Climate science in a changing climate
We study climate change. Our generation is defined by it. Are new paradigms needed for public engagement on climate change?
With excitement and engagement around the climate strike building, my colleagues and I gathered to talk about how we would engage with the climate strike as climate scientists. While climate scientists have been testifying to governments and warning of the many risks of climate change for generations, joining mass protests as climate scientists so far has not been a widely accepted mode of engagement (although some scientists have been part of demonstrations in the streets). Our conversations about effective engagement in this era, when the science of climate change has been settled for generations and the effects of climate change are already visible, led us to understand that while more climate science is necessary in order to better inform action, climate scientists also need to build relationships with community groups in order to be more effective as scientists and as advocates.
We reached out to community groups to ask about their plans, what changes they would like to see at a local and international level, and how we could best support them. After learning more about their perspectives and hearing that they wanted climate strike participants to write op-eds about their participation, we decided to use our platform as scientists to support the climate strike and its demands both by showing up and by writing an op-ed in the paper DigBoston.