“We’re going to lose everything,” Kalmus said in a video of the moment. “And we’re not joking, we’re not lying, we’re not exaggerating.”
Dr Kalmus, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, was participating in a protest organized by Scientist Rebellion as part of a global day of action by scientists around the world. His protest in LA involved scientists chaining themselves to the doors of a JPMorgan Chase building.
“I’m here because scientists are not being listened to. I’m willing to take a risk for this gorgeous planet,” Dr Kalmus said while chained to the door. He then started to cry as he added: “For my sons.”
“This is for all of the kids of the world, all of the young people, all of the future people,” Dr Kalmus said later. “This is so much bigger than any of us.”
Dr Kalmus tweeted the next day that he and other protestors had been arrested and linked to an essay he penned forThe Guardian reiterating the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.
“It’s time for all of us to stand up, and take risks, and make sacrifices for this beautiful planet that gives us life, that gives us everything,” Dr Kalmus said in the video.
The protest occurred at Chase in protest of the bank’s fossil fuel financing, the Scientist Rebellion group said.
JPMorgan Chase was the largest financer of fossil fuels of any bank in the world from 2016 through 2021, providing $382bn over that six-year period, according to a report from a consortium of NGOs.
Protestors also took to the streets in Spain on the same day, throwing fake blood outside the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.
The group describes themselves as “activists from a variety of scientific backgrounds,” and states that they “work within the framework of Extinction Rebellion… but adopt some new forms of organizing and mobilizing”.