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Hundreds Of Scientists Sign Letter In Support Of Worldwide Civil Disobedience To Address Climate Change

Hundreds of scientists from around the world — more than 800 and closing in on 900 as of press time — are signing onto a shared Google Drive document in support of citizens of various nations using non-violent acts of civil disobedience in order to pressure their governments to act on climate change.

Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images

The declaration acknowledges that, “if global greenhouse gas emissions are not brought rapidly down to net zero and biodiversity loss is not halted, we risk catastrophic and irreversible damage to our planetary life-support systems, causing incalculable human suffering and many deaths,” according to a report from AlterNet.

To address encourage governments to take actual and meaningful measures on the subject, the scientists who have signed the document, available to view here, believe it is time for citizens to act out in order to get better results from their leaders.

“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and nonviolent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law. 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,” the document reads.

The document asks that signers who add their name to the growing list calling for civil disobedience have earned at least a Master’s Degree in their field of study, or that they work “in a scientific field” of some kind.

Julia Steinberger, ecological economist at University of Leeds, spoke to Reuters over the weekend about the document’s importance.

“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,” Steinberger told the publication. “We need to be rethinking the role of the scientist and engage with how social change happens at a massive and urgent scale. We can’t allow science as usual.”

Last year, a climate report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the world had only until the year 2030 to act on the subject to avoid average temperatures of the planet rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius, The Guardian reported. At 2.0 degrees Celsius, the planet would face cataclysmic outcomes, including the possible end of all coral life on Earth, as well as the worsening of melting of ice at the poles.



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