More than 1,000 scientists across the globe chained themselves to the doors of oil-friendly banks, blocked bridges, and occupied the steps of government buildings on Wednesday to send an urgent message to the international community: The ecological crisis is accelerating, and only a “climate revolution” will be enough to avert catastrophe.
What organizers described as “the world’s largest-ever scientist-led civil disobedience campaign” kicked off just days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report detailing the grim state of efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C by century’s end, a target set by the Paris accord.
As one of the report’s authors put it during a press call earlier this week, “Unless there are immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, 1.5°C is beyond reach.”
Warning that the IPCC report’s language was watered down at the behest of governments unwilling to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, scientists and their allies took that message further during their direct actions on Wednesday, operating under the slogan “1.5°C is dead, climate revolution now!”
“I’m taking action because I feel desperate,” said U.S. climate scientist Peter Kalmus, who along with several others locked himself to the front door of a JPMorgan Chase building in Los Angeles. Recent reportThe financial giant is the largest private investor in oil and gas projects around the globe, according to research.
“It’s the 11th hour in terms of Earth breakdown, and I feel terrified for my kids, and terrified for humanity,” Kalmus continued. “World leaders are still expanding the fossil fuel industry as fast as they can, but this is insane. Science clearly indicates that everything we cherish is at risk, including civilization itself and all of the beautiful, sacred, and cosmically precious life on our planet. I actually don’t get how any scientist who understands this could possibly stay on the sidelines at this point.”
In 20 minutes, arrests will be made pic.twitter.com/UDRAThBO6B
— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) April 6, 2022
Los Angeles was not the only protest site. The United States is the oldest emitter of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and is home to some of most powerful fossil fuel companies.
In Washington, D.C., climate scientists chained themselves to the White House fence and were ultimately arrested as they demanded that U.S. President Joe Biden declare a “climate emergency,” a step that would unlockA range of tools are available to combat global warming.
“We have not made the changes necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C, rendering this goal effectively impossible,” said Dr. Rose Abramoff, one of the scientists arrested at the White House. “We need to both understand the consequences of our inaction as well as limit fossil fuel emissions as much and as quickly as possible.”
“I’m taking action to urge governments and society to stop ignoring the collective findings of decades of research,” Abramoff added. “Let’s make this crisis impossible to ignore.”
VIDEO: This afternoon, climate activists, including scientist Rose Abramoff, gathered in London. @ultracricket chained themselves to the White House fence to demand President Biden declare a “climate emergency” over shifting global temperatures. pic.twitter.com/aBBfXPqw5W
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) April 6, 2022
Similar acts of civil disobedience were observed around the world as scientists marched to demand that governments accelerate their transition to renewable energy in response to the climate crisis. intensifiesExtreme weather can cause severe weather and other dangers critical ecosystems, takes lives worldwide.
In Madrid, Spain, scientists splashed red paint on the walls and steps of the Congress of Deputies to decry lawmakers’ inaction in the face of the existential climate threat. During the demonstration more than 50 scientists and engineers were arrested. according to organizers.
Scientists also mobilized in Germany, blocking a bridge near the country’s parliament building.
Scientist Rebellion activist holds onto a blue smokecan as police officers try and stop them throwing red paint at Madrid’s Spanish parliament to protest climate change. https://t.co/N5NXPJQEwR 📷 Susana Vera pic.twitter.com/7uC0tTKl3i
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) April 6, 2022
Scientists from Germany blocked a bridge near Germany’s Parliament, gluing and locking them on in an act civil resistance. They called out political mismanagement, lies, and a business as usual mindset from Government officials, which is leading us to climate hell. @euronews https://t.co/yxPpAadp7g pic.twitter.com/ydXlLWS9Vc
— Scientist Rebellion (@ScientistRebel1) April 7, 2022
In op-edPublished in The Guardian on Wednesday, Kalmus warned that “Earth breakdown is much worse than most people realize.”
“The science indicates that as fossil fuels continue to heat our planet, everything we love is at risk,” he wrote. “For me, one of the most horrific aspects of all this is the juxtaposition of present-day and near-future climate disasters with the ‘business as usual’ occurring all around me. It’s so surreal that I often find myself reviewing the science to make sure it’s really happening, a sort of scientific nightmare arm-pinch. Yes, it’s really happening.”
“If everyone could see what I see coming,” Kalmus added, “society would switch into climate emergency mode and end fossil fuels in just a few years.”