11,258 scientists agree with 1,180 governments: it’s time to declare a climate emergency. They write in a paper published in BioScience on 4 November 2019: “We declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”
“The declaration is based on analysis of 40 years of scientific data. From the data we have, it is clear we are facing a climate emergency.”
~ Thomas Newsome, ecologist, University of Sydney, one of the lead authors on the paper
The scientists’ declaration lists 15 measures of human activities that can change the climate — such as fertility rate, air travel and meat production — and 14 measures of the impacts of climate change, such as ocean acidity, ocean heat content and the number of extreme weather events. The scientists hope these measures will become part of the public discussion of climate change.
“We think governments at their own country level should actually be reporting this data back to the public so that we can track progress over time. But also so the public can learn about how they might be able to make differences within their own lives to help mitigate the impacts of climate change,” Newsome was quoted as saying.
The paper, where more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries declare a climate emergency, present graphics showing trends as vital signs against which to measure progress, and provide a set of effective mitigating actions. It was published on 4 November 2019 in BioScience.
The global coalition of scientists, Alliance of World Scientists, was initially co-founded by William J. Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University.
“Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have continued to conduct business as usual and have failed to address this crisis,” said Ripple, distinguished professor of ecology in the OSU College of Forestry. “Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected.”
Their message is that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without deep and lasting shifts in human activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other factors related to climate change:
“Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. Since then, similar alarms have been made through the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as scores of other global assemblies and scientists’ explicit warnings of insufficient progress (Ripple et al. 2017). Yet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth’s climate. An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis (IPCC 2018).”
→ BioScience – 4 November 2019:
World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency
→ Oregon State University – 4 November 2019:
World scientists declare climate emergency, establish global indicators for effective action
→ The Guardian – 6 November 2019:
Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’
“Statement sets out ‘vital signs’ as indicators of magnitude of the climate emergency”
→ ABC – 6 November 2019:
Climate emergency declared by 11,000 scientists worldwide who warn of ‘catastrophic threat’ to humanity
“More than 11,000 scientists around the world have signed a scientific paper declaring a climate emergency, backing protesters across the world demanding action.”
→ Sydney Morning Herald – 6 November 2019:
‘Untold suffering’: Global scientists warn of climate emergency
“More than 11,000 scientists from around the world have declared a “climate emergency”, warning of “untold suffering” and calling for action ranging from curbing human population to leaving fossil fuels in the ground. The unusual international collaboration, published in BioScience journal, was backed by more than 350 Australian scientists, including 10 current or ex-CSIRO researchers. Signatories hailed from 153 countries.”
→ The New Daily – 6 November 2019:
More than 11,000 scientists endorse a global ‘climate emergency’ declaration
“The Australian parliament voted against it. But now 11,000 people who might know one or two more facts than a bubble of politicians have confirmed it is, indeed, happening: the whole world is in the midst of a climate emergency. And they believe the threats are accelerating faster than previously expected.”