A Farewell to my Friend: Climate Warrior Stuart Scott

A Farewell to my Friend: Climate Warrior Stuart Scott // Jul 19, 2021

A Farewell to my Friend:
Climate Warrior Stuart Scott
Died: Thursday July 15th, 2021

My friend Stuart Scott will be sorely missed. Although his physical manifestation is gone, there are many many things that remain with us. His indomitable spirit, work ethic, caring heart, hope for humanity, fight, and resilience remain.

In the summer of 2014, I got an email out of the blue from Stuart. He had seen some of my work, and he invited me to attend the fall 2014 climate conference COP20 (20th version of the Climate of the Parties) in Lima, Peru. He offered to cover my travel expenses with Air Miles. After doing my due diligence and determining that Stuart was not a serial killer, I gladly accepted his gracious offer. Off I went to Peru, to a most memorable UN climate conference where I presented with Stuart on the perils of abrupt climate change in many press conference side events. I remembering Stuart telling me to run a comb through my dishevelled mop, wear a nice suit, and straighten my tie.

I’ll never forgive Stuart for convincing me to wander around the conference each day for an hour or two wearing a polar bear suit. It was extremely hot and humid in Lima, and needless to say it was torture inside the bear. Our lodgings was a Nun’s Convent, enclosed in a compound with very high walls, in a sketchy part of town. On more than a few evenings, after a night of refreshments in the local watering holes, I would return late and have to convince the guard to let me cross the gate, sometimes necessitating the waking up of Stuart; annoying him to no end.

Next conference for me and Stuart’s team was COP21 in Paris in 2015. Somehow Stuart had convinced James Hansen to attend, and we all had some great presentations on abrupt climate change risks and consequences.

I skipped a few COPs, but not Stuart. He went almost every year, and many UN people organizing the conferences knew Stuart on a first name, friendship level.

Then came the 2019 COP in Madrid Spain, hastily assembled in one month since Santiago, Chile was cancelled as a venue due to civil unrest. I got an email, out of the blue, offering me lodging, so again, after my detailed due diligence to ensure it wasn’t a Dexter 2.0 situation, I gladly accepted Alfonso’s gracious offer.

Once again, I had the pleasure of working with Stuart and his teams at the COP to inform the world in almost daily press conferences on the perils of climate mayhem.

I was extremely sick the weekend before the conference (early Covid?), and missed the first day. I remember getting to the conference early the second day, sitting at a sofa just inside the entrance, and hearing a loud commotion. A woman with a camera ran by me, and then a man with a camera literally leaped over me on the sofa, to get close to a group of teens sitting in a circle. I looked around, and there was Greta Thunberg joining the circle. This was the first rock star that I have ever met; hordes of reporters and paparazzi followed her every movement and word she spoke at the conference.

It was Stuart who first got Greta and her dad to a COP climate conference years earlier in Katowice, Poland; the world can thank him for that.

Stuart could never understand how my blog and video channel could get so successful; using raw unedited videos done invariably with one take, and having no polishing. I told him it was the cat, which annoyed him even more.

Stuart always had to balance many of his projects on the go, but when I introduced him to the group Scientist’s Warning, he took it to heart to greatly expand their breadth and depth of social media outreach. Never one to rest on his laurels, Stuart then went on to start Facing Future. I remember on one group Zoom call when I was walking outside, he got annoyed with me saying it was very unprofessional. A few months later, being inside for the Zoom call, my coworker Shackleton the Explorer (black cat) jumped into the call, again annoying Stuart:)

From one fellow Climate Warrior to another, thank you Stuart. Your rich and deep climate fight legacy and work will continue to be a long term inspiration to us all.

Paul Beckwith
Monday July 19, 2021

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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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