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Future Earth Community Among 11,000 Scientists Declaring Climate Emergency

A declaration published this week in the journal BioScience states that, “scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat.” More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have signed on to say that Earth is facing a climate emergency.

The paper presents trends in human activities over the last 40 years that are impacting the climate, like increases in per capita meat production, air transport, energy consumption and more. These are paralleled by concurrent trends in climatic ‘vital signs’ such as concentration of greenhouse gases, global average surface temperature and sea level change.

The authors suggest six areas where governments, business and citizens can take action to lessen the worst effects of climate change: energy, short-lived pollutants, nature, food, economy, and population.

Felix Riede, declaration signatory and Co-chair of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events, said, “Our collective warning underlines the clear and present danger of climate change, which is no longer a future potentiality but something that is affecting human security, lives and livelihoods right now. The scientific content of the paper is fully aligned with the IPCC assessments but the diversity of signatories further stresses that climate change and the challenges of adaption are not only a scientific or technical problem but one that very much concerns ethics, citizenship, governance and culture.”

Montreal Climate March, September 27, 2019. Credit: Sylvia Wood.