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Reflections from the road with climate advocate Shahir Masri

Citizens' Climate Lobby - May 24, 2018  - By Bob Taylor

​Last May, the CCL community met air pollution scientist, Dr. Shahir Masri and educator Athina Simolaris as they planned their cross-country climate outreach journey. Having returned now from their 12,000-mile tour through 36 states, during which they organized over 30 climate events, 35 video interviews, and surveyed more than 300 people, I sat down with Dr. Masri to hear his reflections and lessons learned from this ambitious project.

Air Pollution Scientist Bringing Climate Action Tour to the Cape Newscenter - September 4, 2018 - ​​By Justin Saunders

HARWICH –“On the Road to Climate Change” arrives on Cape Cod this week for presentations in three Cape towns. The 11-week educational climate advocacy tour is organized by air pollution scientist Shahir Masri and educator Athina Simolaris and will cross 35 states. They plan to interview residents to understand what aspects of climate change matter most to them and at the end of the tour, they’ll publish the data collected to help develop strategies of climate communication.

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Scientist, educator visit Harwich during nationwide climate action tour

​Cape Cod Times - August 7, 2018 - By Beth Treffeisen 

HARWICH — Shair Masri, an air pollution scientist, and his partner, educator Athina Simolaris, have put their careers aside for a year to embark on journey they’re calling “On the Road for Climate Action” to mobilize public action on the topic across the country, including on Cape Cod. On Friday afternoon, a room filled with 30 to 40 people at the Harwich Community Center, who came out to show their support and learn more about what they can do to stem climate change. It was the first of four scheduled stops in area by Masri and Simolaris. “I’ve always felt climate change is a really important issue that doesn’t get enough attention,” Masri said before the event. “I’m not a trained advocate or speaker. It is just something I’m doing because I think it is important.”

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Climate action tour coming to Cape Cod

Cape Cod Times - August 28, 2018 - By Beth Treffeisen

Air pollution scientist Shahir Masri and educator Athina Simolaris have paired up to travel around the country to mobilize public action on climate change, including next week in several Cape Cod communities. Masri and Simolaris kicked off “On the Road for Climate Action” Aug. 1, starting an 11-week educational climate advocacy tour that will cross 35 states. Along the way, they plan to interview citizens to better understand what aspects of climate change matter most to people. The goal is to educate and inform communities about climate change as well as provide a platform to share stories about those affected by it, according to their website. In the end, they will publish data collected to help develop strategies of climate communication, the website says.

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The Earth is not Partisan: Taking Climate Change on the Road

​Emmetsburg News - August 14, 2018 - By Darren Fraser

Two educators from California have embarked on a 35-state tour to discuss the realities of climate change, debunk myths and instill hope it is not too late to save the planet. Dr. Shahir Masri holds a PhD from Harvard in environmental science. He is an air pollution scientist at the University of California Irvine. Together with fellow educator, Athina Simolaris, the two have put their careers on hold for the summer as they travel the country expounding on the dangers that face the climate and on the simple steps individuals can take in their lives to reduce humanity's collective carbon footprint. Masri says the public's reaction to the message has been mixed. The couple distribute surveys to those interested in the subject. "I walked into a hunting shop in Utah," says Masri. "Deer heads on the wall; a bunch of antlers stacked in the corner. I was surprised. These people were very interested in climate change."

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Driving The Climate Change Conversation To A Neighborhood Near You

​Huffington Post - August 9, 2018 - By Yvette Cabrera

Among most scientists, there is no debate about the existence of climate change or humanity’s role in global warming. So as he began his career, air pollution scientist Shahir Masri intended to do what scientists do: gather evidence, conduct research and publish papers. But as Masri talked to people in his community and saw the level of misinformation about climate change, he realized he needed to do more. That’s why he and his girlfriend, Athina Simolaris, a high school and middle school teacher, set out from California in early August on a road trip across the country to engage Americans on one of the most pressing issues of our time.   “We’re at a time when action is increasingly important, and every year that we don’t act is one decade, probably, of increased warming that we’re committing ourselves to,” said Masri, 32, a Tustin, California, native.

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Speaking of Climate Change...
Nevada Public Radio - August 09, 2018 - By Heidi Kyser
Every day that Nevadans see another high-temperature record shattered, they wonder: Is this global warming? But for most scientists who study the world's climate, there’s no question anymore. Shahir Masri is a UC Irvine Air Pollution Scientist whose new book debunks 50 common misconceptions about climate change. While he was in Las Vegas last week to speak to the Citizens Climate Lobby, he talked with Nevada Public Radio about common local climate myths and how to address them. The most obvious misconception, Masri said, is that there’s any debate at all. “In fact, when you talk to the scientific community,” he said, “you find that overwhelmingly, scientists agree that climate change is occurring, and it’s predominantly occurring as a result of human activity.”

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Volunteer Spotlight: Shahir Masri & Athina Simolaris

Citizens' Climate Lobby - May 24, 2018  - By Bob Taylor

"This is a huge commitment for young professionals. It would mean interrupting your careers, taking leave from jobs, and foregoing weeks of income. Why are you doing it?
Shahir: In short, because it feels right. I’ve spent a decade studying air pollution and the impacts of climate change, even publishing peer-reviewed studies in recent years. Meanwhile, climate action across the world, and particularly the U.S., has remained minimal. Most scientists such as myself are convinced of the existence and danger of climate change. However, our voices are typically channeled through technical analyses and studies that the public never reads. I think it’s time for scientists to become outspoken advocates...
Athina: Following my undergraduate degree, I was fortunate to travel abroad to many countries and was exposed to unique lifestyles and values people have around the world. These experiences were eye opening. Since I met Shahir, I have learned so much about climate change and the critical point we are at as a global community. I am not a scientist, but the science seems clear. I believe it is our responsibility to get involved..."

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Together we can continue to raise the voice of science and ensure a safe, stable climate
LA Times - May 22, 2018  - By Bob Taylor

"...One local scientist, Shahir Masri, is an air pollution specialist at UC Irvine who is planning a project that captures the energy and commitment of the larger national movement, albeit in a different way. Masri and his partner, Athina Simolaris, a teacher, are embarking on a 10-week, coast-to-coast climate action road tour through 30 states beginning Aug. 1. On their journey this young couple will organize speaking engagements in communities and on campuses to advocate for climate action and identify effective strategies for climate communication. They will be calling on fellow scientists and educators to speak out about the dangers of climate change and urging fellow citizens to make climate policy a central issue in the 2018 midterm elections."

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