'I'm profoundly sad, I feel guilty': scientists reveal personal fears about the climate crisis
(The Guardian, 7 Mar 2020) 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.”
In the end, more than 40 scientists responded – many leaders in their field. Some wrote neatly on lined notepaper, others scrawled on the back of student papers they were marking.