Weaver: “I was flabbergasted that here is some physics nerd who can stand up in front of the people and tell them what I think they need to hear as opposed to what they want to hear … and get elected.”

That’s Andrew Weaver, a mathematician and physicist who was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada.

Before being elected, Weaver studied the role of the ocean in climate variability. And whenever he gave talks about climate change, he encouraged young people to get more politically involved.

Weaver: “And invariably I’d get responses — well, there’s no one to vote for. Or they’re all the same. And I would say, ‘you know what, well, then you run.’ There was only so many times that I could give that talk without actually reflecting upon practicing what I preached.”

So in 2013, Weaver ran as the BC Green Party candidate and won. In the process, he realized the public is hungry for more evidence-based decision making, which comes naturally to a scientist.

So Weaver encourages more of his academic colleagues — and members of the general public — to get involved politically.

Weaver: “You know, complaining is easy, but give it a go.”

After all, if a self-proclaimed physics nerd can get elected, perhaps you can, too!

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Andrew Weaver (source: Oak Bay Gorden Head community website).

More Resources
Andrew Weaver’s publications
The Alberta Oil Sands and Climate
Climate Scientist Strikes Back: Libel, Canada, and the Meaning of Weaver vs. National Post
The court settlement: Weaver v. Corcoran (2015 British Columbia Supreme Court 165)
Climate Scientist Andrew Weaver Wins $50,000 in Defamation Suit Against National Post
B.C. MLA Andrew Weaver wins defamation suit against National Post

David Appell

A regular contributor to Yale Climate Connections since 2012, David Appell, Ph.D., is a freelance writer living in Salem, Oregon, specializing in the physical sciences, technology, and the environment. His...