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Help a Scientist Be a Hero

Four hundred scientists have signed a declaration endorsing civil disobedience to force decisive changes in public policy on global cooling global warming climate change climate instability. 

Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

LONDON (Reuters) — Almost 400 scientists have endorsed a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change…

In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne.

Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolize their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London’s century-old Science Museum…

“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law,” said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology….

“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,” she said.

The declaration was coordinated by a group of scientists who support Extinction Rebellion, a civil disobedience campaign…

A total of 1,307 volunteers had since been arrested at various protests in London by 2030 GMT on Saturday, Extinction Rebellion said. A further 1,463 volunteers have been arrested in the past week in another 20 cities, including Brussels, Amsterdam, New York, Sydney and Toronto, according to the group’s tally. More protests in this latest wave are due in the coming days. While many scientists have shunned overt political debate, fearing that being perceived as activists might undermine their claims to objectivity, the 395 academics who had signed the declaration by 1100 GMT on Sunday chose to defy convention.

“The urgency of the crisis is now so great that many scientists feel, as humans, that we now have a moral duty to take radical action…”

“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.”

No More “Science as Usual”

So let’s look at what their fanaticism means:

  1. They advocate breaking the law in order to influence public policy. These scientists don’t live in North Korea, so the law they are breaking is made by the public — that is, by you and me. Our laws are made through a democratic process. These scientists are upset that democracy doesn’t empower scientists to dictate public policy. 
  2. These scientists say that the criminality they are advocating is “non-violent.” Of course, radical environmentalism has long been tainted by violence, but they assure us that this will be an exception. Yet, even if they succeed only in obstructing traffic in rush hour, violence is in the eye of the beholder. It is a basic principle of emergency medicine that time is essential — the “Golden Hour” between your injury or illness and your arrival at a hospital where you can receive skilled care is critical to your survival. If you’re having a heart attack, and your trip to the hospital in an ambulance takes 1 hour instead of 10 minutes because greenies in lab coats chained themselves to the highway/bridge/whatever, you might reasonably consider yourself a victim of violence. Blocking public transportation is quite violent — it disrupts people’s lives by force, and by blocking emergency vehicles will end up killing innocent people whose lives depend on emergency vehicles. Deliberately blocking ambulances, fire vehicles, police, etc. seems to fall under the category of criminally negligent homicide. And that’s the consequence of the least violent outcome these scientists advocate.  
  3. It would seem to me that if you are a scientist who wants to convince the public to trust you, you wouldn’t advertise to the public that you are a fanatic who is willing to break the law to get your way, even to the point of killing people. Heck, if you’re willing to break the law and let people die in ambulances waiting in traffic, you obviously have no compunction about fudging a number here and there in your data. Why would we trust these scientists’ data in their latest “Global Warming Is the End” paper in Nature, when they’ve explicitly said that they are passionate ideologues who break the law? Why trust data from fanatics?
  4. Of course, civil disobedience can be noble. It has been done for the most noble causes. But inherent to civil disobedience is the fact that those who do it are in violation of the law. After all, if it’s not illegal, it’s not civil disobedience. Accordingly, these scientists should be arrested and prosecuted. If you’re not in jail, you didn’t really commit civil disobedience.
  5. They also should be declared ineligible for public funding — after all, it is the public who are the victims of their crimes. Criminals have no claim to funding from their victims, and once scientists have declared themselves advocates and not objective scientists, their work can’t be trusted anyway. In fact, their previous papers should be retracted. They clearly have an agenda and they’re willing to break the law to advance it. Objectivity is everything in science. None of their science, past or future, can be trusted. 

Heroes or Villians?

In the long run, these scientists may be heroes or they may be villains. It depends on whether their global warming hysteria is true or not. To date, every science apocalypse — Malthusian famine, eugenic collapse, DDT hysteria, global cooling, heterosexual AIDS epidemic — has been a fraud, but maybe global cooling global warming climate change climate instability is the charm. If not, ocean acidification is in the wings.

Time will tell. But for now, these scientists criminals should be in jail for committing criminal acts and should be excluded from public funding for their science propaganda. 

Provide these “heroes” with the adversity they crave. Prosecute them according to the law and strip their funding. Don’t let them preen. Give these fanatics posing as scientists something to be heroic about.

Photo: Extinction Rebellion protest, Oxford Circus, London, via Wikimedia Commons.