NASA scientist arrested after chaining himself to Chase Bank as part of global climate protests
- A NASA scientist and three others were arrested after chaining themselves to a Chase Bank on Wednesday.
- The action was one of more than a dozen climate protests staged by Scientist Rebellion across the globe.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has invested more money in fossil fuels than any other bank, according to a 2020 report from the Sierra Club and other climate advocacy organizations. In addition to calling for immediate action to address the climate crisis, the protestors on Wednesday were calling for the company to divest from coal, oil, and gas.
Peter Kalmus, who studies biological systems and
"I'm willing to take a risk for this gorgeous planet, for my sons," Kalmus said, his voice cracking as he mentioned his children.
Covering his face for a moment, he continued, "We've been trying to warn you guys for so many decades that we're heading towards a fucking catastrophe, and we've been being ignored. The
Insider was unable to identify the other three people who chained themselves to the bank's doors. Nearly four hours later, more than two dozen police officers blocked off the road, removed the four protestors, and carried them away in a van.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. declined to comment on Wednesday's events.
Scientists are risking arrest in cities across the planet
The actions of Kalmus and his companions were part of more than a dozen protests staged in cities across the globe this week, through a coalition called Scientist Rebellion, which is a branch of Extinction Rebellion dedicated to scientists taking actions of civil disobedience to advocate for climate action. This week's protests followed the release of the United Nations' latest climate report.
In Berlin, scientists glued their hands to the road to block a bridge. In Madrid, protestors threw red paint on the steps of the Spanish Parliament. In London, some threw fake oil onto the facade of Shell's UK headquarters. In Sydney, five protestors, including a biology professor, were arrested after laying in the street to block traffic in pouring rain. In Washington, DC, people chained themselves to the fence surrounding the White House.
The report from the UN
Surpassing that temperature increase would have catastrophic consequences beyond the climate change that's already driving extreme wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, and floods across the planet. The report found that the world's governments and corporations are far from meeting the emission-reduction goals that would help limit that extreme weather.
"Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals, but the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels," António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said in a press briefing on Monday.
"It's now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C," Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC group that wrote the new report, said in a press release. "Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible."
Researchers representing Scientist Rebellion also participated in protests surrounding the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, last year, where 15 scientists were arrested.
"This planet is everything, and it's time we start acting like it," Kalmus said.
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