Dec 8, 2022 • 55M

Why Scientists Must Rebel | Aaron Thierry

Bringing the frontline of the climate crisis to the street

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Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.
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“The public do trust science and scientists more than probably any other social group, according to social surveys. The public have expectations on scientists that they will speak out if they see issues of national or social concern because they expect that scientists are working in the public good.

“So what’s the responsibility on us as academics then, knowing what we know, knowing that we're heading for disaster, knowing that that governments aren't doing nearly enough to avert it, in fact are actually pouring fuel on the fire? What do we do? And I think for us to not then speak out about that, to not resist, that would be to really fail in our duty, both as scholars, but also as citizens.


Aaron Thierry is an ecologist and environmental activist. After spending years on the frontline of the climate crisis in the Arctic, Aaron now researches the communication strategies of activist organisations, examining the interplay between reason and emotion in the climate emergency movement.

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Aaron joins me to discuss his research, explaining the positive impact of scientists rebelling against government inaction, and why all academics must broaden their understanding of their role as educators to warn their students of the realities of the crisis. Aaron explains the benefits of a decentralised activist movement sharing one single coherent message—and, in doing so, reveals the true sunken cost of fossil fuel infrastructure that will likely send us well over the 1.5 degree limit.

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© Rachel Donald