Yesterday evening, Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Institute for Space Studies, together with 29 others, got arrested when trespassing onto land in West Virginia that is mined for coal. Burning coal is the most important reason for the fast increase of CO2 in our atmosphere, and thus for the warming of our planet.
What news! Finally Dr. Hansen managed to get arrested! He had tried before, when blocking a coal fired power plant in D.C. together with Bill McKibben and hundreds of other protestors; but the police did not dare to touch them. This time they did.
This will send a powerful message around the world: people, do something more than you have done so far! Peaceful demonstrations, in form of direct interference with the fossil fuel industry, a massive build-up of protest and direct involvement of every single citizen needs to be the consequence of the political process that is too slow to be effective. It also sends out an important mesage to scientists: speak up!!
What will YOU say when your kids ask you what you did to prevent the catatstrophe they might live with? “I informed myself”, “I bought an energy saving fridge”, “”I used my bike more frequently”, “I published papers in scientific journals”…those actions are not enough to give a satisfying answer to your kids.
The world got rich and lazy (ok, except for those who aren’t). Get up, world, wake up from your media-induced slumber, and do something more powerful, more effective than ever before!