The Independent - November 5, 2019

Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency and warned that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without huge shifts in the way we live. 

The letter is based on climate science that was first established in 1979 at the first World Climate Conference held in Geneva. For decades multiple global bodies have agreed urgent action is needed but greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. 

“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 spearheaded the letter. 

“Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected,” according to the letter published in BioScience

Researchers say they have a moral obligation 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 state.

Although there are some positive indicators – such as declining birth rates and a rise in renewable energy use – most indicators suggest humans are rapidly heading in the wrong direction, they say.

Backward steps include rising meat consumption, more air travel, chopping down forests faster than ever and increase in global carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists say they want the public to “understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities for alleviating climate change”.

To do so will require major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems, they say.

The letter focuses on six key objectives: replacing fossil fuels; cutting pollutants like methane and soot; restoring and protecting ecosystems; eating less meat; converting the economy to one that is carbon-free and stabilising population growth. ...
Read full report at The Independent