Sunday, November 19, 2017

15,000 scientists warn of scientifically predictable global destruction


This is one of those bad-news�worse-news stories. The bad news is that the science on climate change in 1992 was damn near flawless already. And we have gotten a LOT better at it in 25 years. And the science says that without a radical alteration in business-as-usual, we are doomed on this planet. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The worse news is that the brightest minds of the species seem to believe that warnings lead to action. Not without a plan they don't. Preachers have been warning about hell-fire and brimstone for thousands of years and I have yet to see how all that fear-mongering has ever led to a better society. Why is it any better when our best scientists believe that if only their warnings are dire enough, someone in the greater audience will somehow come up with a solution?

We get the point. Climate change is dangerous. Now, oh bright ones, lay out some reasonable possibilities for remediation. I don't want to get all worked up about a problem unless there is something  I can do to help. Otherwise, screaming headlines about the world coming to an end is just meaningless motivation.

Also, I am not at all certain it actually requires 15,000 scientists to tell us we are in deep shit. It seems like 500 could monitor our ride in the handbasket so that 14,500 could work on what to do next. Just a thought.

15,000 scientists just signed the largest-ever warning about Earth�s destruction

Scientists worldwide are getting heated over global warming.

Ephrat Livni, 11/14/17

There�s no place like home, our warm and watery planet Earth. But we won�t be living here long if humans don�t change their ways, say 15,365 scientists from 185 countries who want your attention.

On Nov. 13, the journal BioScience published the �World Scientists� Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice� in four languages�English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The first warning was issued in 1992 when 1,700 members of the Union of Concerned Scientists argued that humans are �on a collision course with nature.� That group, which included numerous Nobel laureates, urged the world to save the Earth from extreme climate change by burning fewer fossil fuels, preserving forests, limiting population growth, and improving food production.

�On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response,� contemporary scientists write.

Brace yourselves�we didn�t respond well, the scientists find.
Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has �failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse,� the paper states. Its authors say they are especially troubled by �the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change�from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production�particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption.

They also point out that this rapid heating has �unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years.� Scientists predict many current life forms could be annihilated or near extinction by the end of this century.

Still, there�s some hope. Humans have shown that, with concerted effort, we�re able to make positive and sustainable changes. The global decline in use of ozone-depleting substances shows progress is possible and destruction isn�t inevitable, the scientists argue. Overall, humans have made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hunger, declines in deforestation in some regions, and rapid growth in the renewable-energy sector.

But more must be done. The paper calls on all to help by being informed consumers and voters, lest we find ourselves homeless. Time is running out, the scientists remind us:

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world�s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning�We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home. more

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