Inside every scientist, there’s a thinking, feeling human being, who experience a full range of emotions — happiness, sadness, worry, fear, weird midnight cravings for junk food. And, as it turns out, the human beings inside climate scientists have a lot of feelings. (re: the fate of humanity.)
You can see some of those feelings first-hand at the More Than Scientists Project, home to more than 200 short videos of climate scientists confessing that they do, in fact, have emotions:
[…] We aren’t just scientists inside labs and academia. We are people like you, with hopes and dreams and loved ones. We are mothers, fathers, farmers, fishermen, hikers, hunters, …
… And we’re concerned.
The site is the brainchild of the Climate Change Education Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit. Most of the scientists currently featured are from the University of Washington, MIT, or Harvard, but scientists anywhere are welcome to contribute their own videos.
They all have something unique to say, because, well, each one is a unique individual (mission accomplished, More Than Scientists Project!). Some talk about what inspired them to go into climate science; others talk about how concerned they are for their children’s futures; many touch on their frustration with the false debate over climate change; one dude talked about home brewing, and how he worries about the effects climate change will have on our ability to grow hops (he’s a grad student, obviously).
Here’s a sample:
Dargan Frierson, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, spoke about a hurricane that devastated his home state of North Carolina back in 1999:
That was something that really changed the way I thought about the power of the weather. I just didn’t want to see more of that stuff happening to people, you know? It was kind of traumatic. [I] saw images on the news from just around where I was going to school of farm animals – just thousands of farm animals – that had been drowned in that storm. It was really disturbing to see, you know, what kind of damage can be done by the earth around us, and we know that there are gonna be worse and stronger hurricanes with climate change.
Ana Ordóñez, a graduate student in the University of Washington’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, kept it pretty real:
I know for a lot of people, when you first really start thinking about climate change and what a big issue it is, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If you don’t, that’s great. I wish I could feel that way a lot of the time.
Josh Lawler, an associate professor in the University of Washington’s School of Forest Resources, spoke more broadly about the bleak future we’re in for if we don’t adequately address climate change:
I’m afraid that if we don’t do anything, we’re going to see some pretty uncomfortable changes, and it’s gonna be far worse in some places in the world than others. I mean, there are gonna be food shortages and there are gonna be mass migrations and there are gonna be large disasters […], and all those things will affect our economies, and they’ll effect health — human health. So I think the picture that’s painted – that the scientists paint and that the models paint — if we don’t do anything now, if we don’t curb our emissions quickly, and if we don’t sequester carbon, [is] pretty grim. Humans will survive, and most of the natural world will survive in some state or another, but I think it’ll be a bad time for people.
The website’s worth a look. The videos range from 20 seconds to about two minutes long, and they all give a pretty candid look at who these people are, why they do what they do, and how they’re feeling about the future. (Um, in short, not great.)
- "More Than Scientists" seeks to show human side of climate experts., The Daily Climate