Global Scientist Rebellion, March 2021
More than 100 scientists in at least 15 countries engaged in civil disobedience, pasting scientific papers outlining the emergency over institutions and government buildings, going on hunger strike and educating the public about the crisis and the role of civil resistance in countering it.
Prominent scientists, such as NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus and sustainability professor Jem Bendell, to name a couple, joined us and amplified our message, helping us to reach hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.
The Royal Society
The Royal Society is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. They know governments are greenwashing their actions, saying one thing and doing another. The RS has enormous authority within the scientific community that it could use to call out the corruption at the heart of climate inaction, and to encourage scientists to resist climate genocide. Strong words must be backed up by action.
To draw attention to this, our activists threw green paint on the columns of their building, and attached to the doors a list of demands calling for them to encourage non-violent direct action against the British government in the name of truth and survival. This was the first of many actions Scientist Rebellion took.
Scientists know what’s coming better than anyone – if we don’t resist, who will?
Scientific Journal, Nature
Nature is one of the world’s leading scientific journals. Their own publications demonstrate that nothing short of political revolution can avert the crisis, yet when we sent them a letter calling on them to endorse civil resistance, they refused, suggesting they’d done enough by publishing the science.
It is insufficient for scientists simply to restate the facts when the facts have been ignored for 40 years. To be taken seriously, scientists need to act like the situation is serious.
“Examples [of climate tipping points] are starting to be observed… This is an existential threat to civilisation. No amount of economic cost-benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem”
– Lenton et al., 2020, Nature, 575, 592-595
Mobilise Peace, A University Campaign
It is not just scientific instituitons that are complicit in climate inaction, Universities have a responsibility to educate their students and speak the truth about the dire situation that humanity faces.
Over the course of several months in Autumn and Winter 2020, Scientist Rebellion targeted several prestigious Universities across the United Kingdom and Ireland, daubing paint and pasting climate related articles written by students and alumni to administrative buildings in order to expose their hypocracy. Additionally, non-violent occupations were staged at the offices of senior faculty, ensuring that our pleas could no longer be ignored.
The Royal Society, Again
The Royal Society never responded to our requests, so we engaged in another act of civil disobedience using paint and stencils to mark their premises with slogans related to their continued inaction.
“Billions to starve”. The Royal Society knows this is a real risk. Holding the hand of government as they perpetrate the deepest injustice in history can no longer be justified.
“Inaction is denial”. There is a chasm between saying something is true and acting like it is true. We must transform our institutions, our economies, our politics, urgently.