Scientists in the United States and around the world are using civil disobedience to dramatize the risks of climate change. Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and multiple other news outlets have reported on the growing frustration of climate scientists who contend that their warnings are not being heeded. “The scientists of the world are being ignored, and it’s got to stop. We’re not joking. We’re not lying. We’re not exaggerating,” exclaimed Peter Kalmus, a biological systems and climate change scientist at NASA, told a gathering in Los Angeles. Kalmus and three other scientists had chained themselves to the front doors of a JP Morgan Chase Bank to protest government and business inaction on climate change.
In other actions around the world, scientists glued documents and even their hands to the windows of government buildings in the UK and were arrested during protests at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid. The term “Civil Disobedience” was coined by Henry David Thoreau in 1848 and has been a common tactic for numerous political and environmental movements. However, it can be seen as an unusual approach for scientists who more typically express their views in journals and lectures. As the burning of fossil fuels continues to grow, despite the increased investment in clean energy, Zondits anticipates continued frustration amongst those studying changes to the climate.