Climate science activism
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Climate researcher, Rose Abramoff took to the stage at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meetings, not as a guest speaker but in protest. Whilst her demonstration only lasted 15 seconds, she found her employment terminated from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and research stripped from the AGU programme. She was attempting to persuade other climate scientists to ‘get out of the lab and into the street’. Whilst Rose’s protest hit the headlines in the media, potentially less attention was paid to the session that was taking place at the conference, hosted by Mika Tosca, climate scientist-turn-artist, Associate Professor of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ronald brings the two together to discuss the event and how climate scientists should approach activism. Although there is no one solution to the climate crisis, Roland loves a brainstorm on Science in Action. Climate activist Stuart Capstick, a Cardiff University psychologist specialising in public attitudes to environmental issues and environmental scientist Robert Young from Western Carolina University take the conversation one step further. Questioning how public perceptions of scientists change when they take evasive action and protest. And finally, we usually hear of seismology reports coming from dense, urban areas prone to earthquakes, delicately perched atop of tectonic plates. But this week, Roland speaks to Professor of Geophysics Zhongwen Zhan from the California Institute of Technology, who’s collecting data from a very unusual place... When CrowdScience listener Eric spotted a few gnats flying around on a milder day in mid-winter it really surprised him - Eric had assumed they just died out with the colder weather. It got him wondering where the insects had come from, how they had survived the previous cold snap and what the implications of climate change might be for insect over-wintering behaviour? So he asked CrowdScience to do some bug investigation. CrowdScience presenter Marnie Chesterton takes up the challenge and heads out into the British countryside – currently teeming with buzzes and eight legged tiny beasties - to learn about the quite amazing array of tactics these small creatures use to survive the arduous days of cold. She hears how some insects change their chemical structure to enhance their frost resistance whist others hanker down in warmer microclimates or rely on their community and food stocks to keep them warm. But cold isn’t the only climatic change insects have to endure, in the tropics the seasons tend to fluctuate more around wet and dry so what happens then? Marnie talks with a Kenyan aquatic insect expert who describes how mosquitoes utilise the rains and shares his worry climate change could have a big impact on insect populations.
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