11.000 scientists call to save our planet
Scientists have never been more worried about the state of our planet in general and the climate crisis in particular. In the November edition of BioScience, more than 11.000 climatologists, biologists, physicians, chemists, and agriculturists from 153 countries warn that humankind risks “to suffer unbelievably” due to climate issues. They also plead for a radical change of our lifestyle globally to save life on earth, “our unique home”.
Forty years ago, in 1979, researchers from 50 countries gathered during a first world conference in Geneva to talk about the necessity to act against climate change. One of the initiators was the American biologist William Ripple of the University in Oregon. Since that time, the warnings multiplied. In 2017, the magazine BioScience already published a manifesto supported by 15.000 scientists that warned for the catastrophic decline of the environment and all living species.
In spite of all those initiatives, the emissions of greenhouse gases went on. They caused a series of consequences for the climate, the environment, and society: global warming, the rise of seawater levels, acidification of the oceans, and the melting of glaciers and ice caps.
“We’re making a new appeal because studies have shown that the climate crisis is evolving faster than we can prevent it,” explains William Moomaw of the University of Massachusetts. “More people are dying or getting ill, the industry and economy are at stake, especially in the poorest regions of the world.”
To show the seriousness of the crisis, the scientists involved have analyzed 40 years’ data to understand the impact of human activity. They saw that demography has grown exponentially, consumption of meat (+11%) and energy (+23%) has increased, deforestation has become worse (+50% the last ten years), and aviation has increased significantly (+64%).
Points of action
That is why the scientists suggest six points of action to prevent that life at particular places on earth becomes unlivable. They want fossil fuels to be replaced by renewable energy, they propose a rapid abolition of subsidies for coal, oil, and gas, and they want higher prices for carbon.
They also call for reduced consumption of meat, protection of ecosystems, and stabilization of the population. For the latter, they want to improve the accessibility to education and contraception, especially for girls. The reason for it is clear: women tend to have fewer children when they are educated, relatively wealthy and have contraceptives within reach.