NASA Scientists Chain Themselves to Chase Bank in Los Angeles to Protest Against Funding Fossil Fuels

Peter Kalmus, a NASA climate scientist, was arrested on April 6 after he chained himself to the door of the JP Morgan Chase building in Los Angeles, California to protest against climate change. The company has spent over $316 billion funding the fossil fuel industry since 2020, which studies show will result in an unlivable world by 2050.

Their protest was organized by the Scientist Rebellion, an activist group consisting of scientists who engage in civil disobedience against climate change. So far, over 1,000 scientists have taken part in these rebellions in hopes that their warnings do not go unnoticed.

“We’re going to lose everything, and we’re not joking, we’re not lying, we’re not exaggerating,” said Kalmus  in an interview with The Independent. He explained that his protest was an attempt to educate the public and have them realize that the climate crisis is mainly due to burning fossil fuels, and that he aims to reduce the public’s use of them. JP Morgan Chase has spent billions of dollars financing the fossil fuel industry, making it a top financer of the industry. In a statement made in February of 2020, the bank claimed to commit to low-carbon and clean energy. In 2021 they claimed they were dedicated to reaching net-zero emissions, meaning they will no longer be funding fossil fuels. There has been no evidence to support their claims. 

Fossil fuels contribute to the climate crisis by releasing greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere, trapping heat inside. According to the Scientist Rebellion, by 2050 we are set to heat the planet by 2 degrees Celsius, which will result in billions of people around the world without enough food and water.

Permafrost, a frozen layer of soil, contains enough carbon to raise the temperature by 2 degrees Celsius if it were to thaw, which it already is. The rapid loss of coral reefs destroyed carbon reserves that could potentially slow down the climate crisis. Studies estimate sea levels increase 2-3cm every couple of years. By 2050, floods will increase annually around the world leaving the 600 million people who live less than 10cm above sea level homeless. In addition to the extreme heat come deadly heat waves.

Due to weather events like these, food production will fall short of demand which can even result in famine. Crop yields are estimated to decline by 50% in just a couple of decades. Global warming will also cause 10 month-long droughts with just a 3 degree Celsius increase. The effects are extremely disastrous. “We are currently heading directly towards civilizational collapse. We need to switch into climate emergency mode as a society,” said Kalmus. 

Taking part in civil disobedience brings more attention to the matter, said Kalmus, and it makes him feel hopeful for the future. “I feel like I’m actually, finally, starting to be heard – probably, really, for the first time,” he said.