- Two climate scientists were kicked out of a major science conference in Chicago on Thursday.
- Peter Kalmus and Rose Abramoff went onstage to urge other researchers to take climate action.
- They told Insider the American Geophysical Union told them they’d be arrested if they returned.
CHICAGO, Illinois — Two climate scientists say they were kicked out of the world’s biggest meeting of the Earth and space sciences on Thursday.
NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus and ecologist Rose Abramoff each told Insider they acted on their own behalf when they climbed onstage during a plenary event at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, an association of 60,000 advocates and professionals in the Earth and space sciences.
#AGU22 is the huge Earth science meeting, with 25,000 scientists. Talks and posters detail the breaking down of our Earth in real time. They are terrifying. So @ultracricket and I stepped outside extremely strong norms and urged scientists to take a stand.pic.twitter.com/qkjQVq8SGh
— Peter Kalmus (@ClimateHuman) December 16, 2022
NASA scientist Peter Kalmus
Abramoff and Kalmus see these catastrophes unfolding in their own research, and they’ve both been arrested multiple times this year as part of climate protests. They wanted to galvanize other scientists to act on their own research, too.
“If the people who know the most about Earth breakdown are still acting like everything’s fine, then of course everyone else is going to keep acting like everything’s fine,” Kalmus told Insider.
Onstage, Kalmus and Abramoff unfurled a banner that read, “out of the lab and into the streets,” and called for their colleagues to start taking climate action.
At the American Geophysical Union meeting in Chicago today Scientist Rebellion activists took action to raise the importance of scientists sounding the alarm on the climate crisis.
The message is simple – scientists must step out of the labs and take action onto the streets. pic.twitter.com/YBHhpYA5SF
— Scientist Rebellion (@ScientistRebel1) December 15, 2022
“Our science is showing that the planet is dying. It’s terrifying. Everything is at risk. As scientists, we have tremendous leverage, but we need to use it. We can wake everybody up,” Kalmus yelled over a recording introducing the first speaker.
“Please, please, please find a way to take action,” Abramoff called out, as a woman standing below them grabbed the banner from her, according to video footage from the event.
AGU staff escorted the pair offstage as audience members applauded and cheered.
Kalmus and Abramoff said two staff members then took their conference badges from them and told them to leave.
Abramoff said she received a phone call later, in which AGU staff informed her that if she or Kalmus returned to the fall meeting, they would be arrested, and that AGU was contacting their employers to complain.
“I interpreted that as basically a threat — which I don’t know if it was a hollow threat or not — to try and get us fired,” Abramoff told Insider.
Flashback: Meet Peter Kalmus, the ‘dumpster diving’ NASA climate scientist who warns it’s ‘end of life on Earth as we know it’ & it’s ‘freaking out in my brain’– ProPublica profile of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab climate scientist Peter Kalmus: – “A climate scientist spent years trying to get people to pay attention to the disaster ahead. His wife is exhausted. His older son thinks there’s no future. And nobody but him will use the outdoor toilet he built to shrink his carbon footprint.” …