Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries say “untold human suffering” will happen unless we change our way of life. They declared this climate emergency in a letter based on climate science established in 1979 at the first world climate conference in Geneva.
Since the first conference world leaders agreed with the experts whilst protestors and school children have marched, lobbied and created a sense of awareness but the issues with our eco system are getting worse.
“Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have continued to conduct business as usual and have failed to address this crisis,” said William Ripple, professor of ecology at Oregon State University, who has motivated the letter.
“Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected,” says the letter.
The scientists say they have a duty to “clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat” and “tell it like it is”. “Clearly and unequivocally planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” they say.
Lead author, Dr Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney, said measuring global surface temperatures remained important but that a broader set of indicators should be monitored.
This includes “human population growth, meat consumption, tree-cover loss, energy consumption, fossil-fuel subsidies and annual economic losses to extreme weather events”, he said.
“While things are bad, all is not hopeless. We can take steps to address the climate emergency,” he said. “Such swift action is our best hope to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.”
The Noah’s Ark Foundation in South Africa supports the letter. Founders Richard & Hein Prinsloo Curson say “Animals and plants have and an equally important role in Earth’s eco system. We forget every living thing on the planet is part of our precious and fragile circle of life and without one element the circle is broken and everything is affected”. They say “Bees are just one tiny example as they face rapid decline and if they become extinct plants cant pollenate which has severe consequences on the eco system including climate change”.