Guest essay by Eric Worrall
These poor climate scientists are sacrificing everything in their passion to save the world, but nobody cares.
‘I’m profoundly sad, I feel guilty’: scientists reveal personal fears about the climate crisis
Feelings of powerlessness and despair for the future are evident in letters written for a six-year ‘passion project’
In 2014, Joe Duggan started reaching out to climate scientists to ask them a question: how did climate change make them feel?
“I was just blown away when I started getting the letters back,” he says.
Duggan, a science communicator at Australian National University, set up a website and starting publishing the mostly handwritten responses.
“[Professor] Katrin Meissner was one of the first, and her letter really hit me. It was so … unscience-y. Almost poetic.”
“It makes me feel sad. And it scares me,” Meissner wrote.
“It scares me more than anything else. I see a group of people sitting in a boat, happily waving, taking pictures on the way, not knowing that this boat is floating right into a powerful and deadly waterfall.”
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/08/im-profoundly-sad-i-feel-guilty-scientists-reveal-personal-fears-about-the-climate-crisis
Gee, if only the climate scientists had tried a little harder, we might have listened to them.
Having said that, if you suspend disbelief and just look at the words, some of the descriptive imagery is actually pretty good. Obviously “floating into a waterfall” should have been “floating towards a waterfall”, so they need a bit of help with their writing technique, but when I closed my eyes I could really see that boat, kind of like one of the depressing scenes from the apocalyptic nuclear war story “On the beach”.
When the climate bubble finally collapses, with a bit of training some of the most emotionally expressive climate scientists might be able to make a decent living writing fiction.