At 11am on Wednesday 13 April, a group of scientists pasted scientific papers and glued themselves across the entrance to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in an act of civil disobedience to highlight the clear scientific evidence that the UK Government is ignoring. This protest was organised by “Scientists for XR”.
If scientists take action, something must be wrong, right?
The scientists involved include experts in conservation science, air quality, political science, ecology, and psychology. The action is planned to continue until the UK Government agrees to implement Extinction Rebellion’s immediate demand: to end all new fossil fuel infrastructure immediately.
Dr. Aaron Thierry, an Earth-System Scientist who has studied climate impacts in the Arctic said: “Last week the world’s scientists released a report that sounded the final alarm for the planet. It said we must end our addiction to fossil fuels NOW. The UK Government’s response a few days later was to announce it will increase its exploration for oil and gas with the intention of extracting every last drop. Science tells us that this approach will condemn our civilisations to destruction. We will not stand by and let this happen. Scientists have been sounding the alarm for decades but have been ignored by governments. We have no choice for the sake of our children and the living planet than to act in civil disobedience until our governments face the truth and abandon fossil fuels.”
We can’t afford a pass on climate change
The war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis are exacerbating energy prices, but this does not give the Government a “pass on climate change” as the Prime Minister has suggested. The science demands that governments across the world immediately end all new fossil fuel investments.
Dr. Emily Cox, a Social Scientist who specialises on public attitudes on climate and energy said: “We are targeting the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy because it is responsible for choosing between fossil fuels or a liveable planet. At the moment it is choosing fossil fuels. This is not in the public interest. A huge majority of the UK public want the government to move away from fossil fuels as fast as possible and replace them with renewable energy. The public also favours energy efficiency measures such as insulating homes to greatly reduce our demand for oil and gas. But the government is not listening, preferring to give subsidies and tax breaks to fossil fuel companies. Not in my name. I can no longer be a bystander to these destructive and unpopular policies.”
Dr Abi Perrin, a scientist who researches photosynthetic microbes said: “I’m taking these actions today as a scientist who feels they have a responsibility to act on what they know. The science is clear that new fossil fuel production puts us all in serious danger – our government cannot claim to be climate leaders whilst pursuing an energy strategy that furthers the harm being inflicted on our planet and its people.”
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