Science is getting tired

Hailey Brune – Opinion Columnist

The week before Easter there were protests across the world of frustrated scientists. I was shocked to hear so little about this since it was over 1,000 people in over 25 different countries. I’d heard it mentioned on TikTok and then I didn’t hear anything else about it. So I figured I’d do some digging into the subject and share. I find it interesting that some of our smartest minds speak up, and we know nothing about it. Normally, you’d think that’s who you want to hear from.
Between April 4 to 9 scientists staged demonstrations of protest against climate change and the lack of government support or help. The international movement Scientist Rebellion planned these demonstrations. They protest and speak out about climate change and the ecological crisis to those who have power. Their goal is to expose the reality and severity of climate change while engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. As scientists who study the world from the smallest molecule to the largest systems, they find it personally disheartening when they’re not heard.
The place for a scientist to speak up about how they feel, when it comes to their research, has always been a bit of a confusing place. They’re always told to be an observer and record what’s there, and until this point that’s what they’ve done. They’ve tracked climate change, put out the data they’ve received about the changes happening in the world, and the negative effects it’s had and what could be done to change the path we’re on. Recently they’ve started noticing that no matter how much data they put out, nothing is being done. They’re not being listened to in a lot of cases.
Many scientists have decided to join in and start taking action by protesting. A handful of researchers were arrested for locking themselves to the gate of the White House and the JPMorgan Chase bank in Los Angeles as well as blocking traffic on a highway in Washington, D.C. Some research protesters were also arrested for throwing red liquid on the Spanish parliament. Other than some basic information not a lot was reported about the protests.
The need for these demonstrations was due to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report stated that within five or six years the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would push temperatures across irreversible levels. This was the push the science community needed to get fed up, to take informing those in power into their own hands. They see it as a now or never situation that’s currently being pushed under the rug.
Another aggravation for their climate change worries was due to the increase of exports of natural gas to European countries. While helping Ukraine not be dependent on Russian fuels is a good thing, that also means building new fossil fuel infrastructure. Scientists worry this will increase America’s dependence on them, due to obvious trends in the country already. Scientists know that we have some time to change and make a difference, but they also know that it’s running out.
Change is slow and takes a lot of time, commitment, and collaboration. Sadly, getting people to agree that taking care of the environment and its biodiversity is even harder. On top of getting someone in power to listen and help. The ocean is losing its biodiversity and coral reefs, and being heavily polluted. Deforestation and extinctions are happening due to human activities. Carbon emissions and the effects we’ve had on air quality in general is also astounding.
So many lack the understanding that what we do affects more than just us. Our actions are on such a wide scale that it affects everything around us. What we do can destroy so much, including ourselves. So many people in power either don’t care or ignore the impending devastation we’re bound to find ourselves in. Those around the world who’ve studied and been employed to watch and keep track of these changes are tired. They no longer want to sit back and watch data of us killing the earth come in. From the people in charge of the Scientist Rebellion, they will keep protesting until something changes. “This is bigger than any one of us, it’s bigger than our careers. It’s bigger than our lives.”
As you finish the semester and go off to your summer plans keep in mind what carbon footprint you’re leaving. Travel consciously and be accommodating to the environments that you could possibly affect. Look into activism and what you can do to make a change, and help get those above us to make a change. There’s so much room to improve and do better, that it’s ignorant for those in power not to try.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.