The internet is buzzing about a scientist who risked being arrested to fight for a cause he believes in. He chained himself to the entrance of a bank along with three of his colleagues. They are sick and tired of being ignored in terms of their warnings about climate change.
NASA scientists will not be ignored
Peter Kalmus is a scientist who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Los Angeles. His work involves researching climate change and biological systems. On April 6th, instead of going to work, Peter took a detour to a JP Morgan Chase building in downtown L.A. He was met there by three of his colleagues, other scientists who work for NASA. Together they chained themselves to the entrance of the building. Their intention was to raise awareness of the dire problem the world is facing – climate change.
Peter Kalmus went from a scientist to an activist in a matter of minutes. They chose JP Morgan Chase bank as their platform to chain themselves to because the bank is responsible for funding fossil fuel firms. This means they are fueling the fire that is causing global warming. Peter confirmed that the protest was something he did on his own accord, and not on behalf of his employer. Furthermore, over 1200 scientists have protested to raise awareness of climate change over the last week.
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Fridays for Future
Originally, Peter’s expertise was astrophysics. 10 years ago he decided he wanted to specialize in earth science, so he changed his career accordingly. He was disappointed to realize how society did not seem to want to change, even with the looming threat of the damaging effects of climate change and global warming. He decided he had to convince society personally. Thus, he joined Fridays for Future, helping to organize their public talks and meetings at city councils. Additionally, he knew he had to drastically cut down his own emissions to lessen his carbon footprint. Fridays for Future is an organization, composed mostly of youths, that fights to change society’s way of living. In order to save the planet.
A little bit of civil disobedience
Peter Kalmus thinks that simply telling society about the dangers we face when climate change takes its toll. For so long he has seen their words of warning ignored, no matter how descriptive they got. It is his opinion that a certain amount of civil disobedience is needed. With this, he is not alone. The scientists who joined Peter in chaining themselves to the bank are part of a group called, Scientist Rebellion. “I think climate activists, especially those taking risks in climate disobedience, are genuine heroes. They’re selflessly protecting the planet for all of us, even for future generations,” said Peter.
In an interview with Fast Company Peter said: “I think the biggest takeaway from the IPCC report is we need to switch into emergency mode as a society. We’ve got to end this disconnect between what the scientists are saying we need to do, and what society and leaders of society—the elected officials, CEOs, judges, etcetera—are actually doing. So the science says [that] we have to ramp down the fossil fuel industry as fast as we possibly can. Forget about the budget, forget about the deadlines, forget about 2050. Forget about 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees, every little bit of fossil fuel that we burn at this point, every day that we wait to start ramping down emissions globally, makes things worse, right?”
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