LAPD Needs Like A Million Cops To Arrest Four Scientists At Climate Protest
Protesting scientists chain themselves to Chase Bank entrance Wednesday. Photo: Scientist Rebellion on Twitter

During an unseasonable heat wave in Los Angeles Wednesday, a group of climate activists protested outside the JP Morgan Chase building downtown. Four scientists — a climate scientist, a science teacher, an engineer, and a physicist — chained themselves to the bank's doors as part of a global climate protest organized by the groups Extinction Rebellion and Scientist Rebellion.

The protest was held just a few days after the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming new report saying the world can still meet the best-case Paris goal for limiting the damage done by global warming, but only by making "immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors," and far more quickly than industrialized nations have committed to — to say nothing of the enormous greenhouse gas emissions actually happening.

LAist's Erin Stone describes the protest:

The four men — climate scientist Peter Kalmus, science educator Allan Chornak, physicist Greg Spooner and engineer Eric Gill — donned white lab coats and chained themselves to the bank’s front doors in protest of the bank’s investments in coal, oil and gas projects. They chose JP Morgan Chase because the bank has funded more new fossil fuel projects than any other bank, according to a report by a group of NGOs.

The other climate activists soon joined the scientists, marching and chanting while holding up signs reading “Chase fuels the crisis” and “1.5° is dead! Climate revolution now!”

NASA Climate scientist Peter Kalmus choked up as he spoke about the stakes, and the price of inaction: "The scientists of the world have been being ignored and it’s got to stop [...] we're going to lose everything."

We’re not joking, we’re not lying, we’re not exaggerating. This is so bad that we’re willing to take this risk and more and more scientists and more and more people are gonna start joining us.

After the small, peaceful protest had gone on for a few hours, the Los Angeles Police Department sent in riot officers; one activist group estimated on Twitter that there were about 10 cops for each protester:

Around 5 p.m., the cops declared the protest an unlawful assembly, and cleared everyone out: protesters, media, and onlookers.

The four scientists were arrested (with about 50 cops taking part all told), then slapped with misdemeanor trespassing charges and released early Thursday morning.

The world continues to spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere this morning and every morning, and the IPCC warns that by the time it releases its next report on climate mitigation, in five or six years, humanity will have most likely burned through the remainder of the "carbon budget" that's left before there's too much CO2 in the atmosphere to meet the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

The only good news here is that it's still not too late to limit the damage: For every tenth of a degree we can limit total warming, the planet will be a little better off, a little less screwed. If the options for our future are "pretty fucked" and "enormously, civilization-threateningly fucked," then we'll take the version with less fucked in it, please.

But we need to demand immediate action. It's a matter of life and death. We're all in the lifeboats now, so grab an oar and row for dear life.

[IPCC report / LAist / Inside Climate News / Scientific American / Photo: Scientist Rebellion on Twitter]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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