Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate scientists have issued an updated climate emergency declaration, urging us to take them seriously this time.
World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021
William J Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M Newsome, Jillian W Gregg, Timothy M Lenton, Ignacio Palomo, Jasper A J Eikelboom, Beverly E Law, Saleemul Huq, Philip B Duffy, Johan Rockström
In 2019, Ripple and colleagues (2020) warned of untold suffering and declared a climate emergency together with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries. They presented graphs of planetary vital signs indicating very troubling trends, along with little progress by humanity to address climate change. On the basis of these data and scientists’ moral obligation to “clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat,” they called for transformative change. Since the article’s publication, more than 2,800 additional scientists have signed that declaration of a climate emergency (see supplemental file S1 for the current signatory list); in addition, 1,990 jurisdictions in 34 countries have now formally declared or recognized a climate emergency (figure 1p). But, at the same time, there has been an unprecedented surge in climate-related disasters since 2019, including devastating flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, record shattering heat waves and wildfires in Australia and the Western United States, an extraordinary Atlantic hurricane season, and devastating cyclones in Africa, South Asia, and the West Pacific (see supplemental file S2 for attribution information). There is also mounting evidence that we are nearing or have already crossed tipping points associated with critical parts of the Earth system, including the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, warm-water coral reefs, and the Amazon rainforest (supplemental file S2). Given these alarming developments, we need short, frequent, and easily accessible updates on the climate emergency.
Read more: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biab079/6325731
There is no evidence I can see that this climate emergency will be any more significant than previous climate emergency declarations and tipping point warnings, dating back to the grandaddy of climate emergency declarations in 1989.