Scientists Endorse Mass Civil Disobedience To Force Climate Action

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Above Photo: Julia Steinberger, an ecological economist at Britain’s University of Leeds, endorses mass civil disobedience to pressure governments to tackle climate change at a protest at London’s Science Museum, Britain October 12, 2019. Louise Jasper/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – Almost 400 scientists have endorsed a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change, warning that failure could inflict “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.

The declaration was coordinated by a group of scientists who support Extinction Rebellion, a civil disobedience campaign that formed in Britain a year ago and has since sparked offshoots in dozens of countries.

The group launched a fresh wave of international actions on Monday, aiming to get governments to address an ecological crisis caused by climate change and accelerating extinctions of plant and animal species.

A total of 1,307 volunteers had since been arrested at various protests in London by 2030 GMT on Saturday, Extinction Rebellion said. A further 1,463 volunteers have been arrested in the past week in another 20 cities, including Brussels, Amsterdam, New York, Sydney and Toronto, according to the group’s tally. More protests in this latest wave are due in the coming days.

While many scientists have shunned overt political debate, fearing that being perceived as activists might undermine their claims to objectivity, the 395 academics who had signed the declaration by 1100 GMT on Sunday chose to defy convention.

“The urgency of the crisis is now so great that many scientists feel, as humans, that we now have a moral duty to take radical action,” Grossman told Reuters.

Other signatories included several scientists who contributed to the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has produced a series of reports underscoring the urgency of dramatic cuts in carbon emissions.

“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.”

Extinction Rebellion’s flag is a stylized symbol of an hourglass in a circle, and its disruptive tactics include peacefully occupying bridges and roads.

The group has electrified supporters who said they had despaired at the failure of conventional campaigning to spur action. But its success in paralyzing parts of London has also angered critics who complained the movement has inconvenienced thousands of people and diverted police resources.

Extinction Rebellion is aligned with a school strike movement inspired by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, which mobilized millions of young people on Sept. 20. It hopes the scientists’ support for the urgency of its message and its embrace of civil disobedience will bolster its legitimacy and draw more volunteers.

The group said more than half the signatories of the declaration are experts in the fields of climate science and the loss of wildlife. Although British universities and institutes were well represented, signatories also worked in countries including the United States, Australia, Spain and France.

  • voza0db

    Dear fellow modern slaves…

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IS UNABLE TO RESOLVE THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM.

    Don’t forget that we are living the PRESENT situation thanks to science and technology.

    In order to use [basic] science in order to try to make you understand this simple REALITY, lets do together some basic math!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac01227b5c8574c278f5bad73ad9f5b448337aeecee1a99d6b1182bd6d21b4ea.jpg

    and…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de7ef56dfca23f29a33d360446cf4d933e504164c7364926be6c74d2a4edbc03.jpg

  • 31,487 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b450dcf1ab885378aec53ccc9740c5ce3ad5cc207b74b4a20c9a2e72caf40264.jpg

  • Propagandists of climate change are propagandist of neocolonialism.

    Propagandists of climate change ALWAYS are irresponsible.

  • ThisOldMan

    YMBSFBT: Yet More BS From a Brainless Troll

  • Sharlene

    If you actually look at the REAL science – and it might take awhile – you’ll see how much of the climate change movement is really a religion. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s true. Geocentric universe anyone?

  • Sharlene

    One more thing that would serve to research is geo-engineering in all its manifestations. Just a friendly tip.

  • ANTONIO

    People who are against the idea of climate disaster are apologists for capitalism. While some socialist countries are developing with disposable energy, because that is the fastest way to develop, they nevertheless have a planned economy, where use of disposable energy is planned into obsolesce. Capitalists make no such plans, but have the quixotic idea that the earth is infinitely renewable whose resources are to be sucked out indefinitely. The best and only way to fight global warming is to destroy capitalism once and for all.

  • richardprofumo

    This is for our lives!

  • Natural science (from Latin “Naturalis scientia”, which in Modern Greek “Φυσικές επιστήμες” or “φυσιογνωσία” – “physikes epistimes” or “physiognosia”) – natural sciences, uses in the cognition process (physics, chemistry, geology, biology, anatomy, etc)

    Social science (Greek “Κοινωνικές επιστήμες” – “Canonikes epistimes”) – is a category of academic disciplines, that are not guided by the scientific method, but actively use formal sciences to substantiate the advantages of various schools of these disciplines, i would say that these are group interpretations, авторитеты (law, economics, psychology, philology, rhetoric, sociology, history, political science, pedagogy, cultural studies, anthropology, climate science)

    As can be seen, Greek academic terminology is more concrete, and
    therefore more effective when used in the process of knowledge, but less effective when used in socio-canonical management. Probably, the initial reason for such a substitution is the identification of human
    laws with the laws of physics.

  • As i can understood it was your emotion. You are not ready to prove your statement and be responsible for your words, is it?
    As i could understand you only ready for irresponsible supporting of neocolonial Climate Change propaganda, started by Maurice Strong and David Rockfeller.

  • No. It is you are irresponsible apologist of Maurice Strong and David Rockfeller agenda.

    You are participating in this capitalist propaganda of neocolonialism in order to feel good, to create the illusion that you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  • Jacob Griesmer

    “harm the environment” by halting pollution, okay, lol. This shit might work on brain dead Americans but no one else is buying this insane garbage. Can I do a line of depleted uranium aerosol with you while we’re at it? The Republican party, the last entity on Earth to still spout such non-sense, even the Navy says it’s their number one threat.

  • Jacob Griesmer

    You mean that the director of the CIA was talking about? The CIA the leaders behind endless wars for oil.

  • > Can I do a line of depleted uranium aerosol with you while we’re at it?

    Westerners are not ready to give up their inherited privileges, are not ready to give up their usual level of consumption. That’s why Westerners have to go “outsource” their pollution into their colonies. See: Agbogbloshie

  • chetdude

    Protecting their government funding to continue the status-quo…

  • You said it about your irresponsible colonial climate change propaganda?

  • chetdude

    You should attempt to define your bizarre, counter-factual term… “colonial climate change”…

    Are you trying to say that allowing the other 7 billion people to destroy the Planet as effectively as the 1/2 billion doing it now is your grand plan?

    I’m for Global Birth Control especially for the affluent nations and conservation…

  • Are you trying to say that allowing the other 7 billion people to destroy the Planet as effectively as the 1/2 billion doing it now is your grand plan?

    No.

    I’m for Global Birth Control especially for the affluent nations and conservation…

    No.

  • chetdude

    Ok, that’s one vote for human extinction from zlaxy…

  • No.
    You want depopulation of third worlds countries for preservation of your privileged level of consumption.
    I do not want depopulation, i prefer consumption decrease of Westerners.

  • chetdude

    No, you’re wrong.

    The provision of Birth Control and education and empowerment of women to USE IT to peacefully lower the entire global population MUST begin in the more affluent nations who are hogging the most resources while we share those resources with the rest of the world along the way to a sustainable population level.

    Although, it’s likely that the perverse dominant drive to pop out progeny (further exacerbated by phony ‘religions’ trying to out-breed the ‘other’) may prove to be the final suicidal tendency among humans.

  • No, you’re wrong.

    No, you.
    You are privileged Westerner who try to keep his inherited colonial consumption values.
    You don’t want to reduce your consumption, you want to consume even more by reducing the population of your colonies and seizing their resources.

  • chetdude

    I HAVE ALREADY REDUCED MY CONSUMPTION…

    Go bother someone who’s part of the problem…

  • > I HAVE ALREADY REDUCED MY CONSUMPTION…

    No. If you live in some privileged western country – you did not reduced inherited level of consumption.

  • chetdude

    Uh, yes, I have…

  • No.

    You are an common irresponsible Western Supremacist. I think you are also supporting US imperialism by money (taxes) and legitimization (voting)

  • chetdude

    I’ll bet your carbon footprint is not only larger than mine but is also much higher than those folks you pretend to defend…

    “Think” away — or you could investigate my open profile and find out how wrong you are…

  • I’ll bet your carbon footprint is not only larger than mine but is also much higher than those folks you pretend to defend…

    You’re lying. If you’re not lying, let’s check it out. What’s the bet?

    “Think” away — or you could investigate my open profile and find out how wrong you are…

    I looked at your public profile. There’s nothing to indicate that.

    Tell me, please, what country do you live in?
    Do you pay taxes?
    Do you participate in democratic elections?

  • chetdude

    You’re either blind or didn’t investigate far enough.

    I know that 61,000+ posts can be somewhat daunting…

  • You’re lying. If you’re not lying, let’s check it out. What’s the bet?