Plant Based Treaty Endorser Profile: Dr. Peter Kalmus: Sparking A Climate Revolution

March 27, 2024

The Plant Based Treaty has been endorsed by impressive scientists around the world. They come from different backgrounds and fields with one common interest – they care about the Earth and take time to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

Dr. Peter Kalmus is one of those scientists. Kalmus has a PhD in physics from Columbia University and a BA in physics from Harvard. Kalmus, married with two teenagers, is on a mission to stop climate change through writing, activism, speaking engagements, unique projects, and initiatives that aim to raise the public’s sense of the climate urgency and accelerate large-scale political action. He does all this while minimizing his own climate footprint.

“Earth breakdown requires urgent action, and the animal agriculture and fossil fuel industries are the two biggest causes. Rapidly reducing animal agriculture and shifting humanity to a plant-based diet is one of the best, easiest, and fastest things we can do to save the planet. It will also buffer food security in a time of increasing crop failures due to global heating. The world needs a Plant Based Treaty.” – Dr. Peter Kalmus

Climate Scientist

Many people dream of working at NASA, but Kalmus made it a reality. He is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and studies the Earth as it changes while focusing on extreme heat, human health, ecosystem breakdown, and severe weather. The unique research and development laboratory is a leader in robotic space exploration and their spacecraft and airborne missions track climate change, manage natural resources, and respond to disasters. These scientists are on the forefront of scientific discovery. 

Outside of NASA, Kalmus started the first ad agency for the Earth called Climate Ad Project and co-founded a climate app called Earth Hero where users can mobilize with other change makers to create a better world. He speaks at climate rallies, city council meetings, local libraries, and churches. Kalmus has written many articles and open letters about climate change and encouraged other climate activists and young people to do the same. 


Kalmus wants his message on climate change and fossil fuels to be heard and is not afraid to scream it from the rooftops. Or as the case may be, to chant it while chaining himself to a bank in Los Angeles.

In April 2022, Kalmus chained himself to a Chase Bank in Los Angeles.

Photograph: Peter Kalmus / Scientist Rebellion

In April 2022, Kalmus chained himself to a Chase Bank in Los Angeles. “The scientists of the world are being ignored,” he told those gathered at the protest. “It’s got to stop.”NBC News

Kalmus credits civil disobedience as an effective form of activism. In an opinion editorial Kalmus wrote for The Guardian in 2022, he explains a group of concerned scientists called Scientist Rebellion took drastic action to raise awareness. The passionate scientists chose JP Morgan Chase Bank because this investment bank funds the newest fossil fuel projects.

“As the new IPCC report explains, emissions from current and planned fossil energy infrastructure are already more than twice the amount that would push the planet over 1.5°C of global heating, a level of heating that will bring much more intense heat, fire, storms, flooding, and drought than the present 1.2°C.”

Kalmus was arrested for locking himself to the entrance with other colleagues and supporters. He feels morally compelled to speak out, make his voice heard, and create social change through activism.

“I feel deep grief over the loss of forests and corals and diminishing biodiversity. But I’ll keep fighting as hard as I can for this Earth, no matter how bad it gets, because it can always get worse.”

No Fly Climate Sci

Kalmus founded No Fly Climate Sci to raise awareness of global warming with like-minded scientists, academics, and members of the public who have committed to flying less or not at all.

“We feel that global warming poses a clear, present, and dire danger for humanity. In an era of obvious climate change, we feel a need to ramp down unnecessary fossil fuel use. Actions speak louder than words.”

No Fly Climate Sci encourages academic institutions to be responsible agents of change and adopt policies and strategies to fly less and accelerate political action. The focus is on flying and long-haul aviation due to the fossil fuels that are heating our planet. They hope to change flying culture by sharing their knowledge of global warming and the consequences it has on our Earth.

Plant-Based Author

Kalmus wrote Being The Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution (2017) a book about global warming and the relationship between our individual daily actions and how they affect the Earth. He explores practical actions we can take, the science behind them, and a spiritual perspective. Being The Change follows the journey Kalmus took when he reduced his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average by biking, growing food, meditating, and other positive life changes.

In 2012, Kalmus “stopped eating meat primarily to avoid harming animals”, he writes in Being The Change. Kalmus explains that about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions are from food production, mainly cows.

“Growing, processing, packaging, and distributing food produces greenhouse gases: CO2 from fuels, fertilizer production and land-use changes such as deforestation; nitrous oxide (N2O) from fertilizer production and application;32 and methane from livestock.”

He continues; “Your individual emissions from food production naturally depend on your diet—what you eat, how much you eat, and how your food gets to your plate. Producing the food for typical meat, vegetarian, and vegan diets emits about 3,000, 1,500, and 1,000 kg CO2e per year, respectively.”

In addition to growing food, Kalmus trades supplies with neighbours and finds supermarket discards (freeganism) which also challenges the way vital resources are wasted. When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, what we eat matters more than how far the food has traveled, as this scientific article explains.

Being The Change won several awards, including the IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award that is most likely to save the planet.

Miriam Porter is an award-winning writer who writes about veganism, social justice issues, and eco-travel. Miriam currently lives in Toronto with her son Noah and many rescued furry friends. She is a passionate animal rights activist and speaks up for those whose voices cannot be heard.