Reuters reports on scientists – 400 of them – who have shed the stereotypical dispassionate patience that goes with, you know, gathering data over long periods of time and analyzing it, in favor of avoiding what they see as “incalculable human suffering”:
In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne.
Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolize their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London’s century-old Science Museum in the city’s upmarket Kensington district.
“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law,” said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology. She read the declaration on behalf of the group.
“We therefore support those who are rising up peacefully against governments around the world that are failing to act proportionately to the scale of the crisis,” she said.
“We can’t allow the role of scientists to be to just write papers and publish them in obscure journals and hope somehow that somebody out there will pay attention,” Julia Steinberger, an ecological economist at the University of Leeds and a lead IPCC author, told Reuters.
“We need to be rethinking the role of the scientist and engage with how social change happens at a massive and urgent scale,” she said. “We can’t allow science as usual.”