General, Research, Technology

11 thousand scientists warn: climate change can destroy us

Start to panic - climate change maydestroy our civilization. This was announced in a joint statement by more than 11 thousand scientists from 153 countries of the world. A statement and a report entitled “A Warning from World Scientists on the Climate Emergency” was published in BioScience Magazine on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference, held in Geneva in 1979. According to the warning, people all over the world will face “indescribable suffering due to the climate crisis” if serious transformations in world society do not occur. In order to avoid a catastrophe, urgent measures must be taken, which include stopping the extraction of fossil fuels, reducing fertility, stopping the destruction of forests and reducing meat consumption.

A man uses a garden hose to try to save his house from a fire in Granada Hills, California, October 11, 2019. Photo: Michael Owen Baker

The world is in an extreme climate

At the very beginning of the statement, researchers recall that the moral duty of scientists is to tell the world the truth and warn of dangers and disasters.

“We clearly and unequivocally declare that the planetThe earth is facing an extreme climate, ”the statement said. “To ensure a sustainable future, we must change our lifestyle. This entails major changes in the way our society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems. ”

According to experts, we can not lose time on empty conversations:

“The climate crisis has come and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated and threatens natural ecosystems and the fate of mankind. ”

Chart number 1

Professor William Ripple of State UniversityOregon and the lead author of the statement, told The Guardian that it was forced to initiate it due to an increase in climatic events worldwide. The key goal of the warning is to establish a full range of “vital indicators” indicators about the causes and consequences of climate destruction, and not just about carbon emissions and rising surface temperatures. A broader set of indicators should be monitored, including population growth, meat consumption, loss of wood cover, energy consumption, fossil fuel subsidies, and annual economic losses from extreme weather events.

Other "deeply disturbing signs of humanactivities ”selected by scientists include the rapidly growing number of air passengers and the growth of world GDP. The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption and lifestyle. As a result of human activity, there are “especially disturbing” trends in increasing land and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather events, scientists say. Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with some exceptions, the problem could not be resolved. Specialists are particularly concerned about the potentially irreversible tipping points of climate change. These climatic chain reactions can lead to disruptions in the functioning of ecosystems, society and the economy, making uninhabited vast areas of the Earth. In their statement, scientists urge citizens and politicians to assess the magnitude of the crisis and change priorities.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the world of popular science - subscribe to our news channel on Telegram

What do scientists offer?

The statement details a number of measures thatcan prevent catastrophic events. Below are four key points that researchers urge to listen to both world leaders and citizens:

  • Using energy is much more efficient and raising taxes on carbon taxes to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
  • Take measures to reduce the birth rate. Today, the Earth’s population is increasing by an average of 200 thousand people a day. On the World Current Population website, you can track the change in numbers yourself. Researchers suggest stabilizing the world's population using ethical approaches, such as longer-term education for girls in regions with the highest birth rates.
  • Stop the destruction of nature and restore forests and to absorb CO2.
  • Reduce meat consumption.
  • Chart number 2

    But there is good news. The implementation of the above changes with social and economic justice for all will bring much greater prosperity to people than doing ordinary business. Scientists were also encouraged by the massive climate strikes of young people who recently swept around the world and litigated against companies that harm the environment. Let me remind you that in 2017, 15 thousand researchers issued a warning about the danger of environmental pollution and the impending mass extinction of wildlife. The statement was read in the parliaments of Canada and Israel. Despite gloomy forecasts, it’s not too late. Researchers advise a close look at the graphs (Figs. 1 and 2) - you do not need to be a rocket engineer to understand that something in the world is going wrong.

    What do you think about the statement of scientists and the measures they advise to take? Share your thoughts in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat.

    But despite some optimism from scientists, II think that the picture looms rather gloomy. What is the likelihood that world leaders will set aside their nuclear toys and stop oil production? And what about reducing fertility - can people really refuse to give birth to children, when in many countries of the world this is only encouraged, and sometimes considered the meaning and justification of existence itself? Researchers propose changing attitudes toward consumption - but is the number of conscious people outnumbering those who are preoccupied exclusively with their own appetites? As writer and journalist Jonathan Franzen wrote in his article for The New Yorker, it’s time for you and me to stop deceiving ourselves and acknowledge the inevitable — we cannot stop climate change. The journalist urges us to concentrate on the good that each of us can do in life. And this is the right position - even if climate change can be prevented, our world will be transformed if we all try to make it a little better.