,000 researchers worldwide revealed widespread support for fundamental changes to address climate change. The study also found that climate scientists are more likely to engage in advocacy and civil disobedience than their non-climate-focused peers.

While some scientists worry about the consequences of extreme activism, others believe it’s necessary to spur meaningful change. Regardless of the risks involved, many scientists, like Noah Liguori-Bills, are committed to taking action to safeguard the planet’s future.

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