Monday 24th October 2016                 Change text size:

How scientists feel about climate change: Dr Sarah Perkins


Everything that Dr Sarah Perkins feared about climate change is beginning to happen and she questions why people have been ignoring the signs in a letter explaining her view on how the world is changing.

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The letter forms part of a project that asked scientists from across Australia to write a handwritten note about how they feel about climate change. The letters have been published on website Perkins is a climate scientists and extreme weather events specialists at the University of New South Wales and urges action.

She writes:

For some time now I’ve been terribly worried. I wish I didn’t have to acknowledge it, but everything I have feared is happening. I used to think I was paranoid, but it’s true. She’s slipping away from us. She’s been showing signs of acute illness for quite a while, but no one has really done anything. Her increased erratic behaviour is something I’ve especially noticed. Certain behaviours that were only rare occurrences are starting to occur more often, and with heightened anger. I’ve tried to highlight these changes time and time again, as well as their speed of increase, but no one has paid attention.

It almost seems everyone has been ignoring me completely, and I’m not sure why. Is it easier to pretend there’s no illness, hoping it will go away? Or because they’ve never had to live without her, so the thought of death is impossible? Perhaps they cannot see they’ve done this to her. We all have.

To me this is all false logic. How can you ignore the severe sickness of someone you are so intricately connected to and dependent upon. How can you let your selfishness and greed take control, and not protect and nurture those who need it most? How can anyone not feel an overwhelming sense of care and responsibility when those so dear to us are so desperately ill? How can you push all this to the back of your mind? This is something I will never understand. Perhaps I’m the odd one out, the anomaly of the human race. The one who cares enough, who has the compassion, to want to help make her better.

The thing is we can make her better!! If we work together, we can cure this terrible illness and restore her to her old self before we exploited her. But we must act quickly, we must act together. Time is ticking, and we need to act now.

To read the rest of the submissions to Is This How You Feel?, click here

Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre via Flickr

Further reading:

How scientists feel about climate change: Prof Tony McMichael

How scientists feel about climate change: Prof Katrin Meissner

How scientists feel about climate change: Prof Lesley Hughes

How scientists feel about climate change: Alex sen Gupta

How scientists feel about climate change: Prof Brendan Mackey

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