Climate change: “Clear and unequivocal state of emergency,” scientists say

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A group of about 11,000 global scientists has approved a study saying the world is facing a climate emergency.

This research, based on data on various measures collected over 40 years, states that world governments are not dealing with the crisis.

Without profound and lasting change, the world faces “unprecedented human suffering,” according to the study.

Scientists say they have a moral obligation to warn the extent of this danger.

Published on a day when satellite data showed that the previous month was the warmest October in history, new research shows that measuring the surface temperature of the earth is an inadequate way to record the real danger of overheating.

The authors have therefore taken into account various data that they believe to represent a “suite of graphic vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years”.

These indicators include human and animal population growth, per capita meat production, global forest area loss, and fossil fuel use.

Progress has been made in some areas. For example, renewables are on the rise, so wind and solar use are up 373 percent a decade – but still 28 times less than fossil fuel use in 2018.

Taken together, most vital signs indicators, in the scientists ’view, are going in the wrong direction and contributing to a climate emergency.

“The state of emergency means that if we do not address and respond to climate change by reducing carbon emissions and livestock production, as well as reducing land deforestation and fossil fuel use, the impacts are likely to be much more serious than we have experienced to date,” said the lead author, Ph.D. Thomas Newsome from the University of Sydney.

“This could mean that in some areas of the planet, people cannot settle.”

How is this study different from other climate change reports?


This study echoes many of the warnings written by scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The authors want to present a clear and simple geographical picture of a broader range of indicators that can make it clear to the public and governments that the situation is serious and that its response is weak.

What makes it different is that although it claims that the situation is bad, it is not hopeless. The scientists outline six areas where urgent steps need to be taken, namely:

Energy: Politicians should mandate high enough carbon charges to motivate less use of fossil fuels, eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel companies, and implement environmental conservation measures, and at the same time replace oil and gas use with renewable sources.

Short-term pollutants: These include methane, hydrofluorocarbon and soot – scientists say limiting them has the potential to reduce the short-term warming trend by 50 percent over the next few decades.

Nature: Stop deforestation, restore forests, meadows and mangroves – all of which would help reduce carbon dioxide.

Food: Scientists say a major change in diet is needed to make humans eat primarily plants, and fewer animal products. Reducing food waste is also key.

Economy: Change the economy’s reliance on petroleum fuels and coal – and give up global GDP growth and the pursuit of wealth.

Population: The world needs to stabilize a global population that is growing by about 200,000 people a day.

Who are the scientists who approved the report?


About 11,000 scientists of all kinds and backgrounds from 153 countries in the world approved the research.

The authors say they did not target individuals, which is why there is a noticeable lack of some major names in the field of climate change research.

All the details of who signed the approval were posted online.

“Gas emissions are increasing, temperatures are rising, and we have known about this for 40 years and have not done anything yet – you don’t need to be a scientist to know we have a problem,”.

What do the authors want to happen now?


Researchers are fed up with numerous climate conferences and meetings failing to produce meaningful action. However, they believe that the growing global protest movement is bringing hope.

“We are encouraged by the recent increase in concern – governments are adopting new laws; the desks at school strike; lawsuits are prosecuted; activist grassroots movements that demand change.

“As scientists, we appeal to the widespread use of vital signs and hope that graphic indicators will make it easier for lawmakers, as well as the public, to understand the scale of the crisis, to prioritize and monitor development.”


And what about the growth of the human population?


The idea of influencing the growth of the human population is highly controversial, and was regarded by the United Nations negotiators as too “inflammatory”. The authors say turning their heads to the other side is no longer an option.

“This is definitely a controversial issue – but I think the population needs to be talked about when considering the impact humans have on the planet,” Dr. Newsome said.

“When presenting these results, it is also important to look at the positives, and one of the positives we have drawn from these data is that there is now a slight decline in birth rates globally.”


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