NASA Scientist Arrested After Dire Protest Against Climate Change Consequences

A NASA scientist and three fellow scientists were arrested in Los Angeles last week after they chained themselves to the doors of a Chase Bank office building.

Peter Kalmus, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who does research on biological systems and climate change, spoke to a gathering that gathered immediately after another protestor assisted Kalmus to chai himself to the bank’s glass door handle. 

Kalmus is part of Scientist Rebellion, a branch of Extinction Rebellion dedicated to scientists performing acts of civil disobedience to push for climate action and organized more than a dozen protests in cities around the world last week in response to the release of the United Nations’ latest climate report.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a study that concluded that the world only has less than three years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial standard to reverse the damage brought by emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

Exceeding that temperature increase will have devastating repercussions such as intense wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, and floods around the world.

According to the report, governments and corporations throughout the world are far from fulfilling emission-reduction targets that would help prevent extreme weather.

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said in a press briefing that “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”

In the protest which was livestreamed on Facebook, Kalmus expressed, “We’ve been trying to warn you guys for so many decades that we’re heading towards a f*cking catastrophe, and we’ve been being ignored. 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.”

More than two dozen police officers removed the four protestors and loaded them into a vehicle over four hours later.

On Twitter, Kalmus continues to call for action, “Everyone should be a climate activist, but we are still mostly ignored and sometimes slandered in the media.”

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