Scientists call for climate revolution with promises of civil disobedience

Scientists are insane and demanding that their claims about the impending climate catastrophe be taken seriously. That’s the message released Sunday by a loosely knit global network of scientists and academics planning a “high level of disobedience” to highlight what they believe is a planet in decline.

Members of Scientist Rebellion told AFP their nonviolent actions were timed to coincide with an upcoming report by the UN Advisory Panel on Climate Science laying out options to reduce carbon pollution.

Scientist Rebellion will operate in two dozen countries. It is aimed at universities, research institutes and major scientific journals, urging them to comment on what has been termed the “existential threat of global warming”.

The group promises to block roads “on every continent with over 1,000 scientists and academics” from April 4-9 with associated acts of civil disobedience inspired by the eco-extremist Extinction Rebellion lobby.

“Scientists are particularly powerful ambassadors and we have a responsibility to lead,” said Charlie Gardner, a conservation scientist at the University of Kent specializing in tropical biodiversity.

“We’re not taking on that responsibility. When we say it is an emergency, we must act as such.”

As of Monday, the group is hoping for a “high level of disobedience” with more than 1,000 scientists worldwide engaging in direct nonviolent action against governments and academic institutions.

Activists participate in the March for Climate Justice in New York City on November 13, 2021. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientist Rebellion was founded in 2020 by two physics PhD students at St Andrews College in Scotland, partly inspired by the broader Extinction Rebellion, outlines AFP.

The group’s first significant action, with more than 100 scientists in March 2021, was directed against the British Royal Society and the scientific publisher Springer Nature.

“We basically pasted enlarged copies of their journal articles calling for rapid change in their offices,” said Kyle Topher, an environmental scientist from Australia and a full-time activist with the group.

“As scientists, we tend to be risk-averse — we don’t want to risk our jobs, reputation, or time,” said Rose Abramoff, a soil scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville, Tennessee, and a member of the Scientist Rebellion.

“But it’s no longer enough to do our research and expect others to read it and understand the gravity and urgency of the climate crisis.”

The group’s goal is “to make this crisis unmissable,” she added.

AFP contributed to this story

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