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More Than 11,000 Scientists Confirm Earth is in a Climate Emergency

More Than 11,000 Scientists Confirm Earth is in a Climate Emergency


This week, a group of more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries, including the United States, issued a report that stated for the first time that Earth “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency.” While scientists have previously produced data indicating global warming and climate change, this study confirms that human activity is playing a significant role in environmental impact and suggests specific policies that should be implemented to stabilize the situation:

  • Energy: Impose carbon fees to discourage using fossil fuels, end subsidies to fossil fuel companies, implement conservation practices, and replace oil and gas with sustainable forms of energy.
  • Pollution: Limit pollutants such as methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and soot to cut the short-term warming trend by 50% over the next few decades.
  • Nature: Stop land clearing; restore forests, grasslands and mangroves to help rein in CO2.
  • Food: Shift to a mostly plant-based diet, consume fewer animal products, and reduce food waste.
  • Economy: Change economic dependence on carbon fuels and reduce the focus on growing the world's gross domestic product and pursuing wealth.
  • Population: Stabilize global population growth.

Life and environment are inextricably linked. From microscopic organisms that shelter within the rocks of the driest deserts to the dense flora and fauna in the wettest of rainforests through to humans in villages, towns, and cities, life and environment inevitably co-evolve, each influencing, and depending on, the other. This report warns that there is no more time to debate policy: we must take action. We may only be able to mitigate some of the consequences of climate change and will still be affected by some of the consequences, but positive action will have significant and life-saving impact.

For more information on the facts and the science supporting climate change, visit NASA’s climate change site. There are also some amazing before and after images of the effects of climate change on landscapes and the weather from around the globe. The SETI Institute’s Big Picture Science podcast has featured a couple of episodes on climate change; check out New Water Worlds and On Thin Ice.

The Study itself is published in The American Institute of Bioscience’s journal Bioscience, and a link to it can be found here<. Commentary on the study is available from the BBC and the Washington Post.

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