BREAKING: Scientists and Academics throw fake oil over Shell HQ - Extinction Rebellion UK

BREAKING: Scientists and Academics throw fake oil over Shell HQ

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This morning, scientists calling for radical change in the face of the climate and ecological crisis took nonviolent direct action at the London headquarters of Shell, as part of the world’s largest ever scientist-led civil disobedience campaign. The group used modified fire extinguishers to spray biodegradable fake oil on the building, as well as posting relevant scientific papers to the walls.

The action comes two days after the latest IPCC report is released, with Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London and co-chair of the working group behind the report, stating that it is “now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C.”

The scientists today are acting under the slogan “1.5°C is dead, climate revolution now!” Cat Acheson, social scientist and PhD researcher says “I’m here today taking non-violent direct action against Shell, because the continued use and expansion of fossil fuels is endangering all life on our planet. I am terrified of the global suffering that companies like Shell are causing, and the lack of action from our government to put a stop to the harm. “

The action is part of a global day of action, with hundreds of Scientist Rebellion activists around the world taking disruptive actions targeting scientific and governmental institutions in over 25 countries, on every continent, risking arrest in order to highlight the urgency and injustice of this crisis. 

One prominent scientist who will risk arrest today in California is NASA scientist Peter Kalmus, who said in the Guardian recently: “Any reasonable person can look at today’s climate impacts – the droughts, famines, floods, fires, storms, ecosystem losses, and deadly heat – see that they are caused primarily by burning fossil fuels, read the IPCC summary reports that project how much worse they will get and how irreversible the damage will be, and conclude that we must end the fossil fuel production as quickly as we can. Any one of the catastrophes I’ve listed should be reason enough to do so. Taken together, they indicate nothing less than the eventual end of civilization as we know it.”

Microbiologist Abi Perrin, who is taking part in the London action, says:“I’m here today because I’m so frightened by seeing the stark warnings of the world’s scientists being ignored and suppressed by governments and powerful corporations who are putting economic growth and short-term profit above the survival of life on Earth. I am joining hundreds of scientists across the globe taking similar actions today, in the hope that this will help in some small way to change the course that we are on. Shell has known about the harm their products and activities cause since before I was born, yet throughout my lifetime they have kept expanding their fossil fuel operations, wrecking lives, communities, ecosystems, the world’s climate and our prospects for the future in the process.”

Mike Lynch-White, former Theoretical Physics PhD candidate turned climate activist, explains scientists’ need for action this way: “Imagine two people are sitting in a house. One turns to the other and calmly states that the house is on fire and the roof is about to collapse and kill them both, before going back to their morning newspaper. It would be completely unreasonable for the other to believe the threat, no matter how real it is.”

Scientist Rebellion will be on the streets between April 4th and 9th, acting like our house is on fire. Because it is.


Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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