Arrested Scientists Were Ignored – Letter to the Oregonian

Kudos to Kale Williams for the front page article on Sunday, April 10 on the latest IPCC climate report (“UN report calls for urgent climate action…”). We commend the Oregonian for educating its readers on the latest science, and urgent action needed, on this critical issue. On April 6th, we were arrested at the Portland World Trade Center as part of Scientist Rebellion’s global week of action, specifically calling attention to the Portland Business Alliance for obstructing climate action and attacking the Portland Clean Energy Fund. PCEF is a vital Climate Justice program, overwhelmingly supported by Portlanders. 

Our nonviolent direct action, following a rally organized by Extinction Rebellion PDX, was one of dozens of actions involving over 1000 scientists and academics in 25+ countries. Unfortunately, these actions, including our local action, were ignored by the mainstream media, including the Oregonian. Scientists and academics are not dangerous radicals, we do not enjoy civil disobedience or arrest. We do these things to call out the really dangerous radicals, according to UN Secretary General Guterres, “countries that are increasing production of fossil fuels…moral and economic madness.” While Oregon is taking steps to reduce carbon emissions, we all need to do more faster, as your article says, and we need the business community on-board. The media can do A LOT more to convey the urgency of this issue. Ignoring the people and events drawing attention to this problem will not make us, or it, go away, and does not serve Oregonians’ best interests.  

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Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the Oregonian on April 13, 2022, signed by Dr. Bernadette Rodgers and materials scientist William Livernois, Ph.D Candidate, University of Washington.

About Bernadette Rodgers

Dr. Bernadette Rodgers is an astronomer and a Science Instructor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

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