The advancement of technology has enhanced the way we live today in terms of efficiency and convenience. However, the transition to this wealthy lifestyle has greatly contributed to the climate crisis.
Earlier this month, BioScience released an article warning humanity on the alarming trend of the world’s climate crisis.
We declare, with more than 11,000 scientists signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.
With the endorsement of 11,000 scientists from 153 countries, these scientists all verified the disturbing claim. Moreover, they are urging the global society for a major transformation as soon as possible, stating that “the climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.”
Most public discussion on climate change is based on global surface temperature only, an inadequate measure to capture the breadth of human activities and the real danger stemming from a warming planet.
World Scientists’ Warning
Ecologists from Oregon State University Bill Ripple and Christopher Wolf and Tufts University William Moomaw lead the study together with tree more scientists from universities in South Africa and Australia.
They were able to identify the following areas that the global society urgently needs to deal with:
- (Population control) – Limit, if possible end, population growth by supporting women’s rights and providing family planning service that is available to everyone;
- (Energy, Short-lived pollutants, & Economy) – Efficient energy consumption and apply high carbon taxes to discourage the use of fossil fuel;
- (Nature) – Put deforestation and other nature destruction to a halt, and immediate action of forest and mangrove restorations;
- (Food) – Cut off meat-eating and decrease food waste.
These troubling areas are also considered as vital signs, an effective indicator in monitoring the climate crisis besides solely focusing on the measurement of carbon emissions and the rise of surface temperature.
If not addressed, these human activities could eventually result in more disturbing trends such as increased land and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events.
Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have largely failed to address this predicament. Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points. These climate chain reactions could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable.
The scientists further encourage the utilization of vital signs that will allow policymakers, private sectors, and the public to better “understand the magnitude of the crisis, track progress, and realign priorities for alleviating climate change.”
“A broader set of indicators should be monitored, including human population, meat consumption, tree-cover loss, energy consumption, fossil-fuel subsidies and annual economic losses to extreme weather events,” said Thomas Newsome, co-author from the University of Sydney.
No planet B of course
Although it may sound that humanity is in deep with this crisis, scientists acknowledge that hope still exists. “It is not too late” for redemption, especially with the recent rising of support, from global strikes to lawsuits against polluters and other significant responses.
“The good news is that such transformation change, with social and economic justice for all, promises far greater human well-being than does business as usual,” the scientists concluded.
“We believe that the prospects will be greatest if decision-making and all of humanity promptly respond to this warning and declaration of a climate emergency and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.”
Carrington, D. (2019, November 5). Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’. The Guardian. Retrieve November 14, 2019, from http://bit.ly/2Kktars
Ripple, W.J., Wolf, C., Newsome, T.M., Barnard, P., Moomaw, W.R. (2019, November 5). World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency. BioScience. Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz088